How to Get Over an Abusive Girlfriend or Wife: Break the Routines

She’s finally out of your life. The last of her things have been removed from your home, and she’s gone. You have a tremendous sense of emptiness, and a tremendous sense of relief. And, let’s face it, you feel pretty guilty about feeling the relief.

What do you do next? The house is finally quiet. She’s not there to scream at you. She’s not there to dictate what you eat, what you watch on TV, what music you listen to, what you wear, how long you’re in the bathroom, what brand of soap to use, how long to wash your hands, how to fold the towels, or the sheets, what time you go to bed, or what time you get up, when and how you talk to her, and what time you’re allowed to come home from work.  What do you do?!

Your ex may not have been this controlling.  Mine was. And when she was finally gone, the silence was deafening.

As I’ve written about before, her controlling nature and gaslighting eventually caused me severe cognitive difficulties. I was simply unable to function. One day, I even made it halfway to work, and noticed I was still wearing my pajamas.  I had to stop at Target and buy clothes on my way in.  Even now, two years out, I still have memory lapses, difficulty remembering names or other simple things.  But that’s something for another post.

What do you do when she’s gone? Break the routines.  Stop doing everything her way. Stop. You didn’t do things that way before she came into your life and you managed pretty well, didn’t you?  Remember? Every habit of hers you’ve taken on, even if it is something as simple as folding the towels a certain way to appease her, needs to stop.

This will take effort.

One thing my ex insisted on was that we enter and exit the apartment via the back door. The front door was not to be used under any circumstances. To this day, I have no idea why. After she left, I noticed that I was still using the back door. I forced myself to stop. Even if I’d already entered or exited via the back door, I made myself turn around, go back, and use the front door. It took a while, but I got it.

Now is your chance to do all those things you were forbidden to do. Watch gory movies! Turn the music up loud! Leave the dishes until the following day! Cook what you want for dinner. Stay up as late as you want. Rediscover the things you used to enjoy doing.

Did she make you sit through endless hours of Sex and the City or Grey’s Anatomy? Put in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, or The Godfather. Go buy that thing she wouldn’t let you own.

When you’re ready to take the next step, there are a few things I would suggest:

  1. Get a new bed: Seriously, I cannot even begin to emphasize how much this helps psychologically. There’s too much history wrapped up in the old bed. Get rid of it. Start fresh. I promise, you will sleep better.
  2. Change the locks: This should be a no-brainer. You don’t know if she’s surreptitiously made copies of keys, or taken hers with her. Take charge of the security of your surroundings. She does NOT need access to the home anymore. You don’t need to come home and find her there or your personal possessions missing.
  3. Return her mail: Chances are that she probably has not filed a change-of-address form with the post office. You will get mail for her, which she can then blame you for not forwarding. DO NOT FORWARD HER MAIL TO HER. YOU ARE NOT HER POST OFFICE. There are trained professionals who do that. They are called mail carriers. There is something deeply satisfying about marking her mail “no longer lives here, return to sender” and dropping it in the mailbox. Not your fault if she doesn’t get her latest credit card, W-2 or other important document on time. She should have filed with the post office.
  4. Change your phone number: If you have children, this, unfortunately, probably isn’t good advice. But, if you don’t, there’s no reason she needs to know how to get a hold of you anymore.
  5. Change your e-mail address: See above. Coupled with the fact that she, in all honesty, has probably hacked into your e-mail, looking for something to use against you. My ex gained access to my e-mail and I felt extremely violated. In fact, I stopped answering (or even checking) my e-mail for months afterward.  Eventually, upon settling on a new e-mail address, I’ve gotten better about this. Again, if you have kids (which, really is the only reason to maintain contact that I can think of, this may not be an option).
  6. Move: Eventually, the memories of being with her in my old apartment became too much. I was in constant fear that I would find her there waiting for me. Additionally, there wasn’t a room in the apartment that didn’t have “psychic residue” of too many fights lingering in the air. I relocated to another town entirely and live in a place that has no shared history with her. I am happier and feel safer than I ever did in the old place.  She and I lived together for 7 months, but that was enough to completely obliterate the “good” memories I’d had in the two years in that apartment prior to her being there. Start over. Start fresh.

If you are the one leaving, rather than her, you can still do pretty much all of these things. If there aren’t kids involved, again, I can’t think of any good or logical reason for her to know your whereabouts. Just make sure you fill out the change-of-address card with the post office. You don’t need her reading your mail.

Finally, and this is particularly hard – I KNOW – be prepared to sacrifice mutual friends. I know that some of them are good people. I know that some of them are close friends. But if they weren’t your friends before the relationship, they may not be your friends after the relationship.

