Does your Wife or Ex-Wife Have a Golden Uterus Complex? 15 Characteristics of the Golden Uterus

Are you frustrated with your wife or ex-wife’s attitude of “I AM THE MOTHER; YOU ARE IRRELEVANT” when it comes to raising your shared children? Does she have an over-inflated sense of self because she’s a mother? Does she believe the mere act of giving birth entitles her to special privileges and gives her absolute, unilateral power over you and the children? If so, your wife/ex-wife/mother of your children may be a golden uterus (GU) and suffer from golden uterus complex (GUC).

Golden uterus may seem like a snide term. It is. In some ways, the term is a backlash against a certain kind of woman/mother who believes she is the end-all-be-all just because she procreated, or rather, just because she procreated with you before anyone else had children with you.

You see, GUs only revere their own uteruses and motherhood. They’re dismissive of other mothers and their children; especially if they’re second or third wives. They take pride in the fact that they were the first wives; while ignoring the reality that they were such bad wives that their husbands divorced them.

Golden uteruses, despite the sense of superiority and entitlement they derive from the title “mother,” are typically lousy parents if not downright abusive parents. GUs are often the high-conflict, abusive personality-disordered parental alienators. They are the women who expect others, including their own children, to sacrifice everything at the altars they erect to themselves. Golden uteruses lay golden eggs (children) and milk their motherhood, the children and you for all you’re worth.

Here are some characteristics of the golden uterus mom:

1. GU and child are one and the same. The golden uterus child isn’t allowed to have his or her own feelings and opinions. If mommy is sad, then child must be sad. If mommy is mad, then child must be mad. If mommy hates daddy and his new wife; then child must hate daddy and his new wife. If mommy has been “wronged;” then child has been wronged.

The golden uterus believes that her best interests and the child’s best interests are synonymous. There is no “you” and “I.” The golden uterus and child are “we.” It’s a crippling symbiosis for the child in that the golden uterus feeds off of her own child to feel important, powerful and special.

2. GU and child are a two-fer. If you want to have your child in your life after you separate or divorce, the GU believes she’s a part of some twisted package deal. A golden uterus doesn’t understand (or refuses to acknowledge) that you can love  and have an independent relationship with the children without her in the middle of it. GUs will try to impose themselves into your individual relationships with the children and any new romantic relationships. However, if GU dates and remarries, it’s none of your damn business.

The GU is allowed to move on with her life. You’re expected to remain on ice, poised to mobilize whenever she demands something. When the GU child wants or needs something, you’re expected to drop everything to do the GU’s child’s bidding.

3. Disobedience is abuse to the golden uterus. If the children, father/husband/ex-husband doesn’t heed her demands, the GU perceives it as abuse. If you don’t parent the same way the GU parents (or mis-parents); you’re a bad parent. If you challenge the GU’s decisions, she’ll punish you by denying you access to the kids or taking you to court. “A GU believes that because she gave birth, she has exclusive rights to all decision-making related to said child, no matter what anyone else (including the courts or the father) say” (anonymous source).

This applies to the children, too. If they disobey mom or have the temerity to have their own feelings and opinions (you know, what childhood experts call healthy childhood development) that differ from the GU’s feelings and opinions, it’s an act of high treason. There are consequences for this. The children of GUs learn very early in life what side their bread is buttered. This is what makes PAS possible.

4. GU exceptionalism. Even though humans have been procreating since human history began, the GU believes her pregnancy and childbirth are the most special pregnancy and childbirth ever. Most women will tell you that their pregnancy and the birth of their child was one of the most special events in their lives. They don’t expect it to be the most special event in everyone else’s lives.

Furthermore, should you remarry and have children with your new wife, the GU believes that she and the child(ren) you share with her should take precedence over your current relationship and any new offspring. The GU believes she should always come first and, by association with her, the child you share.

For example, let’s say the child you share is an adult, but you’re still obligated to pay your ex, an adult, spousal support. You  remarry and have a child with a medical issue. The GU believes her spousal support should be your first priority instead of paying for the second child’s medical expenses. Twistedly enough, many family courts would support this pathological entitlement and adult dependency. As a retired judge-mediator recently told one of my clients during his divorce settlement: “You have two children. One is 16 and the other is 54 and you’re responsible for both of them because you choose to live in a patriarchal state.” This was a female judge, by the way.

5. Boundaries are for everyone else; boundaries don’t apply to the GU. No boundaries. Bupkis. You must respect the GU’s boundaries, but you’re not allowed to have any boundaries. If you have healthy boundaries, the GU will accuse you of being controlling, withholding, abusive, unresponsive and, naturally, a bad dad.

6. All other child caregivers are irrelevant. Fathers are walking ATMs. A father’s role is to financially and emotionally support the mother (i.e., be her emotional punching bag/doormat and listen to her complain about how hard it is to be a mother). That’s it. Fathers get no real input into how the children are raised.

Step-mothers are less than non-entities. They are to act as servants to the children during visitation and are less than handmaidens to the golden uterus. Step-mothers/girlfriends are intruders and are treated as such. Extended paternal family members are to act as a subservient support system to the GU, that is, if she allows them to have any access to the kids. Extended paternal family members are also expected to side with the GU over their own flesh and blood and to dispense cash for the GU’s children’s “needs.”

7. Once you have sex with a GU, she owns you for life. The golden uterus believes that if she gave birth to your children, you are “connected for life.” She should always come first (even if you’ve both remarried) and YOU OWE HER until death you do part.

This also applies to the children. GUs wield guilt over their children with staggering virtuosity. “I am your mother. I carried you for 9 months. No one will ever love you like I do. No one will ever break our bond. No one will ever come between us. I CARRIED you in my WOMB for NINE months. YOU can NEVER do that for me.

When the children become adults, the GU still believes she should come first in her adult children’s lives and take precedence over their spouses and children. A GU’s children owe her because she is their mother. This is just so sick and twisted. Unlike an ex-husband who can break free of this death grip; many GU kids are indoctrinated into the GU’s warped belief system and it’s extremely difficult for them to break free. If they reject the GU’s distorted belief system and abuses, they’re treated like public enemy number one and may even be disowned by the GU, which wouldn’t necessarily be such a bad thing. Nevertheless, it’s terrifying for many children and adult children to contemplate.

This is a perversion of parenthood. These are often the women who get pregnant so that they’ll have “someone who’ll love [me] unconditionally.” They fail to understand that it’s the parent who’s supposed to meet the child’s love and safety needs and not the other way around.

8. GUs like to take kissy duck face make-out photos with their children. Facebook addicted GUs like to post kissy-duck face-make-out photos with their child(ren). It’s rather like manic, digital age pietas. “Look at meeee and my child who loves meeee! See! We’re so close we’re more like best friennnnnds!” Boundaries, shmoundaries.

These photos are similar in nature to the photos drunken college girls take of themselves with their arms wrapped around each other and their faces pressed together. Whenever I see a photo of a mother with her child in a lip lock-bear hug with a Joker smile, I think: ENMESHED GU.

9. Golden uterus mothers are feeeeeeelers. The golden uterus believes that her emotions are reason enough for any action, no matter how despicable. In fact, the GU’s feelings often trump what’s really in the child’s best interests.

For example, “I’m angry with your father” means the children are denied access to their father. Cutting the other parent out of a child’s life is rarely in the child’s best interests. However, the GU is feeeeeeling angry, wronged, ignored, disrespected, challenged, etc., so that becomes her justification to attack and/or punish others—even if her actions violate a court order.

10. Once the GU gives birth, her “job” is done. “GUs believe that simply birthing a child is all they’re responsible for as a contribution to the parenting, raising and welfare of their child. From the moment the child emerges from her hallowed trough, it is solely on the father to provide all for both her and the child” (anonymous source).

Once a GU gives birth, she has her own little foot soldier to weaponize and use as a control device over the child’s father and family. This is when many of these women choose not to return to work. By giving birth, the GU essentially has her husband over a barrel. She knows it and she uses it.

11. Children are possessions; not their own persons. “The GU views the child as her possession. The GU will take all the kudos for birthing a child, but none of the responsibility. If someone tries to point out the discrepancies, the GU will will heave out emotional garbage to cover up their horrible parenting. The GU only views the child in context to herself.  Everything is about her” (anonymous source).

12. The GU uses motherhood as an excuse. “Becoming a ‘mother’ is the GU’s excuse for EVERYTHING. She can’t work because ‘mothers don’t work.’ My husband HAS to give her all of his money because she’s the mother of his ONLY child. She lost all identity as a woman and used becoming a mother as her free ride in life” (anonymous source).

Even after their children are in school full-time, GUs still use the kids and being a mother as an excuse not to work outside the home and often not to work inside the home. “You have no idea how stressful it is being a mom.” Um, the kids are in school all day. What do you do with your time? “You always minimize all the hard work I do. YOU HAVE NO IDEA.” Um, the breakfast dishes are still in the sink when I get home from work in the evening. The laundry is piled up and the kids haven’t done their homework. What did you do all day? “HOW DARE YOU DISRESPECT ME. I’m THE MOTHER OF YOUR CHILDREN!”

