Here’s another superb article written by CrazyBuster, LiliM:
This article was inspired by some of the callers I’ve heard on Dr. Tara’s Shrink4Men Radio show. After listening to the first four episodes, I’ve noticed a theme with some of the men who get sucked into the madness of the high-conflict (HCP)/personality disordered/Crazy partner.
Just like women who seem to date the same loser over and over, there are some men who keep dating the same Crazy over and over.
If you have a pattern of getting involved with unstable, abusive, crazy, high-conflict and/or personality disordered women, you need to start connecting the dots.
If you realize that you have a habit of being attracted to Crazy, it’s in your best interests and your children’s interest (if applicable) to break your bad habit. The first thing I recommend is identifying your particular brand of Crazy.
When I was still attracted to Crazy, my Crazy of choice was the Cheater/Blamer Crazy. Once you identify your Crazy of choice, you then need to figure out how to end your attraction to Crazy or how to “Crazy-Proof” yourself.
How do you stop the cycle of attraction to Crazy?
At the end of a relationship with Crazy du jour, many of us vow, “Never again” and sincerely mean it. Nevertheless, odds are you’re still vulnerable to Crazy. Most of us tend to be conditioned to certain patterns of behavior and seek them out without even realizing it. If you get involved with the same type of Crazy over and over again, it’s helpful to realize that even though the Crazy package may look a little different, the inner contents are all the same.
If you’re in a relationship an unstable, abusive HCP, you need to get out.
However, this is easier said than done. With an abusive HCP and potentially personality-disordered person, the getting out part is neither normal nor easy. You can’t just say, “Hey, it’s not you, it’s me;” or, “Hey, it’s just not working out;” or, “Hey, I think we need to stop seeing each other.” Not with Crazy. The HCP will not allow it because it triggers their two biggest fears: the fear of abandonment and the fear of feeling inferior.
You need to plan your exit very carefully. Plan as though your life depended on it. In some ways, it does.
Nothing is easy with Crazy. They thrive on making everything an ordeal and a trial. So if you live together, rent a storage unit, and wait until your Crazy is gone. Take a day off work, gather a friend or two, and get your stuff out of the house. This is even more true if you’re married. If you’re married, you need to have a legal exit strategy in place before you get the storage unit and gather your friends.
Above all else, PLEASE do not tell your Crazy anything. When you’re a decent person, you want to give people a head’s up when the axe is about to fall because we don’t want to needlessly hurt the other person. THE RULES OF COMMON COURTESY DO NOT APPLY WHEN YOU’RE TRYING TO BREAK FREE OF THE CRAZY.
So whether you just live together or are married, telling the Crazy about the demise of the relationship should be the very last thing you do. Get everything else in place before you tell her it’s over.
Once you’ve done due diligence on how to get the hell outta Dodge and have informed Crazy you’re done with the relationship, you must prepare for what comes next.
Crazy will not let you go, not without trying to inflict maximum damage first. Even if she doesn’t want you and has repeatedly told you what a POS you are, she will not be dumped, she will not be left. When she rewrites history for your friends and family, you will be the one who was dumped, although, somehow, you will also be accused of being abusive. Be forewarned.
Block her calls from your cell phone. If you have children together, establish one email and one phone line for her to contact you and block her from all other avenues of communication. If she is a Crazy Dialer to your place of employment, make sure you let your boss know there might be trouble on the horizon.
Many people often feel embarrassed letting their boss know their personal life is not peachy keen. However, Crazy is very good at spotting your weak spots and work is often an obvious weak spot. Let your boss know ahead of time she may be calling and shrieking and accusing you of this or that. I’ve found, in chatting with men who worried about this, when they talked to their boss, they discovered their bosses willing to protect them while at work.
Prepare yourself for the siege. You know it’s coming, you’ve been with her long enough to know she’ll go that route. Unless there are children, go completely No Contact. Don’t be fooled by her protestations of love and desire, and her professed inability to live without you that may be coming your way. This is called hoovering.
Go No Contact, and stick to it. NO MATTER WHAT. The whole No Contact gig is harder than it seems. You have to do this, however, for your sanity and your ability to move forward and away from Crazy.