Chances are, you’ve been smeared to them for quite some time and they will probably have a warped view of you. Even if that’s not the case, you don’t need to accidentally run into her, via them, or have them inadvertently let her know where you are. Letting go of some of these friends will hurt. But, I promise you, the security and peace of mind you have with her out of your life, and not knowing where you are, will more than make up for it. While I’m at it, there is absolutely NO reason to maintain contact with her family, unless, again, there are kids involved.

Break the routines she instilled in you.

Build new ones, and better ones; ones that are your own.

It’s your life, again. You have it back.

Shrink4Men Coaching and Consulting Services:

Dr Tara J. Palmatier provides confidential, fee-for-service, consultation/coaching services to help both men and women work through their relationship issues via telephone and/or Skype chat. Her practice combines practical advice, support, reality testing and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Shrink4Men Services page for professional inquiries.

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  1. Mellaril says

    We never lived together and she moved across the country so that part was easy.

    I took a cruise and bought a new (in 1987) 300ZX Turbo. She saw it and asked, “What’s this?”

    “The downpayment on what would have been our house.”

    I felt better.

  2. dietrich says

    The bed was an idea I never thought of! The others are important for safety reasons, if nothing else.

    Fortunately, no kids are involved in my situation (ex-gf, BPD). Although I will miss communicating with some of her family members, we had NO mutual friends whatsoever. Matter of fact, I couldn’t stand most of her friends. They were all guys, and she manipulated them in order to create feelings of jealousy and insecurity on my part. It worked most of the time. I’m sure she smeared me fairly well and I didn’t always maintain my composure around them later in the relationship – which only gave her “nuggets” to use against me.

    Perhaps this is another topic, but I think women who have 0 female friends and 20 male ‘friends’ that they hang out with on a regular basis should be a HUGE red flag for any healthy guy to be aware of.

    • says

      My ex has weird friends, too. She was involved in an organization deemed by experts to be a cult and still has at least one friend from that experience. As a compulsive athlete, she would go on and on about other guys and their bodies, legs, muscles, etc.

      She even has a friend who I suspect might have HPD given her histrionic behaviors and episodes of accusing her husband of spending tens of thousands of dollars per year on prostitutes. I used to believe those stories, now I suspect they were lies just like my ex has used.

      I’m in agreement with you about the lack of mutual friends, but we did have a handful. She executed years of distortions against me and got some of those few to side with her, too. Some have been willing to engage in harassment, too, breaking rules and laws to help her out and terrorize me.

      I suspect that at least one of them was a guy involved in an affair with her, but can’t prove it. There is plenty of incriminating data that suggests she had many affairs over the years, much of it I did not discover until after she filed for divorce. Meantime, she was falsely accusing me of having affairs — she’s a big fan of using projection to hide her own disgusting behaviors.

      The guy friends of Borderlines, Narcissists, or similar abusive women can be very dangerous people in my experience. It’s like they are willing to believe all the lies and help execute attacks to get something — attention, sexual favors, whatever — from her.

      I remember reading about a woman in Pennsylvania named Wendy Flanders and her boyfriend who actually went so far as to try to frame her ex-boyfriend Ben Vonderheide (a father of one of her children) for a restraining order violation in a courthouse. If it wasn’t for him understanding how dishonest they were and systematically recording everything (even in the courthouse where it is illegal) he would probably have ended up being prosecuted for their allegations. But as it is, even though Flanders and her boyfriend were convicted of filing false police reports, they continue to do a huge amount of damage to their victim. It turns out from what Vonderheide found out that she has engaged in similar terrorism against other other ex-boyfriends, too, even using false child sexual abuse allegations against one of them to keep him from seeing their daughter.

      • dietrich says

        I was lucky that none of my ex’s male friends were ‘negative advocates’ – at least not in the direct sense. I never had open conflicts with them. However, I know they probably believed everything she told them about me, etc. Oh well, water under the bridge!

    • Cousin Dave says

      Dietrich, I know the kind of thing you’re talking about — a woman who has guys hanging all over her wherever she goes. But in general, I’m not sure there is any correlation between Cluster B and the sex of their friends. I know plenty of perfectly normal women who prefer the company of male friends; there’s a bunch of them in the engineering field. In contrast, my BPD ex had mostly female friends. I came to realize that she chose them mainly on the basis of their being willing to support her and help her cover up her affairs and indiscretions. She had a friend whom I’ll call “R”. They were pretty close for several years. Then one day she wasn’t friends with R any more. I asked her why not and she didn’t have any explanation. Found out later that the real reason was that she asked R to lie for her and tell everyone that R had gone to lunch with her on a particular day. What the ex had actually done that day was sneak off somewhere with a (married) co-worker for a nooner; they had been seen by a mutual acquaintance and she wanted R to help her cover it up. R refused to lie for her. End of friendship.

