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Author Topic: SUCCESS STORIES  (Read 126889 times)
John Galt
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« on: March 11, 2008, 08:45:00 AM »

This will be very brief as much can be learned in the committed section of this board.

My brief summary is that I came to this board in a very bad situation. Worse than most from what I read.My BPD wife was in a downward spiral which included police charges, many attempts at suicide and obviously many institutional stays. I was following her around like a puppy trying to help in all the wrong ways. I was very supportive and helpful when I should have worried about my 3 kids and I , and let her figure things out alone. My feeling is that me ''helping'' her was really ''helping '' me and hurting her.

I played this game and danced away for 2 years or less all the while talking on this board with some friends while actually making things worse.


My healing came when I looked at me , not at BPD -which I became a world expert on.I went to therappy wondering why I would put up with this abuse,a fake DV charge and watching my kids suffer, and watching me basically die within while I tried to ''help'' her.Therpay helped me regain my strength. Eventually , I told her to leave or I would .Also me leaving would be with the kids.I did give her a choice of a divorce or serious therapy. She took the therapy choice which was very extensive live out of the home 16 week kind of therpapy which was dbt and cbt . No drugs whatsoever. In this time I also sought some help for things that I was doing which was not helping at all.

Today ,my family is strong and happy. My wife has done exceptionally well. We have moments but they never escalate which was our problem before. I participated in that where some here do not believe that they do from what I read.

If my story is a success then so can others perhaps.

Bottom line advice is to work on yourself, radically accept certain things, give a choice and stand firm.

Good luck,

I give big props to Skip and the team for this section. Its important.



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Steph
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« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2010, 10:30:04 AM »

Years ago, BPD was considered a mental illness that was hopeless. We have all heard about therapists who wouldnt treat a person with BPD, and the levels of frustration and utter inability to work with those suffering from it.

It has been relatively recently that there IS hope, there IS therapy and there IS reason to feel that those with BPD can be helped and healed.

This happened in my own home.

My H was diagnosed with BPD and was referred to Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. He is considered recovered.  For our marriage to heal, tho, we had to separate, I had to get into my own therapy for codependance and we had to have therapy with a DBT trained therapist to get well. Today,  BPD is not in our home at all, and we are happy and functioning. There have been many challenges along the way and many surprises.

What is your story of recovery? What has helped you? Your loved one? Your relationship? What challenges have you experienced along the way? What are your hopes for the future?

 
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dados76
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« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2010, 11:26:26 AM »

Smiling (click to insert in post)

my partner... isnt cured... but he has made a huge amount of progress... since he started therapy a little over 2 years ago...

im at a advantage i think... bc he was in treatment before we started dating... and i knew what he was dx with... helps a lot with accepting things... bc i knew what the deal was before we even started talking about dating... so... most of the work is his...

my recovery... is mostly remembering to detach... and not engage when hes dysregulated... easier said than done... and detaching my feelings from his... sometimes its really hard... to let him just be however he is without trying to 'fix' things... usually i want to make things better... and its really tiring... and impossible sometimes... when if i let him be... or just listen and try to validate... he comes around a lot faster... and even if he doesnt...

i really have to remember that... him getting  better is not my job... and that all my 'helping' stuff... doesnt help him learn any skills to regulate himself... and thats really important... it ends up hurting in the long run... if im the one always fixing things so he doesnt get upset... he doesnt learn how to come back from upset... or how to balance himself at all...

i meet w/his T once a month or so... so i know where hes at... nothing real specific... just to check in... and a heads up... that he might be more/less dysregulated... or trying a new tool... see how im doing etc... get an idea for what times he needs more support... when he needs space...

moving... was probably the biggest challenge... it was very hard on my partner... and he kind of went off the deep end w/ paranoia about a month before... so we were looking at him being inpatient someplace... until we were ready to leave... didnt end up doing it... but that was pretty scary... for everybody... hes had some really difficult friendships with people... that were really triggering... and sent him into a tailspin every time... really slowly... hes learning to make friendships that are better for everybody involved... i also got more practice at stepping back... and not trying to smooth things over... oops...

major positives: it has been a really long time since he lost it and broke ___... over a year.

he is a lot more willing to open about what is going on... and say honestly how hes feeling... and i try to listen as good as i can...

he hasnt cut in over a year... hasnt self harmed at all in almost 6 months...

im a lot happier... and closer to my friends and family... bc i feel better about taking time to spend time w/them... whether hes up for it or not... if hes not... its ok...

we communicate a LOT better... on both sides... hes learning to validate too... and its really nice...

for the future...

i know he wants to go back to school... i would love to see him do that... hes really smart... and i think he would like it...

mostly... im pretty happy with our lives... him working on his recovery... and getting better for himself... i want for him...
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« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2010, 07:06:44 PM »

For me, acceptance and learning to take care of myself were the biggest changes to create more happiness.

Radical acceptance - He is who he is... .a duck... .trying to make that duck bark only frustrates me and pisses off the duck.

I also learned to take a time out - a critical skill. We can't save them - we can't control them - we can't make it all better for them. All of our defenses, all of our explanations just come across as invalidations to them, which only make things worse. Learning when and how to walk away from their dysregulation has prevented further verbal abuse, therefore lessening the painful after effects of the verbal abuse and his own shame when he realized how awful he was.

We are often our own worst enemies. Seeing him as the bad guy kept me trapped in a victim mentality. It kept all the power in his hands to do as he wished and left me feeling weak and defenseless. If he is bad, then I must be good - right? A helpful article, though a long read, is Rethinking "don't blame the victim" - The Psychology of Victimhood .  

Working the tools here and working on myself has reduced the hurt and pain, and brought us closer together. He feels listened to and I don't feel abused. We both feel loved and we both keep working together.

As I worked towards learning about him and his situation, I wound up learning about myself too. The human capacity to heal, our ability to adapt, and how change isn't easy - but it is very possible - if you want it badly enough... .


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John Galt
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« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2010, 08:50:09 PM »

I have not posted for years but decided to pop in to say hello. Years ago I came to this board really bad and with a wife and 3 young kids. My wife was classic BPD - if that term even exists. I saw no nope at all.

I bounced around this place and found friends, found conflict, saw zero hope and really stood alone in the sense that most everyone ( for valid reasons ) said ''just leave''. This was problematic for me '' cause of the kids". I spent ages here trying to decide and eventually I learned a few good points.

I looked at me and what I was doing wrong. I went to therapy to look inside. I eventually said to my wife that she could go to a lawyer or serious therapy as in '' leave the house and live in a place where she could deal with her issues''. I told her those were her 2 choices , and I really thought only the lawyer was a solution but I was wrong. She choose therapy and it worked. No drugs, just CBT and DBT and home on the weekends.

This is a very short post to only offer hope to anyone who seeks it.
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« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2010, 10:32:06 PM »

My SO and I have been together for a bit over eight years, and the work we've both done on ourselves and our relationship over the past year is amazing. We are pretty damn happy these days. The thing that has helped her most is DBT, the thing that has helped me most is radical acceptance, and the thing that has helped our relationship most is de-enmeshing.

We were friends before we were lovers, and already had trust when we got involved. I realized early she had more than the PTSD/childhood sexual abuse and general trauma/PMDD diagnosis she came into the relationship with, and we diagnosed her with BPD early. So I was never much effected by the FOG, never thought the things she said when dysregulated were true, never lost my sense of self.

I don't know if she still fits the BPD criteria anymore--she used to be all nine. She used to self harm, attempt suicide, have agoraphobia and anxiety and panic attacks, dissociated regularly, got lost/lose time, cried almost every day, had psychotic breaks, got really angry really easily, couldn't remember what day it was, couldn't work every day, etc etc. But she was always nice, even defferential to me, except sometimes when she was dysregulated or psychotic, which didn't happen too often. And she was in therapy, on meds, sharing her feelings and thoughts with me, through all o it.

So even when things were their worst, the fact that I always knew what was going on with her, and we were always into the cuddling thing, made life seem okay enough to keep at it. I was totally enabling her to live a life with few responsibilities, spent all my time trying to arrange things so as to help her avoid feeling her pain, and it worked for years, was very nice in fact, 'cause we both have the same idea of a good time. But then she started to get meaner and I started to get angrier and it culminated in her suicide attempt, attempt to choke me, my calling 911, and her time in the psych ward--a rock bottom that we'd avoided due to years of enabling and enmeshment. But there we were, and things have been so much better ever since.

She took an intensive DBT course and learned all kinds of tools for handling her emotions. I worked hard on radical acceptance and we both worked on de-enmeshment and validation. We've been in MC since that time, about 15 months now, and during that period, my SO has engaged in almost literally none of the seriously symptomatic behaviors described above. At times it's seemed like magic, how much calmer and more thoughtful she is in the way she expresses herself and handles her emotions. How much more connected she is to me and to herself. It's just so wonderful there are no words for it. And so much of it is due to my pulling back and focusing on myself, just letting her be and not trying to fix everything. And I am still looking for a therapist for myself.

This board has helped a lot--I started posting here during the time when it was getting bad, a year or so before the rock bottom. Seeing parts of myself and my relationship in others here has helped me see my behaviors and stop engaging in the ones I saw others here should so clearly stop engaging in. Looking at people here and all the mistakes and pain, it became clear to me, what I wanted my relationship to be, the ways I needed to act to make it that way. The tools I learned here were many of the same tools my SO learned at the same time in DBT, so it really timed out well.

I have no question that our future will be wonderful. We've made so much progress, there's no way we could go back. I suppose it's possible that as we both continue to grow, we will grow apart, but I doubt it. We're each other's best friends, we've been through so much together and had so many great times even through the pain, that I can't imagine we won't always be in love.

Peacebaby

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Steph
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« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2010, 09:16:38 AM »

 One thing I noticed as my H got better is that I noticed myself noticing myself... some mild mood swings, some mild depression and a sense of things feeling too calm. It took some effort to move past this.

I suspect the drama filled a need for me and it became addictive... the highs and lows, the always intense stuff, god and bad. I was admittedly a bit taken aback at first, when things were soo stable... it was part of the adjustment and it was a surprise for me, and more uncomfy than I had anticipated.

  Steph
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« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2010, 07:34:11 PM »

Yes, we move out of our "comfort zone" of dysfunction - where normal seems weird and scary. Like something is "off" or "not quite right"... .

Kind of like if you normally shop at Wal-Mart, and then suddenly go into a boutique on Rodeo Drive. You feel intimidated and overwhelmed.

Of if your normal restaurant of choice is McDonalds, and someone suddenly takes you out for real fine dinning. You don't know the social etiquette, so your comfort level drops.

These things are outside of your normal behaviors and experiences, so they feel awkward. Stepping away from the chaos and not engaging in the drama feels   wrong somehow... .we feel bad - for not rushing in to rescue them - to make things better - to stop the fight - to patch things up - to walk on eggshells... .

Yes, when we de-emesh, the real growth and change begins - for both parties 
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« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2010, 09:21:12 PM »

For years I put up with verbal and emotional abuse by my BPDhubby. I came here after our MC told me that she suspected my husband being borderline.

I thought what the heck is borderline? So I looked it up and found this place. We went to therapy together and apart. He seemed to get worse and blamed me for this. I stopped posting here for about 6 months until things started to get really bad at home.

After being back for a little while I started to plan my way out of the relationship. My hubby was getting out of control and I was afraid of one of us getting hurt. The final straw was him attacking me and my dog for NO reason.

One day I took all my stuff and pets and moved out of our house. I was very upset but I couldn't keep going on the way we were.

At first he wanted to divorce but he kept calling me over and over saying he wanted to divide stuff and figure out who gets what.

I didn't talk to him.

Then he called and asked what he could do to fix this. I told him that his abuse was not going to be tolerated and that he was out of control and needed professional help.

Later he told me he made appointments and was commited to getting help for his raging and anger issues regardless if we got back together. I was going to move away to my family and he asked what it would take for me to stay.

I told him that he could move out and I would move back in our home. So he did. We started having dates and I had the house to myself which felt really good.

He went to therapy and a P so he was learning new ways to communicate and to deal with his anger. We both started to take timeouts whenever we needed a break.

I really got serious about learning the tools here. I practiced validation and it started to create a closer connection with my hubby. I made some boundaries and stuck with them. We went through some growing pains. I would panic if his voice raised and he would panic if he thought I would move out again if he raised his voice.

Over time we both started trusting eachother more than ever before. He hasn't done DBT so his symptoms are still there just not destructive to our relationship as much.

I still take timeouts - did one today  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

The tools work. Not allowing anyone to be abusive works. I think the major reason that we are still married is because I was willing to be alone and I took that chance. On his end he was given a wake up call and was willing to admit the way he dealt with his anger was not ok and he looked for help to change. Things are not perfect but life is much happier for both of us.
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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2010, 01:29:26 PM »

I'm not sure if I can call my relationship a "success" yet but it definitely feels successful at this point in time.

My BF is not cured and is not going through any type of therapy to lead him there, but great improvements have been made in our relationship. He is what I would describe as high functioning... .he appears strong and stable to the rest of the world; only those close to him see the unstable side, he doesn't self harm, has never been suicidal as far as I know, doesn't drink or use drugs, has never been physically violent towards me, and for the most part is the "leader" in our home.

He does show abandonment issues, is quick to anger, has raged, but has not done it in about 6 months, has very black and white thinking, and bouts of depression... .along with a few other minor traits.

I think the thing that has helped our relationship the most was me educating myself about BPD, the why's behind it, how he must be feeling, and mostly, importantly, what I can do to help him. I have had to learn to take care of myself, realize not to personalize things and understand that most of the time when he gets angry it has nothing whatsoever to do with me. I've learned to accept the way he feels, learned to validate those feelings, which in turn has helped him to work through those feelings on his own. I've learned to not defend myself, no matter how hard it is at times, yet set boundaries regarding how I will be treated.

For those of you who may be reading this and are new, I was skeptical at first... .validate the crazy statements they make? not defend myself? I felt it would just give him permission to keep treating me bad. But it doesn't if it is done in the right manner and you keep your boundaries. The tools on here really do make a difference.

We're still a work in progress. I know he will get dysregulated again... .probably in the next week... .maybe more than once or twice... .but I can now deal with it, keep my peace of mind, and the periods seem to get shorter and shorter. I think more than anything, learning how to better communicate with my BF has built a foundation of trust between he and I. I feel its helped to build a loving and trusting environment when he can feel more secure, which helps him deal with abandonment and anger issues much better.