13. GUs are self-appointed parenting experts. Despite the fact that her parenting behaviors should be used as an example in  How NOT to Parent 101, “the golden uterus believes that having birthed a child makes them better and more knowledgeable than others; e.g., the “Well you don’t have kids so how would you know anything?” woman (anonymous source). If you should dare challenge the GU’s parenting skills and superior authority, see number 3 above.

14. Motherhood is a title and a power trip. “The golden uterus views mothering as a title rather than a relationship and a set of behaviors. Mothering requires selflessness at times. It requires sacrifice at times. It requires paying attention to the child and putting your time and energy into meeting their needs, which also requires seeing the child as a unique and separate individual from yourself, not a mirror of your own thoughts, feelings, and needs. A golden uterus mother fails at mothering and instead uses her title to extort things from others ‘in the name of the child.’ Essentially, they use their offspring as a way to get their own needs met” (anonymous source).

15. The GU is never wrong. “The golden uterus seems to expect that they get a total free pass on accountability for their own behavior. I have often told my husband that his ex lives on a one way street paved in double standards. Her own bad behavior is to be overlooked. Yet she will attempt to crucify him for any and all perceived weaknesses or ‘failures.’ She is judge and jury and quick to condemn my husband (and me, for that matter) yet she can do no wrong” (anonymous source).

What can you do if the mother of your children has a golden uterus complex?

There’s nothing you can do to change her. Nothing. She’s highly unlikely to see the light and morph into a reasonable human being and good mother. Your goal, as with all high-conflict abusive types, should be containment. You accomplish containment through establishing iron-clad boundaries. Learn to say no and then practice deafening your ears to the caterwauling.

Don’t let her use your children as an extortion mechanism. Don’t allow the children to view you as a human ATM machine. In other words, don’t reward your children’s bad behavior with money, gifts, trips and other goodies, otherwise, they will view you the same way that their mother does. I know many fathers are desperate for time with their children and use toys and expensive entertainment as bait. Trust me, this is not the relationship you want with your children. It’s a quick path to time with them, but it’s an unhealthy and impermanent one.

Decide exactly how much bad behavior you’re willing to to tolerate from your ex and what offenses you want to pursue in court. Forget about co-parenting with a GU; it’s next to impossible. You will be less frustrated if you try to parallel parent. A GU will undermine you at nearly every turn. Expect it and plan for it.

Don’t put your current wife/girlfriend in the middle and don’t tolerate your ex or your children disrespecting her. Demand respect for yourself and your loved ones. If your ex and the kids violate these boundaries, find appropriate consequences for their violations.

Finally, don’t drink the golden uterus’ kool-aid. The fact that you once had a relationship with her/share a child does not bind you together for life. Just because she wants this to be the truth doesn’t make it so. Just because your ex has chosen to define herself by a failed relationship and 36 hours in a delivery room doesn’t mean you have to do the same. GUs are legends in their own minds and their own worst enemies. Minimize contact and try to foster healthy boundaries, values and senses of self in your children during the time you have them and hope it sticks.

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. knotheadusc says

    Great article. It basically spells out the person my husband used to be married to. Only in her case, she took a job and forced victim #3 to stay home with the kids while they lived off my husband’s overly generous child support.

    • Dr Tara J. Palmatier says

      I think a GU wouldn’t get past the first few sentences before she began to defend her position by explaining why she, the mother, is the most important person in her child’s life and why she, better than anyone else, knows what is best for the child. Blurgh.

      The information I provide isn’t for the people who need it the most. It’s for the people who have been hurt by the the people who need this information the most.

      • says

        Dr. Palmatier is correct. As is true is so many facets of life, the person who needs to hear and need to address personal issues will not do so. in the arena of families and the extent to which our States through their laws control parents and their children, with the help of professionals such as Dr. Palmatier, we must get the laws changed and/or get the judicial process changed. Educating the decision makers (legislators and judges) and correcting the abilities of the GU and others to use the system to perpetuate (the misuse of) the power given to the GU. Just as our nation once believed tobacco was safe, we must educate everyone so that they “get it” when it comes to our families that are being hurt and the GU’s that are being enabled by the laws, the judges and so-called “supportive” family and friends. Thanks, Dr. Palmatier for educating your followers/listeners. Now, if each of us would spread the knowledge!

  2. Mellaril says

    From “Ally McBeal:”

    John “The Biscuit” Cage: Love. We all want it. Don’t all get it. I remember telling my mother in high school I wanted to wait for the perfect girl. And she replied, “Idiot! Even if you found her, she might be holding out for the perfect man.” She also said I wouldn’t recognize love unless it bonked me on the head. And I retorted, “Well, why don’t you come along with me, mom, and if you see love, you hit me on the head so I’ll know.” It was difficult as a young man taking my mother on dates….”

    I liked that show.

    • Dr Tara J. Palmatier says

      I liked that show, too. At least the first few seasons before it jumped the shark. Lucky us, it’s available to live stream on Netflix.

      Loved the Biscuit and his law partner who likes neck waddle.

  3. Beesley says

    This makes me think of a song by “Garfunkel and Oates” called “Pregnant Women are Smug”! Yes, the song is as funny as the name of the duo! Enjoy!

  4. george says

    Dr. T,
    Sadly, I married a BPD GU and have a teenage son. I hit my breaking point and I am presently going through a divorce. It’s been going on for almost two years but should be complete soon. My soon to be ex-wife GU fits the bill on your check list in your article. I’m always amazed as to how well you can hit the bulls eye in describing my ex-wife BPD GU. With my son, I’m also the targeted parent of a pretty severe parental alienation campaign. So with BPD, GU, and PAS, I find it interesting how my life has become full of acronymns which describe the various flavors of crazy in my life! A couple of the topics you mentioned that I do have a few questions about was when you mentioned not to let your children use you as an ATM and not to reward their bad behavior. I have a teenage son who is thoroughly programmed and the weapon of choice of my ex. By the way, I am kind of amazed how effective and how fast that can happen. My son’s psychologist has advised me to be the “fun Dad”. He would like me to be a “pull” rather than a “push” for my son. So I’m pretty indulgent when dealing with my son. I’ve also been advise not to provide any discipline or do any real parenting. I used to be the parent to a 13 and 48 year old similar to the comment by the retired judge in your article. Since my son has been well programmed at this point in time, his bad behaviors (rewarded by my ex)are pretty much on auto-pilot. So how do you not reward the bad behaviors and not be an ATM while being the “fun Dad” and being the targeted parent? By the way, I do realize that some of my son’s bad behaviors are just teen bad behaviors and others are more influenced by my ex. It’s sometimes easy to pick those out when my son does something or says something which is almost word for word that my ex would say but he previously would never say.

    • Dr Tara J. Palmatier says

      Hi George,

      I respectfully disagree with your therapist. Yes, you want to be perceived as the kind, fun-loving parent, but not to the point where you become a doormat/ATM. You can do fun things that don’t cost a lot of money.

      Also, I don’t think you should overlook bad behavior. Ever. If he acts out, you say, “Because of your behavior, instead of going hiking/fishing/shooting hoops/playing a video game, you’re going to help with yard work/clean out the garage.” Someone has to give him the message that bad and abusive behavior is unacceptable. He’s certainly not going to get that from his mother.

      Dr T

    • anotherchance says

      Hi george. I aslo have a teenage son and split up recently. Do you find having a shrink helps your sone to cope with the situation? I was thinking about getting him one, but shrinks are costly.

    • infojunkie says

      I am married to a man with 3 children and a BPDex, and the children are with us half-time. They enjoy plenty of chaos and no structure with their mother, which for children, probably seems like fun and entertainment. There is always plenty of candy or junk food, lots of meals on the road or in the car, and plenty of parties and sleepovers. There are also piles of laundry, beds with no sheets, dirty dishes, animal waste, out-of-control spending, etc… At our house we have plenty of structure, published rules, family meetings, meals at home, defined bedtimes, and regulated spending. Do they sometimes complain that they are bored? yes. Do they sometimes suggest that they have more fun at their mom’s? yes. Do they benefit from parenting and structure and solid expectations? yes. Do they have access to clean clothes that are neatly folded so that they can get dressed and be ready for school, thereby minimizing tears and drama first thing in the morning? yes. Do we treat meals out and weekend outings after chores are complete as special events and not entitlements? yes. Do we deliver clear and natural consequences for poor choices? we try our best.

      Are we perfect? no. Is our life easy? not always. Are we trying to prepare them for independence and adulthood? yes. Does it seem to be effective? In the big scheme of things, yes.