      • dietrich says

        Yes, I didn’t mean to imply a correlation. And I can definitely see how ‘chosen friends’ are based on their capacity to be manipulated, used as objects for support, covering up affairs, etc.

        While I think it’s “normal” for women to have lots of male friends, I think it becomes abnormal when they shun females entirely. It’s like a queen bee thing where they want to be the center of attention with their guy friends and not have to compete with other females. Throw a boyfriend in the mix and you have all kinds of wierd triangles going on.

        My ex has said that she doesn’t like other women as friends “because they are catty” and she “can’t trust them”. She is not a super-model and is quite average in appearance, so I’m confident that most of her male friends probably didn’t have sexual motivations towards her.

        Perhaps my ex simply saw these men as being easier to control? Although this is not entirely related to the abusive behaviors of Cluster Bs, I would be interested in hearing Dr. Tara’s thoughts on this…

        • Cousin Dave says

          That could be, if the social norm of men being more deferential to women still holds. It’s not too hard for a woman to take on the ingenue role and have a lot of men doing things for her. My ex was actually pretty good at playing that role herself.

  3. says

    I’ve experienced the email hacking and violations of privacy, too. But it wasn’t my ex who did it, it was the guy with whom she had an affair that started while she was a few months pregnant with our oldest child. She reportedly contracted an STD from this guy, putting our baby and me at risk, and hid it. She kept stringing him along for years, all the while hiding her affair.

    Years later, after she filed for divorce, she got this guy to help her with divorce paperwork, spreading false child molestation allegations against me, and more. He’s an abusive person himself, leaning more towards NPD than anything else from what I can gather. He kept going on with the affair with my ex even while he was married. Eventually his wife found out and contacted me after they had divorced because she was alarmed by the things she had been seeing about me and suspected that her ex and mine were conspiring to destroy me, which is fact they were.

    He found out about it, then hacked into her email account and even tried to impersonate her to disrupt the communications.

    Abusers team up with other abusers. It is the nature of how these people work. This might also explain in part why courts (filled with abusive judges and lawyers) side with abusers, too. They know if they do their jobs right by siding with abusers, the family will provide a decade or more income for them and their associates.

  4. Nick55 says

    Another great article, Kev. Like others, I didn’t think about the bed.

    When I broke up with my BPD girlfriend, I stayed up late and purged the house of everything she gave me. I deleted her number from my phone and all of the E-mail messages. I threw away every present, card and scrap of paper that was connected with her. I even blacked out her name in the phone book so I would not be tempted to call her.

    It was a difficult and time consuming task.

    I recently found something that I had missed. My response was something like, “damn, I thought I got rid of that months ago”.

    Keep up the good work.

  5. never again says

    Good advice. I notice the little things – like how quiet it is if I decide I’d like to smoke a good cigar once in a while. How I don’t have to sit down to pee any more. How I can keep beer/wine/liquor in the house for more than a week without having to go buy more. How I actually have money in the bank occasionally.

    The bed – that brings back memories. I always got up before her to go to work, so I never had to make the bed. Exactly twice in our relationship, I stayed home to work, and got up after her. When I got up, I made the bed, just the way she did – I thought!

    On both occasions, when she got home, she went on a rant – “YOU DIDN’T MAKE THE BED!!”. Excuse me? Of course I made the bed. Nope. I asked her “Are you saying I didn’t make the bed “right”?” Nope. I didn’t make it, period. Because it wasn’t made exactly the way she wanted it done, in her mind, it wasn’t done at all. ??????? How does one deal with that kind of mindset?

    • SweetJones says

      Mine would leave her own clothes scattered all over her bedroom (we didn’t regularly share a bed for the last ten years of our marriage, though I had my clothes in there), but if I so much as left one t-shirt on the floor, she would go ballistic. A couple of times I would stack all the clothes she left scattered around next to my lonely shirt, or maybe shirt or two, and she would snarl “That’s different. I am not expecting you to pick my clothes up.”

  6. Wayne says

    Spring cleaning was a nightmare. She would demand we would do each room, one at a time, then close the door of each room as they were done…to ensure the other rooms not done yet did not “contaminate” what we had completed.

    It was nuts. There were other things, too. And, I went along with them, damn it.

    Pardon me, why I go throw a few potato chips and peanuts around the living room floor.