Good luck to everyone out there!
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« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2010, 09:06:42 PM »

BOy i am glad this is here so i don't have to keep repeating my self...

 my story started 12 and a half years ago, i married my husband, and things were really bad, rages were three times a week and never ending, he verbally abused me kept me captive in my own home, it was horrible... :'( :'(

Then we went through a therapudic separation, we stayed separated a year, during this time no dating anyone else, we went back out dating  eachother

we each went to theropy, and through ,his Therapist i found out he had a personality disorder, through my therapist i found out about BPD, i read books and learned the coping skills, my feelings were releived to know there was a actual problem.

ok now give him meds and let's go on...

well that didn't work, i had to learn to take care of me, and learn boundaries and ways to communicate.

wasn't easy at first but adventually his rages decreased he got back into AA which really helped, i went to alanon which also helped. and now 12 years later i came on here two years ago his rages were every four months i was ok with this, then i went back into reinforcing my boundaries using the tools and skills, and now rages are like far and few in between he had one a month ago but that was the first three day rage in over a year, he rants but that even lessened i started just leaving early in the morning when they started he learned this wasn't acceptable, and those have even decreased. all due to the tools my husband is undiagnoised, and has no clue about the BPD disorder, my kids grew up learning the tools as well but not the disorder one of my kids know only because she asked about it. found one of my books.  but my husband i can laugh now and actually talk and so for me i see this as a success story

does he still have BPD oh yea... but every day i see him changing and improving i just wish he knew this... .
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« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2010, 01:57:03 AM »

Hello to all... .I haven't posted in a while, and tonight I was sitting here thinking that I have some really positive things to say about my SO w/BPD... .I thought about the fact that I rarely see positive things said here, so I decided it was time for me to come post something.  First, I would like to say WTG Steph on this thread.  I was pleasantly surprised to see it!   Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)

I have lived with my SO for 15 months now.  There are so many differences in her from when she first told me about BPD and sent me to this site to help me understand to today!  I am not going to sit here and say we haven't had our down times... .but I am very happy to say they are FEW and FAR between now!  Sometimes I think that those who suffer from BPD just needs someone to WANT to understand... .because as we all know... .those of us that do not suffer from this, truly have no REAL grasp of what these individuals deal with on a daily basis.  What I do know is... .I have watched my SO go from every other day mood swings to possibly months in between them.  Now, I would like to clarify one thing... .when I say mood swings, I am not talking bout rages.  We went through a couple of those in the beginning and that was when I got REALLY confused and she sent me here... .to learn... .I can honestly say... .I don't remember the last "rage" she had.  She has had plenty of reasons to do so at times... .which she usually retreats to her room to calm down... .used to when she would retreat she may not come out til the next day.  I have noticed that now, not only does she come out usually in less than an hour... .but she also apoligizes to anyone involved in the mood swing.  Most of the time it is just me, but there is the ocasional time that it also involves my son.  Which let me tell u... .if I didnt know better I would think I have BPD occasionally dealing with the teenager.   ;p   I have watched her become much more patient with him... .and the things teenagers do these days... .she is now a GREAT parent figure in his life and a wonderful influence. 

One thing that bothers me a lot is when these individuals do so much hard work to get to where they are now... .to try to overcome these things that keep them feeling negative and such... .and people do not give the credit where credit is due.  I have had people tell me my SO is doing so much better now and they thank me... .I tell them, it isn't me... .she is doing this... .she is making the correct decisions to overcome that mood swing... .overcome that depression... .and to live life from day to day in a more positive way!  I don't make these decisions for her... .She has and continues to do an awesome job turning the negativity into a positive thing.
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« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2010, 08:01:16 AM »

I came to this site in crisis, like most people. Confused but willing to learn. Today ten months later life is 100% better. I set boundries, I quit enableing, I valadated when I could. I quit fighting and quit stepping into the traps she set for me. She has not raged since January, we are closer than ever. I know she has a mental illness that goes untreated, but today the effects don't get to me. Our home enviroment is peaceful, the kids and I are happy again. Sex life is back. Being friends is back. I owe it all to this site and the many hours of time people wrote to me and explained to me how to work the program.
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« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2010, 03:12:51 PM »

Quite right. Some BPD features that meet the criteria resolves themselves with no therapy at all but this may take a while. Certainly, DBT, CBT or pschoanalysis have all helped to not just manage but HEAL the disorder.
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« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2010, 11:42:40 AM »

How nice is this post!

It makes me happy to read.

Sure there is hope, I am a living example of it as an ex-BPD'er.

What helped...

Hmm...

That my beloved ones stayed by my side, every single escalation.

My threatment (the most important one, to let me see myself and notice my problems)

And I guess what is the second important one but thats 100% related to the 2 above...

Myself Smiling (click to insert in post)

Stay positive how difficult it is sometimes , cause there is hope, and the beloved BPDers CAN heal Smiling (click to insert in post) I am one of the 60 recovered BPD'ers in Holland.


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Nutts45
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« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2010, 12:31:56 PM »

We are the happy stories.  By strengthening our self worth and taking care of ourselves we are successful.  Whether we remain with our partners or not... .we understand that it is up to ourselves to define our own value.

We are successful when we choose to stop our part in their dysfunction...
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« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2010, 12:45:25 PM »

I would tentatively submit that my story is happy.  I started posting about three years ago and for a long time, I was very upset and confused about what was happening in my relationship and I came to this site to learn and get help.   My fiance' (high functioning BPD/NPD traits, cyclothymia, generalized anxiety disorder) has been in DBT for over a year now, and the last 11 months has been... .I would say... .happy and normal.   He has been on Lexapro for about three years and that has always been helpful to him... .but the DBT made the most difference.  I am tentative, because it's only been a year without the classic borderline crazy-making stuff... .but I feel very positive and very grateful.  Oh, and I also do my own therapy too and have been nailed a number of times on this board for my 'own crap' that I bring to the table... .I think that is part of the journey and it cannot be avoided.    I don't think we would have done as well if I wansn't working on my own stuff.
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« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2010, 06:07:33 PM »

This thread has helped me to see something about myself and why I friended a male uBPD even though I have a stable marriage.  I missed the crisis, the stimulation of all the drama, which is what I grew up with.  Indeed, this was me lapsing back into old scripted patterns without me even realizing it until it had already happened!  And I see now that it was a way for me to avoid some personal issues of my own (moving to a new town and establishing myself with new friends and putting down new roots).  Instead I allowed myself to develop a relationship with uBPD friend.  It was a quick fix and allowed me not to feel the discomfort of living in a new place, but instead had me obsessing over the ups and downs of my uBPD friend.  Clear as a bell now!  One thing is for sure.  There are no short cuts in life, even though the unhealthy part of me sure tried to see if there was one!
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« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2010, 06:25:13 PM »

I would tentatively submit that my story is happy.  I started posting about three years ago and for a long time, I was very upset and confused about what was happening in my relationship and I came to this site to learn and get help.   My fiance' (high functioning BPD/NPD traits, cyclothymia, generalized anxiety disorder) has been in DBT for over a year now, and the last 11 months has been... .I would say... .happy and normal.   He has been on Lexapro for about three years and that has always been helpful to him... .but the DBT made the most difference.  I am tentative, because it's only been a year without the classic borderline crazy-making stuff... .but I feel very positive and very grateful.  Oh, and I also do my own therapy too and have been nailed a number of times on this board for my 'own crap' that I bring to the table... .I think that is part of the journey and it cannot be avoided.    I don't think we would have done as well if I wansn't working on my own stuff.

that is good to hear. 
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« Reply #19 on: July 26, 2010, 02:59:02 PM »

I never thought I'd have anything positive to say in terms of success with my BPDh.  He's been doing DBT for about 6 months, every other week of individual therapy only.  He's been on different meds for anxiety disorder, depression and ADHD for about 9 months.  Within the last few weeks he has suddenly been more present in the family, not just spending time but being emotionally present.  He's almost like he used to be 15 years ago before his disorders began taking over his (and our) life.  He has been able to listen to me, staying present emotionally and not walking out.  But here's the biggest success to date:  I told him that when I share my perspective or feelings about a behavior of his, and this doesn't match the "facts" in his head, he dismisses and degrades me.  Then he will do the behavior more.  When I get upset or set a boundary, it still doesn't match his "reality", his anxiety level is ramped up, and he repeats the behavior until he becomes abusive and I have to walk away.  I have tried to tell him this for a LONG time.  THIS time, he responded that he hears my fears and that this is part of his "disability", as he calls it, and he is working on it.  He said he's working at staying present more to hear my feelings, whether or not they match his "reality."  He also said he's willing to keep working on this until he's better, doing whatever it takes to repair our marriage.  It seems that this kind of recognition of his own disorder is really huge!  I've been dealing with his illness for SO long, I'm finding it hard to be excited about this step.  In talking to my H I've been supportive and encouraging.  But the reality is, I sure don't trust this!  If he can maintain this new level of functioning over time, perhaps I'll get there.  Regardless of how our marriage works out or not, I think this is a major success for him.  Who knew?   Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2010, 11:59:40 AM »

Here are a couple of threads from an older member (John Galt) who no longer visits regularly:

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=112992.msg1110775#msg1110775


https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=113057.msg1111314#msg1111314
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« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2010, 12:34:08 PM »

Thanks much for this thread! 

When I first became serious with my DH and discovered that his ex wife had BPD, I looked hard for success stories of POST divorce relationships with people diagnosed with BPD.  I knew his ex (not well) before they split up, and she seemed remarkably open to me, though occasionally raging.  I have worked with many mentally ill people, and do not get my buttons pushed as easily as some by crazy stuff, and also have good boundaries.  I had high hopes.  They have not been realized. 

I share the experience of the BPD in my life (my "ex-wife in-law" that sometimes it seems all she needs is someone to WANT to understand her, someone to love her for who she is.  The biggest success stories here seem to be stories in which people were truly great mates for each other, with the exception of the BPD issue... .I know many people stay with a partner for religious reasons, but it seems that many here stayed due to real love and friendship.  This is why my partner and I are together.  We are deep, true friends.  With his ex, that was not the case.  He became involved for the drama, and they got pregnant a few months in, and told him when he tried to break up after a violent spell.  They were never really friends, but he stayed for 7 years "for the kids."  He did love her, but never had the friendship or skills to create boundaries or to use "non-violent communication skills" like Randi Krieger's. 

He is now quite honest about the ways that his reactions to her and his personality contributed to her worst BPD rages.  I think the bottom line, though, was that they really did not have that "partnership/friendship/soulmate" connection so many of you seem to have that makes learning these skills seem worth it. 

I really think the BPD in our life has a lot of potential.  She refuses to accept diagnosis and is alcoholic, on the downside.  On the upside, she always responds positively to my genuine caring about her, even when she is hatefully attacking me.  She will always hug back.  She has a warm, loving side that can really be accessed even in the worst times.  She does not cut or self-harm.  She is able to maintain a few (one or two) good friends.  She has strong social values and works to help the world in lots of good ways.  She loves her kids, though she is very self-absorbed and can be negligent and emotionally abusive and manipulative to the extreme, and is very focused on alienating them from their dad. 

All this said, I wish that there were more examples of successful separation, successful post-divorce relationships.  Not just tolerance, but real care.  Part of the problem here is the terrible devastation of abandonment for the BPD sufferer--even when she leaves first.  Part of the issue is that while the BPD person in my life always responds to loving/understanding/compassionate actions and statements in the moment, she forgets about this feeling right away and it turns into her old story--"everyone hates me, screw them!"  I would have to be telling her she is okay with me, even crazy, every five minutes for that feeling to have any lasting impressoin--and I would not have that kind of energy for even a romantic partner, much less my partner's ex wife! 

But I can see that if my current mate became mentally ill, I would do everything in my power to work through that with him (as I do with issues that have developed in the past 3 years of our relationship), because I love him and because the things I need to do inside me to make it all work are things I want to do anyway, and he supports me in that. 

More power to you all!  I know I am not supposed to post on this board, but sometimes I feel alone in my sense that the BPD person in my life is really a beautiful soul--someone that is VERY hard for me to deal with, someone who may never seek treatment, someone who may mostly hate me and do her best to destroy me due to my role in her and her kids' and ex husband's lives... .but someone who STILL can really hear it when I tell her I love her for who she is, and someone who can genuinely tell me the same. 

I really see her as a success story... .he relationships are mess, her kids are emotionally scrambled... .but here is a woman who was beaten senseless by mom, abandoned at 2 years old by dad, and sexually abused by her mom's BFs until she became a teen... .and she 1) Does not physically abuse her kids; 2) has never officially objected to their dad having 50% custody, though she has tried to alienate the kids from him constantly and tells them she will take them away from daddy, but has never tried; 3) has two kids who really do feel loved by her... .fearful about her leaving or dying or freaking out, yes... .but loved.  This is a woman who took in unimaginable pain and somehow turned it into a lot of love.  Lots of rage, anger, meanness, ugly emotional manipulation, yes... .but also a lot of love, forgiveness, and MUCH better parenting than she was given.  She is a difficult part of my life, and I feel very angry at times about how she treats the kids and my husband; I love them, and see the pain that her untreated BPD causes in their lives. 

But ultimately, she is in some ways a hero.  And whatever pain her choice not to treat her BPD and her parents' choices to hurt her causes me, her kids, or her ex husband, it causes her much more.  I hope she can find a partner who can be there for her in the way you all have been there for yours; and who she feels the kind of love for that makes her be able to risk seeking therapy. 
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« Reply #22 on: July 29, 2010, 04:54:23 AM »

What is your story of recovery? What has helped you? Your loved one? Your relationship? What challenges have you experienced along the way? What are your hopes for the future?

I think i can legitimately post here ... .I came across this thread again recently and realised things have become a success for us, there are still issues, dBPDh's recovery has got a way to go still but he has come a long way.

We've been together five years, married for four. What helped us, i think, is that i have grown up with a mentally ill parent (who, thirty years later is still happily married to my mother) and as a result of my mother's work (health care field) and my own experiences, nothing he's shown has ever been a surprise, really. For me, it shows (as this site demonstrates) that information is empowering.

From my experiences, i've also been aware of the holistic element of recovery; dBPDh has benefited incredibly from eating healthily (he previously had a terrible diet) and improved sleep hygiene. He was suspicious to begin with but realises that a mind can only work well when it's got a healthy body helping it.

Recovery has been helped by several things, not just his DBT. His moving several hundred miles with me back to my hometown, and so, away from the areas he has previously lived in and suffered abuse in, has helped. That isn't to advocate running away from problems, but that distance helps. His nightmares and panic attacks reduced when there was a tangible distance from those who had hurt him.

I try not to think of myself as a carer but as balancing the need to be his guardian (of sorts) and cracking the whip. It's a balance that has benefited him. Being firm (so boundaries, in a sense) has also been a part of what has helped; at one point, dBPDh had issues with alcohol and (to cut a long story short), i told him he could carry on drinking if he wanted, but he would not longer be a part of our family. He didn't drink, after that, for almost a year and then he initiated discussion about alcohol. We eventually came to a compromise and, bless him, he always asks if it's okay for him to have a drink (as we had previously discussed) and most importantly listens when i suggest another day might be better, or another week etc.

Our biggest challenge was earlier this year (February, i think?) where i was wondering whether or not to continue with our relationship. The result was a very, very intense week of discussion between dBPDh and i; it was distressing at time but, in the end, it was important for us. My concerns had been (again, to cut a long story short) that whilst i loved him dearly, i wasn't going to wait indefinitely for improvement. The amazing thing was that my husband listened but importantly, as we talked, i had to be very careful with what i said. It meant talking slowly and in black and white terms, preventing him from construing anything otherwise. It was a very big case of cracking the whip and dBPDh being brave but it worked, he has coped with changes that had previously scared him and prefers things as they are now.

