Can PD Persons Really Change?

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Stay Positive

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Can PD Persons Really Change?
« on: November 25, 2017, 12:04:44 AM »
My ex-NPD boyfriend is basically described in 2 Timothy 3:1-5  Where it says "There will be terrible times in the last days.  People will be lovers of themselves,, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self control, brutal, not lovers of the good, etc. Although this describes him practically to a T, I am of the belief that people can change (and I have seen him change throughout the past several years we dated), that people who truly become Christians and want to turn their lives around, can be radically different. (ie Saul turning into Paul from persecuting Christians to being one of the pillars in the church).  However, it is does not seem to be a change at the core of who he is.  He does, go to church and listens attentively and strives to put into practice what he is learning.  Anyone here have any words of wisdom about whether to believe someone like this can truly change?  I guess sometimes I feel that "giving up" on him is not helpful to him.  I feel I was the main person who was helping him with spirituality.  People, especially his mother, always gave up on him.  I guess I just wonder if someone kept believing in him, would it make a difference?  It is probably just my way of justifying his behavior.  I can't seem to move on and still have very strong feelings for this man.  Any help in moving forward would be appreciated!  TIA

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: Can PD Persons Really Change?
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2017, 07:53:14 AM »
Hi Stay Positive, you raise some really good questions so I split your post out from the original post so they could be addressed without Hijacking the other post.

My experience similar to yours in that uPDm made significant changes learning in applying Scripture. However there is some core emotional and mental damage that appears to be beyond healing without treatment or medication. To me it's very similar to how an alcoholic despite becoming Christian will continue to battle addiction.

Paul spoke of having a thorn in the flesh, not that I'm saying he was an alcoholic by any means, we just don't know what his thorn in the flesh was, but it was a struggle he contended with all his life 2nd Corinthians 12:7.

Paul also spoke of his internal struggles, the war of his mind and flesh against what he wished to do as a spiritual person. We all fight this battle to different degrees and with different core struggles Romans 7:18-24

For me it's not so much that I gave up on the person but I gave them over to God. It's his job to draw the person and it's the person's job to work with the tools God has provided them. Their Journey is theirs to walk with God and no one can walk it for them. The book boundaries by Cloud and Townsend helped me see things very differently based on Scripture.

If God and his perfect son Jesus along with the enormous power of the Holy Spirit, the power that has the ability to create and run the entire universe, if those three things are insufficient to help a person then what can I possibly do as a mere human made of dust?
Each and every contact with a PD person results in damage. Plan accordingly and make time to heal. See Toolbox for tips. "The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause." Mark Twain

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142757

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Re: Can PD Persons Really Change?
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2017, 05:13:45 PM »
I'm one who never says never.

Quote
(Isaiah 50:2, 3) . . .Has my hand become in fact so short that it cannot redeem, or is there in me no power to deliver? Look! With my rebuke I dry up the sea; I make rivers a wilderness. Their fish stink due to there being no water, and they die because of thirst. I clothe the heavens with obscurity, and I make sackcloth itself their covering. . .

(Matthew 19:26)  Looking them in the face, Jesus said to them: “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

The trick w/all of us, not just PD's, is to acknowledge we need God's help and then be willing to accept the help he gives. That's often the roadblock w/PD. Admitting there is a problem and the willingness to do what needs to be done even if they don't like it.

From my standpoint, I wouldn't let the hope they could change put me in a standstill. Waiting to see what happens. I'm a firm believer the flaws that show up while dating are 10 times worse then what is revealed. Cause people are putting their best foot forward. Therefore, any negatives that crop up shows what they can't control. If a person shows they are disordered, they aren't a fit for me. I've got to have enough self worth to feel I deserve more than a seriously, mentally-flawed companion. If I feel so inclined, I can find someone much better. And I'm better off unattached instead of chained to a person with uncontrollable, selfish, paranoid behavior.

"Somedays you just can't get rid of a bomb."

Adam West (Batman)
9/19/28 - 6/10/17

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SonofThunder

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Re: Can PD Persons Really Change?
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2017, 12:09:26 AM »

....(ie Saul turning into Paul from persecuting Christians to being one of the pillars in the church).  However, it is does not seem to be a change at the core of who he is.

 .......He does, go to church and listens attentively and strives to put into practice what he is learning.