  7. says

    The abuser is not always the one to leave the home. For some, that first paragraph:

    She’s finally out of your life. The last of her things have been removed from your home, and she’s gone. You have a tremendous sense of emptiness, and a tremendous sense of relief. And, let’s face it, you feel pretty guilty about feeling the relief.

    might be more accurately written:

    She’s finally out of your life for a few moments. She’s taken everything from your home, including your children and your financial and personal records, or has taken your home and everything from you via a TRO kick-out order banning you from speaking with or seeing your kids obtained with her boundless lies and zero evidence. You have a tremendous sense of fear about what will happen to your children and you, combined with a tremendous sense of relief that you don’t have to listen to her daily emotional and verbal abuse any more. And, let’s face it, you feel pretty guilty about feeling the relief. Now if you can only find someplace to be safe from her next attack…

  8. manofhonour says

    Great one Kev. It does help to think of things to do post the relationship…Coincidentally I was thinking about (1) this morning while making the bed. I thought about (6) since the beginning of the year, but haven’t got around to do it yet…mmmh!

    For those Guys who are still involved with high conflicts but have no kids, PLEASE REALISE HOW LUCKY YOU REALLY ARE RIGHT NOW. I know I cant wish away my kids but how I wish I didn’t have my kids with her…

    • says

      “I know I cant wish away my kids but how I wish I didn’t have my kids with her…” I have heard my husband say this same thing to me about his ex. We are counting down the days to them turning 18 and they are old enough to make their own decisions. It’s not so much that he is wishing his children (or their childhood) away, but anticipating life without her manipulation (because when children are involved, that cord cannot be cut) or dreaming of what it would have been like without her ever in it again.

  9. says

    Changing the bed is a great idea; however, may I suggest you take it a step farther? Change the entire room. When my husband and his ex split, he totally repainted the room in colors he loved (and she would no doubt dislike), got a new bed (beautiful, comfy King size) and re-arranged the room. He felt satisfaction that, for a change, he could put out things that were precious to him and it didn’t matter if they matched the decor. Re-arranging, painting and replacing the bed were actually very therapeutic for him.

  10. SFsix says

    Kev is so right.

    I might hope to add: watch out for not-really-friends.

    Just announce you’re down or needy, having those aforementioned ‘severe cognitive difficulties’ from the end of your EX’s ‘crazy-making’ behavior… and you’ll watch most all of those you hoped you could depend on… evaporate.

    Those friends are either afflicted themselves, or part of a High-Conflict Personality (HCP) social circle [see the previous two blog entries] which is also pretty much an affliction. We here are trusting types; most are not. The _usual_ reason they do not trust? They cannot be trusted under duress or they don’t understand/trust themselves. The key word: integrity.

    Furthermore, even true friends won’t believe you – that such people exist as to enjoy watching others close to them fall and fail. And do not doubt that going through any/all of the above steps makes it appear as if you are truly 110% paranoid. True friends will still be supportive.

    Figure out how you can possibly, somehow, go No Contact. None. Zero. Even with friends who knew/know EX. You cannot fix what you didn’t break. You cannot wait for a fix for something broken. If you offer to get professional help for them to fix themselves, and they only break further… RUN.

    People who want help seek help. Like you. Right now. Not your EX.

  11. Joe says

    I had been doing well with the “no contact”, ignoring a dozen or so text messages over the course of a month and a half or so, but she managed to hit a right button insisting that she “must not have meant much to me”.

    It’s been a tough month and change, some days a struggle just to get out of the bed, yet here I was being accused of being the one who “didn’t care” about her. This was coming from a person who I could never do anything right for, said “I deserve better than you”, and was the most emotionally detached person I’ve ever been with. In fact, what prompted the “accusation” was because after a month of feeling crappy, I put up an online profile to try and meet new people. She had had one up 3 days after we had broken up, but as I wasn’t supposed to be aware of that, she ignored the hypocrisy and made it like she just never meant much to me.

    I foolishly called her, as I felt really insulted knowing what I had been through, and initially she lied about her own profile. First it “wasn’t hers”, then finally when she admitted to it, I “wasn’t supposed to know about it anyway”. It was apparently to both keep tabs on me, and be able to keep an eye out for new guys.

    As we were talking, I tried to get ANY answers, but she just fed me garbage about insignificant offenses. She was emotionless and seemingly indifferent/distracted, and seeing it was going no where, that I was going to get no answers, I ended the call and then blocked her number. The next day, I get 2 more text messages sent to my email (phone no longer being an option) saying how bad she wanted to talk and thought we’d get the chance, that she’ll be there when I’m ready to talk, and so on.

    I just honestly don’t get it. When we’re together, I just dont seem to matter to her, everything about me is wrong, and she cant be bothered. In the next, all these attempts to maintain contact, but on such a shallow level and without any honesty. What do these women want?

    • never again says

      It’s just part of the game, Joe. They have to win. You left on your own – that’s a loss. If she threw you out, it’s a win. But she’d never throw you out, because you’re like a ball of yarn to a cat.