We have also had a lot of fun with medication and he is now happy on an anti-psychotic, anti-depressant, anti-anxiety med (diazepam) and sleeping tablets. It's a heavy regime and the anti-depressant is a new development but works very well with the anti-psychotic and relieves some of the descending fog that comes with anti-psychotic meds. The diazepam has been important to him, he gets a very small number each month (to prevent addiction) and they help him calm down in those moments when he would otherwise have a meltdown that would result in very destructive behaviour and gives him the time to get away from the stress and/or to cope with it using his DBT skills. The sleeping tablets are, in a way, holistic too; with a properly rested body, his mind is much better equiped to cope.

So that's us, for the moment. I would like to think that in two or three years time, he may even be free of the diagnosis or at least close to that point. But who knows what will come; we hope for a good future, we don't expect it.
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« Reply #23 on: August 11, 2010, 01:43:02 PM »

I won't try to predict our future ... My partner and I have been together for about 3 years ... .the first 2 years where good and then he became very dysregulated ... .shortly after he was dx with BPD ... .

The first six months after the dx were HARD ... .on both of us ... .The actions leading to his dx were very hurtful to both of us individuall and our relationship ... .a lot of trust was destroyed ... .

The last couple of months things have very much improved ... .

Here is why I think they have ... .

1. I don't get all worked  up over his stuff anymore ... .He want's to break up, I just go with it ... .It will change ... .

2. I suck at validation so I go about it differently ... .When I know something is wrong I drag it out of him and we talk about the issue head on

3. We were in couples therapy for about 4 months to start the discussion and he continues to see his individual therapist

4. My SO is aware and accepts his BPD ... .Doesn't mean he likes it ... In fact he hates having it ... .But he doesn't hide from it either ... .Even if the BPD gets the upper hand for a couple of days, when he calms down he analyzes what happens and takes responsibility ... .

5. My SO isn't verbally or physically abusive

So do we have a success story?

I don't know ...

Have things improved? Yes ... .But is it a "perfect" relationship? No and it never will be ... .But then nothing is ... .

Is my SO more self aware? Yes and that, more than anything else has helped things to improve

For myself, personally, in all this the best thing I did was to just leave stuff alone and not get caught up in his craziness ... .


I have no idea what will happen in a year for us ... .But I can see improvements today ... .
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« Reply #24 on: August 28, 2010, 12:56:31 AM »

It's been years since I last visited and posted on this site. And I'm happy to say I'm still with my BPD partner who also became my wife about a year ago. To recap, our relationship started off with a bang and almost identical to one of the articles posted on this site ("How a Borderline Personality Disorder Love Relationship Evolves". Rages occurred at least once or twice a week and even became physical a couple times, including once where I had to throw her out of the house to keep her from attacking me. But I knew early on things weren't "normal" with her, and that her anger stemmed from something deeper than anything I did to her. One of our biggest issues was her witnessing me looking at another woman early on in our relationship, something that still bothers her a great deal today. Her sexually abusive father used to let her in on all his disgusting sexual thoughts about women--who he'd like to have sex with, who he is having sex with (while cheating on her mother)--so she never grew up with a healthy understanding of male sexuality. To her, if I find another woman attractive that means she's not good enough.

She's been in therapy for several years now, starting first with DBT and now entering CBT/PTSD. Her disorders include BPD, PTSD, DID, OCD, eating, and other anxiety disorders. She's been declared permanently disabled.

I've learned a LOT about mental illness in our 5 years being together. I've practiced the PUVAS skill, but more than anything I've realized that when she's really upset or angry she's actually just extremely hurt and overwhelmed with emotion much like a child. Validating her feelings and being sympathetic can immediately disarm her, as there's almost no point in trying to be logical (i.e. Wise Mind) when her emotions are in motion.

One of the biggest frustrations I've always had is getting enough time to myself. I work a regular 40 hour week and she often sits home alone with her emotions. By the time I get home she wants my attention because it makes her feel better. This also tends to get worse for her as the day progresses. When things are really bad, this means I spend the majority of the night with her, listening to her talk about her feelings or telling her why I love her. It can be difficult to get even an hour or two to myself which I desperately need in order to unwind and be healthy, and this can sometimes spark arguments because my patience eventually runs thin.

Since she has started PTSD therapy things have really regressed as we were warned. Two suicide attempts in the past month and two emergency room visits. One attempt was made during a remote camping trip where I had to force her to throw up pills, all the while trying to hide the situation from our friends. Needless to say you don't exactly feel refreshed after a vacation like that. And it was all due to her obsessive thoughts about how many other women I must have gone camping with before her (i.e. feelings of worthlessness).

But she has improved considerably since the start of our relationship. Arguments no longer turn into extreme rages. She doesn't demonize me as often or dissociate as much. This has helped the relationship a lot, but there's plenty more work ahead as we're still learning, especially about her DID and her personas. DID causes her to forget things and past events, especially arguments and difficult days or suicide attempts. This explains why she can wake up the next day after a dysfunctional night and not even remember it happening. Unfortunately this has also had a negative effect on some of her friendships, as other people are less understanding when they're treated unfairly during one of her disordered episodes that she can't even recall.

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« Reply #25 on: October 05, 2010, 10:08:34 PM »

I am happy to say much progress has been made since I first arrived here.  Much progress has been made in just the last 9 months.  There has not been any rages in our house for months now.  We are talking constructively and the largest problem for us has been dealt with.   We will most likely always have some problems to be dealt with but at least we can do so much better now.  There has been peace and contentment not from avoidance but from true problem solving and working together.
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« Reply #26 on: October 12, 2010, 12:01:27 PM »

Hi guys,

I would really like to say happy and relieved I am to read your success stories.

Since me and my partner ended our r/ship after a turbulent and crazy year, it was only then that I decided to do some research and I found out about BPD, and everything clicked in to place. Me and my uBPD ex are currently spending some time apart to focus on our own lives and have arranged to meet up in December to maybe talk about trying again.

I don't know if he will want to, as far as he is concerned I spent the year 'hurting' him so badly that he doesn't trust me anymore (and I'm sure you are all aware that I did nothing to intentionally hurt him, a great phrase is that i occasionally fell off the insane and illogical pedestal he had placed me on which of course meant that I didn't love him and that I was the enemy)

As far as I'm concerned, since I found out about BPD, I am going to do everything I can to learn and understand what they go through, so that I can use the tools to keep us both from hurting each other and being able to live in peace and happiness. There is nothing I want more in the world than to be with my soulmate again.

I just hope he gives me that chance.

The reason I am posting on here is that during my research so far, I have come across so many sites and help for 'leaving a partner with BPD', there is waaaaaaaaaaay more info on how to leave than how to stay, and I was starting to worry that maybe its just to hard.

Your stories have given me hope, and I thank you all so much for allowing me and others to share them. 
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« Reply #27 on: October 21, 2010, 12:16:04 PM »

I think the major reason that we are still married is because I was willing to be alone and I took that chance. On his end he was given a wake up call and was willing to admit the way he dealt with his anger was not ok and he looked for help to change. Things are not perfect but life is much happier for both of us.

This is my experience as well.  After my BPDFH's brain cancer was found, and after he stopped chemo (he actually quit, long story... .ugh, noncompliance!), he wanted to be on another "break" from the relationship - this was 3 years in, after many other breaks - and I put my foot down. I said "Fine, but I'm going to see other people too this time."  Having the tables turned really made him see what life was like without me around.  I didn't like being without him either, and we came back together and were much happier after that.
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« Reply #28 on: November 08, 2010, 05:40:42 PM »

Hi. I've been with my partner for nearly 2 years. She is has been on medication and been doing therapy since before we met. She has made so much progress over the past year. The first year of our relationship was the hardest. I was away on a family holiday when she texted me to say she was down and was stood on a motorway bridge. I immediately got in touch with her parents and told them where she was. They went and got her and she was put on a mental ward. When I got back from holiday the first thing I did was go to see her. She seems fine and she was due to be released the next day. But a few hours after my visit her mum visited her and they ended up arguing. She left the ward and went missing.

Me and her mother drove around looking for her for a few hours when we came to a road blocked by police and ambulances. We immediately knew it was her. A police officer confirmed she had been knocked down by a car and we followed the ambulance to the hospital. My initial thoughts were, she's dead or she's a vegetable. I was inconsolable. I could hear her cries of pain through a door, as I was not allowed to see her until they had made an initial examination. When we were allowed in she was covered in blood and vomit, and was strapped down as she was thrashing around from all the pain. She didn't even know i was there. I tried to comfort her, telling her I was there, but she was in too much pain. She was sedated and taken away for an x ray to check for internal damage, or bleeding. 2 hours we waited anxiously for the results. All clear. She had miraculously survived a car accident with only bruises and cuts. A miracle! I spent the night in hospital with her. Ignoring the nurses telling me I couldn't sleep on the bed with her. I had nearly lost her, I wasn't going to let her go.

It was the hardest thing I've ever had to go through. I don't think I even realised myself until recently how much that night has effected me. I sometimes get flashbacks about it and cry. I came so close to losing her. But, a year down the line and she has decided she wants to live, she hasn't cut in almost a year. I'm so proud of her. She says she did it all for me, but I know how much hard work and determination it takes to do what she has achieved in such a short space of time. I'm extremely lucky as I know a lot of partners of BPD sufferers are abused physically or verbally,  but my girlfriend is the gentlest person I know. And the most honest. She never lies. If i ask her something she will always tell me the truth. We have a fantastic, affectionate relationship. I know she is my soul mate and I will be with her forever. I will stand by her because I know what we have is worth everything and I wont lose her again.
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« Reply #29 on: November 10, 2010, 03:55:14 PM »

My uPBDfh and I had a really good evening last night!  He just got a new job (car sales) and had a rough day at work, plus he was struggling with his father's distancing and in general he wanted to talk.  He had been telling me about it when I was on my way home from work, but had to go since his dad was calling him.

I told him I had to stop at the library, then I'd be home.  I did, and when I got in I greeted him and the dog, and held the cat for a while, and everything seemed okay.  Then he got out his computer, and I asked if I could tell him more about my trip to the dentists earlier, and he said I could.  So I was talking, and he was quiet.  After I'd finished, he was still quiet for a while, so I kept asking if things were okay, and got a non-committal response from him.

He went to lay down in the bedroom then, in the way that he does when he's upset, and I went and tried to ask him to talk.  He wouldn't.  I got angry, and left the room to take out the trash.  After the trash I felt a bit calmer and decided to try again.  I could tell he was in more distress now, so I asked if I could sit by him on the bed and read.  And once I did, he eventually did open up to me.  Turns out he had wanted to tell me more about my day, but apparently I just "never stop talking" and he didn't know how to get a word in.  So when I didn't ask him about his story, he got upset because I was telling mine, and since I didn't remedy the situation that's when he went into the bedroom.

We discussed this and both agreed to try to express ourselves more openly.  I asked if it would help to have a stick or another object that was the "speaking stick", and if he needed to talk he could hold it up and I'd know he had something to say.  He's considering this idea, though he says his family used to try that when he was a teenager and wouldn't listen (literally would not listen even when his parents had the speaking stick), so I can tell there might be some resistance.

But!  We made progress.  I didn't give in to withdrawal or anger, I waited him out and was patient and he actually talked to me.  There was no blow-up.  We were able to go to dinner with his dad and have a nice time, and then went and got a Wii later in the evening and played it and had a great time!

If every time he has an issue things can go this way, we are on our way to great times.   Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #30 on: January 31, 2011, 03:33:45 PM »

I'm happy to say that almost 8 months in, I consider our relationship at the very least on the WAY to success, due in part to this website.  It helped me so much to view his moods/actions in terms of regulated and dysregulated and to adjust my own thinking and actions accordingly.  It's been exactly a month and since I've adjusted myself I feel like we've been able to manage his dysregulations so that they aren't even the dysregulations that we've known, they're def bad moods but they don't escalate to much more than him being pissy and withdrawing for the night (before there was horrible verbal abuse, was starting to escalate into physical, and he put a loaded gun to his head in front of me and threatened suicide one night     I feel like he's responding to me so productively and seems so motivated to avoid what it was like before.  I'm very proud of us.  His moods would be the worst when he drank and now they def do usually return but instead of targeting me we use the time to process a bunch of grief and loss and PTSD  stuff that he's never dealt with, from childhood to now.  He's in the military and also been a cop and there is just so much he's experienced and never dealt w in a productive way.  I'm a mental health professional but I'm very conscious of the fact that I am not his therapist although obviously he needs therapy badly.  Loved ones can usually be very therapeutically supportive  to a certain extent though in any sort of mental health issue/situation, so I just do what I can in my role as that.  In fact just listening and validating  is basically all I do and he really seems to respond... .yay us LOL!  Of course I'm prepared for anything but I'm also convinced that ground is never really lost, it just  goes into hiding!
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« Reply #31 on: March 10, 2011, 03:26:12 AM »

This isn't exactly a success story cause my wife isn't cured yet. She decided to move back into our house and we made her her own room. A room where she can go to if she needs space, no stress, relax, whatever she needs for her own time. 2 days ago I decided to write my thoughts on paper. My thoughts turned into 3 pages. She woke up and asked me what those papers were on the bed. I said, "oh, I thought I should write my thoughts down to see if it helps me cause I had things on my mind. You can read it if you want, but there are some things you probably won't like." So she starts reading and questions me calmly about some of the things. I was surprised on how calm she was. Well that night we talked about things, she let the truth out finally and was honest with me. She knew I expected the worst and had suspicions about certain things.

Since we talked, She's been the person I know she can be. It's fantastic. I have a strong feeling that most of our problems were from her holding everything back and away from me. I also feel like since she read my thoughts, she understood my feelings. I could never say what I thought cause she would always say her point of view and it's hard for me to say anything. I also can't think fast enough to say things in a conversation about problems Laugh out loud (click to insert in post). I always end up thinking of things later. Anyway, her and I both believe this room for her is a perfect idea. She gets to see her sons, she has her space, she can see my progress as a husband, and I get my wife back. We're even talking a lot more which is great. I would love to be intimate with her, but she doesn't want that yet. She wants to help herself first and I respect that.

So here's to the best   Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #32 on: March 10, 2011, 07:21:30 AM »

I am newbie to this site and I have a daughter and husband with BPD.  I also had a mother who apparently had scizophrenia and took her own life and then was raised by a pedophile father.  This is such a positive site so I too wanted to say thank you and I wholeheartedly agree that DBT, setting boundaries giving love and living in the moment is key and these stories are proof of this.  Also I support people with physical disabilities today and have worked with intellectually challenged as well as in corrections and when supporting people regardless of their type of diability this works.  This is probably why I stay positive and hopeful.  thanks for the encouragement.  I am also happy to report my bp daughter is receiving counselling and is in college taking the community and justice course and on her way to recovery.  The bigger picture I feel with her is that she will be an asset to her field.  My BPD husband is in a mood disorder support group now which in essence promotes mindfulness and personal accountability from recovered peers which is awesome.  I also want to add that god is good because I've always appreciated the power of prayer.
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« Reply #33 on: April 01, 2011, 09:01:56 AM »

Well, I am back after months away from the board. I wanted to try and see how me and him went. Yes, we had our ups and downs and our fights and our tantrums and our push and pulls, but we have made it through. My B/F is so much better. He now has a job (working away) and it has given him the confidence he needs and the space I need. We are moving from an apartment into a house so we will have more space to get away from each other when we need to!