      Your son will benefit from your role as a FATHER, not as a friend, and not as an ATM. He will benefit from the lessons that prepare him to function as an independent adult, which includes learning the difference between wants and needs, work and play, and self absorption vs. self awareness. Teach him to be accountable for his actions, and give him clear consequences when he makes poor choices. Trust me, if you are consistent and provide open communication, he will thrive in a more structured environment with clear expectations. He will rely on you as a father and a role model, and even if he gives you the teenage attitude, at some point in his life he will return and thank you.

  5. TheGirlInside says

    While mother-figure hits at least half of those if not more, the part of the article that made me halt:
    “When the children become adults, the GU still believes she should come first in her adult children’s lives and take precedence over their spouses and children. A GU’s children owe her because she is their mother. … many GU kids are indoctrinated into the GU’s warped belief system and it’s extremely difficult for them to break free. If they reject the GU’s distorted belief system and abuses, they’re treated like public enemy number one…”

    Yes and yes. Ugh!! I took psychology and sociology classes in colleged, and did my best to point out that we are a dysfunctional family in need of help. All that did was putting me even further down the proverbial totem pole (under the dog and cat).

    I have long since (3 yrs) given up trying to gain her acceptance or approval. She’s been trying to be all nice and ‘hook’ me back again. She asks all sorts of intrusive questions, and if I lay down boundaries (i.e. not answer every bloody minutiae to her satisfaction), she acts like I’m being cruel somehow.
    So…what has she been doing now? She has convinced my siblings that I have been abusing her!
    Years ago, when she was crybabying about how my dad was treating her, we were on the phone, and I was trying to build her back up, saying positive, affirming things. She was crying. Years after that, my sister told me that I had been saying cruel things to my mother over the phone, because she had been crying. Did mother correct her? hell no! What fun would that be?

    So now she has all the others convinced that I’m a cold-hearted b****. That is what is driving me crazy these days. My give-a-damn is busted as far as she is concerned. But now, my siblings all treat me like I’m a liar and abuser????

    That’s just too much.

    I called my brother up after MF called me to basically brag about beating up his 5 year old son, to warn him. He responded basically, “um..yeah…that’s nice.” (paraphrased).

    I don’t know if it is worth it to even try to work on my relationship with them. They are all convinced that she is a victim (b/c she told all of us about dad cheating on her…).

    She’s no victim.

    It sucks and it hurts. Not sure what do to about it.

    • Dr Tara J. Palmatier says

      Hi TGI,

      Unfortunately, you probably have to keep your distance from your other family members. Any system works hard to maintain the status quo—especially sick systems. When one family member seeks wellness, the other family members will mock, ridicule, call you abusive or accuse you of thinking you’re better than them in an effort to keep you stuck in the dysfunction with them. In this case, being “kicked off the island” is a good thing.

      Guess what. When your mother doesn’t have you as a target anymore, she’ll probably target one of your siblings. Then maybe they’ll understand why you’ve set boundaries. It’s not easy and can be painful, but sometimes limiting contact with your family is the healthiest choice you can make.

      Kind Regards,
      Dr T

      • gooberzzz says

        Good point Dr. T. This is also referred to as “crab pot syndrome.” I hope you explore this more in future articles. This happens in family and social circles…this was the most evident in my own life when I lost about 60 pounds from my own work of exercising, eating better, and honoring my spirit and mental health. It was met by friends and family with what you just said, mocking, ridicule, accusations, and other emotionally abusive tactics. To the point I was accused of being a “crack addict with AIDS.” Amazing isn’t it?

        I gained the 60 pounds back, went back to emotional eating, smoking and ended up back in the city I’m from, after I worked so hard to get out…and I’m right back in the pot. It’s really a sucky phenomenon.

        Another example…being a gay male and while spending time with others in the gay community, and I say “community” lightly, I found that the mention of wanting a family and kids goes over like a lead balloon, not much emotional support, or validation, for what I want in life. The same can apply to my own family (mother and older sister), they run a script in their head that I’m lazy, a slob and don’t pay back money, none of which is entirely true, although they take one isolated incident, invalidate the positive aspects of me, and blow it completely out of context, and their ridicule for that never stops. It’s how I’m thought of and talked about behind my back, even though I have 4-times the education they do, have lived and thrived in large cities and work in a creative profession. I’ve been good and generous to friends, and I have paid back every debt I’ve had, albeit slowly with creditors and student loans, but nonetheless I did it…and that gets dismissed, it’s maddening.

        I tend to attract man-haters, mean girls, PDs and people who abandon. I realize it’s my problem, that I’m the only one that can see it for what is, but I tend to relapse into old decision making patterns.

        Long enough…thank you again for the article…G.

      • TheGirlInside says

        Thanks for your reply, Dr. T…I wish I didn’t have to go that route, but I think you are right.

        I could live the rest of my life without seeing ‘her’ but I hurt at the thought of ‘leaving behind’ the nieces and nephews, and of my own children being without their cousins.

        Truth be told, I’ve been ‘planning’ to exclude them from my life for years…


      • exscapegoat says

        Dr. T makes some excellent points in her response to you. It’s also possible your siblings are aware that you’re being scapegoated. And they accept it and participate because it keeps the heat off of them. I’ve seen this at workplaces where people will join in so they won’t become a target.

        Also, as those of us who actually make the effort to heal and get healthier after growing up in sick family systems know, it’s not easy. It’s hard work and it can be painful. I still think it’s preferrable to spending one’s whole life sick, but some people don’t see it that way. As long as they can lash out at you, then they can hide from how sick things are and not have to do the difficult and challenging work of making the changes.

        As my mother’s scapegoat, I used to be jealous of my golden child bro, but he’s far more messed up in many ways than I am precisely because he has no awareness of how FUBAR the family situation is.

        I hear ya on how the worst part of it is how it affects other relationships. I’m going on 2 years now with my estrangement from my mom & bro/SIL and I’ve never met my niece who was born during that time.

        I think a big part of the problem is how they act in public vs. private. And even when there are witnesses to the rages/meltdowns, many of them are enablers/apologists of the Cluster B, so it doesn’t do the non who is being made a target any good anyway.

        One thing I’ve found to help is creating a family of choice from friends and saner extended family (though there have been tensions there too because of my mother’s smear techniques). I also blog about it to let off steam.

        • exscapegoat says

          PS, the first year was mostly relief. There was more sadness this 2nd year, but I seem to be turning a corner on that. I’m finally starting to get some sense of acceptance/peace. So if you decide to go NC with your family, it will be tough, but it will eventually get easier. Just takes time.

  6. Jason says

    Another great article. Even before we were divorced she would use my son against me. A really awesome example is when she broke my boundaries between her and the ex. She asked me if it was ok that the ex bring my son’s half brothers and sisters to the hospital. I said sure….they all took turns holding him, she bails out of bed, scoops him up, and takes him over to the ex. Total violation of my boundaries but how dare I get angry…”I just gave birth to your son not 24 hours ago… LEAVE this hospital RIGHT NOW or I’m calling the cops!!!”

    Now I have to fight to get my visitation because “momma knows best.”

    • Dr Tara J. Palmatier says

      Hi Jason,

      I agree. Definitely a violation of boundaries.

      Good luck with your custody case. Some people should just not be parents.

      Dr T

      • says

        Ah, truer words were never written/spoken, Dr. Palmatier. Some people just are not equipped to be parents lacking the minimal patience and focus necessary to do so. In your article, above, the description of the GU equating her best interests with that of the child (children) is all too true. I favor legislation that, in cases where both parents are fit, the parent who moves away from the other parent loses custody because that act of moving away is, alone, reflective of the minimization of the other parent and of the notion that the child will “do fine” within infrequent visits (or the other parent must move). Our laws enable parents and allow moves as if “what is good for the moving parent” is good for the child. Yes, the argument can be made that a job transfer or family support makes it “necessary to move,” but that is just an excuse. In the context away from custody issues, I recall a fine family man who declined promotions in his company because to take the promotion would require moving to the company’s national home office in another state and he would not move his family (he was married with 3 children) from their home, their friends, extended family, their schools and their lifestyle. He made his decision based on what was right for his family, not was better for him. Now, THAT is parenting (putting your children first in practice, not just in words). Indeed, in my role as a GAL, I would hear parents exhort how much they LOVE their children, but then they would not DO the things loving parents do such as express their love through words and affection, through providing nutritious meals, through helping with homework, through protecting them from harm, through being with them and paying attention to their needs, through ceasing smoking so as not to expose them to 2nd hand smoke, etc. “Some people should just not be parents.” Well-said.

  7. D says

    “Even after their children are in school full-time, GUs still use the kids and being a mother as an excuse not to work outside the home and often not to work inside the home. ‘You have no idea how stressful it is being a mom.’ Um, the kids are in school all day. What do you do with your time? ‘You always minimize all the hard work I do. YOU HAVE NO IDEA.’ Um, the breakfast dishes are still in the sink when I get home from work in the evening. The laundry is piled up and the kids haven’t done their homework. What did you do all day? ‘HOW DARE YOU DISRESPECT ME. I’m THE MOTHER OF YOUR CHILDREN!'”