      Mine pulled the same with me. “How could you turn your back on everything we have?” My simple response, “You turned your back on ME – literally and figuratively.”

      After I left her, I wanted to start meeting people, too, so I got onto a dating site. I ended up going on 3 first dates, and quickly figured out that I just wasn’t ready yet, that I had a lot of healing to do. I might try again in the New Year, but I’m still pretty gun-shy. I do have a really good on-line friend who I met (not on a dating site) and who gets what I’ve been through. We’ll never have a relationship (another country), but we do have a great friendship.

      Oddly enough, my NPD ended up on the same dating site (not a coincidence, I assure you). And the profile picture she used was a beautiful picture that I had taken – again, not a coincidence (when I met her on-line, she refused to have a profile picture). And within 4 months of me leaving, she’s dating a guy steadily. This is after 3.5 years of outright emotional and physical rejection of me, and her being so “devastated” by my leaving. Just another subterfuge.

      I went no contact then, for a lot of reasons. Hopefully the new guy figures her out before I did, but honestly, she’s his problem now, not mine.

      • Cousin Dave says

        Yes, it’s important to them not only that they win, but that you lose. Putting other people down is what really rocks a Cluster B’s world.

        never again, I know what you mean about those first dates — you go out, and she may be nice enough, but you can’t help but think that you’re falling into the trap again, and what else you could be doing with your time and money. I think you’re doing a good thing with your on-line friend. I have a theory that men who fall for Cluster B women have a tendency to put women on a pedestal. I had this tendency due to my upbringing, and my BPD ex definitely played on that. After my divorce I had a bad attitude towards women in general; I regarded them as callous demigods who just enjoyed playing with men.

        I went through a divorce class at a local Catholic church. I’m not Catholic but it was an all-faiths class and they accepted everyone. Most of the participants besides me were women. And as they told the stories of their failed marriages, I began to see them not as goddesses but as normal human beings, with normal human desires, frailties, and problems. It was very enlightening to me to hear nice, normal women talking about their hurts, and admitting to their own failings when it was called for. It helped me take women off the pedestal, and it helped me realize that most women aren’t Cluster B’s. And by becoming friends with these women, I learned some things about how normal women behave and how to watch for Cluster B traits in a woman. For guys like us, I think it helps a lot to have some female friends who are close in a non-romantic context.

        • dietrich says

          Totally agree Cuz Dave.

          The problem I have is sacrificing the hard-earned confidence and self-esteem I fought to retain, only to submit to her final verbal/text assaults so she would feel a sense of ‘victory’ and leave me the F alone once and for all.

          If the BPD feels they left the relationship on their own terms, then they feel better and move on to another victim quickly.

          Letting them ‘win’ stings, but its a temporary setback in the war for sanity. And worth it, as I’m sure others would probably agree.


        • never again says

          Dave, your post got me thinking about a few things, particularly about how I can’t hold all women accountable for the actions of one. And part of learning that I owe to my on-line friend. So, today I sent her this e-mail:

          I’ve spent a few months now feeling sorry for myself about what happened, but today I finally realized what a lucky guy I really am.

          Your post about joining {deleted for privacy} did it, along with your e-mail, just to touch base. That someone as cool as you thinks I’m cool, too. And cares enough to let me know I matter, to accept me for the goofy mistakes I make sometimes, and treats me like a human being.

          And I’m lucky for friends like Neil, Trudy, Bonnie and Beth, who not only stood by me, but carried me when I needed it, and sometimes gave me a shoulder to cry on. And my old room-mates, who I met after I left, and who have become good friends. I’m going to see a movie with them tonight.

          And my job, which not only gave me the financial wherewithal to get into the mess I did with my ex, but gave me the confidence, strength, and income to drag myself out of it.

          When I first got married, I used to drive to work every day with a silly grin on my face, thinking about how I was the luckiest guy in the world. After the “change” happened, that grin went away for a long time. I’m starting to see traces of it in the mirror again.

          Thank you for being you. Thank you for being my friend.

    • manofhonour says

      Like Never Again put it, it’s just part of the game – IT IS VERY MUCH part of the game. My Ex said that so many times until she gave up when she saw that it wasn’t pushing my buttons (I refused to give any “Nuggets”…wait until you get this one: “how could you do this to the kids”

      What they actually mean by that statement is: Give me another of those “nuggets” PLEEEEASE! If you pay close attention to it all you’ll later realise that ANY reaction or response from you is in fact, the “NUGGET” she’s looking for – no matter how sincere you meant or how important you may think it necessary to show her that you really cared for her. That’s one of the main reasons why you have to go No Contact on them.

