Sound like a dumb question? Yeah, yeah, we get you.
So, it seems pretty darn good timing to give you a sneak peek at our new book about dealing with that heart-shaped box of chocolate covered nuts in your life. We just released “Say Goodbye to Crazy” on Amazon.com for pre-order. It has been on Amazon for only a short time. So short a time, in fact, that the book Introduction and About pages are not available yet for viewing. We thought it was a good idea to go ahead and give that to you here.
The full version will be available on Mother’s Day, May 10, 2015. This is all never before seen material from Dr. Tara and Paul. Those of you who understand the term “golden uterus” will fully get the irony of a Mother’s Day release.
Below are the Introduction and About pages for Say Goodbye to Crazy. We hope you enjoy. And if you want to pre-order, please click HERE.
Say Goodbye to Crazy
How to Rid Yourself of that Crazy Ex and Restore Sanity to Your Life
Dr. Tara Palmatier & Paul Elam
Who is Crazy? If you plunked down your hard earned money to buy this book, you are probably already well-acquainted with Crazy. In fact, you are likely more acquainted with Crazy than you ever wanted to be.
In case there’s any doubt, Crazy is an ex who is unwilling or incapable of letting go of his or her former partner, and does his or her level best to continue to control and interfere in their former partner’s life. Crazy comes in both sexes, male and female, but we have decided to focus on the female version of Crazy. For many reasons, our culture and the mental health field does a poor job of addressing the problem of female Crazy, but we’ll address that later.
If your husband was once married to, involved with, or had children with Crazy, there are probably times when it seems like she is committed to making his life, and by extension your life, a living hell. Crazy demeaned, exploited and abused your husband while they were together and she continues to harass him through their shared children and Family Court since their divorce.
Crazy is often very entitled. She acts as if she is owed the sun and the moon and everything in between just because she was once married to and bred with your husband. When trying to describe Crazy and her antics to your family, friends, attorney or therapist, you probably find yourself using words and phrases like controlling, bully, entitled, self-obsessed, hypocrite, liar, hateful, terrorist, vampire, bitch, Jekyll and Hyde, psycho bitch from hell, personality disordered, stalker, whack-job and, well, crazy.
Crazy may have taught your husband’s children to hate and mistrust him or to see him as a disposable wallet and doormat. She trash talks about you to their kids, his family, mutual friends and anyone else who will listen. She may even encourage your step-children to be disrespectful to you and to resent your very presence in their father’s life and their lives. If your husband has failed to set healthy boundaries with Crazy, you are probably frustrated by having to deal with his Daddy Guilt for “abandoning” his family, even if Crazy was the one who divorced him.
At one time or another, you have likely sought either individual or couples counseling due to Crazy’s behavior, its impact on you and your family, and possibly your husband’s inability to set limits with Crazy. Therapists, clergy or friends who you have turned to for support may have told you that you need to respect Crazy as the mother of their children, that you need to be patient and tolerant of Crazy’s ongoing abuse for the sake of the children or that you should have known what you were getting into marrying a man with kids.
We are not going to tell you that.
In fact, we are going to tell you the opposite.
Crazy is a pandemic and there are men and women living similar lives of quiet desperation just like you and your husband. Indeed, if you are reading this, it is very likely that a great deal of your time has already been wasted, consumed by chaos and disharmony brought about by Crazy.
You have found out the hard way that your husband’s previous struggles, the ones that should have ended with his divorce, have followed him directly into his relationship with you and are causing turmoil for both of you. If there are children involved, that misery only multiplies.
You are likely to be suffering the effects of all this financially, as well as emotionally and psychologically. Crazy, who was irrational and abusive when they were together, has continued her antics long after their relationship “ended,” and now you, and possibly your children, have become the targets of her maliciousness.
You may have also learned the hard way that the family courts are her best friend, enabling her to manipulate and use children like pawns, constantly go after his income, disrupt your plans, and otherwise undermine your lives together.
Your life has become as crazy as that crazy woman is. It has become difficult and sometimes impossible for you to do something as simple as having a family holiday without her finding ways to interfere and sabotage. Often, her avenue of choice to do that is the kids. She will interfere with their visitation at the last minute, or create a crisis that you must respond to at the most critical and inconvenient of times. She has elevated troublemaking to an art form, and your home life has become her canvas.
She will demonize you to his children, encouraging them to disrespect you — to see you as the evil stepmother. She will tell them she cannot provide the things they want because their father is spending all his money on you or on your children. She may even tell them that if it were not for you that she and their father would be reconciled and be one “happy” family again.
She will also encourage the kids to disrespect him, to see him as the loser she thinks he is. Crazy will alienate the children from their father, withhold them from visitation and encourage them to blame him for their broken family. The heartbreaking results of that kind of abuse spill out onto everyone involved.