    Wow, it’s as if you lived with my ex. That’s like a three-fer.

    • rc 5446 says

      I feel like my husband and I could’ve written this and many of the other material on this site! I had no idea that so many people deal with this. How do you put up with it day after day???? How is it so EASY for the Golden Uterus to be a terrible mother in private but when you try to go to court somehow every thing she does just gets explained away and the best a father can get is 50/50 custody??? Our Golden Uterus, my husband’s ex, actually left the child unsupervised and ran off with her boyfriend day after day and the school noticed. But when we got to court, everyone was soooo impressed with how she “straightened up” and was suddenly Mother of the Year that now NOBODY is on our side. She has tried to get my husband arrested, filed Children’s Division Reports over ridiculous things, anything she can think of to take the blame off her, and nobody cares. Its disgusting.

  8. new wife says

    This is my husband’s ex. Except in her case, she doesn’t have PC of their children, my husband does. She still believes this is her excuse to only work part time…so she can go to the children’s school and have lunch with them, volunteer, etc. Forget paying child support, it’s my husband’s job to fully fund everything minus the odd haircut here and there. And forget that my husband and I are now having a child…the first two sons come first.

  9. anon.father says

    ok dr t., god do i wish you were wrong. i wish you were completely flat out wrong and woman bashing. i wish you were the heartless lunatic who just doesn’t understand. i wish “golden uterus syndrome” were some joke, where we could all read this article and just have a good laugh at how clueless you are.

    but that is sadly, and horribly not the case.

    oh good crew: welcome to learning the difference between discernment and projection

  10. TexasMom says

    “A really awesome example is when she broke my boundaries between her and the ex. She asked me if it was ok that the ex bring my son’s half brothers and sisters to the hospital. I said sure….they all took turns holding him, she bails out of bed, scoops him up, and takes him over to the ex. ” ~Jason

    Did this ring bells. Something like this happened when my granddaughter was born and her ex was at the hospital with their 4 year old son. We were all booted out of the room so the ex and son could bond with the baby! Their son is globally delayed, non-verbal and I suspect autistic. I understand the son-though do not think he understood in the least what was going on– GU always speaks for him.

    Dr. T., would another sign of a GU (she fits a lot of what you have written) be that she expects the grandparents of one child to be be “real” grandparents to another child that they have no biological ties to? On granddaughter’s first Christmas, we were told basically we HAD to give her son as many presents as our granddaughter, so he (who is oblivious) would not have his feelings hurt. We complied so we would be allowed to see our granddaughter. Mind you her son has two sets of living biological grandparents. Oddly, she did not require the other grandparents (ex’s parents) to be “real” grandparents to our granddaughter. I still do not get this.

    • knotheadusc says

      You asked “Dr. T., would another sign of a GU (she fits a lot of what you have written) be that she expects the grandparents of one child to be be “real” grandparents to another child that they have no biological ties to?” I’m not Dr. T., but I feel compelled to respond.

      My husband’s ex wife has been married three times. Every time she gets divorced, she cuts her kids off from their original father/family. Ex’s oldest child is a boy. She divorced his father and cut him off from his original family, pressuring my husband and his father and stepmom to be his grandparents. She then had two girls with my husband. She cut my husband’s mom out of the picture because MIL had the guts to object to her abusive behavior.

      Later, when my husband and ex divorced, she eventually cut my husband out of the kids’ lives. For several years, my FIL and SMIL went along with the ex and her ridiculous demands, even entertaining her third husband and their daughter. Ex tried to push my husband and me to the periphery, since she liked his dad and stepmom better than her own family. She was adopted and has a lot of issues about that. The in laws tolerated outrageous behavior from ex, but continued to be supportive and gave her and the kids expensive gifts… and even allowed her to stage several dramas in their home.

      Later, when the in laws finally realized that she was playing them, ex informed them that they were no longer needed. The kids had new grandparents in her current husband’s parents and ex’s mother, with whom she had apparently made up. My in laws’ previous loyalty to her and love for their grandchildren meant nothing. She tossed them out like yesterday’s trash.

      In our case, yes, the GU demands that grandparents treat all of her kids as if they were their own. And if you don’t comply, you will be punished by being banished from their lives.

  11. Neen says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. It will never end. I know that now after 5 years. The children and their father and family’s relationship has been forever altered by the Golden Uterus (aka Narcissist). It’s the ignoring the caterwalling that is the hardest and the set ups, and the kids being used. You have no influence, no power other than court in the end and a change in custody (near impossible and a heck of a fight with a martyr like this). Buying the children every year through court is disgusting and bankrupting, but but but at least there is something a foot out there that is starting to recognize this behaviour (and Parental Alienation). Thank you again. Shine the light bright.

  12. LU says

    My BPD/NPD ex fits right into the GU profile. I was just the stepfather, the actual 2 fathers were denied all parental rights. I did my best to take care of the kids but was always reminded that “She was the mother, what she said was the final word”. She had promised that I could adopt them after marriage but that quickly changed after marriage. She absolutely refused to talk about it for years.

    I was expected to give up everything for the kids or her slightest whim, even at the cost of my health. It got so bad toward the end she would tell me not to tell them what to do, interfere or restrict them in any way.

    I’m getting the divorce paperwork done, the kids are out of the house now. She still does everything she can to alienate me from the kids, though it was she who ended the relationship after lying, stealing, and cheating on me multiple times.

    I did and gave Everything to take care of them and still get no credit whatsoever. It still affects me. I only have sporadic contact with one of the kids after I raised them as my own for 13 years. How could I possibly start a relationship with someone who has a kid?

  13. JPJ says

    Dr Tara…you really know what you are talking about.I almost fell off my chair after seeing the “cheese-cake” photo. In the past I have taken pictures like this and never knew the implications. Now all the pieces come together like a puzzel
    The other shocker is that not only is the child treated in these ways,the man is also.The son/man is a person and not an extension of such a selfish entity. These types of women need to have a door shut in their face.They need to learn the word “empathy.” There are other people in this world with feelings and the right to live in peace.
    Hey,even Charlie Sheen was told he had gone too far.Ashton Kutchner will do a fine job as his replacement.Charlie probably thought that he was untouchable and nothing could ever happen to him. Who is going to be the scapegoat here?
    One thing is for sure.The Golden Uterus will always find someone to blame for anything that goes wrong in her “starstruck-elite-better..than..everyone..else”

  14. James says

    My ex wife has my twelve year old son’s cell phone programmed to say “Best Mom in the World” whenever she calls him. Ironically, she is a horrid mother. She is completely neurotic, self-centered, mean and proabably has the emotional maturity of a six year-old. I have to wonder if after all of the lying, cheating, manipulating and controlling behavior whether she actually believes she is the best mom in the world. If so, she is living in a total fantasy world. How can you so divorce yourself from reality in service of this “ideal mother” facade? How can you do all these horrendous things and still believe that you are the greatest? That is why I stay away from her completely and utterly because this is psychotic in my view.

    I realize that people have all sorts of crazy psychological defense mechanisms. But I cannot fathom that a serial killer for instance come up with some picture of himself as the “best guy in the world.”

    Sadly, my kids did not luck out when inheriting their mother. For them, I am sorry. I messed up. I wish I would have seen this in her but I did not. But I am still lucky that you were born. I will never tell you that your mom is a lunatic. Let her live in her fantasy world, which is not to far from hell. But I don’t want you to know that she probably does not really love you and is not capable of it.

  15. Peter says

    Hi Dr T,

    Love the Golden Uterus idea. Your article would be very funny if it weren’t so true. Makes me think there should be a Golden Uterus awards night just like you have the Golden Globes and we have the Golden Guitar Country Music Award here in Oz; ‘cos they can both put on a good act.

    My Nomination:

    “Quickest Retirement-From-Work-After-Marriage Award” to my ex GU (9 1/2 weeks)


  16. tiredoftheex says

    My husband’s ex most definitely has a golden-uterus complex, the problem I have is that she is still able to guilt-trip him and work him to get what she wants (although he’s gotten better about saying “no” to some things)like changing visitation. She was diagnosed with Bipolar II disorder over a decade ago, has problems with compulsive shopping and hoarding, drinks too much, has anxiety issues – all of which adds up to a very emotionally and mentally unstable person. She bad-mouths both of us to his kids, and his oldest hasn’t come over for visitation since last August (the oldest is about to graduate high school and will turn 18 very soon) due to the ex-wife’s nasty lies. I hope that he reads this blog and begins to really internalize the facts about his ex, he doesn’t deserve to be walked on just because they had kids as a result of their marriage.

  17. thinker says

    I just encountered a new twist on this theme – GU syndrome so extreme that she believes that I am jealous of her for it.

    My x wife exhibited many of the characteristics listed in this article during our marriage. As we were getting divorced, her sole argument for receiving a larger share of custody (unfortunately backed up by the courts) was “I’m their MOTHER!”