I know that traits from his condition have rubbed off on me, by maybe I also I have traits. I dunno, that is a totally different story. I couldn't live without him, and he has made an effort, a massive effort. I just hope that it will last. I know that there will be times when bad things happen, but we will just work though them. I know I have to stop my traits showing thorugh so I am throwing myself into the house move and the gym and my running again. I will keep dropping by on here! This board helped me so much and I don't know what I would have done without it!   
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« Reply #34 on: April 18, 2011, 07:29:38 PM »

Thank you for your post I am new to this all and looking for help it is good to hear some stories that have made it
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« Reply #35 on: May 05, 2011, 10:17:19 AM »

I never thought that I'd be at this point, but I think that my story is a success.  uBPDbf and I have gone 3 months with no major incidents, and just this weekend he acknowledged and apologized for all of his behavior over the past year - SHOCKING, I KNOW.  I'd been doing my part - once I stopped putting up with his behavior, set boundaries for myself, and realized that I was willing to walk away, it forced him to take care of what he needed to do to keep his own emotions in check.  Taking better care of myself physically and emotionally was key.

Overall, he said, that a lot of the issues we've had in the past year were him creating and playing out scenarios in his head as to why we shouldn't be together because he was scared.  He says now that he's over being scared and wants to take the next step.  What's funny is that 6 months ago I would have killed to hear that from him because I was so codependent.  Now I'm so much more confident that I sort of wonder - well is he really what I want? 

Whatever my answer to that question may be in the future, I'm happy with where I am today.  Thank you to this board for being such a source of strength and support in what had been the darkest days on my life.  I hope that my story is a beacon of hope for those of you who haven't yet gotten where you want to be in your relationships... .  With Love, Egwene
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« Reply #36 on: May 25, 2011, 05:07:35 PM »

Hello my name is Lisa my fiancee katie has BPD. I just wanted to share a sucess story.

After a traumatic childhood involving abuse, abondment, bullying and neglect she turned to self harm at the tender age of 12. Cutting, bitting, burning, ligaturing anything she could do. She also started to devlopobsseive all consumming crushes and attachements to women in autority eg: teachers, guide leaders etc. This behaviour would been seen as harassment/ stalking.

She had a major breakdown at the age of 20 at work and was refered to a mental health team for treatment. They did not help and acutally encouraged the beahviour. She went from job to job always being dismissed for erratic and self harming behaviour follwoing an attachment to boss/ superviser/colleague.

This eventually came to a head when, four years ago she was arrested and sent to Holloway prison facing 20 years for attemtped arson and harrassment having tried unsuccessfully to commit suicide by setting light to herself. This was to be a blessing in disguise. She was quickly diagnosed with BPD and after six months and being abused in prion was relased into pyschiatric care. Follwoing another hosptial admition for a massive overdose she was sent to a theraputic community in Birmingham called  Main House designed for people with BPD.


She was fianlly with people who understood and could her help. However she was still told that she would never have a 'notmal' life be able to go back to working in care or hold down a job. Spurred on by the death of her mother she engaged in extre therapy and was detrimend to prove the drs wrong and show them that although they can't 'cure' BPD you can take control of the illness rather than letting the illness control you.

She is now medication free and happily living with me in a 'healthy' functionning relationship. She hasnt self harmed for two years and is currently studying for her phd in child pyschology so she can help people like her.

We are too be married in november and we have just be approved to adopt our first child next year. There are still times the illness causes her distress but she is determined it aint going to ruin her life anymore.

So for all thoes out there struggling with BPD remeber there is hope and the doctors are not always right You can beat this rottern illness and live hapily long lives
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« Reply #37 on: May 25, 2011, 05:41:03 PM »

Hello my name is Lisa my fiancee katie has BPD. I just wanted to share a sucess story.

After a traumatic childhood involving abuse, abondment, bullying and neglect she turned to self harm at the tender age of 12. Cutting, bitting, burning, ligaturing anything she could do. She also started to devlopobsseive all consumming crushes and attachements to women in autority eg: teachers, guide leaders etc. This behaviour would been seen as harassment/ stalking.

She had a major breakdown at the age of 20 at work and was refered to a mental health team for treatment. They did not help and acutally encouraged the beahviour. She went from job to job always being dismissed for erratic and self harming behaviour follwoing an attachment to boss/ superviser/colleague.

This eventually came to a head when, four years ago she was arrested and sent to Holloway prison facing 20 years for attemtped arson and harrassment having tried unsuccessfully to commit suicide by setting light to herself. This was to be a blessing in disguise. She was quickly diagnosed with BPD and after six months and being abused in prion was relased into pyschiatric care. Follwoing another hosptial admition for a massive overdose she was sent to a theraputic community in Birmingham called  Main House designed for people with BPD.


She was fianlly with people who understood and could her help. However she was still told that she would never have a 'notmal' life be able to go back to working in care or hold down a job. Spurred on by the death of her mother she engaged in extre therapy and was detrimend to prove the drs wrong and show them that although they can't 'cure' BPD you can take control of the illness rather than letting the illness control you.

She is now medication free and happily living with me in a 'healthy' functionning relationship. She hasnt self harmed for two years and is currently studying for her phd in child pyschology so she can help people like her.

We are too be married in november and we have just be approved to adopt our first child next year. There are still times the illness causes her distress but she is determined it aint going to ruin her life anymore.

So for all thoes out there struggling with BPD remeber there is hope and the doctors are not always right You can beat this rottern illness and live hapily long lives

Hi and  Welcome

  Such a nice story!

How old is she at this point? and you? and how long together? What struggles have you had in the relationship?

My H actually was cured of BPD via DBT. Was this part of her treatment or what other therapies did she go thru?

Again, its nice to hear your story and we look forward to getting to know you!

Steph
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« Reply #38 on: May 26, 2011, 01:16:29 PM »

hi steph katie is 29 and i am 32. We struggled at first with the mood swings and she needed lots of my attention but its much better now. She had lots of therapy at main house including art and drama therapy. I think the turning point was the death of her best friend through suicide. She found her with jenny's parents and seeing the pain they went through made her realise she never wanted to put me or her family through the same Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #39 on: June 07, 2011, 05:18:44 PM »

Yes there is more info on how to leave.I can only think that indicates the severity of the disorder.

However -its great to hear your story.And all the rest here!

I went basically NC last week with the door left open a small crack.I hope UxBPDgf will find out more about her PD and that she contacts me.It's a small hope and I am forging ahead with a healthier outlook regardless.

M

The reason I am posting on here is that during my research so far, I have come across so many sites and help for 'leaving a partner with BPD', there is waaaaaaaaaaay more info on how to leave than how to stay, and I was starting to worry that maybe its just to hard.

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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 soo 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 Smiling (click to insert in post)

FatMike

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

As a Newbie I am soo 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 (click to insert in post)     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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« 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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« 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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« 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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« 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.

Laugh out loud (click to insert in post). 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!  Smiling (click to insert in post) 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.

Smiling (click to insert in post)

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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 defused 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 Smiling (click to insert in post)


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« Reply #50 on: July 04, 2012, 02:41:38 PM »

Hi, 

I am back on bpdfamily.com after being away for a bit (I have a new name). I have continued to work on my relationship with my uBPDw. 

It is amazing the changes that have started to happen since I began to change.  The biggest change is the internal sense of peace I feel since I have learned how not to make things worse.  I am very thankful for this site and others.  Regardless of where the relationship with my W ends up (I have currently taken an apartment), I feel stronger and better and wiser.  I would just be a wreck had I not been able to find out about BPD and the support I was given here. I am very thankful.  Here's the thankful/success story I posted elsewhere but will use it as my reintroduction to you all.

I am thankful for learning about BPD about 9 months ago and how it has affected my wife and my whole family. 


I am thankful for learning about detachment and validating and boundary setting. 


I am thankful for learning "Nothing changes without change."


I am thankful for learning how my Codependency in fact enabled my W's   BPD and that I needed to change before she could.



I am thankful for the courage this knowledge gave me to move out about a week ago - a change by me precipitating many changes in her.


I am thankful for the renewed intimacy with my wife, her texts and call today to my 14 year old daughter estranged from my home due to my W's BPD,  and my wife's agreement to to go to church with me tomorrow and celebrate Canada Day at the park with my daughter and me.


I am thankful for those that guided me on bpdfamily.com.



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« Reply #51 on: July 04, 2012, 07:52:28 PM »

 Bullet: contents of text or email (click to insert in post) tuum,

Thank you so much for your encouraging post.  Things are really difficult for me right now, and this gives me hope.  I need to practice detachment more - is this the same as "take a step backward"?  (I see the link for that here https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=111890.msg1099714#msg1099714 which I definitely am
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« Reply #52 on: July 04, 2012, 11:44:36 PM »

Lily S,

Make sure you read the lessons closely but my view is that detachment is something to apply while stepping backward - i.e. it is a tool you use rather than the process or phase of stepping backward. I had not thought about this before but "stepping back" is a phase I was in some time ago. I used detachment while I stepped back, but even thogh I have advanced into more assertive engagement, I still use detachment. I will continue to use it. In fact, I now use detachment with people that dont have BPD - work colleagues, friends, even my mother the other day!

Read elsewhere for more "learned" definitions but for me, detachment is the conscious decision not to react to the projections of negative feelings onto you.  It is based on the fact that their emotion is not about you. Its not personal even as the pwBPD can make it VERY personal. It's about them. It's about their illness. But it IS about your conscious choice to respond in a way that doesn't make things worse - even as your whole being is primed to justify, argue, defend, or explain. (JADE)

Note detachment is NOT about a complete withdrawal from the pwBPD. It is NOT about not caring. To avoid that pitfall, detachment should be used with it's partner validation - acknowledging the intense feelings they feel without necessarily agreeing with them. Validation is harder than detachment and takes more practice. Setting boundaries - the third leg on the stool - is about the steps YOU take to stop being subject to abuse when your pwBPD Is dysregulated - raging or silent treatment  - it means physical detachment at some times - leaving the room, going shopping, etc.

Any of the tools or techniques you find here take time and practice and trial and error. Good luck and keep posting and reading.

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« Reply #53 on: October 08, 2012, 07:55:00 PM »

 Four years and lots of life and challenges in those 4 years...

BPD remains out of our lives.

Wow!   
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« Reply #54 on: December 09, 2012, 03:24:54 PM »

I am in a 2nd relationship with my BP husband.  First (19 years + 2 children), tons of Therapy (personal and marriage) = Divorce.  Second (8 years), my current therapist suggested my husband may be dealing with BPD.  I have learned about the disease and am grateful that I can atleast make some sense of my reality with my husband!  My therapist does not feel that my BP husband is in a place to 'accept' or 'consider' looking at a diagnosis.  So I travel forward to learn about what I can change... .Me... .and my reaction/compassion/validation to BPD cycles.

I am learning about ME.  For the BPD in the relationship I am in, I am thankful.  I am learning about how 'I' deal with my

stressors and how that contributes to the escalation of my BP.  I am compassionate for myself first and because I can now do so, am compassionate (not reactive) to my BP husband.  I am still learning and this is still my process.  I still 'feel' the urge to 'fix' his feelings, but now understand that by doing so I am enabling his disorder and thwarting my own growth.  I respect that this is work for both of us and am learning not to expect perfection from either of us.

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« Reply #55 on: January 13, 2013, 06:01:05 PM »

I think I can actually post here  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post) This last year has brought some great changes. A year ago, we were very much doing the BPD - co-dependent dance. Both of us not attending to our own problems, but rather accusing the other and getting into terrible, heartbreaking, asthma attack inducing fights four-five times a week.

Now, my BPDbf is in cognitive therapy, I have this site (yey!) and am also following a therapy with a psychologist specialised in BPD (w/NPD traits). We both work on our own problems and we both work on how to communicate better. It has been a long, hard road, with a lot of horrible, soul-destroying fights, but we're finally getting there!

I'm working on my co-dependency and anxiety and on radical acceptance, and my dBPDbf had had a wonderful breakthrough with his father and he has completely accepted that he has BPD and working to managing it better and getting more healthy. Just this evening, for example, he was telling his best friend and his wife about it and he was saying things like he could see how he had been duplicating the relationship his father and mother had with me and that he hadn't been in a true relationship with me because he hadn't really seen me up until now and that now he wants to change and learn how to understand me, see me and share my world. We talked calmly for about two hours about his childhood, our relationship, his and mine difficulties, being in therapy etc and then we went on to have dinner, talking about other things, joking and laughing.   

We have also recently decided to live apart for now. Maybe a year, maybe less, maybe more. We're still very much a couple, but we're limiting the time we spend together and focusing on creating happy memories. In short, we'll see each other for a quick hello and a kiss during the day, but limit time spent together to Saturdays and Sundays. And even during the week end, we're still gonna sleep in our separate places.

And he said the most astonishing thing today. He gave me a hug and thanked me for having sent him a sms saying I love you and I'm thinking about you a few days ago, "because since I'm borderline, for me, when we're not together, it's quickly becomes we're not a couple. I feel everything in extremes"  So I validated and suggested a couple of ways to stay in contact and keep our bond strong without spending a lot of time together (ie good-night sms, or thinking-of-you-sms, bringing him his favourite cookies for our daily meet-up, suggesting something fun for the weekend etc). He was happy with that and we had a great day together.

Granted, we've only just started therapy, living apart etc, but I feel that so much have already changed from where we were a year ago and that we might be able to create something beautiful.
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« Reply #56 on: January 27, 2013, 03:58:57 AM »

Yay thank goodness for this thread! I know how hard lots of BPDers work to change. It's a super human effort and one that's so undervalued (as people think they are just 'behaving badly' - when really they have a disorder which makes regulating emotions so very difficult). Anyway, I just wanted to say that people with BPD can also have some amazing traits (just my experience). We hear so much about negative traits - what about positive ones like...

- Intelligent and quick witty

- Interesting

- Often attractive

- Good at their jobs (not all, but some)

- Very caring and very attuned to others emotions

- And for those that are trying so hard to change, and create a better life and relationships, I applaud your strength and courage. :-)
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« Reply #57 on: January 27, 2013, 04:00:46 AM »

Ps, I also think the reason there are few stories here is because when a BPDer gets better, their family members don't use the site as much? Just a thought!
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« Reply #58 on: February 07, 2013, 03:53:08 AM »

She used therapy words, !    Smiling (click to insert in post) . . . . and she isn't in therapy.

This may seem strange, but I smiled from ear to ear over the phone.  She was beating herself up over the phone about what I believed to be nothing.  I acknowledged that I saw how she could feel that way but from my perspective she was judging herself pretty harshly.  Then I just changed the subject.  She went along with the change and then out of the blue starts talking about needing to be more empathetic towards others.