If most or all of this applies to your life, you are part of a large and growing community of women whose relationships have become the second battleground for his failed relationship with Crazy. It is not what you bargained for in the beginning, but nonetheless it is what you are getting, and you are more than sick of it.
If you are reading this book, you are probably also frustrated with him because he seems either unable or unwilling to do anything about it. You want him to fight to protect you, and your relationship, but it just isn’t happening. In response to the ongoing abuse, many men learn to shut down and shut it out. Of course, they are really just hiding from the conflict in the only way they know how, by withdrawing. That does nothing to solve the problem. His approach to dealing with Crazy didn’t work in their marriage and it is failing again.
You love him, but you have sometimes wondered just how much of this you can take and hold onto your sanity. You may even have considered leaving.
If this is describing your life, the last thing you need is to spend your time looking for answers in a book that does not have them. It’s time for real answers and time to take real world action.
This book does have answers. Not all of them are pretty. In fact, most of them aren’t. But they are real answers to your very real problems. We are betting that by now that you are more interested in solutions, in things that work, rather than comfortable pop psychology and socially acceptable platitudes that have not worked. Some of the answers will seem downright unpalatable and harsh. We know that. As we will get into later in the book, there is no way to work cooperatively with Crazy. Understanding that, our goal is to give you a roadmap to escape the insanity and protect you and your family from it going forward. We want you to live the life you deserve. When you have to go through Crazy to get it, the methods to do so can be very hard.
As you read through the table of contents, you will see the list of chapters and topics covered in this book, so there is no need to address that here. Instead let’s take a look at what you will not see.
What you will not see is psychobabble or “self-help” talk. Let us be clear about that from the beginning. You don’t need to hear it because you are not the one that is crazy. She is. We are not here to help her. We’re here for you.
What you will also not get is any advice or suggestions on how to reason with her, change her behavior, make her see the error of her ways or become a better person. In this book, we do not reason or compromise with Crazy, we help you to learn to spot it and get rid of it — by whatever means necessary short of a shovel and a roll of duct tape.
We will not encourage you to give her your compassion. If you are dealing with Crazy, compassion is pointless. Any sympathy or understanding you extend will only bring you more difficulty, but you probably already know this.
We will also not be holding Crazy’s status as the mother of your husband’s children in reverence. Crazy is the kind of mother who eats her young – emotionally and, in extreme cases, mortally.
We will not tell you that you need to play handmaiden to your step-children or understand how “traumatized” they’ve been by their parents’ divorce and subsequent re-coupling. It is the parents’ responsibility to facilitate their children’s emotional adjustment and maintain acceptable behavior before, during and after the divorce. Furthermore, it is far more likely that her continued high-conflict behavior is what has been most damaging to the children.
We will not tell you to ignore Crazy’s alienation attempts and ignore the lies, half-truths and distortions she feeds the children in the hopes that “someday” they will see the truth. Not only can you set the record straight and still take the high road, it is imperative to the children’s well-being and development that you tell them the truth.
We will not tell you, “You knew what you were getting into when you married a divorced man with kids,” and that you need to “suck it up and deal.” No one should have to live in siege-like conditions because Crazy believes she owns her ex for life and has decided to make him pay. You married the person you love and your relationship does not stand a fighting chance unless you deal with the diarrhea-prone elephant in the living room, i.e., Crazy.
Chances are you have tried a very wide range of things in your attempts to make the situation more manageable. You have tried to be accommodating, understanding and gracious. On the other end, you may have become so frustrated that you have become hostile and/or reactionary. Neither extreme has worked for you.
Nothing has worked. And that is the problem.
With this type of person nothing ever works. This is so important that we need to repeat it: Nothing ever works. The only sane option at your disposal is to get her out of your lives as much as possible. The only thing that works with Crazy is to say goodbye to her once and for all, making sure you don’t look back, not even for a second.
We understand that shutting her out completely can be difficult, especially when there are children involved. Difficult, yes, but difficult does not mean it is impossible. It is possible, if you are willing to hold your ground, with her, and with him.
Much of your ability to say goodbye to Crazy hinges on your willingness to do it, and to do it without compromise. This book will not only give you a way to solve many of the problems associated with Crazy, but will also help you cultivate the resolve to get the job done. We will show you ways to help him become your partner in making it happen.
What you will find is that the information contained here will do a lot more than just help you rid your life of a crazy ex. It will help you in a lot of other ways as well. Crazy comes in a lot of packages. Crazy friends, employers, family members, co-workers and others are a part of our lives at one time or another.
Who has not had to deal with a crazy, destructive relative, friend or colleague? After all, isn’t putting up with constant craziness a little bit crazy itself?
In a strange way, craziness from other people is a normal part of life. We all face some of it to one degree or another. But tolerating bitter, nasty, destructive insanity, from an ex-wife, or from anyone else, is a choice and a very unhealthy one at that.