    Now, as I move on and enjoy my independent time with the children, she has become agitated and angry about not controlling the 40% of our children’s time that they spend with me. As part of this she has started accusing me (the dad) of being jealous of her having given birth. In a particularly vitrolic email yesterday (after a list of all of my supposed faults) she stated

    “…I also think you have some sort of complex about not having given birth, no? You are not their mother, so don’t try to be.”


    No, I am one of their 2 parents, just like you are.

  18. Mr T says


    This is a great article. Just from your first two points, I immediately recognized my ex-wife: her email address is of the form, where her name would be Jane and Johnny is our 5 year old son’s name (actual names changed for privacy reasons though).

    Every single other point you make applies in spades to her, I could provide examples of each one but you have got the points across well already. I would like to post a quote from her though: she put in writing to me that “every decision I make in life is with Johnny’s current and future wellbeing in mind”. She wrote that sanctimonious BS as a justification for temporarily cutting off contact with my son, in contravention of a Contact Order. She broke the Contact Order because I had the temerity to enquire as to whether she was planing to get a job sometime and make some effort to support herself, since I had just lost my job (but still pay her both Child Support and Spousal Support).

    Obviously, the answer was no: she is a 32 year-old mother of one child who is in full-time education now, how could she possibly be expected to work? Also, since she has a university education and used to have a managerial-level job, she feels anything other than a CEO job is beneath her and she can’t find one right now, so end of discussion.

    Thank you for writing about this: these parasites should be exposed for what they are.

    • Allfazeman says

      she feels anything other than a CEO job is beneath her and she can’t find one right now,

      This is my XBMBPCL, too. It never ceases top amaze me how many more women there are like my X out there. Boy the Internet does wonders!!


  19. GreenFuzzyLeaf says

    This, is totally my mother. With 6 husbands and a huge dose of sociopathic tendencies thrown into the mix. And woe be to anyone who tried to tell her she was wrong. Compliments were almost always taken as an insult, and food, if we didn’t eat, say cookies she made and the amount she gave us (even if I told her I was full from dinner) it was an insult to her cooking. We weren’t even allowed salt on scrambled eggs if she made them, as it was an “insult.”

    She especially loved terrorizing me growing up as it was obvious that I didn’t worship the ground she walked on merely for giving birth to me. She had these “kid clubs” that she liked to hit us with. It was tightly rolled up newspaper, wrapped in duct tape, and then again in electrical tape. Originally were made to be my step-brother’s nunchucks for a halloween costume, she said because it didn’t create bruises it wasn’t abuse… right. Like hitting your child with them, especially in the HEAD isn’t abuse. She also tore me down emotionally whenever she could, and regularly told me I didn’t own myself, not even my own underwear or the hair on my head. I was her slave. And really in a way, I was. I mostly raised the younger siblings, did the chores, (sometimes even the siblings’ chores so I didn’t get in trouble since I was always the bad influence being the oldest) and made sure they were all fed. Though I didn’t mind the cooking bit. I could eat a far smaller amount, season it the way I liked, and when full I wasn’t forced to eat more!

    And though she had very effectively shut my father out of my life, (At least until I was in my twenties when he was able to track me down) she did use my siblings and I against my Grandparents, regularly for money. Though most money she got went to cigs and soda, and not rent, food, clothing. She also made sure the youngest sister’s father didn’t have anything to do with her. Though to be fair last I heard of him he was in a newspaper running from the cops so that was the one time that it might not have been a bad thing.

    The father of my younger sister stayed in her life, as he fought for his rights, hard. Though again she had ripped a father figure out of my life as I wasn’t biologically his. Though I had thought of him as “Daddy.” She told me he didn’t want me around anymore since I wasn’t his daughter. Which wasn’t true he was more than willing to be my Dad regardless as he loved me as his own. After that I was never able to connect to any of the guys in her life in that sense. The closest was her 5th husband but I never was able to call him other than his first name.

    Once she kicked me out in high school, she slowly moved on down the line via my siblings and step siblings, by age in terrorizing. Once the next one was gone, (In the case of step siblings, her separation from hubby number 5) she would work on tearing down the next. Once she got to the youngest, she was tired of terrorizing, so she just flat out neglected. Usually didn’t have any real food in the house, and usually ignored her presence. My Grandpa noticed, and once my mother got evicted, again, and begged for help in getting into another apartment, my Grandpa agreed but only if my youngest sister went to live with him and Grams. Smart man. She of course, readily agreed. Hooked up with who would eventually become hubby number 6 (and apparently a known child abuser) and ran out of state with him.

    For years she hasn’t talked to my younger sister, and I. We aren’t sad about that. The youngest talked to her until she recently stuck up for herself, and she cut her out too. Which did hurt her. Sadly I see a lot of similar traits in the youngest sister. Not to the same degree and severity, but…. As much as I love her I kind of hope she doesn’t ever have a kid of her own.

  20. FrustratedAZDad says

    The GU who has my daughters has once again denied me access to my daughters, on FATHER’S DAY!

    She will be charged with contempt and kidnapping. Felonies are frowned upon since she is a school nurse without compassion for her own daughters.

    This GU AZ ice skating coach has no boundaries when it comes to contempt for the father of the children.

  21. Allfazeman says

    I haven’t looked at all the comments, but this article fits my kids mother 100%. The main difference for me is that I, the father, have primary custody of our 2 kids and she has disapeared. This is greatly due to what she said years ago (and to the court under oath) that no mother should have to pay child support.

    After she ran out years ago it was’t even a year and she was pregnant again. This was the first of 2 children and 2 different fathers. Then all of the sudden these 2 new babies took presidence over her 2 oldest children with me. “Not so,” I said. And between the loop holes that are built in at Child Support Enforcement and her moving around it was extremely hard to get her into court on Contempt charges. But now she has lost custody of the 2 youngest children and supposedly living in a tent homeless all in order to escape responsibility. That and she has tried to claim being disabled of which she can get no doctor to even write her a letter stating this is so.

    So are there any fathers here who have managed to get custody of the kids from these type women? And if so have you had any problems getting them to pay child support? I would fire CSE in a NY minute except I am blackmailed into using them because I get food stamps. I am told that if I fire them my food stamps will be lowered or cut off completely. For CSE has been my biggest problem getting her into court because they are so slow and determinate her current addresses every time. The process they use is ridiculous. They have gotten her into court only 6 times in 9 years. I could have had her in court 3 times as much if I didn’t have to do things their way. And each time she does go to jail now, but always seems to find the money to get herself out. One of the reasons that CSE wouldn’t go after her some times is because she was collecting cash from the state even though later it was determined she was committing fraud to do this. So I am stuck and I am disabled which was one of the other reasons she ran out and abandoned her kids here.


  22. doublewitt says

    before separation, mine “bragged” everywhere how she did a half-hour spin everyday for home cleaning & chores. after separation, she claimed to have slaved for endless hours per day “oh, poor women never have a break”…

    while I was “slaving” at work, she had the privelege of being at home, dipping in the pool, eating from the fridge, lounging on the couches, watching TV, hearing music, lots of reading and more things, and with all of this, she claims that her part [contribution] is equal to mine – what a joke, but it works in the courts… because she had kids…

    it seems she did all the work at home ???? and because of this, she OWNS everything – my work and contribution means nothing… all hail, the uterus has spoken… the golden uterus phenomenon continues… all is due and screw you! where is maturity in women today??? the man works but she owns everything… they’ve reduced man’s status to slavery… “go to work budd, just remember, I own everything you do and get”… after that, a nice dip in the swimming pool… life is grand when you parasite on someone else’s gains… uterus technology..

    because she’s a golden uterus, she shows up in court and lies in hypocrisy saying that she worked 30 hours a day – the poor thing – so she could withdraw the maximum parasite benefits from the male worker… and guess what – it works…??!!!!

    if that isn’t enough, she claims that she gave birth to children, and so the golden uterus cries for more… and gets it…! it seems she forgot that while she carried the children 9 months, that her ex carried her for 9 months also,,, and that is quite a task, but what the man does means nothing…. hmmm, money, money, money is all they want.

    now if she claims and gets maximum parasite benefits and if that is a great strain on the ex [like so many I know] it doesn’t matter because her uterus rules… some men I know, have nothing left but several hundred dollars per month to live on… and so man’s rights to a normal life are stolen… there are thousands of cases like this… but who cares, after all, life in the swimming pool is grand…

    they destroy men, push them to suicide, ruin all their hopes to see their youth, they really hurt the man’s heart deeply in great wickedness, and they also hurt the children, but who cares, as long as the money rolls in…

  23. torch1980 says

    My ex is exactly like that she “feels” because she has a “job” and “takes care of kids” she should be given awards and it doesnt help that her family kisses her ass

  24. sofpod70 says

    My husband divorced an GU about 9 years ago, we’ve been together for 8 years and his GU ex displays every characteristics listed in this article. After mistakes were made, alienation discovered, and lots of education about alienation, Borderline Personality Disorder and how to handle high conflict co-parenting, we are now at a point where communication with GU is MINIMAL and although she is still trying hard, she has lost all control over what goes on in our house. She can no longer dictate when and how we share the kids, or how we raise the kids in our home. I think the most important thing for me was to realize that the ex will NEVER change or see things logically and fairly, so trying to explain what is really in the best interest of the kids, or trying to get them to understand our point of view is fruitless and a waste of time. A good book to read if you and the kids are victim of alienation from GU-ex is “Divorce Poison”.