..... Anyone here have any words of wisdom about whether to believe someone like this can truly change?  I guess sometimes I feel that "giving up" on him is not helpful to him


My personal opinion is that Christ does the changing and always at the core.  Saul-to-Paul was Christ’s work as Christ did the core-change and Paul simply reflected Christ’s work.  Surely Christ used Paul’s past education and experiences to equip him well with the tools to endure the hardship of travel and intense educated questioning of a journeying missionary, but Christ did the core change. 

I am of the opinion that if the core isn’t changed, and the evidence of that core change doesn’t truly reflect on the outside, that it is human effort that is being made visible, and in my experience, human effort alone is not lasting.

In addition, I find my uPDw would rely on me heavily for helping her look and act ‘religious’ on the outside, by going with me to worship services, having Christian bibles and books lying around the house (never touched) and being involved in church activities.  I got really tired of being her ‘crutch’ to lean on in that religious (practicing ritual but not relationship) way and I purposefully stopped going to church to focus on my one-on-one time with Christ through regular quiet time of bible study and prayer-journaling, instead of the very difficult challenge of dealing with my manipulative uPDw with regard to going to church and church events (my uPDw is late always, fashion show etc...). I wanted all of that future effort or lack thereof, to be on her. 

That move has been great for me, as I have really enjoyed my quiet time, but my uPDw has had a quick wake up call, realizing that her entire religious activity is now 100% on her....and the core quickly reveals the truth on the outside.

My question to you would be; are you possibly the ‘crutch’ that is being leaned on by this person, helping them to look good on the outside?  Would ‘giving up’ (your words) be a wake up call for this person that it’s now 100% on them and possibly give you the answers you seek about them?   I like to think of ‘giving up’ rather as ‘releasing’ this person to themselves so they have to face the hard reality of their own decisions.    SoT
« Last Edit: December 22, 2017, 12:15:19 AM by SonofThunder »
Proverbs 17:1
A meal of bread and water in contented peace is better than a banquet spiced with quarrels.

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sparrow

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Re: Can PD Persons Really Change?
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2018, 08:55:07 PM »
My belief is that a mental illness is like a physical illness so if you have cancer or diabetes you are going to treat those things with your choice of holistic and clinical therapies, as well as praying for God to intervene with miraculous healing. You wouldn't discover you have diabetes and not take your insulin or manage your diet and exercise etc. because you're going to church. I think God does perform miraculous healing but sometimes He allows the natural consequences of the chaos and sin in the world (all illness among them) because of a bigger plan that we can't see. I don't think it's your job to caretake, at all. I used to struggle with this and the book Co-dependent No More helped me understand it. I think it's great if you pray for him and encourage him spiritually but that does not mean dating him, or even speaking to him if he doesn't treat you with respect/appropriately.

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tommom

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Re: Can PD Persons Really Change?
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2018, 11:15:18 AM »
Son of Thunder, that is so right! I have told this more than once on this site. My church's archbisop openly talks about his time of "former mental illness" which was actually taken from him by God. However, he is very clear in saying that was his greatest desire in his life. Combined with his enormous faith, he was healed. I don't know what illness it was, but it was enough that he was hospitalized for it and he wound up married to a psycholgist (don't know if she was his or not). But he is very clear about his desire - it was to be well and his faith that God would heal him.

To me, that is the biggest problem with the PD. My husband simply doesn't think the problem is him. He has actually told me that all of his problems are my fault. Quote. Blames me constantly (although I ask him to explain how I could have done what he accuses me of). I have a niece diagnosed with BPD and NPD and bipolar disorder. She has been hospitalized, been psychotic, has been in therapy for over 10 years and now says she is fine (and she is, sadly, worse than ever and off all meds). No doctor has actually told her that...that is her disorders speaking. That is the problem. In "Stop Caretaking" Majolis lists the "Top Ten Traits" and one is "Whatever they feel is a fact and they believe it is caused by someone else." Their inabilty to accept responsibilty for those feelings -maybe the disconnect from them - apparently causes them to be unable to accept the need to change. They think everyone else needs to. How then, can they change?

I have enormous faith in God. As a charismatic, I have seen or heard of many, many miraculous things. I have the faith, he may as well. It is his desire that is missing because of his inability to accept that the problem is his.
"It is not my job to fix other people; everyone is on their own journey."