If children are involved, do your best to keep contact to the bare minimum and consider parallel parenting instead of co-parenting. You cannot co-parent with Crazy.
So what comes next?
You have now exited the Batshit Cave, gone no contact, and are working at maintaining it. You are adjusting to life without the drama and madness that comes with Crazy. You’re starting to think that maybe you could be ready to go out with another woman.
Before you re-enter the dating pool, go to counseling. When we get involved with such destructive people, we become damaged. We end up carrying loads and loads of baggage on our internal baggage cart from having these people in our lives. Why we allow them in our lives is as varied in reasons as there are people here.
It’s a long path that leads us to coupling with Crazy. You need to realize that and stop yourself from merely continuing on that path now that you have seen the light and become aware.
Find a counselor that you like, that will challenge you, that will help you to look within to see what it was that drew you to Crazy. Identifying that “something” will keep your from hooking up with yet another Crazy in different packaging.
Now that you have invested in the gift of counseling for yourself, you need to learn how to spot the red flags that will alert you when the next Crazy is near.
We often talk about gut instinct. We talk about it, but a large number of us don’t listen to it. You need to start tuning into that.
There is a reason that we feel uneasy or unsettled with certain people. Because we are conditioned to see the general good in people, we often dismiss that gut instinct, that unsettled feeling that tells us, “Bad idea.” Stop ignoring your gut.
Once I got out of the relationship with my Cheater/Blamer, I hustled into my counselor’s office. I was full of blame, anger, and righteous indignation, the whole nine yards. The counselor stunned me by asking, “Why did you put up with it? What need did being with such a man meet in you?” I didn’t know what to say. I hadn’t even considered such a thing. So rather than venting about my crappy ex, I started to work on why I allowed myself to be with his crappy ass.
When you learn to see why you put up with certain things, you’ll be able to spot the people who will expect you to tolerate their crap before you get involved with them. Your gut instinct will sound the alarm and you may even feel like you want to vomit when you encounter these people. Instead of rushing headlong into another painful romance, you’ll know to smile politely and carefully walk away.
It’s really unfortunate that the people who are kind enough to get involved with these destructive and broken types are often the ones who have to do the most work to get back to some sense of normalcy. For any number of reasons, you are attracted to them, and once involved, are changed forever. It does not, however, need to be a negative change.
If you recognize the hell that the Crazy relationship was and do the work to recover from it, you will ultimately become a healthier and stronger person. It will completely and utterly suck to get past the relationship. However, you will come out better on the other side.
Hold onto that. You do not have to live in a way that makes you unhappy. You don’t deserve it and it’s not your fault she’s Crazy.
How you choose to act once you see the Crazy IS on you. That, you can control. You don’t have to just live with it. You do not have to tread the same path that you have been on.
Be honest with yourself, stay safe and good luck.
Thank you, LiliM, for another fantastic contribution to the site. Keep ’em coming! – Dr T
Counseling with Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD
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. Coaching individuals through high-conflict divorce and custody cases is also an area of expertise. She combines practical advice, emotional support and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for more information.
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And once you start dating and you think it might stick…be totally honest with your new lady about your crazy baggage that might call repeatedly 50 times in the middle of the night, or come up with random perceived “kid emergencies” that you must attend to RIGHT NOW!!! on a day that you and your new girlfriend had plans 🙂
Great article. As always, thank you.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Good advice, Refinnej. It’s always best to let new partners what they might be in for if your ex continues to harass you after the end of your relationship. Any new partner is a potential target for Crazy.
Btw, this isn’t a first date disclosure, but rather with someone you believe has long-term potential.
You are right, you have to give the new person a heads up. LOL, my husband told me his ex was crazy, and mean, and I thought for sure that no one could be THAT mean and crazy. Unfortunately, I was wrong.
You are very correct about the kid emergencies. Once they realize that you are blocking them, they will use the kids as the chisel to open the door to you. If you have kids, look over parenting plans in your state, and get a super OCD detailed CO/PP, so that it details everything you can think of, thus eliminating the need to respond to emergencies. The more detailed you are from the beginning, the easier it will be, relatively speaking, on you and anyone else in your life.