  25. ednacc says

    hi my name is edna and i have a problem such like this she belives shes the only one had no respect for my husband or i recently she just got married but she keeps with same patron i have a year married with my husband and she always make sure her daughter is the most important she can use my time as she better like it (since at the moment am stay home wife) she yells at us all the time and has to do her way otherwise she always saying shes taking us to court and will take his rights from him my husband have some learning disability and hes so afraid to going to court because he believes his gonna lose his rights of his daughter and there is nothing in the world can make him to accept that shes just taking advantage of us idk what to do i feel so tight up my husband even had thoughts of suicide if she takes her away from him if there is anyone who knows what i can do i would appreciate a lot shes ruining my life and my husband is such a sweetheart just he had being abuse for someone like her not even when shes the second wife she did that with his previous kids and now she doesnt want me to get pregnant at all so i dont know what to do for this stop i so frustrated thank you

  26. the.hendons says

    I just want to say this really hits home with me. My husband was married to his ex for like 5 years or something and they have 3 kids together 10, 8 and 6. Him and I have been married for 4 years been together 5 and we have 1 together, he is 1. He also has another 11 year old with another girl that we have full custody of, we have never had any issues with her. But the ex wife is a different story. Me and my husband have been going up and down on this roller coaster with her since we have been together. And honestly it sucks. I have even been so close to leaving him because of it (before our son was born). I have tried to be friends with this girl but it is impossible! She has my husbands mother so far up her butt she can’t see straight! His family has even told me that she has chosen his ex wife over her own kids numerous times. I have come to the point again where I really don’t know what to do. She called me on new year eve of 2012 to tell me she was still in love with my husband! This article is definitely her! I couldn’t tell you all the times she uses the kids against my husband. 1 of them he isn’t on the birth certificate because they weren’t married at the time so she uses him constantly if she doesn’t get her way. I do not know what to do anymore. I have tried everything. My husband gives into her because he loves his kids and wants to get them when he is supposed to. There has been times where we haven’t gotten them at all for months at a time. Is there anyone that would give me a little advice on this. I have told my husband if he would stand up to her then maybe she wouldn’t act like she does but by reading this I’m not sure if that will help or not. She has 2 more kids that isn’t my husbands so I don’t understand why she can’t move on. She treats me like I am nothing to the kids when they really love me and I do them as well. I have never once tried to take her place as their mother and never would I am their step mother. Any feed back at all would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  27. dadwdaughters says

    This is UNBELIEVABLE!!! I have two teenage daughters that choose to live with me because everything in this article is true of thier mother. While the only way the ex can affect me now is by the abuse she doles out on my girls its still heart breaking. The problem is the ex has abandonment issue’s,narcissistic trait’s out the wazzoo and is the poster child for GU but will never EVER admit she needs help.
    My girls try to reach out occasionaly to her but always return home crying or pissed after being verbally assaulted. They are truely great kids and deserve better. I wonder if I should turn them on to this article or just let them drift farther away from her.

  28. RedRabbit says

    It is amazing how common this sense of entitlement is once you have a kid. My Husband’s ex calls herself the ‘Maternal Mother’ and I am the ‘Step Mother’. As in she was complaining to my Husband about something I was doing with my stepkids. She turned around and said, “I am the maternal mother! She’s only the step mother!” Ummmm Darling, why do YOU care I was helping your daughter at our house with something you’d never dream of doing (like enforcing basic hygiene. Yes, the kids are dirty and smell bitter when they come from her house after a couple of days) yourself?

    She puts down my Husband when they are on the phone and accuses him of things. I told him, we don’t communicate like that, why do you let her carry on like that to you? Its like she is still married to him and has no sense of boundaries with how she addresses him.

    She acts like this stand alone statue of pristine motherhood and above the law. So much so, she puts the kids down even in front of me, you know, “only the step mother” and I was so sick of this constant beratement of how she talks to her children. Since I love them and care for them too.

    I told her she doesn’t know how to look after her kids and she hit me. After that incident I went to the police and reported it. She really thought she was above the law cos she was screaming at my Husband and was acting all justified of her actions, she was telling him to pull me into line on the phone.

    I think she poo-ed her pants though, when the police went around and had a chat with her.

    I guess she feels threatened by my presence. I think she feels she has more rights to Humanity and the Universe because she reproduced with my Husband. Thats a Goldern Uterus eh?

  29. lojac999 says

    It is completely amazing, as many others here have pointed out, how much these articles describe my ex-wife with point-by-point accuracy. I mean, throughout the last 3 – 4 years of our marriage I suspected that she was not alright. Even from the beginning I saw her constantly blame others (family, friends) for her problems. It was only for those last years that she slowly began to focus on me.

    As a result of her vicious attitudes, I have had no other option but to go NC. I cannot even say “hello” to her without seeing her fly into a rage about any number of things ranging from our past marriage to the wrong-doings she still perceives me to be doing against her (which is ridiculous, considering I don’t contact her) to how she believes my family is “putting ideas in my head” about her. And then with the rage comes all of her threats to take me back to court, to accuse me of all manner of terrible things that she claims I did during our marriage, and take away my half of the custody and get even more money (and I’m already paying more than I would have been required…again…JOINT CUSTODY…and in my state I wouldn’t have been ordered to pay at all with joint, but I agreed to do it anyway for reasons that seem dumb now).

    So my question has to do with the GU targeting that she does. Right now and for the last couple of years, I have been the target. We have two daughters (7 and 8 years old) and one of them is incredibly strong willed. We have joint custody. I am afraid that because I have gone NC and taken away some of her ability to target me, that she will start targeting our more stubborn daughter instead.


  30. Canoe Convoy says

    Several of these characteristics could be applied to the majority of Gen X women, or the majority of younger women. Any time I encounter a woman with these characteristics, I place her on my mental “Do Not Call Again” list. One of the reasons I’ve been single for my entire adult life.

  31. almisim says

    Oh my. I know this article is meant to be a serious piece of journalism and/or therapy but I have to convey how amused I was by the entire thing. Exquisitely written! Slightly bitter/cruel/extreme but that gives it a real kick. I’ve no clue how people cope with a woman like this…I know one who’s pretty narcissistic and certainly fits a LOT of the above (she still doesn’t know why her husband couldn’t just stay married and happy with her…and it’s been a long five years since they separated…she told him this ONCE he’d remarried. You go figure, he certainly couldn’t?!), but nowhere near as bad as the above. YOU have made my predicament seem wildly better…I doff my cap to you and send my heartiest condolences to anyone else who has to deal with this kind of chicanery. My personal favorite line: “Just because your ex has chosen to define herself by a failed relationship and 36 hours in a delivery room doesn’t mean you have to do the same.” luckily for me (but awfully for him i guess), my husband was unhappy for a LONG time during the marriage with a woman who denied him every chance to be the man he really is (if you understand what I mean), so it’s safe to say he doesn’t share her rose tinted glasses. In my experience and that that’s been passed on from others, the one who counts is usually NOT decided by who squeezes the most mammals out. It’s where you end up, it’s the last years of your life, its the pieces falling together, it’s not feeling so unhappy with life that you have to divorce your life partner. Love is more than placental. We considered having children of our own together but decided against it. We see all of our children as ‘ours’ irrespective of which uterus they emerged from. His marriage had problems before it was even a marriage and my own experience of raising children was also difficult. We just appreciate that we can live in the light of her golden uterus :-) So long as I can keep My kids out of therapy, I think it’s case closed on what really matters. I don’t think the uterus is it…it’s more about heart.

  32. cvanoff says

    I’ve come across sooo many mothers who possess these characteristics!!! And it’s not only limited to wives and exes. Single moms can be every bit as annoying. Mothers afflicted with GUC tend to believe that they’re glowing uteri put them more in favor with God, than the rest of us.

  33. appiness says

    Thank you for this Blog! It’s good to know my husband and I are definitely not alone!

    It’s taken us 4 years and some counselling to come to understand that there is no point having a logical argument with my husband’s ex wife GU, because the only logic is hers! Even if she said THIS last week, it is completely normal and above reproach if she says THAT this week!!

    A word of advice for anyone just in a new relationship with a lovely man with a horrible ex wife GU – don’t fall into the trap of thinking she’ll settle down once she realises you’re here for the long haul. She WILL get worse. It doesn’t mean you should cut and run (though it would make life easier!) but just be prepared, read up, and try to stay in the role of support for your husband – try not to get too emotionally involved yourself with that side of things. Much easier said than done, I haven’t managed to do it! Don’t let it become the only thing you talk about between you and with your friends – you’re just giving her more power that way!