    • chester says

      Hey Joe,

      What is really going on-is she just hit a rough patch and wasn’t feeling good. What she wanted from you was a “feeding” Just wanted to know you would take her back and that you are hurting. It’s sick…but really it’s that simple. If you expressed these things, she would go into a whole littany of where you fall short and don’t “meet her needs”. Whamo! You’ve been “whack-a-moled”!
      She goes on her merry way and you feel like shit! The proverbial scab has been pulled off the wound.

      • Joe says

        That’s basically what seemed to happen.

        The second I actually talked with her, it was just excuses and putting me down in favor of her ex/father of her kids. Is that a BPD thing, the almost obsession with their ex where at first they’re the worst guy in the world, and then you can “never live up to them”?

        Do they actually believe what they’re saying, or is it just being combative? She gave me a litany of reasons that made it clear he didnt give a damn about his own kids, then when it was clear to her that I would take them on as if they were mine, suddenly I was “trying to take children away from a man who loved his kids” or something. She would go out of her way to do for him (and let me know about it), only to accuse me of jealousy when it started bothering me/not making sense.

        It’s like she went out of her way to make me feel “less than” a guy she painted as a dirtbag, with nothing I did “counting”/”measuring up”. Worse is that she felt she had to do nothing for me because I didnt “make her feel her needs were being met” no matter what I did, but the more nasty stuff her ex pulled, the nicer she was to him.

        Sorry to vent, it’s just frustrating that they’re either THAT dishonest or flat out oblivious to reality, and yet somehow you’re still the bad guy.

  12. ron7127 says

    Really good advice, Kev.One thing I did differently(we have kids) was to stay close to her family. Thye supported me and encouraged me to get out. Thye gave me lots of info on how she had done this type of stuff(cheating and overspending, primarily) in the past, before I was on the scene.

    In addition to liking her family, on some level, I knew that by maintaining contact and continuing to socialize with them, I could dispel some of the smear campaign. See, folks, including her affair partner, that had and were hearing all these bad things about me were wondering why my kids and her family liked me so much if I was such a monster.

    • marie says


      I am glad that you were able to safely stay close to her family but generally speaking, I don’t think that is good advice – even when kids are involved. The old saying, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” applies in most of these families. Being civil for the sake of the kids is of course a must but staying close to her family could easily backfire. Information you share in innocence with her family could be shared with her, thus loading her guns for battle. I am glad it worked for you but I think the risk for most men would outweigh any possible benefit.

      • ron7127 says

        I agree, In general, from talking to other guys, it is very unusual for their families to support you. I was lucky. They had had enough of her. And, I agree, something in that family is awry. They let her run roughshod over them for years. No one ever caled her on her shit.

  13. Nick55 says

    “They have to win. You left on your own – that’s a loss. If she threw you out, it’s a win. But she’d never throw you out, because you’re like a ball of yarn to a cat.”

    Somebody ought to get a Pulitzer for that!

    • never again says

      Nick I really think they have to win, as much as they have to be right.

      Brings to mind a couple years ago. After my ex’s summer riding competitions were over, we hit a Fall Fair for the kids to have some fun. Since they were riding our Champion pony, and one of my ex’s good friends was judging, she figured the kids were a shoo-in for a bunch of ribbons. Well, the kids rode in one class, then decided they’d had enough. But, but, but, she’d paid for 8 classes (at just $5 a class).

      So, since there’s really no rule against it, my ex, the semi-professional, 30+ years experience rider, decides she’s going to ride. And, of course, she cleans up. Riding against 10 year old novices. She didn’t even exercise the (accepted and expected, in cases like this) option of simply riding “au concourse”, meaning, without being judged, so no ribbon, but you get the experience.

      I’ve never been so embarassed in my life…

      • Nick55 says

        never again, I just wanted to thank you, as well as the other people who have commented on this site, for sharing your experiences.

        It’s been over a year since I broke up with my BPD girlfriend. I have maintained no-contact with surgical precision.

        However, I have well-meaning friends and acquaintances that think that I should confront her. They can’t understand why I am avoiding her like the plague.

        None of them understands BPD in the least. Even my best friend, who saw the entire relationship from start to finish, has a hard time believing me. She seems so “normal” to them. So they believe that there is some unresolved issue, i.e., that I am still carrying a torch for her or that I haven’t forgiven her.

        There are times, weak moments actually, when I start to agree with them. That is when I come back to this site to read.

        Your comments about winning were just what I needed that day to strengthen my resolve and continue.

        Thanks again.

  14. david says

    First, I would like to say how it’s a pleasure to have you here on the site. I started visiting here back 3 months ago and found the information Dr. Tara was providing to be a defining factor in helping me through some rough times. This is my first post (a little frightened to post). The following article is helpful. I’m going on 9 months of “no contact” and a couple of months without any “incidents”. I just recently changed my phone number (along with many changes in my routine and life). It helps tremendously…gives you peace of mind, time to regain yourself and strength. Moving may be coming soon.
    And the “mutual friends” aspect is a HARD thing for most….but remember…if they are in your life…SHE is in your life.