Good lord, crazies suck. It’s the never ending vortex of inflicting pain.
Martin D Brie says
Great post Dr.T!! Thank you so much for this website. Last year in my darkest point of my abusive relationship the Lord led me to your site. This post really helped confirm that walking away from the relationship was the best thing I ever did. I didn’t know how to end the relationship because I was scared of the way she would react but, her abuse was too much and it was tiring to be emotionally pulled and pushed . My ex cheated on me twice (and lied about it even after getting caught and admitting to doing it). I would extend a helping hand to her because I cared but she never shown any appriciation. I compromised integrity and beliefs for her and all I got was verbal beatdowns and humiliation. After taking so much mess and her causing issues with my family I started not spending much time with her. Like what you posted Dr.T she acted like she was breaking up with me but like a broken record she would just say she was mad and she did mean it. I continued to not spend time with her and began claiming some of my own piece of mind through counciling and spending time a my new church (I had to leave my former church because she knew I went there.). Finally came the day that she once again baited me with sweet/friendly talk and as soon as I talked to her(out of loneliness) she shown her fangs attacked me verbally for not talking with her and because of a previous issue. That was confimation for me to continue walking but, my last straw ( the day I was sick tired of her craziness) was 2 days after chewing me out she sent me a message that she “still cares about me..” I was so pissed!!! I have refused contact with her since then. Thank you for this post I will share my experience with your site in the near future. The greatest healing I found next to counciling was forgiveness and re-commiting my life to Christ(who accepts me for who I am) and one day he will leading to a wonderful woman truely lives the command of ” Loving your neighbor as you love yourself”.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Yes, it’s a great article, but LiliM wrote it not me.
It looks like you got hoovered back in so she could get you close enough to let down your guard and attack you. Typical. I’m glad you went no contact after that and hope you’ve been able to maintain it.
Excellent article, LiliM.
Just prior to and all throughout the first six months of my divorce process, I went to see a counselor twice a week. I needed to build up the courage not only to leave my HCP ExH, but also to navigate the war/divorce.
HCP’s will always blame, manipulate, threaten and assassinate your character, when faced with your abandonement of them. It always surprises me when a person has too much pride or ego to admit that they need help. I think counseling is helpful in ALL divorces, but when divorcing an HCP, it is a necessity.
And you are conditioned to take whatever they hand out. It’s ingrained because they have done a good job on making sure you learned your lesson well. I cannot tell you how many times I told myself that if I just XYZ, my ex would stop cheating. It’s what he always told me. Once that loop gets going in your head, it’s hard to stop it. Counseling can put a big block on the repetitive loop.
LiliM, a very good article.
A couple of things I would like to reiterate. Do talk to people, I discovered that this is so common and many have been through it.
DO NOT TELL HER ANYTHING. I just recently moved (under cover of the darkness) in distancing myself from her even more. Protect yourself and be safe.
Talking to others IS really important. So many people don’t realize how bad HCPs can be. Or, they think they are alone, and no one else has an ex as bad as theirs.
I completely agree on the idea that you don’t tell the ex anything. Not until you and anything you hold valuable are away from the potential path of destruction. Glad you got away!
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Ditto on the NO INFORMATION TO THE EX POLICY. This is like telling a thief where you hide the key to your house.
Too many guys want to be nice, honest and fair with these types of women. Be a gentleman, but don’t be a fool. While you were with her, she no doubt used information she shared with her to hurt you. Do you honestly think it will be any different now that the relationship is over?
Taking care of yourself doesn’t make you a bad guy; taking care of and protecting yourself is healthy. Never willingly expose your jugular to these women. They’ll go right for the psychological kill shot.
Funky Monk says
I have been on a few dates since my separation without going to counselling beforehand. This article made me look back on those dates and realize that much of the first date was spent rehashing my 3 years of marriage-hell. In a way it opened up my respective dates to talk about their past relationships, but do I want to start a new one based on a shared premise of being through hell separately?