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confusedheart

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Re: Can PD Persons Really Change?
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2018, 11:24:42 AM »
I love this discussion! I have been off of OOTF for a while now hoping and praying things would change with my PD husband. However, it's been a couple of years now and nothing has changed. We are actually farther apart now than ever before. I've taken this time to really spend time with myself spiritually with God and bible study. The Holy Spirit revealed to me in a dream that I am to stick with Him as He is #1 in my life and have complete obedience. My husband loves to throw around scripture out of context and say he is the husband and I must submit it to him, although he is not obedient to the Lord at all. I've been stuck playing his games and not realizing that I was never putting God first. I was always praying hard for my husband and our family but no matter how hard I try to plant my seed, if the soil is not ready the seed will not take. He is just not ready to listen or change his ways. There have been a few times where he's tricked me and said oh yes I said I believed in God just to make you happy but there is no God. I can't continue with the constant verbal abuse and persecution in my home. My children having to hear the abuse and I know it's causing them more damage with the passing years. God is giving me the strength now to leave with my children. I'm scared but it has to be done. I have been with this man for more than 20 years of verbal abuse. A couple of years ago someone on this forum said he'll probably become physically abusive and I said no way but he has. I have to be obedient to God and take action.

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momnthefog

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Re: Can PD Persons Really Change?
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2018, 02:54:44 PM »
IMHO....no....change requires a recognition that something is off. 

A person gets sick goes to doc, discovers cancer and choses a treatment.

An alcoholic hits bottom and goes to AA works the program.

Of course either of these persons can chose to end treatment or working the program and relapse.  And it may take multiple attempts to get sober or clean.  And the cancer patient may only gain a few years of life expectancy.  Nonetheless in these examples...the patient recognizes a need to do something and to stick with it.

IME....the PD individual thinks everyone else is the problem....therefore they refuse to seek treatment.  And if they can be dragged or convinced to go to counseling it typically doesn't last long enough for them to get any insight into behavior and make any change.

momnthfog
"She made broken look beautiful and strong look invincible.  She walked with the universe on her shoulders and made it look like a pair of wings."

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Cuthberta

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Re: Can PD Persons Really Change?
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2018, 04:43:25 AM »
I rarely post but will make an exception on this thread.

It is perhaps worth saying that Saul/Paul did not change.

He was a very serious, very devout Pharisee before his conversion, and a very serious, very devout Pharisee afterwards. The only difference was that he learned that the Lord is who he is, and began to follow him. But he followed as a Jew, and as a Pharisee (which is not a term of abuse but a sect within Judaism, to which the Lord also belonged.) because first generation Christians identified as Jewish. It was only after Paul's ministry to Gentile areas that questions arose about just how Jewish Christians ought to be, and it took a long time and much discussion for the early church to work this one out. It was eventually at least partly resolved after the fall of Jerusalem. But there are still Messianic Christians around, whose faith is far closer to that of Paul than ours is.

So if we are talking of people being able to change radically he isn't an example to use. He was serious about his faith before the road to Damascus, and continued to be serious about his faith afterwards. The focus changed, but his core being, his inner self, did not. Which is probably why he was chosen.

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SonofThunder

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Re: Can PD Persons Really Change?
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2018, 08:50:04 AM »
I rarely post but will make an exception on this thread.

It is perhaps worth saying that Saul/Paul did not change.

He was a very serious, very devout Pharisee before his conversion, and a very serious, very devout Pharisee afterwards. The only difference was that he learned that the Lord is who he is, and began to follow him. But he followed as a Jew, and as a Pharisee (which is not a term of abuse but a sect within Judaism, to which the Lord also belonged.) because first generation Christians identified as Jewish. It was only after Paul's ministry to Gentile areas that questions arose about just how Jewish Christians ought to be, and it took a long time and much discussion for the early church to work this one out. It was eventually at least partly resolved after the fall of Jerusalem. But there are still Messianic Christians around, whose faith is far closer to that of Paul than ours is.

So if we are talking of people being able to change radically he isn't an example to use. He was serious about his faith before the road to Damascus, and continued to be serious about his faith afterwards. The focus changed, but his core being, his inner self, did not. Which is probably why he was chosen.

Good input!  Thanks for sharing your thoughts. SoT
Proverbs 17:1
A meal of bread and water in contented peace is better than a banquet spiced with quarrels.

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bohemian butterfly

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Re: Can PD Persons Really Change?
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2018, 03:43:12 PM »
I consider myself a spiritual person (believe in God) but forgive me, I don't know much scripture.

I think that anyone can change, but I think that they have to want it and they have to seek it and they have to work hard to change their behaviors.

Don't get me wrong, I believe in prayers and I believe in miracles, but I also believe that God wants us to do some work on ourselves while we are here.  I also don't think that he would think it was very kind to let other people abuse us.  We are his creation and we should respect it and protect it.