  15. Nick55 says

    I don’t know whether this is a trait for some people or it is related to BPD, but I always thought this was damned strange.

    When my ex-girlfriend slept, she was ABSOLUTELY motionless. For the lack of a better description, she looked like a sleeping Barbie doll; flat on her back, legs together and arms tightly at her sides.

    I have a hard time sleeping in unfamiliar places so I woke up several times during the night. I looked over at her and she would be sound asleep and totally motionless. I had to watch her breathe to make sure she wasn’t dead.

    It’s been my experience that most people move around a little at night: roll over, flip the pillow over, move their arms and legs, etc.

    Anybody else notice anything like this?

    • Joe says

      Mine was all over the bed, so not in my situation.

      The “sleep issue” mine had was that she was “unable” to wake up on her own “since she had kids”. Her mother (who lives in an attached house to hers) has to wake her up every morning by sitting her up in the bed and making sure she’s awake, or else “she cant wake up”.

      I got my beans broken about that one on several occasions, as I would always have to wake up extra early to wake her up, but she’d keep going back to sleep after. Somehow this was “my fault” for not waking her up enough. If she was awake with eyes open and having a convo, and I left to get her a coffee, she’d go back to bed and blame me for “not waking her up” saying “You should apologize for letting me down”.

      • Simon says

        Hello Joe

        You are going through the early stages of confusion and bewilderment. The guys are right when they tell you about ‘The Game’ SHE MUST WIN at all costs, sounds to me like you are the winner as you are getting away. Do not fall for the probing, testing, ridiculous and down right outrageous things she will say on a text or e-mail etc. Do not believe that somewhere in there is the good person you once met…there is nothing but emptiness and evil, its all a game to them.
        I always found this hard to believe but trust me its true, they never change, keep going with your no contact, and smile to yourself knowing that not only are you going to go on and have a great life, but she will replay this misery over and over again, until she is left with just herself (poor cow)

        Keep up the good work Joe!

        • manofhonour says

          “until she is left with just herself (poor cow)”…and perhaps her spooks too! Very true that, Simon.

          Joe, by no contact you are doing the best thing you’ll ever thank yourself for – I am still marvelling at the “special effects” of No Contact!

  16. Bogeyman says

    I have been with my NPD for 15 years and over the years the emotional abuse started growing casually. She is a total spendaholic and literally ruined us although I am starting to save some money now personally, but her finances are totally out of whack. She is runs on approx. $2300.00/month Overdraft at her Bank and has about $12,000.00 – $13,000.00 in Credit Card debt plus her own car payments and she is also paying for her son’s car.

    The real problems started about 7 years ago when we were living in a townhouse in another small town. At that time, I would say she was a little bit on the “Wild Side” and at that time, I explained to her that I didn’t like it but to no avail. In that time, she kicked me out of the house a total of 3 times (Since the house was under her name only), but did the total “Boomerang” thing. The reason she kicked me out because I would say something to her kids when they would do something wrong and she would totally “Freak-Out”. She gave those 2 boys no boundaries at all.

    At the third time I was kicked out, I found out that she started seeing some guy who was a Security Guard and ended pretty quickly because he was prone to violence (according to her). Soon after that, she came hunting me down and I ended up going back. In all that time, her older son kept bugging her that he wanted to move to another town which was more “Cool”. She asked me what she should do…I told her that it was her house and it’s her decision. Well, she decided to sell it and the move turned into 3 moves…it was a big mess because the house she found had a lot of problems (Sewage backup, moukd…) and she did not want to stay in there so immediately the house went on the Market and sold and we ended up renting for several months and we found the house we are in right now which up north even further with a huge mortgage because of all the moves. Anyways, to this day she is still blaming me for all the money “she lost” because of the moves and that I owe her $77,000.00 (Where she came up with this figure, I have no clue). To me, this sounds like one or bothe scenerios:

    1) She is trying to guilt me and trying to get me back into the “fold” (Because ever since I found, I have been sticking up for myself)

    2)She really knows it was her son that was pressuring her to make the move, but doesn’t want to blame him and would be easier to blame me (BTW: This is the same son that manipulated his mother into giving him $2,000.00 of his brother’s Bond money because he needed it for University. She gave him the money but he ended up going on a wild shopping spree with his girlfriend and his mother
    (My NPD) did nothing about this and he got away with it).