I was thinking Dr.(insert name of her old theraptist), is that you?   I didn't say it, but it's the first thought that popped in my head.    

 
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« Reply #59 on: February 07, 2013, 11:26:25 AM »

Inspirationee,

Your validation and changed response undoubtedly played a major part.   Doing the right thing (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #60 on: February 27, 2013, 12:43:27 PM »

Ps, I also think the reason there are few stories here is because when a BPDer gets better, their family members don't use the site as much? Just a thought!

That's what happened with me. As things got better I found myself coming here less and less. 

Last year about this time we were in the middle of a crisis including multiple ER visits.  I found the group in April when things were at their worst and leaned on it a lot for a few months.  Sometime in May my BPDw finally got into treatment with some people who actually know what they're doing, and things have been different ever since.  The program was local, DBT based, and was completely committed to her long-term recovery.  After less than a month the rages began to decrease (and have fallen off completely now), and next thing I know she is starting to apologize to me for random things that had happened days ago (usually after she had been journalling for a while).  She has been in full-time or half-time treatment for well over a year now, but our relationship is completely different than it has ever been.  I can be honest with her again without worrying about triggering something crazy.  We were even in the middle of a stressful situation the other day, and I commented to her how much better she was handling it than I was (which is weird considering how things used to be). 

If anyone is curious to know, DBT was the key for her, and because of the crisis we were both fully committed to the therapy.  CBT had been a waste of time, and insight-focused therapy (familial, childhood processing) brought up too much trauma too quickly.  She went through a few programs that actually screwed her up more before getting into this one.  The program started by focusing on developing basic coping skills, while the program directors focused on maintaining her daily stability.   Once those were in place she started transforming into her true self, and it has been beautiful. 

We still have a lot of challenges, not to mention baggage from years of dysfunction, but things are still heading steadily in the right direction.  Thank you all for the help that you provided in my lowest moments!


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« Reply #61 on: February 27, 2013, 02:49:50 PM »

Rilian,

Your success story is a real testament to how even a bit of knowledge can help. Thanks for coming back here 9 months later and sharing it.

You only posted 9 times before this - so I think you've got to be the most efficient non to ever make use of this site!

What do you think was the key thing/event that lead to your W's diagnosis? Did your awareness of BPD lead to it? Or did the medical system pick it up first?
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« Reply #62 on: February 27, 2013, 03:21:36 PM »

And what does DBT do that's so different from CBT and other therapies? It'd be good to know what about it, specifically, makes such a difference!
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« Reply #63 on: March 01, 2013, 02:20:09 PM »

Hi Rilian,

I am very glad to read about your success story  Doing the right thing (click to insert in post). May I ask how was your wife convinced that she needs to go for therapy? I believe that is the biggest hurdle in treating BPD... .  denial. Thanks!
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« Reply #64 on: March 03, 2013, 12:29:10 AM »

Hi All,

I'm glad that my story could encourage you a bit. 

You are right that I only posted a handful of times over the course of a few months, even though I read the site incessantly for a while.  I found it during the lowest point of this whole mess, but that turned out to be right near the turning point for us. 

Tuum est – I honestly had never heard of BPD until her (third) Psychiatrist suggested it as a possible diagnosis.  My BPDw had been in therapy for a lot of years.  She came out of a very emotionally abusive family (later diagnosed with complex PTSD), and had worked with a variety of counselors throughout our marriage, always focusing on her depression.  She had also exhibited BPD symptoms (fear of abandonment, idealization vs. devaluation, unstable sense of self, etc.), but none of this tipped us off because I was a natural enabler who grew up with a mother who also had serious mental health issues.  When I eventually started reading up on BPD, it made perfect sense of all of the crazy behavior and dysfunction in our marriage.  I have found venting passages in my journal that say “one minute I’m the best guy in the world, and the next I’m a total a########.  What is wrong with you!” (referring to my wife’s unstable opinion of me)

Elessar – She had already been in counseling for some time, but what got her initially into the intensive treatment was this:  About three years before the meltdown, the rages started, and then sometime after the birth of our second child, our life started getting a lot more stressful.  Our marriage blew up, her depression got very severe, and then she began fantasizing about killing herself and our children while I was at work.  Thank God this alarmed her enough to tell her current counselor who convinced her to get into her first PHP.

The fight came later.  After a few mental health professionals had screwed up, and after she experienced just how painful the process can be, she began to fight it and had to be hospitalized twice.  Somewhere in the intensity of all of this it clicked for her that she actually did want to live, and had no other way forward than to submit to the process.  Right at the same time is when she found a fantastic DBT based IOP in our city (with some ACT as well), and the two came together at just the right time.

So I guess the answer to your questions is that in some ways she always knew she had problems, but what pushed her through was the intensity of the crisis. 

Momtara – The big difference about DBT is that it focuses on developing and strengthening emotional coping skills before engaging the core issues.  I can give some specific examples:

CBT – Her first therapist focused on CBT, which attempts to change behaviors and attitudes by changing the way that you think.  My BPDw obviously has a very low self-image, so the therapist had her make a whole workbook with things like “Truth” statements, which are truths that are intended to counteract her natural feelings of self-loathing. This was totally ineffective for her, because as much as she might repeat the “truth” statements, her BPD would inevitably hijack her frontal cortex, leaving her unable to properly think at all.  What DBT does, is to train you to head off this kind of hijack with a variety of tools.  Now that she has developed this capacity, these CBT methods are actually beginning to bear fruit in her life, but before DBT that was impossible. 

Insight/Familial/Emotional – Her first PHP focused on her tapping into repressed emotions and working through her abusive family history.  Again, this is NOW an important part of her recovery, but at the time it presented her with emotions that she had no way to cope with.  The analogy I like to use is that she had this radioactive spill inside her that had been sealed up by concrete.  The reason she went to counseling in the first place is that radiation had started leaking out into her life, so her therapists (by having her approach all these childhood issues and repressed emotions), had her break the seal and let it all out, leading to an emotional disaster that she couldn't handle.

They say that BPDs are emotional hemophiliacs, meaning they have no way to stop the “flow” of emotion once it gets started.  DBT is designed to teach a variety of coping skills so that a person can regulate intense emotions before they take over.  Does this make sense?

Thanks again to you all, and sorry for the length of this response... .    Smiling (click to insert in post)

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« Reply #65 on: March 13, 2013, 09:27:43 PM »

.We hear so much about negative traits - what about positive ones like...

--This is a great focus! Makes me feel happy!
 
-creative
-inventive
-can do anything they are passionate about
-beautiful smile
-hilarious
-charming
-perceptive
-lovely to hold
-big heart
-means well
-inside the BPD there is someone with a huge heart, and when not in anger they are the nicest person I ever met
-patient has lots of time for me
-endless love
-doesn't mind a lot of things
-hardy
-reliable
-very talented
-full of energy and light
-good to be around, uplifting!
 
Yes, let's remember who we fell in love with!
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« Reply #66 on: April 02, 2013, 02:14:28 PM »

I am as proud of my husband as a mother watching her child walking for the first time.

For the last month, he has taken on the challenge of pushing himself to do things out of his comfort zone.

First thing, he volunteered to help my parents move furniture in their house to make way for my grand-pa moving in with them (mom has furniture in every spot it can fit, her house of filled to the brim with furniture, so it's always a pain in the backside when you try to move anything there), now he volunteered to move my grand-pa into the house (knowing full well, some things are moved from his place to more than one house).

Second, he usually never attends any family affairs other than Christmas Eve and day. Well, he spent Christmas Eve, Day and boxing day, New Year's day, Easter and visited with me 3-4 times in between the holidays.

Third, he's really taking on responsibilities with my grand-pa's care. Since my husband is currently not working (on long term sick leave), he asked my mother to call him when ever she needed help with grand-pa. That's huge coming from him. He's also saying that he agreed that I should give mom off one weekend a month (or more if needed) to care for grand-pa.
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« Reply #67 on: May 14, 2013, 08:59:00 PM »

This isn't a recent story, but I do have a story of how a loved one with BPD walked down the road to recovery.

We met as friends online - introduced to each other by a mutual friend - and at the time we knew each other, we were both on separate roads towards seeking counseling for separate issues.  Me for managing stress and chronic health issues, them for depression and the beginnings of prescription drug dependency.

As neither of us really had a support network - friends, family, etc - at the time who supported our decisions to enter therapy, we ended up bonding over this and pretty much right away, we agreed to help be each other's support.

A few months into their treatment and a few months into our friendship, their psychiatrist concluded that the depression was stemming from and also fed into a 'disorder of disordered thinking and dysregulated emotions and emotional control'.

The words of BPD were not explicitly used, but when my friend scanned and emailed me a copy of the packet of information their psych gave them, the description definitely matched BPD.

Prescription meds were given to help stabilize the depression and to mitigate the anxiety and therapy sessions were altered to include what sounded like a mixture of both DBT and CBT.

The closer we became, the deeper into their world I walked and I got to see many of the BPD-related rages and meltdowns.

How many phone calls had we had where they were screaming at me to leave or that they would make me leave or that they had done something to hurt me or hurt themselves or hurt somebody else or wanted to die or that they were terrified of abandonment?

Too many to count and each and every one was heartrending... .  but in all honesty... .  

Stigma - an issue both of us had faced prior to meeting each other - was all but non-existent between us and I would like to say that it was because of this that we were able to communicate fairly openly and honestly from the get-go.

No embarrassment, no humiliation, no shame.  We were both in different but very similar boats paddling across the same lake towards better mental health.  Why alienate someone else who knows what it's like to be fighting for mental health?

Yes, they RAGED.  Yes, they SCREAMED.  Yes, they even THREW THINGS (not at me).

Disorderly thinking and dysregulated emotions were everywhere.

But they also communicated.  Honestly.  Openly.  The best they knew how.

Tears poured and sometimes, so did blood all the while as vocal chords were screamed raw.

A knife to the thigh drew blood, but also drew enough distraction for them to finally admit to the hurt of abandonment - a hurt that they had buried so far down that they felt too ashamed to bring back up.  It was something that should have been moved past and forgotten they screamed at me, but they just couldn't forget.  They had to grow up too early as their mother was frail and hadn't been well... .  they had seen rejection after rejection after rejection from their peers while growing up... .  They wanted so much to be loved but couldn't comprehend that someone could love them because the fear of abandonment was so much stronger.  

There were so many things... .  so so many things that they had buried inside of them.

I held them against me at that turning point, wrapped tightly around them in their bed, their thigh bleeding, their knuckles raw from pounding against the fence, and told them that no matter how long ago it was, that it was okay to feel and that they needed to finally feel it so they could grieve it... .  and on their own terms, accept it.

I cared for them, no matter what, I loved them I told them.  Bad days, good days, laughing, crying, a person is a whole person made up of all things and nobody's perfect and I didn't expect them to be.

Just try.  Just like we had agreed to when we first became friends.  Try and help ourselves become free... .  Free like the people we were meant to be and not chained to past trauma or be at the mercy of stress.

We went from friends to lovers that night and after that turning point where they discovered the 'root' of their trauma, things started progressing faster.

We saw better days more often... .  but we also saw some dramatic relapses a few times, too.

I even had to initiate temporary NC - painful, but absolutely necessary to protect my own health... .  and help them to trust themselves and stand firm on their own.

I walked away as they screamed at me that I was abandoning them.  For a while, my mind was clouded over with agony.  Was NC because I was sick the same as abandonment?

Months later, I couldn't help but sob in public when they told me that they were finally at a point where they could understand why I had to do what I had to do and that they were grateful that I had not only taken care of myself, but also helped them to take care of themselves and to 'grow up'.  That they finally understood that taking a step back to breathe doesn't mean someone doesn't care.  That they can be loved even though the person who loves them isn't right there with them.

Overall, with their persistence and willingness to stand back up and try again (though let me tell you, there were times where they really didn't want to), they made it out of BPD mostly if not fully recovered.

Relapses could be possible, but careful choice-making and daily self-reflection and self-awareness coupled with consistency in continuing therapy on a maintenance level helped to keep things balanced.

We eventually split up, but it wasn't the BPD that did it and in the end, it was truly amicable and to this date, I believe very strongly and feel very strongly that because of everything we had been through together, we will always share a unique bond between us.

We've both moved on in our lives as a matter of course and as a matter of being the captains of our own ships, but I know that if we ever crossed paths again, we will smile, wave, and in our eyes will be THAT look.

Because we get it.  We went through it.  We worked on ourselves separately and together.  We fought our battles separately and together.  For better, for worse.  And it worked.

Why did it 'work'?

A couple of things that I think helped to make it all 'work'.

- They were serious about helping themselves and about doing therapy and following their therapist's and psychiatrist's orders and suggestions.

- I - as their friend and partner - was doing therapy, too.  For myself (though granted, for a wholly different reason at the time) and then later, also to help me stay strong and focused and realistic so I could help support them.

- Even at the beginning they were able to share what they were feeling and thinking and throughout the course of the relationship, they continued to communicate and were willing to communicate as honestly as they were able.

- I was strong enough to reinforce boundaries when needed.

- They reached the point of self-awareness where they were able to rationalize and reason instead of just reacting... .  at least some of the time.  Later on, it was most of the time.

- A day at a time, this is enough.

- Sometimes, an hour at a time.

- Knowing and accepting that 'results' may not be linear.

- Knowing and accepting that there were and would be challenges.

- Communicating boundaries honestly and openly in the early stages of our friendship.
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« Reply #68 on: May 24, 2013, 11:18:05 AM »

I hope to be able to say the same one day. I too, feel I have a co-dependency tendency and am just discovering I believe my husband has BPD... .
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« Reply #69 on: July 25, 2013, 09:21:15 AM »

Time for a new update:

I'm still in the relationship. And I'm at peace.

I don't feel like it's work, I don't feel frustrated (well, no more than in a normal relationship  ), I feel close to my boyfriend. Radical acceptance, validation, boundaries, SET - it has all sunk in and I'm forever changed.

He is continuing his therapy.

We're happy 
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« Reply #70 on: July 25, 2013, 10:50:49 AM »

I am so glad to hear happy stories, and glad people come back to tell them.

I am still searching for one involving parents of young children.  I feel like it's too risky to get back together with my hub, due to his rages.  But he has committed to therapy.  It's not totally working, but if I thought it could, maybe there would be a change for our family.  I just think I don't want to expose my kids to a lot of the things that have happened.

So, anyone who's a parent and got a success story, please post!
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« Reply #71 on: July 25, 2013, 03:27:04 PM »

A brief update

  BPD has not visited our home for years, following 3+ years of DBT and a separation and reconcilliation.

My spouse has gone thru some tremendous stressors with life, and no... . BPD doesnt ever show up. Ever.

  My spouse has walked alongside of a guy from day one in the guys DBT treatment. This guy is now done, 3 years later, and is healthy and strong, as well.

  For us, DBT was the answer and was a life changer in so very many ways!


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« Reply #72 on: August 03, 2013, 12:59:43 AM »

WOW. Now that is what I like to hear. I am so sick of hearing hopeless stories... Thank you so mucg for sharing!
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« Reply #73 on: August 12, 2013, 01:22:29 AM »

Am I really here, in the success stories? Yes, it seems I am!