It’s time to reclaim your life. Don’t waste another second. Go ahead and get started on the first chapters of this book. Then say goodbye to Crazy — and hello to a happier, more peaceful life.
About This Book
This book is easy to sum up in a nutshell. It’s about ridding your life, as much as is possible, of the destructive influence your partner’s crazy ex, whom we will refer to by her generic first name – Crazy.
We know that Crazy would likely find this label insulting, but we are assuming you have called her worse, and with good reason. It doesn’t matter. This book is for you, not her.
As you read this book, you may find yourself eager to share it with your boyfriend or husband. He may also be enthusiastic to begin the process of saying goodbye to Crazy. We suggest you start thinking in those terms from the start. Getting your mate to buy into this difficult process is just half the battle, it is near all of it In order for our strategies to work, the two of you must form a united, unbreakable front. If you are not at a place where you are ready to insulate you, your husband, and your family from Crazy, then this book may not be for you – yet. We offer solutions, some of which are very difficult to read. You have to be firm in your resolve. It’s your family and future that matters, not whatever the Crazy is doing.
You may, and likely already have, found your loved one dragging his feet or quick to reject possible solutions before either of you even tries them. In that light, reading this book might make him more than a little anxious and upset. This is understandable for a few reasons.
First, it’s very common for men and women who have been in relationships with Crazy to develop trauma symptoms. Reading this book may cause him to relive the abuse he experienced while with her. Second, following our suggestions may push him to face fears and discomfort he had long before he met Crazy and he may resist on those grounds alone.
Third, individuals who have been put in one no-win situation after the next by Crazy often develop a sense of learned helplessness, or the belief that nothing they do or say will be effective, so why bother? They give up and let Crazy run amok. You may even feel this way, too, periodically. Crazy maintains her power by wearing her victims down into compliant doormats over time.
So don’t be surprised if your husband or you are initially reluctant to read this book and implement its strategies. If reading it is upsetting, find a pace that is comfortable and support each other in seeing it through. The strategies in this book will be ineffective if only one of you is doing the work.
You’re both going to need to do some heavy lifting. If one of you starts to feel resentful during this process, it may be that the other is not doing his or her share. Crazy is an army of one. Sane and functional must work together.
- Part One: Defining the Problem
- Part Two: Preparing to Solve the Problem
- Part Three: Solving the Problem.
Part I: Defining the Problem
Before you can solve a problem, you need to identify and understand it. Since you are reading this book, we assume your husband’s or boyfriend’s ex – Crazy – is the problem. You need to know more, however, than the basic and obvious fact that Crazy is crazy.
We will look at normal divorce bitterness vs. Crazy divorce bitterness and what makes Crazy tick. We will discuss common personality types and mental health conditions associated with Crazy. Some are Crazy with entitlement issues. Some are Crazy ragers. Some are waif-like, perennial, professional Crazy victims. Some are Crazy stalkers. Some are mentally ill (personality disordered and/or sociopathic). Some are emotionally stunted Crazy children in adult bodies. Some are Crazy violent. Some are Crazy drama queens. Not all of the characteristics we describe will apply to your Crazy. On the other hand, you may find there is much overlap.
We will also examine how Crazy is enabled on a cultural and personal level.
Part II: Preparing to Solve the Problem
This section explores the common roadblocks you will need to surmount in order to prepare yourself to say goodbye to Crazy. You may be surprised that Crazy is often not the biggest obstacle to solving the problem. More often than not, the most problematic obstacles are you and your husband. This is good news! While you can’t fix Crazy, you can change your behaviors and attitudes.
We will examine your husband’s reticence to say no to his ex and possibly his children, Daddy Guilt, your guilt, societal pressures and how both of your family of origin experiences may be causing you difficulty in developing and maintaining effective boundaries with Crazy.
Part III: Solving the Problem
This section provides real world, practical solutions you can implement once you are ready to commit to doing the necessary work. We will walk you through the fundamental attributes, basic skills and strategies necessary to say goodbye to Crazy.
We will show you specific strategies, and ways to maintain your resolve while you execute your plan. We will not kid with you or sugar-coat the fact that it can get rough. Saying goodbye to Crazy, and making it stick can feel like throwing holy water on a vampire. It can be a scary experience. After all, fear is usually the number one reason why people let Crazy get away with her antics to begin with.
So a big part of the work you are about to undertake means facing and walking through fears. If you are committed to making it happen, though, we can show you and your partner not only how to make that a successful experience, but one that will enhance the bond you share and bring more value to your personal relationship with each other.
Let’s get started!
Shrink4Men Counseling, Coaching and Consulting Services
Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD provides confidential, fee-for-service, counseling, consultation and 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.