    Just the last night we got into another fight because she took a picture of me with her cellphone and I told her to put it on her Facebook and she said, “No” (She blocked about 4 months ago because she doesn’t want me to see what’s going on with her life). I asked what is she hiding and she said nothing. I know it’s just Facebook but she comes from a family that is just full of secrets.

    I feel that everything I mentioned above are just control tactics, does anybody else agree with me? I need some opinions here because I am trying to maintain my strength at having her trying to “break me” over this Real Estate issue above.

  17. ron7127 says

    Bogey, not trying to bash you. But you are not married to this nut and I am stunned you have not shed her fter all this crap. You need to figure out why you stick around for this.

    • Bogeyman says

      You’re absolutely right…the house is up for sale right now and after this I will be going my own…I am just sick and tired of all the crap, abuse and guilt-trips she lays on me whenever she gets pissed and it’s true…the older they get, the worse they get…

      • Bogeyman says

        Here’s a funny story I have to tell…last April she buys me a Portable Computer for my 50th Birthday. Well several weeks ago when all this nonsense was starting, I put a Password on it to get in, so she can’t get to my information but put on a “Guest” profile so she can still use it…well, doesn’t she totally freak out and starts yelling at the top of her lungs for me to burn in Hell. Then she takes the computer back and says it is now hers.

        A few weeks later, I then went out and bought my own computer and wouldn’t you know it, she freaks out again saying things like, “Are you that desperate to go on Facebook?” and on and on…

        • Simon says

          My god Mr Bogeyman…have you listened to yourself???? A relationship should be a wonderful thing not a war…yours sounds like everyday is similar to being in the trenches on the Western Front.

          Have a think my man….is this what you want your life to always be like?

          LEAVE HER (please!)


  18. junkyardsaint says

    I’ve done all these things and my life is way better than it ever was when we were together – yet my self esteem is shot and I feel wounded – I wake up in the morning feeling horribly alone and even though we were only together for a year and I had several years when I was alone it’s like it dredged up all the old hurts from previous relationships and family and I just plain hurt. Anyone know what I mean?

  19. souljourney says

    junkyardsaint, I can relate to what you say about being alone again. I finished a 18month relationship with a Cluster B about 5 months ago where previously I had been on and off alone for about 7 years after my divorce from my ex wife (who continues to drive me nuts regarding access to my kids). My sense is that God, the universe, your soul whatever you like to call it turns these people up in my life to give me an opportunity to transcend the pain of the likely abuse/neglect me experienced when younger. The aloneness is an opportunity to really accept yourself for who you are not who all the others in the past and finally yourself have tried to dictate to you. I have realised that it would seem that the world(relationships) reflect back to me the parts of me that I am not happy with. After all how could they push your buttons if you didnt have those buttons in the first place. Typically the abusive types draw those who unconciously believe they deserve to be abused and find being abused familiar. This aint something you can work out or resolve with your mind. I have taken to being a witness to the pain in my body and thinking that arises with respect to my recent ex,my ex wife, my childhood without judging it or trying to analyze it or fix it. I am just trying to accept and surrender to what is. That doesnt mean keeping myself in the firing line of abuse and definitely for me no contact has given me the space to sit with these feelings and move through them. We all are , just by virtue of being human, worthy of love and respect.

  20. s.e. rolf says

    The hardest part was definitely filling in the “voids” or empty time. I got extremely bored and ended up drinking beer in every dive bar I used to frequent as a kid…this got old quickly but served its purpose.

    Right now, I am enjoying the “alone” time which sounds like a cop out. I really am enjoying the time and am reconnecting with my family and friends I have not been able to hang out with during the past 4 years.

    NC is allowing me to see things how they were. Slowly but surely I am starting to see that it wasnt all me. It wasnt me that was having sex with a coworker (even though I got blamed for doing that all the time). It wasnt me that wasnt over my ex wife (even though she was the one that wasnt over her husband). I am so glad that I dont have to worry that my chiropractor or my doctor is female (even though her doctors are all male, even her gyno). I am so happy that I dont have to hide the fact that their are a few women around my workplace (even though she is an engineer and works with all males…even having sex with one of them regularly). I am so happy that I can now travel for my work again and not be accused of have sex in every city I go to.
    Its as though, the more NC is in place, the more I see how idiotic I was and how bad this relationship was. I do miss her but am quickly realizing that what we had was very bad. Her projection, her gas lighting, and the way she would blow up and start yelling (and then somehow blame me for starting it)and not remembering the vile trash she just spewed is finally a thing of the past.
    This was the first time ever in my life that I actually got hit, kicked, pushed into closets etc…
    Arguments in public were my biggest fear and the only thing I could do was walk away. She would not stop. She would actually like to fight in public. She knew how much I hated that.

    Thanks for your articles and all the help. I can see much clearly now and everyday is getting better and better…..

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