I’m not necessarily saying that I will go to counselling now, but I will make a more determined effort not to open up about my past so easily, and see where things go from a fresh perspective instead.
I have done that look back also. I can see why my early attempts at dating were not super successful. You are still so caught up in all the crap and injustice and hurt and anger, you can’t even allow another person into your sphere as anything other than a sympathetic ear.
I think once you are able to put your past IN your past, then you are in a better place to bring someone into your present and future. LOL, that was not an easy lesson to learn though!
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Excellent advice, LiliM.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Hi Funky Monk,
I think it’s natural to discuss these things when the wounds are so fresh, but, as LiliM points out, it’s best done with a trusted friend or counselor.
At some point, it’s important that you share your history with a potential mate, but the first date probably isn’t the best time.
Good article. It is critical ,IMO, that we take a look at ourselves to figure out why we let this happen to us. What is going on within each of us that allows/causes us to tolerate this abuse, and why were we not more perceptive in seeing it before we got enmenshed.
I know that many of us feel that the masking and mirroring prevented us from seeing it. But, the more men I talk to about this and of whom I inquire re the details of their courtship, the more I find that there were very clear signs that were not maskedm, but, rather, explained away by the men themselves.
In my case and the cases of several other men I have spokebn to, there was clear evidence of our wives having engaged in infidelity in some capacity(either as a cheating girlfriend, a wife who had cheated on a past husband or an other woman to a married man). Yet, most of these guys just chlked that up to youthful indiscretion or aome other BS reason, choosing, instead to beleive it would be different with us.
So, in addition to needing to look at our low sense of entitlement in tolerting the crap we did, we also need to lok at the hubris that allowed us to feel we were so different than their past victims.
That goes to the idea that we give others the benefit of the doubt, and think the best of them.
I truly believe that Crazies know this, know that most people who are human are conditioned to think positive of others, and will act in a societally acceptable manner. They prey on it. Micksbabe was right when she called them predators.
Great article! People do need to be careful about the “hoovering” you mention, even after the escape. I have witnessed a man who escaped a HCP personality-disordered mess continue to get pulled back in years later by pleas of,”I’ve changed,” “But we are MEANT for each other — I was just going through a bad time/a disease/menopause/fill in the blank,” “I have no one to help me with these household chores. I’ll pay you,” and, “I’m in pain. I need my back rubbed .”
Even after the woman hacked into his computer, read his e-mails to women and then contacted the women telling them he was involved with her (this was a number of years after their split), the guy still went over to her house to do some yard work for pay.
Bad habits need to be broken.
I have never understood that. Once I am done, either by my design, or theirs, I am done. I don’t look back. Well, maybe a little, but only in small peeks and not in any way going back to the relationship. Even with my Crazy, when I was done, that was it. He came back, because it was easier to be with me than without me (neither of us was healthy in any way) and I had to say no. It was hard, but I have always felt that once things go away, there is a reason, and you need to let them go.
Also (I forgot to mention this), create a new mantra for yourself, an affirmation: “I deserve to have a stable, decent person in my life.” Say it to yourself when no one is around. And believe it. I know someone who repeated, “I’m having no more nonsense in my life,” and swore by it 🙂
And then there are the “crazies” who jump ship as soon as “something better” comes along and there person who can’t get them off their mind … or realize how lucky they are … after they’re gone.
One movie I’ve thought about since coming across this blog is “Pretty in Pink” (another is “Play Misty for Me”).
While there was no reason given for the mom/wife leaving, I have found myself thinking she may have been one of the personalities discussed on this blog.
Which gives you a slightly different perspective on the movie, i.e., rather than wallowing in grief, the dad should have been thanking his lucky stars.
I think of this when the occasional comment comes in from someone who has had one of the soul-destroyers walk out on them, before kids enter the scene, and is distraught because of it.
They don’t know how lucky they are.
That’s an interesting thought. It’s normal to think, What did I do wrong? What is wrong with me? because these crazies have spent a lot of time making you feel it’s completely worthwhile to pursue their love and affection as though it were something beyond precious. I personally think it’s part of the M.O.