When I first found this site several years ago, I was searching for help with the pain that my relationship with my diagnosed but untreated bf was causing me. And, at that time, I was certainly making things worse: JADE-ing endlessly, saying things that dysregulated him because I felt I should be able to say whatever I wanted and he should be able to deal with it, thinking that his love should solve my problems and mine should solve his. After much therapy myself, and using the tools I learned here, I can truly say I am in a happy, loving relationship. Am I still on the co-dependent side? Yes, I am working on it, but I probably will always have that bent, to some extent. Does he have BPD? Yes, but we have built a hard won trust and I support him. And actually, he now gives me so much too. Not just his brilliance and adorable-ness, things I loved and wanted from the first---but real support in hard times.
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« Reply #74 on: September 23, 2013, 07:17:55 AM »

What a night!

Friday was a big day for dBPDh, he had medical appointments and we had a date night planned. I was trying to keep in mind that following the appointment, he might cancel the date.

To my surprise, he didn't and we spent the night laughing, holding hands and everything else a "normal" couple does. It felt amazing, refreshing and so much more.

Not only was this our second date night in 5+ years, but he's also planning on having other date nights and he even wants to do an activity with our niece. He's planning all sort of things he wants to do, so of course I'm encouraging him. I will go to any sport game ever if it means we get to be in a public place having fun together.

I missed that so much.
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« Reply #75 on: October 20, 2013, 12:51:17 PM »

I just realized that I do in fact have my own BPD success story!

My relationship with my uBPDh is still a work in progress and I hope to some day be able to post about that relationship here as well... .but for today I can post about my relationship with MY MOM who is also uBPD.  

Her mom (my grandmother) died in a private plane crash when my mom was 14 yrs old.  At the time, her parents were separated and she lived with her mom.  Her mom had gone on a trip for the weekend and my mom waited and waited and waited for her to come back on Sunday.  She never showed and it turns out that the pilot had flown the plane into a mountain in bad weather (the ultimate abandonment story).

Her father didn't want to deal with her so he immediately enrolled her in boarding school in Europe (she was in Southern California at the time).  He sent her away and she did not see her father or brother or sister for more than 5 yrs.  She literally had no phone calls or contact (a second abandonment).  This I believe was the source of her BPD.  My dad (her husband) drank heavily and though he is a good man (other than the drinking)... .he abandoned her for alcohol after 30 yrs of marriage (to be honest he was drinking as an escape instead of dealing with some of her twisted behavior).

I learned about BPD from a therapist in 2007.  I started work with boundaries without the benefit of this site in 2008.  My relationship has gone from a totally traumatic, verbally and emotionally abusive relationship (where she would regularly call and scream about how much she hated me in the middle of the night and I would do everything to MAKE HER HAPPY including being totally dishonest to her) to a pretty normal mother - daughter relationship where I can share what is really going on in my life and be honest.  With the addition of tools on this site it has only gotten better.  Boundaries, validation, and some of the communication tools have been key.  Learning to become less enmeshed was also critical.  

She never did any formal therapy but has been using a lot of tools like MINDFULNESS to avoid conflict in her life.  Ironically she also calls me for advise on how to deal with other interpersonal relationships.  While not fully recovered (I do see mild signs of BPD when she is under stress)... .I would consider her and my relationship with her as a success story.

Thanks for letting me share.

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« Reply #76 on: February 25, 2014, 11:28:07 AM »

My SO was diagnosed Oct 31 2012.  She was told that she has been living with this for the majority of her life.  We have now been together for almost 20 years. I've always known that there was something going on but never directly talked about it.  We went to marriage and individual counselling which led to nothing. 

When she was diagnosed, she was put on antidepressants as well as antianxiety meds.  I was also put on antidepressants just because I did not know how to handle the situation.  We both ended up seeing different pychologists.  She was enrolled and completed the STEPPS program and is now awaiting the STAIRWAYS program. 

These have helped us tremendously.  Life at home is a lot different.  These programs do not cure but they do give tools to help deal with situations. 

I was in a car accident and following a CAT scan, was diagnosed with Calcification on the brain, hypocalcemia, hypoparathyroidism, and possibly diabetes.  This hit her hard but she used her tools and we are getting through it together. No one should be alone.

If anyone reads this, do not give up on the people that need help.  Good thoughts and stay strong.




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« Reply #77 on: May 13, 2014, 09:39:25 AM »

My dBPDh hasn't spoken or seen his sister and brothers in the last 8+ years. It's been his choice, not mine. I have kept in contact with his family but respecting his boundaries and theirs as well. It's been my SIL's hope that she gets to see and hug her brother. He wasn't ready.

We all live in the same small city. However, we never meet anywhere... . it's weird.

Let's just say that it wasn't faith that brought them together on Sunday (of all days), neither of them were supposed to be at the restaurant Sunday morning (my dBPDh wasn't feeling up to going out in public but did it for my mother and it appears my SIL didn't want to go out either but her kids surprised her with breakfast at the same restaurant.)

My nephew was the first one to see us, my H saw his sister and went to say hi, then would make jokes as he walked by her table. I was so proud of him, my face was hurting from smiling, but I was on guard anyway.(old habits die hard) I was expecting being told it was an ambush on my part or something.

As we left, he did something I never expected, he gave her the chance to hug him. She did and held on for a very long time. He didn't push her off or ran away after wards, he stayed and talked.


Last night he told me he tried calling her last week, but never got an answer. He also gave me permission to tell her she could call him as long as she respects that he might not feel like talking on the specific day she calls, that it's not personal, it's how he's feeling at that moment.

I've never seen him be happy about anything with his family. He hasn't had any adverse reaction (like getting angry, upset or being sad), I can actually see a weight off his shoulder.
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« Reply #78 on: June 29, 2014, 12:21:31 AM »

This isnt my story however it is one that I am proud of playing a part in.  

A friend at work whom I have known for 6 years.  Her partner was diagnosed 3 months ago with BPD.  I havent shared this forum with her, it is sort of mine, I know that is selfish but I will give it to her in time.  We talk alot and both have always let our frustrations out on each other.  When I broke down about Febuary and I was leaning on someone for support she assosiated her partner with all of the BPD symptoms.  That is where this story started... .

They went to counselling together, her partner started indivdual counseling.  Her partner was diagnosed with BPD.  I gave her some of the BPD books and print outs from here along with the high conflict couple and other books I have.  Well, they started working through it together about 2 months ago.  Her partner has a level of self awareness that is very high and she actually pursued the psycologist and got herself diagnosed, had a bit of a breakdown when that happened however they are working through and constantly read the books together on communication amongst other things and the level of fighting and the rages has gone way down.  

When I told her about SET, the first time she used SET to respond her partner broke down in tears as she felt understood.  

One thing they have instigated was whenever they were felling sad (*note sad instead of dysregulated... . )  They would sit down and have a cup of tea/coffee together.  Then talk it out and write down what was making them sad.  For my work collegue she is like a new person, she sleeps at night, sets regular text times and many other things that help her partner control everything when she is at work.  

Last week her partner started an outpatient DBT program.  2 days a week and one Saturday a week in group and 2 individual sessions.  

By all accounts it is hard, within the first week she came home crying twice but she is working through it and accepted she has a problem.  It is something that I had no power over however it has been amazing seeing the transformation in their relationship.  She still doesnt know that I know she has BPD however I have never seen the signs in the 4 years? I have known her only been told some of the stories that have occured when they are alone.  

Ill update at some time in the future however I think it is only fair to share someone else story with everyone.  It is in the early stages however it is by all accounts progressing along nicely.  
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« Reply #79 on: July 03, 2014, 02:37:22 PM »

Another part of our success story... .my husband separated from his BPD wife over almost 9 years ago, and I have been with him 7 years.  He split up in large part because he was afraid of the impact the violence in the family had on the kids.  He has had 50/50 custody since, often against the advice of friends and therapists who advised him to try for full custody.  But he has been committed to having his BPD ex in the lives of his kids.  She has not been physically abusive with them. 

My biggest concerns initially were regarding the long term impacts of the kids' enmeshment with mom. 

At this time, my stepdaughters are 10 and 14.  Both have had an increasingly strong relationship with dad since the breakup.  While BPD mom still threatens violence at times to dad and I, we have both received lots of help from counselors and other support to be able to develop our own senses of peace and not be so bowled over by her most extreme moments.  We also both are able to enjoy and be open to her during the good times, without letting that result in compromise where it is important to DH and the kids and myself.  Any compromise or gift we make, we really try to have no expectations of reciprocity.  But we are both open to BPD mom being loving when she can, which is occasional but appreciated (for example, I had a burst appendix and she visited the hospital with the kids and called every day to check in on me). 

What is happening for the kids is amazing.  For SD14, she has always felt that to fully express how much she loves DH and I is to betray mom's loyalty. But these days, she says surprising stuff.  She has asked to have a job at her dad's business, and got her mom to agree to this during mom's custody time.  She also told me recently, "My mommy is my best friend, and you are my best friend... .I am just lucky that way!"

It has been a long and hard road, this past 7 years.  It has been important to me to address issues that are uncomfortable, and to have clear boundaries as to respectful behavior, while also being willing to have the kids express when they feel like I am acting a way that is hurtful to them.  DH has dealt with intense alienation, going through periods where every transition was met with SD14 yelling that she only wanted to live with mom, threatening to run away, and both he and I needed to make clear that right now, both girls were going to live with both parents, and that was the agreement and court order, period, but that we understand how painful it is to want something really bad that you can't have.  And how hard it is to be a kid and not have a choice about big things in your life. 

My personal goal with the kids was to be honest about my feelings and able to hear theirs, without making anyone wrong but also without avoiding the hardest things.  Mt hope was that when it came time to separate from mom, enmeshed SD14 could do it without hating her, could see more of the truth of her mom without making her bad, and be able to feel anger without hatred. 

That has not all happened yet, but it seems like a miracle to me that SD14 is really stepping out of her mom's shadow and belief systems,  and is un-enmeshing!  BPD mom yelled at me in front of SD14 recently for helping her on a project, saying I "had no right to help" as SHE is the mom, and SHE is the one who should be helping her child (!).  SD14 would normally spend the next week asking, "Why did you make mommy mad?" or "You are not my mom, and should not help me! My mom is right to be mad!"

But this time, when we got home, SD14 took me down to the project, and said great things about our work.  Then she turned to me, kissed me on the cheek, and said, "Thank you." 

She still loves her mommy and has a totally made up story about how her life with her mom has always been perfect.  With me, she is more real... .when she said that I was her best friend, too, I said, "Um, yes, but sometimes I am also your worst friend!" and she said, "Yes, sometimes you are my frenemy!"  and we both laughed.  I hope and pray that one day she can let in the hard parts of her mommy's story, but with her dad and me, she is really getting great practice loving us with all our warts!  And knowing that we love her completely and totally, while still feeling angry and sad and hurt at times over the years. 

To me, this is a huge success.  I think I'd sum up the success like this:  We have kids who know who they are and express it with their whole hearts.  They are loving people.  They are not like their mom, but they dod not hate their mom.  Mom sees that they love us, and though this is painful for her, as she sees sharing their love as betrayal of her, she still allows it to occur.   I think the biggest success is that SD10 and 14, should they chose to become mothers, will be able to pass the best of their mom's qualities on to their kids, without having to pass on the worst to the next generation.

Success is not always keeping a marriage intact... .it can be how you separate, and how you allow that BPD person to be who they are, without compromising the well being of your self and others.  Success can be allowing there to be a world in which a BPD person can act like a BPD person without jeopardizing those around them. 
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« Reply #80 on: July 03, 2014, 03:14:36 PM »

My SS18 called me mom this week, and told someone he is here visiting his parents. 

He lives two states away with extended family (so he could finish high school locally when my DH got emergency custody last fall).  He's down visiting this week, and we were discussing his desire to go into the military.  He's thought it all through, but of course I'm worried about him being in a war zone, and told him if I didn't hear from him in a timely fashion I may end up trying to find him!  He said "oh yeah, I can see telling my commander officer that I have to go home because my mom is here". Then yesterday he was getting his hair cut, and told the girl he's here visiting his parents.

All this from a kid who hadn't seen DH for at least 5 years up until last year at this time, and had never met me until last August.  He went from a kid trying to escape his uBPD mom to a kid with plans, and parents that care about him.  It feels awesome!

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« Reply #81 on: July 03, 2014, 03:37:13 PM »

That is a great story!  Thanks for sharing it and congratulations
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« Reply #82 on: July 11, 2014, 09:50:21 AM »

Ok. I feel it's time for a success story on my side.

I met my dBPDbf about a year ago. He mentioned quite early he was diagnosed with BPD a few months before. He is comorbid ADHD so there was a lot going on at the same time. He broke up with his previous girlfriend a few months before (around the time he found out he had BPD).

When we first started dating, he mentioned: "My T says I am in a cycle of getting into relationships, building trust, and then something happens, and we break up." I asked: ":)o you know what that something is?" No, he didn't.

In march we had our lowest low. He dysregulated after some severe criticism from my side. In a normal relationship this would have been a normal fight. This time it resulted in 3 days of silent treatment, texts that he never wanted to see me again, more silent treatment, and getting back together.

He mentioned: "You didn't get mad. My ex always got mad. Why don't you?"

Because by that time I had read enough about BPD to know what cycle we were in and how not to behave (anymore).

Things haven't been easy, but the progress is really there. We're overcoming a second low - a lot less low than the first one. No silent treatment, no exessive drinking, he's on ADHD medicin which makes him more calm. This time when we got into a fight, the next day he was able to calmly discuss what happened. He acknowledges that it's hard, and difficult. He talks to me about it. I was able to validate his good behaviour as well - which softened the way we talked to each other as he felt validated in the efforts he is putting in. Today, he told me he has the faith that we just need to stay calm and keep going for a while, that it's hard, but that it will get better. I love how he is willing to communicate, willing to work on our shared issues and how this low was turned around a lot quicker than the previous one. He's becoming aware of the part he is playing in the drama in his life, and although not always capable of acting upon that knowledge, and sometimes becoming depressed about it, the knowledge also helps him to make small changes. Noticing those makes me very happy  . We're defintiely not there yet... but on our way.
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« Reply #83 on: September 27, 2014, 02:31:19 PM »

How do you eat an elephant? 

Living with a pBPD is like having a constant huge elephant in the room all the time.  You can get stomped on or knocked over at any time.  Battling BPD is like eating the elephant away from your relationship.  Sounds disgusting?  It is.  But there's only one way to do it -

One bite at a time!


This is simply one hefty meal of success in our pledge to beat this BPD elephant, as a couple.

One of the worst things about us, was when my BPDh would get in his bad place. When he's there, he adopts this eff-you attitude that applies to everyone and everything around him.  He cares about nothing, nothing is considered but he, himself, and him!  It is a very dangerous place to be, for everyone involved. 

