This isn’t a rhetorical question. If you’ve asked yourself more than once, “Is my girlfriend/wife/fiancee a crazy bitch?” as a clinical psychologist, I’m here to tell you the answer is, “Yes, diagnostically speaking, she may very well be a crazy bitch.”
A crazy bitch insidiously makes you feel like the unstable, angry person. You soon doubt your interpretation of events and experiences. In lots of cases, this type of woman may have a personality disorder, such as Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) or Antisocial Personality Disorder or some combination of the Cluster B disorders. In other cases, they may not qualify for diagnoses, but it doesn’t really matter. Abusers are highly resistant to change regardless of whether they have a personality disorder or not.
Here’s a quiz to find out if your wife, girlfriend or ex is an abuser:
- Does she fly into rages without warning over relatively trivial matters like a web page loading too slowly?
- Are you always the scapegoat/bad guy whenever she’s frustrated, disappointed or just plain bored?
- Do her friends (that is, if she has any) describe her as a “drama queen?”
- Does she describe herself as a drama queen? If so, congrats. You found one with a modicum of self-awareness.
- Is her lipstick a little too red? Is it applied like theater makeup and a tad crooked?
- Did sex begin with an earth shattering bang and fizzle into infrequent, transactional and conditional sex?
- Is she a black-and-white, all-or-nothing thinker?
- Do you lie to your family, friends and colleagues about what goes on at home?
- Do you find yourself making excuses to your family, friends and colleagues for her inexcusable behavior?
- Do you find yourself walking on eggshells around her?
- Does she hate your friends and family and become angry or tearful when you spend time with them?
- Is she pathologically jealous?
- Does she project her feelings onto you? For example, she’s yelling and raging and then accuses you of being angry.
- Does focus solely on her emotional experience while exhibiting little or no empathy for yours?
- Have you distanced yourself from friends and family because of your relationship?
- Does she place you on a pedestal one day only to tear you down the next day? “I’ve never known anyone like you before. You’re so wonderful!” Next day: “You’re the devil! You’re the most selfish bastard I’ve ever met! You don’t love me!”
- Did she change her identity after she landed you? For example, when you first met her she was a sexy, adventurous, sweet ballbuster; now, she’s afraid of her own shadow, has no outside interests and goes ballistic if she has to do anything without you.
- Does she put you into “no win” situations in which nothing you do is good enough and you’re guaranteed to fail?
- Does she exhibit stalker behaviors? This usually occurs during the courtship phase or when she senses you’re about to make a break for it. For instance: Calling and hanging up? Calling over and over and over until you answer the phone? Does she wait outside your home, uninvited, until you arrive? Does she show up at places she know you’ll be, also uninvited? Has she tried to get close to your friends in inappropriate ways?
If you answered “yes” to more than two of these questions, you may be involved with a female abuser. You’re not alone. They’re everywhere.
Most of the men who ended up in my therapy office were there because they were experiencing stress, depression or anxiety as a result from being in a relationship with an emotionally abusive woman. Ironically, most of the time they were shamed and pathologized into seeking counseling by these women. Never mind that most of the symptoms my male patients experienced were a direct result of being in a relationship with an abuser who most likely had one of the abusive personality disorders
If you think you may be involved with an abusive woman, good luck. They’re typically treatment resistant and they never really get any better. If you choose to stay in the relationship, I strongly recommend you educate yourself about the signs and symptoms of abuse, personality disorders and learn some basic behavioral management skills.
Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD helps individuals work through their relationship and codependency issues via telephone or Skype. She specializes in helping men and women trying to break free of an abusive relationship, cope with the stress of an abusive relationship or heal from an abusive relationship. She combines practical advice, emotional support and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for professional inquiries.
Want to Say Goodbye to Crazy? Buy it HERE.
Crazy woman from istockphotos.
Walking on eggshells from “ada loves you” on flickr.