You are so right. Those that get left because Crazy “traded up” are the fortunate ones.
I first want to say thanks for creating this site. It has helped me immensely in understanding the dark underpinnings and risk in the dating world. It also helped me to heal from dating someone a while ago when I was younger who turned out to be so destructive and abusive, it left me with gross emotional scarring. I’m a different person today but I’m also vigilant and smart thanks to your site. I’ve been following you for over four years now and I can honestly state: your site is dead on 99.95% of the time and has saved me from slipping into bad situations. People with the problems addressed on your site are insiduous and smart when they pick their victims. Thanks to you and some other guidance but mostly arming myself: I’m quick to spot a crazy and I listen to my gut: mostly you should listen to what they’re telling you-they usually give you a very accurate roadmap of where they’ll lead you next! I just wanted to share something with you and the learned readers of your site: I work with someone whom I like. We’re not particularly close but we’re friendly and she told me about her pending problematic divorce the other day. From my experience and background: I have a legal background, I’ve experienced and managed to avoid disordered and crazy people in my life and my family is a family of psychiatrists, so are some of my friends, if not at least, therapists. She diminished her current dealings but there’s no denying the obvious-she is living with her husband, he was recently served with divorce papers, they share a 9 year old child and here is her limited story she shared: he rages and punches garbage cans and other things but supposedly “no rage toward her” though recently that has changed. He is showing his rage and admitted he would take a shotgun to her and her new lover, who happens to be gay. Also, he did not want the divorce and apparently does have a personality disorder (I’m sure more than that in my opinion) and more. She says she is afraid but more afraid of getting a restraining order because it will incite him more: I agree that is likely but what can you do: she didn’t plan well. Worst of all, she is newly gay. I don’t agree that she has inadvertently involved other people like potential lovers in this unresolved mess but there it is. I advised she needs to run and he is unstable! I personally believe from everything in totality she’s saying, it is plausible he would harm her in a terminal way. I would be VERY afraid if I were her but I have a broader background now and I see things differently than someone used to living in this way and who is in denial to survive. I went to my job’s HR confientiality because we are lax with our front door badge system. He could get in and frankly, I woulnd’t doubt he’d something to her and possbily anyone in his way. I don’t know him, I understand people say things in anger or drunk: but the truth is, people are generally warning you because they may just do it and they often do. I thought it prudent to confidentiality warn them because the receptionist is a young woman with a 4 year old son and the first person he’d encounter. My HR made me feel terrible about it all and I worry more that I’ve betrayed my friend although I never gave her name. Now, I think they’ll handle it badly when in fact, they could use it as an excuse to have some additional training on our security and keep it all confidential. I’m afraid it will get back to my friend and she’ll think I betrayed her. My HR folks are just not that savvy and kept telling me I should encourage my friend to go to them. I agree but that’s not the situation and if I thought that possible I wouldn’t have gone to them. I just think my friend is ill equipped and not seeing objectively the real danger in both her home and to her herself and potentially to her job and the people here. What’s your take on this? Should I have just said nothing? I feel terrible and HR can’t really do anything. I just wanted to give them a head’s up. They ended our conversation with suggesting I give my friend a counseling card for the company and encourage her to call! This person (my friend) is a senior manager who is intellectually smart and has counseling: my point and I made it clear to HR is she doesn’t know objectively what she’s really, potentially dealing with and I don’t believe she is safe. But I dont’ feel the need to get invovled with her life but I do see a potential safety issue from someone who’s threatening murder-at her job! I’d hate to see anyone here hurt as he potentially one day attempts to get to her. BTW, this divorce is still very new and in my experience legally and as an adult-it hasn’t even reached it’s emotional peak for either of them yet-let alone his snapping point. Anyone else who wants to chime in would be great.
One of your loyal followers-
It is very difficult to get out of a relationship with someone like that, especially when she uses suicide threats and/or attempts in order to lock you down. A lot of drama, very intense. Dragging other people into the deep black hole, like our families. The cops and such too getting involved.