In the past nine months, since he started T and group sessions, he has avoided this eff-you place very well.  In fact, if I had to count, I would have to quote hours he has spent in this bad place, not days, not weeks - hours.  That's progress like I never really thought we would see so soon.  I think he battles going into this bad place a lot that I don't know about, but it hasn't erupted into anything earth shattering since Christmas!

I'm so proud of him for making such great progress and sticking with it.  I see him doing things different, saying things different, and just overall thinking before he opens his mouth more often.  The old habits come back now and again.  Most of the time we can just deal with it, or laugh about it, or whatever.

He has been very grateful to me.  Telling me often that he is blessed that I have stuck around this long.  He actually puts effort into meeting my needs and wants some of the time now instead of never.  He still has a hard time with a lot of stuff, and I see him struggle to accept the consequences of his actions, but still!  The progress makes things so much easier to face.

I've learned a lot too; when to give him space, when to adore him, acceptance.   I've changed how I react, what I say, etc.  I've put some of my own tools back into practice that were dropped somewhere during those terrible years of constant turmoil, hate and eff-you attitude.  I've invested in him, and now he's investing in himself too, and it's actually making a difference.

I don't think the suicidal thoughts have abated much... .just from things he has said in passing (because I can't handle to hear him speak about it, he doesn't share those thoughts with me much), but I pray that as he sees how much better life is this way, he will think less about running from it.  And it's so much easier to love him this way, so I hope that helps too.

BPD is certainly a big elephant to swallow, that's for sure.  Using sites like this one is like having a whole kitchen full of spoons to help, and committing to changing things with therapy and good communication is a truck full of soup ladles! 

It can be done.  I found this site a few months ago, when this very shaky place of change was becoming too much, and I saw hope in the stories here.  They helped pull me through, and I have a resource to go to when things get shaky again.  Great tool, nice sized spoons!

And now I see less elephant in the room!  That's what success looks like for me.







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« Reply #84 on: December 30, 2014, 08:55:58 AM »

Hello Success Stories:  Our son(25) is married to a dbpwf.  They have been together 7 years now and have 3 children.  As parents, we have be learning about BPD, loving our son and his wife, supporting their marriage, and our grandchildren.  As I look back over the years, my journaling is evidence of success:  The past three years out of 7, are the best. 

Our "kids" got together in 2007.  It was HELL!  Fortunately we found out about BPD early on, and put to practice the skills we needed to communicate, etc...   My journals have been upbeat for the past 3 out of the total of 7.  So, we must be doing something right.

But now I'd like help from anyone, but particular partners in a relationship that are trying to succeed.  Did your parents/in-laws play a useful part in your success?  What did they do to help you in your quest for success?  Or did they make mistakes that my husband and I can learn from?

Our son "walks on eggshells" trying to keep the peace.  Our presence (or family and friends) stirs up dil's fears of abandonment.  We think that's why, he distances himself from anyone.  Especially us. It's painful!  We work on build trust, breaking down walls etc. It's up and down.  The walls come down, then they're back up, etc.

We really focus on our BPDil.  But I especially, as the mom, am a threat to my dil.  I walk on eggshells with my son, and am hurt by his emotional/physical distancing from me.  I backed away from him, as well, to keep the peace.

BPD has made me timid, nervous, paranoid to hug my or even try to have a conversation, or laugh with him.  I backed away from him, to keep the peace.  Is there any hope for me as the mom?  How do I love him?  And not threaten her?
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« Reply #85 on: January 06, 2015, 10:44:02 PM »

I celebrated with my uBPDh the other day because we had 8 days with very little disruption (followed then by 3 days of dysregulation). I told my SO how proud I was of him and I could see the efforts he had been putting in. We feel that the time we have had off work over Christmas has helped alleviate some of the stress and as soon as we had bills to pay and work started again the dysregulation occurred. I am glad he is trying to understand what is happening to him and recognising the triggers. He has committed to a psych evaulation later this month and truly seems to want to understand what he is experiencing. I can no ask for more than that at this stage and I am proud of him   Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #86 on: January 07, 2015, 08:48:30 AM »

I can no ask for more than that at this stage and I am proud of him   Smiling (click to insert in post)

Nice work... .!  Thank you for being loving and supporting of him.  Hang in there... .
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« Reply #87 on: February 15, 2015, 08:43:10 PM »

wow, i love reading all the stories here, it's truly a inspiration.
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« Reply #88 on: February 25, 2015, 10:26:35 PM »

"Free to admit I made mistakes, I’m sad or lonely. Not to sacrifice things I want because they might trigger her. Not to live in fear of episodes like the feeling of dread just before we have dinner at my Mother’s. I could handle an episode once and while but it is all the stress about everything else.

I’d like to think there are lots of 100% success stories with no hint of BPD but they aren’t posted here because the person stopped coming to this forum as their problem disappeared."

Excellent post.  All of that is so reasonable.  It's about the least a normal person should expect in life.

I think people who get these things under control don't come here anymore, but I also think it's a very hard disease to treat.  I hope some people have found true success.
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« Reply #89 on: February 27, 2015, 03:48:01 PM »

Reasonable happy... .I like this as a goal to reach for.  I'm celebrating the small successes and hope they add up someday to be big, long-term success.  Until that happens, it's time to celebrate the small stuff. 

This was a successful exchange I had recently with my BPDh:

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=272271.0

Everything just accumulated into things working out well this time.   Smiling (click to insert in post)  Finally.   

Reasonably happy is a good way to describe how I felt after this exchange.  I'm going to stay focused on these from now on.

Thanks for all the great success stories here!  Fabulous stuff!  I'm encouraged everytime I read them.

C.

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« Reply #90 on: April 17, 2015, 11:00:04 AM »

We started our journey 5 years ago in a LDR which I’d like to say obscured my view but there were a lot of obvious signs of BPD. Since then my husband has been through a few diagnoses and settled with BPD, ADHD, and GAD. Medication for anxiety and ADHD. I don’t have any diagnoses but I survived a parent with BPD so that sums things up for me.

Both of us being in therapy was a necessity. It’s convenient to have the distraction of a partner with mental illness and in extreme chaos when you don’t want to acknowledge or attend to your own dysfunction. When that ‘benefit’ became apparent a few years ago I couldn’t ignore anymore I had issues to deal with. Obsessing over how he was and how I wanted him to be different didn't help me one bit.

His psychologist is a trauma specialist, master practitioner in EMDR, and has 25 years + experience in the field. Attendance was weekly and 2-weekly for the first year, then monthly and ‘as needed’ for the second. He had EMDR the majority of sessions. 2 months ago he was discharged and is officially in remission after 2 years of therapy. Not one single incidence of dissociation for months. His second last session involved some sort of reconnection/integration and he is like a different person. I can’t say enough how vital finding the right psychologist with the right training is. My husband was pretty determined to change from the beginning which was equally important. We sacrificed lots of things to afford so much therapy.

My therapy was/is also with a psychologist who has 35 years’ experience. She has led me through learning many new skills. It’s been like being re-parented is a lot of ways, learning things I should have learned as a child. I have grown up a lot. I’m much more mature, self reliant, self nurturing.

We are both more whole. I hope it lasts but I don’t spend too much time thinking about it. I am much more appreciative of living today today and leaving the worry of tomorrow for tomorrow.

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« Reply #91 on: April 24, 2015, 03:49:19 AM »

I agree with the views expressed here. Validating my partner's feelings, yet maintaining my own boundaries, makes life together quite 'wonderful'. And the other side of the coin, is watching myself and dealing with my own issues. In a sense, we're all victims of our past, which is why there are always four people in a relationship - you and your inner child, your partner and his/her inner child. Recognise whether you're dealing with the adult or with the child, and mould your reactions/behaviour accordingly. I have found this works well for me - both with his abandonment fears, and my own.
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« Reply #92 on: August 02, 2015, 10:39:43 AM »

I'm new to this board, and this website, but i have been in a relationship with my BPD parter for a year now.

He was initially diagnosed as Bipolar, but after extensive reading and understanding I'm 100% certain he is BPD. And this is something he hasn't accepted or confronted yet, as i think living with a diagnosis for over 20 years can make you cling to that as a sense of identity.

I'm so grateful for all your success stories, as there aren't many out there, and that doesn't inspire much hope for somebody who like me is only scratching the surface right now.

You have all given me much hope that this can be controlled/overcome.

My only challenge now is the fact that we dont have access to therapy as we live in a foreign country. However I'm trying to gain as much knowledge, and read as much as i can about DBT and hope to be able to make a difference. Its very encouraging to hear that most of you as parters had to look inwards to make a change, as well as other therapies, as this is something i have been trying to do for a very long time, working through a lot holistic approaches works for me.

Another thing which brought much comfort was hearing the comparison made to having to be the Buddha to be in a relationship with a BPD parter, as this is something i often said to others when they tried to give me advice. Its so incredibly hard to be pushed to the limit of your insecurities and still not react! Certainly something I'm still working on.

I guess in the end, doing the ground work for my self, and gaining any skills i can with DBT will if anything help me if not my partner.

Please keep posting your success stories, there are certainly other people like me that NEED to hear these!

Thank you to all of you
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« Reply #93 on: August 15, 2015, 12:27:53 PM »

Amen. I agree with that. I do think that sometimes, people who are successful will not need the internet anymore so their stories will not be here. That said, it is a hard disorder to overcome. You can't completely change someone's way of thinking. It is very hard to live with someone in a severe BPD dysregulated state. No one deserves to have to worry about every little thing they say or do or which kind of person they're getting when they come home. I think if they have frequent therapy (weekly or more often), life could probably improve a lot. A therapist visit might thankfully come in the middle of a 3-day silent treatment. Unfortunately, there's no pill they can take (seemingly) to cure them.
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Chilibean13
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« Reply #94 on: November 13, 2015, 04:08:25 PM »

I just wanted to share a huge success that happened last night and again just a few moments ago.

Yesterday my uBPDh began accusing me of wanting to cheat on him with his boss who is also a friend of ours. He chose one out of my 50 FB posts to make the accusation off of 1 small 2 sentence post. He eventually stopped and went to visit a friend.

When he came home he very calmly told me he was sorry that he accused me of wanting to cheat. He told me he had been feeling insecure and took it out on me. He told me he knows that I wouldn't cheat but sometimes he gets to feeling a certain way and he can't stop his mind from going there. This is the first time he has EVER apologized for an accusation. Although he didn't get it perfect he named his emotion and stated how his behavior was wrong. Major progress!

Then about 30 min ago I was worried about a test I have to take tomorrow and HE VALIDATED ME! He patted himself on the back and explained to me why and how he came to the decision to validate my feelings. It was a truly beautiful moment for me... .and for him! Again I can't remember him looking beyond his own emotions and truly considering mine.

I'll take all the little successes I can get
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momtara
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« Reply #95 on: December 08, 2015, 09:35:59 PM »

Those are two excellent things. Congratulations! pwBPD do have moments of clarity, so it depends on whether he will keep learning to do it more and more, or regress and stop. Please update us!
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Selkie3

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« Reply #96 on: January 15, 2016, 09:02:59 AM »

I'm happy to say my wife and I had a major breakthrough.  No she's not "cured," if that's really even possible, but she has had marked improvement.  And the culprit?  Biology.

To give the back-story, my wife is diagnosed with OCD and GAD, and while not diagnosed with BPD she exhibits obvious signs of least has BP traits.  They were not obvious at first; though we've been together for over a decade, the last couple of years she began to get worse and worse.  Her explosive anger and manipulative behavior started to get out of control, and it was only in the past year that I recognized the symptoms for what they are, thanks to this site.

Last fall we had a health scare when she started showing signs of menopause despite being in her early 30s.  After visits to a gynecologist and endocrinologist (a doctor who specializes in hormones of the body), in turns out she was not menopausal, but rather it was the birth control pills.  She'd been taking them for a decade, and in the process of aging, her body's hormones had changed enough that these were causing her to have menopause like symptoms, including labile mood and memory difficulty.  Since stopping all hormonal birth control methods, not only did her menopause symptoms go away, but her BP traits toned down dramatically.  She suddenly gained the ability to at least recognize how she was acting, and can stop herself and apologize.  She is so much better she almost feels like a different person, the person I fell in love with.  The BP traits are not gone entirely, since they are technically part of her, but they've become more like when we first started dating, when she was not on the pill.

Women are all very different and hormones affect each women differently, so this is not a magic cure, and a lot of people with BPD may not have any biological component to their behavior.  In my wife's case, she seems to be very vulnerable to external influences, and this may be related to her also have an anxiety disorder.  But I hope by bringing this up, this may give some couples an angle they might not have thought of.
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Teal Green
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« Reply #97 on: May 25, 2016, 07:52:23 AM »

Thank you so much to everyone that has shared their success stories! Also many thank to everyone that has shared your stories of noticed improvement and change for the better! I have renewed hope! Three years ago I took some advice from a friend who is a firm believer in the idea that if you want someone to change, look in the mirror and change yourself first, and that is exactly what I did. I found a great T and started working on myself. I thought by now I would have seen a bit more than I have. For the most part the only real change has been me learning how to react to avert explosive arguments. I have also become more excepting of certain aspects of BPD and I am definitely more relaxed today than I was three years ago. Hopefully my uBPDh will come around soon and reconsider getting into the right kind of therapy. 
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Feelinstronger

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« Reply #98 on: June 03, 2016, 07:31:24 AM »

I had posted on the Detatching thread but now after 5 months of NC we are reunited and working on things.  He admits he has issues, and in the last two weeks has been to the ER, his GP, a psychiatrist and now is being referred to a neurologist for a complete work up.  No one in any of these appointments has mentioned BPD, however at some point soon I will.

I am so happy he is seeking professional help.  He has indicated he will do whatever it takes to be with me and marry me.

Here is an issue I need to deal with: since over the five years we were together he broke things off 8 times, devastating me more each time, my wonderful friends and family are advising me to RUN.  FAST.  However, I love this man.  Unconditionally.  I spent the five months of NC praying for him.  For him to be healed.  For me to have my heartbreak removed.  I did NOT pray for us to get back together. I became strong, self confident, resillient.  He is amazed. 

I WANT for this to work.  I believe in the redemptive power of prayer-I believe change is possible, healing is possible. 

I am willing to accept that my partner has mental issues - I love him anyway.  We shared wonderful times.  He is a good man. He is far from perfect, and so am I!

SHould I simply walk on faith, do the work, be by his side as he does the work, faces his issues head on like a real man?  That is what he is doing.  I am amazed.  How can I deal with very sincere well intentioned friends who think I am out of my gourd by going back and contemplaiting marriage?
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Highlander
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« Reply #99 on: September 03, 2016, 08:15:28 PM »

My husband had dBPD.  He was diagnosed in 2011 and has since recovered (no longer presents in 2016). 

When I first met him, he had behaviors that were alarmingly negative and would send me in a head spin.  ie: "I hate you, don't leave me" etc.  But his good behaviours always outweighed his bad ones.

Four years after we met, he became seriously unwell with the disorder, delusional, cutting himself, suicide attempt etc.  I knew that this was not the man I'd met and he was seriously unwell.  I stuck with him, through diagnosis and now recovery.

