Former BP shrew here. I've had a chance to turn things around, and just wanted to share my experience as a way to say thanks to the RPW community.
I was with my boyfriend for a few years, and we broke up. Well, more so, he broke up with me. I was devastated. I devolved into a grieving mess, but in the process, I also had some big wake up calls about myself.
Through my grief, it slowly dawned on me that I had not been an easy person to be with. It's not an excuse, but I didn't realize how much I was acting like my mother. What I was taught as a child is that men can never do anything right, that women are martyrs and victims, and that everything the man does wrong must be pointed out to him in order to get him to change and get with the program. My ex was the first guy I'd deeply loved, and I'd treated him just like my mother treated my father! No wonder he wanted to get away from me! And the worst part was, being a nagging controlling bitch didn't even make me happy. What the hell was I doing with my life??? I treated the person most special to me worse than I'd ever dream of treating my acquaintances. It was clearly time for a change.
The one thing that I did do correctly immediately after the breakup was to respect his decision. I calmly told him that I didn't want the breakup, but that I knew he had every right to leave if that was what he wanted. I did not beg, I did not guilt, I did not do anything that impinged upon his right to leave a relationship he no longer wanted. I dealt with my emotional pain in private, because it wasn't appropriate to try to burden him with that. This reaction was partly out of pride, but as I learned more I was thankful that I handled things this way. It gave me the right foundation for the larger change.
We had a few talks after the breakup, and I told him all that I'd realized about how I had treated him. I apologized and said I'd be working on myself with the end goal of appreciating and respecting my man, and hoped it would be him.
After months of silence, we recently got back together. I'm so relieved that I have been given another chance with my guy. He told me that his decision to leave was 50% genuine unhappiness, and 50% not realizing that we had a special connection. While we were apart, the last piece became really apparent to him, and the first piece was something he knew would be helped if I was successful in the changes I talked about, so he felt it was probably worth giving it another shot. Plus he never stopped loving me, nor I him. We'd both moved on from the former relationship, but not one another, if that makes sense.
I'd done a great deal of research and work on myself in the interim. I had never learned how to be feminine in a relationship, so I taught myself how. In addition to RPW, I've got a male relative in my life who is a prime example of the concepts. He used to be with a nagging shrew, and he was miserable while with her. Now he's with someone who loves him, always gives him the benefit of the doubt, and does not question him. I've never seen him so happy, and he treasures the hell out of her. Clearly, there was something to be learned from that.
Since my boyfriend and I reconciled, I've been working hard to put my RPW lessons into our everyday life. We may be in another honeymoon period, but I know that at least part of how great everything is right now is due to the change in me.
I appreciate him, I let him make decisions and I do not question them, I don't try to solve his problems for him, I don't try to be his mother or his therapist, and I have stepped back and relaxed into the relationship. I let him be the masculine energy with me as the feminine energy. I trust him and let him protect and guide me. I don't tell him what to do and how to do it, instead only talking about my feelings about a topic when it's relevant and necessary. As a result, I'm in a hell of a lot better mood pretty consistently, so that also provides a feedback loop into doing all those things that matter.
We're just a month or so into our new relationship, so this hasn't become second nature to me yet, but I am bound and determined to keep it up and let this way of relating become part of me. I'm thrilled with myself when I get it right. For example, this morning, I saw that he'd accidentally left the front porch light on all night. The old me would have immediately pointed that "mistake" out to him. The new me flipped the light off, reminded herself that being in love and having a happy relationship was so much more important than a stupid light, and went back to snuggling and drinking coffee with him. He doesn't even know that he left the light on, because who cares?! Not me.
Also, he's seen solid evidence of how hard I've worked. Last weekend, we faced a situation that historically makes me anxious and stressed out. I noticed it when I started feeling overwhelmed, made sure I did not say a single word while I felt that way, and proceeded to internally handle my shit to avoid slipping into my old (stupid and pointless) pattern. My boyfriend is very intuitive and in tune with me, so he'd unfortunately noticed that I got quiet during this process, and afterward he told me he was fighting off the urge to flee because he expected me to act how I used to act. But I didn't! I recognized my pattern on my own, stopped it before it started, and powered through. After about a minute of being quiet, I went right back to being happy, feminine, and grateful that I had the opportunity to spend time with my man.
Because he'd noticed the change in me with that specific situation and wanted to talk with me about it, I told him I'd really been working hard to make sure that I enjoy my life and our relationship and that I'm always respectful and loving toward him. I shared that I actually felt a little shaky, vulnerable, and uncertain in the aftermath of shaking myself out of my old pattern. That reaction made me even more sure that my old habits were an anxious defense mechanism against true intimacy, and that I was left feeling unsure and vulnerable because I was opening up in ways I hadn't let myself open up before.
And, sex: yes, please. We've always had a bit of an insane chemical attraction, so we've always fucked like rabbits. We still do that, but we've added in some dominance/submission and it's made it even hotter. We both thrive when he's in charge. It's my job to please him, and, in turn, he makes sure that I'm well taken care of. It's a mini-version of the larger relationship dynamic and we're both very pleased with it.
In summary, I am grateful that I got the chance to make things right, and I am proud that I'm doing it. The difference in how we relate to one another is nothing short of amazing. He wants to be close to me, he wants to buy me little tokens of appreciation, he wants to take me on trips, he wants to be the man in the relationship, and I have figured out how to stay feminine so that he can be the man. As a result, I see evidence that he is a man in charge who knows what he's doing. And he sees the new me as all of the good stuff that he has always loved about me and very little about the bad stuff that made him want to leave me.
He still has some times where he's still uncertain whether this new me is here to stay, but he does see that every time I have risen to the occasion. I may slip up here or there, but I don't want that and as soon as I notice it, I will resolve it. I know it will simply take time for this to become habit to me and for him to understand the change is here to stay.
We're both ridiculously happy people now. It feels SO good to come home and relax and know that I don't have to worry about decisions and that I don't have to be in control. I just revert to being happy, feminine, sweet me. It's a huge relief to not feel like the world is on my shoulders.
It all seems so simple and so obvious in retrospect. Thanks to my research (including this subreddit), my humbling look at how awful I had treated the person I loved more than anything, and my commitment to do the hard work of real personal change, I'm getting the relationship that I have always wanted.
To anyone taking a good hard look at themselves and realizing they're on the way to killing the love in their relationship like I once did, do the hard work to change yourself. The end result is a beautiful thing.
TL;DR RPW = Kunu