    We’ve found the best way to deal with it is to just ignore as much as possible. When she writes hateful, horrible things to my husband, he used to react and defend himself, before he realised that’s what she loves! Reply to questions politely if it is about the child, but do not give her any emotion or show her that she has hit you where it hurst – again, that’s what she feeds off. Starve the beast.

  34. MaryJ1981 says

    Okay, I know that this is an old article, but I just saw it posted on facebook. I wanted to say that I am definitely glad that I’m not alone in this situation. I am a divorced mother of 4 wonderful children that I love with all my heart and soul. I was going through a difficult time and could not afford to financially provide for my children, so I let my ex husband have custody of them. I talk to them every single night, we text pictures back and forth constantly, and I am allowed to visit them whenever I want. My ex’s new wife is a real sweetheart and she treats the children very well. I also talk to her all the time and we are friends on facebook so I can see what the kids are up to.

    My fiancee on the other hand has two children with his ex wife. She fits this article to a “T”. Never in my entire life have I ever met someone that treats her children like they are pawns in her games. She treats my fiancee like he owes her the world. We are in the middle of a nasty custody battle and we have full custody of one son but the other is living with her. And of course it is the youngest one. Before we got custody, both kids were failing in school, both in danger of being held back. They were getting suspended almost weekly, and both have been sent to alternative schools. They have had the cops called on them a number of times because they go out in the neighborhood, unsupervised, and cause problems. One scratched a neighbors car from front to back because he was mad at his friend. The other threw a fairly large rock at a little girls head because she wouldn’t do what he told her to do. She needed to get stitches. Oh, and they’re only 9 & 11.

    Since the oldest one has been with us for a full school year now, he has turned his D and F grades into straight A’s. He is going to be in all honor classes next year. He is going to be in the band and play the Oboe. He loves school and sports and we try to let him do as much as our busy schedules will allow.

    The youngest one is repeating the 4th grade and is not allowed back into the school that he attended last year.

    We are only having a couple problems now and I do not know how to handle them. First, the 11 year old goes to his moms house every other weekend, and when he comes back, he is always disobedient. It takes him a couple days to get back into the way that things are here. She sends him back home with bags upon bags of junk food, saying that we starve him at our house. I’m sorry, but just because he doesn’t get candy and soda at our house, doesn’t mean we’re starving him! And because we don’t get food stamps, doesn’t mean that we can buy him anything and everything that he wants to eat!

    Our other problem is with the 9 year old. Whenever he comes to our house every other weekend, he acts like he’s allowed to do whatever he wants. The courts told us that we are not allowed to punish the child in any way. He now thinks that he can rule the house. When he is over, it makes the 11 year old act up as well. And their mother has told them that because I’m only the step mother, they don’t have to listen to me. I can’t do anything to them and if I even raise my voice at them, they can call her and she’ll call the cops and say that I’m abusing them. And she’s called on me 4 times in the past couple months.

    How can we not try to change her, but show the kids that we only have their best intentions in mind? We know that there is no changing her, but the children are still young and need to understand that she is the one hurting them, not us.

    Sorry that this is long, it’s just once I get started on the topic, it’s hard to stop typing!


    • Dr Tara J. Palmatier says

      Hi MJ,

      First, that’s fantastic about the eldest boy. How long did it take him to transition from the chaos/abuse/neglect that was going on at his mom’s house to the structure, boundaries and stability of your home?

      Second, I’m sorry to read the youngest got stuck with his mother full-time. His behavioral issues and poor academic performance are surely a testament to the hell that takes place under her roof.

      I trust you’re building a compare/contrast case between how the eldest fared with mom and how he is faring now with his father and you. You would think his before and after school performance and significantly fewer behavioral disturbances would be obvious enough to discern who is able to provide the better home without going through a lengthy and costly battle, evaluations, etc.

      Good luck you you and your family. I hope the courts do what is truly best for the children.

  35. Lee Kallett says

    I post this to inform the public about the current antiquated alimony laws still in existence around the country. This is my alimony horror story. In the no fault divorce state of Florida, the ex had many adulterous affairs with other women (while pregnant with the second and last child) and including her incestuous relationship with her own 20 year old female cousin. She gets rewarded for this and her changed sexual orientation with lifetime alimony by the Hillsborough County Court (Tampa Case No: 05-DR-013627) and I get punished financially. How is this right and just? It certainly isn’t and the time to fix such an injustice is now. The duplicity continues and she blogs and writes as well as conducts her day to day life under an assumed last name, only using her legal last name on the driver’s license and to cash the hefty checks I write. If you are outraged about this avaricious hypocrite, please get involved to fight the unjust alimony laws around the country. There is no reason why a judge can’t order her to return to the workforce. She is a four year university graduate. The children are adults and no longer living in the home. There’s no reason why an able bodied, healthy, educated woman can’t be instructed by new law and guidelines to fully financially support herself.
    The ex filed in the Circuit Court of the 13th Judicial Circuit, in and for Hillsborough County, FL Case No: 13-11991 Division G and on August 21, 2013 the judge ruled for
    Order of Dismissal of Temporary Injunction for Protection
    “The evidence presented is insufficient under Florida law”.
    The ex-wife attempted in her demand to muzzle our alimony reform efforts. She even had our 18 year old son testify against me.
    Please support alimony reform.
    Elvina and Lee Kallett of St. Pete Beach, FL – Pays lifetime alimony to woman unable to remarry

    Lee Kallett of St. Pete Beach, FL – Pays $4K in permanent alimony to lesbian ex-wife
    This is Lee Kallett and Elvina Kallett. He pays permanent alimony to a woman who left the marriage because she chose to live a lesbian

  36. Ravenhairfemme says

    Two questions for the readers. Question One: Does anyone else have a GU that is constantly changing BFs, as much as one changes their underwear? I am sure it has to do with the fact that those with personality disorders have a history/pattern of erratic relationships and it is an indicator of a their PD but I am curious about others experiences similar to mine. Two: Is it possible for a GU to act like a GU even if you are NOT the first woman they have children with? The GU in my life is my hubby’s first wife and they have two children together. This article hit the nail on the head and then some when it comes to her behavior. Question Two: GU has two more exes and two more children with them and they seem to be dealing with the same issues my hubby and I deal with, so my questions is, can one still be a GU even if they are the second wife giving men other children? I hope that makes sense. Essentially my GU truly feels her uterus is lined with gold and ALL the men in her life and their children should bow down even if they had children with another woman before them. Thoughts Dr. P and forum members?

  37. Yvonne says

    It is incredibly sad for the children that have a mother like this. My husband’s ex fits this to a T. Meanwhile she tries to make up lies about our family which she knows nothing about. To make herself feel better for abandoning her daughter when she was 8 because “she didn’t want to be a parent any more”, she now tries to make it out that we are alienating her daughter from her. Hard to imagine that her daughter would not want to have anything to do with a person that so willfully neglected and hurt her. Just because her mother wants to be a parent now 5 years later, doesn’t mean she is entitled to have that privilege any more in her daughter’s eyes. She may be good at manipulating simple-minded people into her constant drama and schemes, that doesn’t mean that her daughter at 14 can’t see through her. My husband and I are not this woman’s enemy in any way and bear her no ill will. But of course everything in the world is our fault in this woman’s delusional mind, including the decisions her daughter has made on her own because of what her mother did and continues to try to do.

  38. Justsaying says

    Dr Tara J. Palmatier,
    Do you have any articles on how age affects these women and their ability to find men who they can con? I am curous to know as my husbands ex is in her mid 40’s and has been going out with 20 something year olds now. She now dresses like a teen in spandex mini skirts (yeah I know lol), high heels, picks her face constantly, has scabs everywhere and wears a hair peice because she has thinning hair and tells everyone how young, thin and beautiful she is. Is this common because she can no longer fool a man who has experience in seeing through her games? We are very concerned because he has 2 young children (ages 5 and 9 with her) and worry that she brings young men in and out of their lives constantly and is acting like a teen herself, yet alienates her 6 children from their 5 fathers with false accusations and such.