Our relationship is better than it has ever been.  He no longer has those annoying characteristics that he had when I met him, in which I was willing to live with for the rest of my life, but no longer need to.

The journey to recovery was one of my biggest eye openers of my life.  We shared the same psychologist and I was able to learn many things about myself. 

Sharing the same therapists, although not always recommended for all BPD sufferers helped in our circumstance immensely.  I would have the first hour and my husband trusted that I would give the therapist an accurate update of circumstances that occurred last since the last session.  This could only happen if your partner has absolute trust in yourself.  I was very lucky to have this.

Whats next?  We now have to deal with his undBPD mother, whom has always blamed me for giving him this illness and his resultant suicide attempt after I met him at the age of 30!

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livednlearned
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« Reply #100 on: September 05, 2016, 03:34:43 PM »

Looking forward to reading this, and thought others here might be interested to know about this new (as of 2016) book:

Hi all,

I came across this online and I'm halfway through the Kindle version.

https://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Borderline-Recovery-Personality-Disorder/dp/1626252343

Very moving, insightful and inspiring. Well worth reading

Reforming
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« Reply #101 on: December 09, 2016, 10:52:46 PM »

My BPD husband was hated by my friends and family because of his BPD traits.  He was depressed every now and then and finds it hard to mingle with people.  He was greatly misunderstood.
To give you a background we are not of the same race and we live in different countries.  We got married in my country and he greatly struggled living in my country because of the lack of job opportunity for foreigners and our stressful relationship with friends and family.  We decided to move to another country asap.  We both found jobs and settled in.  But after a few months,  he got sick because of the dust he was inhaling at work and the wage was really low.  He tried to look for another job but most don't offer written contracts. He then started to feel depressed,  irritable, angry and very critical again.  Honestly it was really hard for me because I was also adjusting being away from my country for the first time! I was taking everything in. We both had trouble sleeping and I thought we will both be ill if it continues. We both needed help! That time we thought of ways we  can seek help.  And there's only one solution that we can think of and that is to surround him with people who loves him and that is in his home.

With urgency he returned to his country with me. The first few months was still a struggle but the additional love and support that he is getting from his family and  church helped him handle his stress well tremendously! And now he has a job,  he is more relaxed and more joyful.

He knew he has BPD as he was diagnosed having it when he was a teenager.  He was taking Prozac for his depression before we've met. But he has chosen to stop it because he said it won't help him deal with the real issue of his depression. It was brave of him to do that.

Additional love,  support and prayers from his family and friends has tremendously helped him. Also having a job helped as it keeps him busy.  For the last few months,  he is consistently doing great.  I have never seen him like this before! Such a huge progress!

For us spouses and family members,  there is hope!  Give your best to show love,  seek help and pray!  

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Rilian

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« Reply #102 on: December 30, 2016, 09:15:44 PM »

I came back to this site today by chance and decided to give an update.  I wrote my first success story on this page nearly 4 years ago!  Two things immediately stand out for me:  1. We are still making more and more progress, and 2. This process of healing is never 'over.' 

My wife has come a very long way, and so have I.  In the past years her behavior has become more and more under control.  Her ability to recognize and live out her values (instead of impulses) is amazing.  She reaches out for help when she needs it (usually after only a little delay), and she apologizes for the things she does wrong (most of the time).  You can see it's not perfect, but neither am I. 

We honestly don't talk about BPD anymore.  The behavior she exhibited through our marriage, and since therapy in moments of emotional distress, is very reminiscent of BPD, but the recent concensus seems to center on her having Complex PTSD, and I guess a lot of professionals are discussing the relationship between the two disorders.  Complex PTSD comes from being raised in a house where the whole of her childhood was traumatic.  Where the trauma occurred not in just a specific moment, but over all the foundational years of her upbringing. 

What's clear for me is that over the last 4 years life has been livable.  There are still a lot of tense moments, shouting rages, prolonged depression, and our marriage has taken a lot of bruises.  She's had repressed memories surface, I've gone through my own nervous breakdown, marital separation at one point.  It's been very messy. 

However!  That sense that we are making progress has continued.  We are making progresss.  I am more assertive and confident in the relationship.  She rebounds much more quickly.  We recognize feeling as they surface and have learned how to respond more appropriately.  Our kids are still carrying around a lot of scars, but overall we are healing as a family.  I still have hope that she can live without having her anger control her.  It still feels worth it to me, though many in my life can't believe we've stuck it out this long. 
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Artemis_bpd

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« Reply #103 on: January 09, 2017, 07:48:06 AM »

This is how I managed to survive so far. I am in a relatively new relationship with an undiagnosed high functioning BPDbf. In a very short period of time, Less than six months, I got involved in his idealization, clinging, his fear of abandonment, push-pull, false accusations, double-binds, until I got painted black. All because his intense emotions got triggered.  When I saw that, I backed off... .It was not necessarily NC. I just dropped off some positive notes each day to know I still care about him, but I stepped back from the drama. It took one month of "drying up" or limited contact. It helped that I know about his condition and that it was not about me. During that time, I also dealt with my own fears and self-healing.

My objective was to let his emotions settle down somewhat. Last Holidays, we got back together happily.  It was as if no craziness happened in between. But, and a big but... .After the holidays, I stepped back again, I know that when his intense emotions are triggered, he cannot handle it, his emotions become out of control, lesson learned. So before it gets to that, I voluntarily stepped back in order not to trigger him. I don't provoke and I stay away so he does not provoke my own fears either. Sometimes I feel sad that in the midst of happiness, one has to step back and control the emotions before they become intense and be triggered. But I have accepted that. Some distance is needed to keep out of harm's way, it doesn't mean the love is less between us, the intense emotions just need to be managed before it gets Haywire. He too got surprised by his erratic intense emotions before and he steps back too. We let each other be.
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tonepoems

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« Reply #104 on: November 08, 2017, 03:07:31 PM »

Hi everyone,

I know most people who are on this forum are here because they need help and for the most part, those who have milder or successful cases don't tend to contribute to forums, so I thought it might be helpful and provide some hope for others.

It's been several months since I posted and my last post was pretty dire. At that time my husband had spiraled completely out of control into self-destructive behavior - he had a reckless affair with a co-worker, his drinking was out of control, he was self-harming, contemplating suicide, telling me he didn't love me anymore... .it got pretty bad for a while.

Believe it or not, we are 6 months into our renewed, happy and healthy marriage. I don't know how we both had the strength and courage to make it here, but we did.

We separated for two months and in that time, I discovered I was stronger than I gave myself credit for, and my husband realized he had made a huge mistake.

He committed himself to therapy, DBT, and sobriety. I committed myself to continuing individual therapy as well, and setting firm boundaries, not feeling responsible for his moods and emotions, but also working hard to keep my emotions more even and regulated for the sake of our relationship.

We collaborated on a "relationship manifesto" where we outlined our values and we wrote out our promises to each other and ourselves.

We now have a weekly "relationship check-in" where we ask each other these 5 questions every week:
1. How are we doing?
2. What can I do better?
3. What did I do to make you feel loved this week?
4. Do you have any challenges coming up this week?
5. How can I best support you this week?

I also accompany my husband to his therapist about every 5th or 6th session so we can continue to navigate communication techniques for our situation.

I still have bad days in getting over the pain of the affair and harsh words of last year, he still has bad days where he deals with depression and low-self esteem, but overall, we are thriving. Our marriage is even strong than it was before and we communicate so honestly and clearly with each other now.

Special effort is made never to be accusatory, to always address everything in terms of "I feel this way when this happens... ." and to keep any suggestions in a positive tone, i.e. "I really like it when you do this... ." vs "you never do that... ."

We meditate almost every morning at the same time (we use the Calm app) and we've made it a point to put our marriage first and create some rituals (having lunch together once a week, doing at least one fun thing every weekend, etc.)

I can't recommend the book "Loving Someone with BPD" by Sharri Y. Manning enough - I would say that book was the turning point for both of us.

"I Hate You, Don't Leave Me" by Jerold J. Kreisman was also helpful, though maybe not as empathetic as the first book.

It hasn't come easy, and we're both working hard, but I can't tell you how great it's been to see my husband smiling, laughing, and being loving again.

In any case, I know the situation is different for everyone and the choice to forgive my husband for cheating is something personal that I feel is up to each individual. I wouldn't blame anyone for a second for choosing to move on instead.

But if you're on here looking for someone with a happy ending, it looks like we're headed that way. smiley

Good luck to all of you and hang in there. <3
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knit knack

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« Reply #105 on: March 10, 2018, 12:20:02 AM »

WOW!

So wonderful to hear of success stories. That’s amazing to here some positive success stories.This site I am finding really great to get ideas and support from other members cause in the end we all want healthy loving relationships don’t we? Thanks for the book recommendation
Well done!
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surfsupap1

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« Reply #106 on: May 03, 2018, 10:45:27 AM »

Wow, amazing success story, I am at the 3.5 year mark in a somewhat similar BPD situation and completely agree with you. It's been a freakishly difficult road, but it will only really get better, when you finally stand with regard to how you will accept being treated. I would get so angry and try and rationalize with my BPD GF. Neither worked, I am learning, to politely and firmly say, "that hurt me and I don't feel comfortable being spoken to or treated that way", and shut up and let the BPD make the right choice. Don't argue, rationalize or get angry. Simply say, "I am not comfortable being treated or spoken to this way, and if things don't settle down, I am going to have to leave the room until things are calmer. We also started calling a 15 minute "fire drill" anytime either one of us got activated. We go into separate rooms and try and calm ourselves. After two such fire drills, I simply leave the house and spend the night somewhere else.  As a caretaker, you don't have to be treated in ways you don't feel comfortable with. However, it is very difficult under fire to stay calm, just breath calmly, wiggle your toes, count objects in the room while she/he is raging, let them get to a stopping point and say, "I am feeling activated, and for us need to take some space to calm myself down and I will be back in 10 minutes and would be happy to hear more about what you are feeling", But dont' allow yourself to be treated in ways you don't feel comfortable with.
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Pedro
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« Reply #107 on: May 05, 2018, 01:18:48 PM »

Dear tonepoems.

I am so pleased for you and your husband having read your message here.  I wish you both a long lasting, productive, and happy future together.

Pedro.
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DoubleBP2018

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« Reply #108 on: March 11, 2019, 09:38:49 AM »

It's good to read about our successes in these difficult relationships, here is mine:

My uHFBPDw and I have been married almost 40 years. I had no idea why our relationship just kept getting worse over the years. I came across SWOE 2 years ago and realized she has most of the BPD traits.

1st success: I stopped JADEing right away. After that I noticed that she seemed to get back to baseline sooner after minor dysregulations. I had stopped making things worse, and they seemed to be getting slightly better.

2nd success: A big problem over the last 3+ decades has been her use of the silent treatment, which happened between 3 and 12 times a year and typically lasted about 3 days. I had complained about this being an unreasonable thing to do in the past, which made it worse over time. After reading SWOE I simply told her how the silent treatment made me FEEL. It’s now been 2 years without the silent treatment. She still has major dysregulations, but she now maintains communication with me while dysregulated (criticism, complaining, blaming, name calling, verbal abuse). This is better because I can figure out WHAT she is upset about. I’m still working on ways to validate her feelings, but the (apparent) end of the silent treatment is definitely a success.

3rd success: A few days ago she dysregulated and really lashed out at me verbally. I’m getting pretty good at not reacting at all – I’m able to immediately start analyzing the situation and formulate a response. In this case it was to say nothing and calmly, politely leave the room (I’m still working on validating her feelings, I’m not quite there yet). The next day she APOLOGIZED via text message.  This is a big deal because she has never apologized to me before!

Our relationship is still basically a crappy one due to the accumulated resentments of decades of relationship problems, but 3 significant positive changes in 2 years is very encouraging. Gives me the hope I need to keep trying!
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Mangmo

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« Reply #109 on: July 02, 2019, 02:36:16 AM »

Hello can you please share some information with me regarding the extensive treatment you got for your wife ? I'm dealing with a very similar situation and I feel like my wife would be willing to do this if  I just knew the resources on how to find treatment like this ?
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Joelina
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« Reply #110 on: February 12, 2020, 08:20:44 PM »

Thank you!

These posts have given me so much hope. The point that has stood out to me the most is that what is needed is not out of my control at all because what  I need to change is me! I dont need to rely on anyone else to do anything for sucess! I am perfectly willing and capable of seeking out professional help to assess my part and more than happy to make that commitment and do the work needed to make changes! All streets are two ways.  I had started to succumb to my nagging doubts and had forgotten that I also play a part! I truly appreciate this reality check. 

There is no room for pride in love, and no person in a partnership is better than the other, otherwise it is not a partnership. These are important to hold close to my heart as I walk with this man. Love is only ever a gift, there are no exceptions, only a shift in perception is required to see its value.  I am not perfect and I have issues too they are not lesser than his only different.  This is a humbling moment for me.  Obviously one I needed.

Joelina
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BadIdeasCanSwim

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« Reply #111 on: August 10, 2020, 03:30:12 PM »

I haven't spent much time on this forum but it's been helpful during some really tough times. See here for the post I made that goes a bit into the back story:

https://bpdfamily.com/message_board/index.php?topic=339017.msg13071815

I started dating my now wife in 2015. While there were some BPD signs early in the relationship (granted I had no idea what BPD was so they were just one of those weird isolated quirks that everyone has) I didn't really get to see the full extent of her BPD until we moved in together until early 2018. It was really a frog in boiling water type thing that went full mask off after we moved in together.

Early 2019 I came across the wikipedia page for BPD and had a heart stopping moment. I got into therapy shortly after that which helped a little bit, but her problems were getting worse. She was drinking more, self harming, destroying objects in our home, etc.The worst experience for me is when she would get really drunk at night and direct a lot of rage towards me. Screaming at me, disrupting sleep, etc.

Getting her into therapy was a huge struggle and incredibly frustrating. I cannot overstate how painful that specific experience was.

But she started DBT several months ago along with a new psychiatric medication. Exclusively speaking to my lived experience I cannot overstate how much better things have gotten. Literally night and day. The new medicine she takes will knock her out so instead of getting wasted and screaming at me she falls asleep - effectively eliminating the most painful aspects for me.

Of course she still struggles with her symptoms and there's a lot of three steps forward one step backwards, but I honestly could not have imagined just how quickly things improved. I have so much hope for the future of this relationship that I never could have imagined even at March of this year.

At least in terms of getting her into treatment here is what worked for us: I talked to her psychiatrist and told him some of the stuff that I was seeing in terms of emotional disregulation. I took particular care to avoid looking like I was just listing behaviors that fit the DSM V criteria and just explained what I saw and experienced in plain language. This caused him to suggest DBT and she got a referral from him. Prior to that I was just talking to her and explaining that I think DBT would be helpful, which was like talking to a brick wall. It seems so obvious in hindsight but for whatever reason it's not something I pushed, though I did ask her several times if I could call him on my own and she said no. In hindsight I would have insisted to go to an appointment with her.
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rebekkah

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« Reply #112 on: January 02, 2021, 09:09:16 AM »

these stories are so beautiful. thank you all for sharing
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