  39. sasa9swiss says

    Hi Dr. T
    I’m writing you from Zürich, Switzerland. It was a relief to find this article. The ex of my bf is a GU, we also think she is suffering from a BD personality disorder. It is exactly how you describe it. She is a terrible mom, always changing plans, making party every weekend (including taking drugs and drinking), but she’s always attacking us that we have a bad influence on “her” son (he’s 6). She sends text messages complaining about little things, like a dirty t-shirt, or that I watched the little one when my bf went to the fitness studio, she always points out, that because she carried “her” child in her belly for 9 months, she knows what is best for him, and that I’m a danger for “her” son and shouldn’t be left alone with him (because I’m a slut and a psycho). In the beginning (for 6 months) my bf was not allowed to see me when he was taking care of his son (she threatened to freak out, wrote tons of sms and emails). It was a horrible time and for me the biggest horror was to see a kid suffering in the middle, the kid was used as a weapon, the GU used the kid to put pressure and guilt on my bf. I have also a son (9 years), me and my ex and I having a very relaxed friendship, we never put our son in situations where he had to take side also we spared him with the “adult stuff” that was involved in our separation. I even go cristmas gifts shopping for my ex, his new wife and their little daughter (my son’s half sister). My son loves his dad and I’m happy that he has a dad that loves him and cares for him. But I really have a hard time to deal with the GU situation of my bf because it’s the total opposite. The GU from by BF is putting all the blame on my bf and she’s not stopping from telling the kid that daddy is an asshole and that I took daddy from her (she kicked my bf out the house 1 year before we even started to date, so there’s absolutely no truth with that). It’s such a nightmare. We tried mediation, psychologists, lawyers, at the end, no one helped and nothing changed, it’s just our nerves have been ruined and lots of money has been spent. My bf takes care 50% of his son, but has to pay her 1’400 usd per month for the kid, plus he has to pay back all the debts she left him (approx 100’000 usd). Instead of being greatful for him taking care of their son (he’s a very good father) and all the financial support, her only goal is to make our lives a living night mare.
    I wish people would have have to pass a test before having children, some people should not be allowed to have children, especially GU’s. My impression is, that BD (GU) women look for men to take care of them because they don’t get along with their lives on their own (going to work every morning, paying rent etc), by getting pregnant they think they will have the right to own the man and to make a man responsible to look for the GU for the rest of her life, just because they gave birth.
    Thanks so much for this article, you have put it down in words what we have to go trough and it feels like a relief to find someone who is recognising this problem.

  40. hctrouble says

    This is like someone holding up a mirror to my husbands ex. She is this article. Now I get it. I always recognized that she was jealous and bitter, but this also helps me explain a lot of her negative parenting towards her children. She is extra angry now because we just had twin girls and her oldest son has asked to come live with us, and is now living with us. I wish these women could see past their own anger, jealousy, bitterness, and lack of responsibility for their own actions to realize how much damage they are doing to the people they should protect and care for the most..their children. This country needs a serious parenting overhaul and the courts/states, counties, etc. need to get involved to push this.

  41. slcardinal says

    Just read your GU blog. Actually I read it out loud to my husband. His ex wife just texted him tonight to complain that “things never change”, that he is a bad father and should talk to their kids DAILY!!!… are ages 25 years, 26 years and 30 years….yup years!!!!……My husband and I have been married now 8 years and this has been going on for, oh…..8 years!!, she is remarried and is raising their 25 year old daughters, 6 year old daughter. Everything in this article pertains to her. My husband is very good at “not biting” to her wrath and he would totally ignore her if it wasn’t for the fact that she has our granddaughter…..and I say “our” because she has always known me as Grandma and I love her to pieces. This article was awesome, thank you so much!!

  42. dayfmtx says

    Dr T,

    My mouth is wide open on the table, might have broken my jaw. WOW !

    Started on our honeymoon night…I was packed and ready to fly home by myself from Hawaii the second night and stayed 20 years.
    Unilaterally got a vasectomy after our second child was born without discussing it with her to remove that control from our life.

    Since moving out and divorce final, she insists my 17 y/o son goes to counseling and she demands to sit in. My son is furious, but afraid of her.
    It also seems to be a form of male misogyny that has transferred from me, onto my son…. I must have modeled the dysfunction & fear to her demands the is enabling him and his fear of her rejection.

    She came to me when my daughter was a teen and said she wanted me to scare her, like her father scared her. I looked at her for a few seconds, gathering my thoughts and replied, “That is just not my style” and i thought to myself, ”secondly, I just don’t trust you ! ”

    Love my children, they are hurt and wounded and they don’t understand, just like I am trying to figure this out. Heck, I didn’t understand much until I read this and I am a flawed, but pretty smart guy and in my 50’s.

    WOW ! I can’t believe I selected a GU.

  43. greattobesingle says

    Dr Tara J. Palmatier,

    Do you have any articles/theories when the tables are turned and the father of the children have this attitude/belief or is it just narcissism?

  44. tcratsleys says

    Wow! I think this article was written about my mom. This describes her in every detail and I never thought anyone else would ever understand the way she was towards my father and how she manipulated us kids. It took me years to finally understand and accept that she lied and manipulated everything so much. By then my relationship with my father was gone and to this day he doesn’t seem to want anything to do with us kids.

  45. tcratsleys says

    Because I grew up with a “GU” mother I vowed I would never be that way to my own children but I have now divorced my ex- and deal with many of these same issues mentioned in this article. The difference is I am the ex wife! He is my ex-husband and I’ve always said he acts just like my mom did. Although he doesn’t have a uterus he acts just like these statements. Is it common to see this in men too??

  46. sus1220 says

    I am truly thrilled to find this article. My husband and I have been together for over 11 years. I met him when his daughter was 2.5 years old. He split up with his girlfriend when their daughter was 2. I met him 6 months after they split. Our daughter is now going on 14. Her mother and step-father do everything they can to turn her against us. It’s been this way for years. We have her in couseling and have spoken to her counselor on several occasions. Her counselor says that our daughter tries to make our home sound horrific but it’s all “normal” horrible stuff (we made her clean her room, she can’t talk back whenever she wants, dad wont allow her to wear skimpy clothes, etc). Her counselor says that she will not hold a conversation about her mom and step-father. She said she believes our daughter was told she wasn’t allowed to talk about them. She says that nothing our daughter has said (when it slips) can be defined as clear cut child abuse in the eyes of the court but that in her opinion it just feels “icky”. She says that there are things our daughter will let slip that just don’t make sense to her (ex: she is not allowed to wear black bras becuase they are too sexy but she can wear padded bras to make her look larger, etc). She believes our daughter is being “brain washed and manipulated” to hate us so her birth mother is the parent that comes out on top. The problem is we are forced to play this game when we don’t consider our daughter and her life a game. I have been in her life for nearly 12 years – I am the person who stepped up when her mother didn’t. From Kindergarten to 5th grade she lived with her father and I Monday thru Friday and only the weekends with her mother. Her mother still collected child support during these years (while telling our daughter that her father didn’t pay child support), even moved out of state for 6 months only seeing her twice. I had to step up – if I didn’t who would? My husband works so hard to provide for our family and be the best father he can be – but it is undermined in every way at every chance. When she returns to her mom’s house she isn’t asked if she had a good time at our house she’s told things like “I know you don’t like going to your dad’s house”. How many times does a child need to be told they don’t like something before they start believeing it? My SD and I have a great relationship, we are inseprable, I adore her so much and strive for her to be treated as complete equals to the boys my husband and I have together. But at every step this is undermind. She is told that since she is only in our home half the time her father should only spend time with her when she is at our house, he should ignore his two sons and his wife, if he doesn’t then he doesn’t love her. She’s told I’m trying to replace her mother and that I try to force her out of the childs life, which of course isn’t true. Mom threaten’s us with court whenever she doesn’t get her way. Our daughter then comes to our home and plays the manipulation game (if I don’t get what I want, am the center of attention, allowed to get away with things and if I get into trouble) then I no longer want to live in your home and only want to live with my mother. This has been going on since she entered 6th grade – she’s now in 9th. Her mother has even gone as far as telling the court that our daughter didn’t want to live in our home because she hates me so much she would rather kill herself. You should have seen our daughter’s reaction when she found that out. OMG it was heart breaking. We spend so much time trying to protect her from seeing things that we think would crush her that we’ve made the mistake of not allowing her to see things as they really are. At this point my husband and I are at our wits end. He doesn’t want to lose his daughter and he never wants to give up – but to what end? We don’t know how to proceed and her counselor isn’t able to help much because she isn’t told the truth. The counselor said she feels like she is being lied to and it’s very hard to help someone who won’t be honest completely with you. The she returns to her mothers house and instantly the text messages and phone calls begin. My husband gets the messages of what a horrible wife/step mom your wife is, your a horrible father because you won’t let your daughter run the streets, you won’t let her wear age inappropriate clothes, you didn’t buy her the $120 jeans she wanted, etc. My husband is now at the point to where he caters to our daughter in a lot of ways because he is afraid of losing her. Then I’m the bad guy because I’m not OK with our boys being punished for bad behavior and she’s not because we are walking on egg shells. Our boys feel resentment because they feel like their sister tries to keep them from their dad when she is there, which is true to a degree but it’s what she’s been conditioned to do. I don’t know where to go or how to move forward anymore. Her mother is the exact description of Golden Uterus and has been diagnosed as BiPolar (so we’ve been told). I’m glad to see we are not the only people going through this. We have 50/50 custody. But it amazes me in 2015 that there are so many ways women are allowed to abuse men/fathers and get away with it under the guise of “I’m mom”. It sickens me. My husband and our daughter deserve better, and I’m stuck because I can’t change it. Thanks for listening.

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