I think that’s because the Crazies, be they woman or man, are in such a mess internally that the only way they can get through the day is by making everyone else in such a mess that it allows them to stop looking inward. Misery loves company. It’s many times true with Crazy.
During marriage counseling, my marriage counselor helped me realize that I was emotionally neglected as a child and am desperate for affection, admiration and emotional intimacy. Yet, I married a woman who could provide those no more than my parents. Why? Because my ex’s public personality is the type of person I wanted and needed. (I’ve also concluded that my ex is truly convinced that her public personality is her real one. When she gets into her private, early-adolescent mean-girl bitch personality, she blames everyone else for “making” her that way.)
The point is that I’m very susceptible to women who give me affection and emotional intimacy. Problem is that I’m so jaded from my ex, that I simply don’t trust anyone giving that.
One thing I got from my counselor is that we go into relationships as adults trying to right the wrongs we felt as kids. It’s why we end up with people like our parents. We are looking for a way to fix something, to FINALLY get what we need from our parents.
I am certainly not putting the blame for all one’s problems on parents, because I don’t think that’s appropriate. I just think that her take on why we choose people the way we do was very accurate for me. Sounds like for you too. Good luck!
I was reading Alice Miller’s Drama of the [emotionally] Gifted Child, and she wrote something that was like a lightbulb: That because children are inherently protective of our parents, even when (especially when) one or both parents are abusive, that when we grow up, we tend to (1) seek out the relationship that is the least resolved.* (2)therefore, we also tend to punish the innocent (by rejecting nice guys / nice girls) while rewarding the guilty (our parents, abusers who remind us of our parents).
It’s a little heavy, as it addresses therapists, but I found a lot of “aha! No Wonder I do that! / No wonder he did that!” insights.
*I’m hoping to listen to Dr. T’s show tonight-I’m a rescuer of all–men, women, children–but just realized that watching my father put up with Mother’s abusive rages, I have been seeking Dudes in Distress (barring AXH #2 who was NPD Mother in disguise), subconciously calling out to them, “Daddy! Daddy! Take my hand–I’ll save you!”…only to watch them choose women who are wicked, just like father did.
At one point, he fell in love with a nice woman, but could never bring himself to leave poor, sickly dependent (abusive) Mother. I’m not justifying his actions…but perhaps he believed he had no other way out.
The only, and I mean ONLY person any of us can save is our self. And no one can do it for us. The Void inside can only be filled from the inside. PDs do not ever come to truly understand that.
One more thing; I stumbled across my exit strategy by accident, though in hindsight, it should have been obvious. Above all, my ex hates being held accountable, even for things that are benign (like organizing an activity–she’s very good at it, but if someone does follow up, she gets between prickly and hysterical. One interesting adaptation is that she preempts the follow ups by calling first.)
Marriage Counseling was the key. My ex said things in counseling and made promises with a third party present–she couldn’t fall back to the “I don’t remember” or “you misunderstood” excuses. The precipitating event of our divorce was me holding her to some of those promises. She stormed out of the house, returned six hours later, and asked for the divorce.
(Oddly, at first she proudly told people she’d asked for the divorce. From what I’ve heard, she now simply says “we were both unhappy.” I suppose being in control by asking for the divorce isn’t as dramatic as being the martyr who’s husband demanded a divorce.)
I love that you got the promises on record with someone else. That is brilliant.
Meh. Let her be the martyr. You are the lucky one.
After nine years of marriage I left my Crazy last week. I clicked on a link from a christian men’s forum that led to the “13 signs” post here on shrink4men and I about fell out of my chair. I wasn’t crazy! or rather, she is a NPD. Unfortunately I jumped the gun before my exit was ready and she has taken my belongings and children hostage. The bitter battle is about to begin and my wife has sworn to make it as horrible as she possibly can. I believe her. Today she was calling to tell me how we need to all go to a family counselling together. Luckily I know her too well and can see the trap.
I am amazed how reading shrink4men articles are like reading my personal life story.
Well wish me luck and throw me a few prayers.
Done. Make sure to read through some of the archives on how to get out, how to prepare, how to not let her Hoover you back in or try to manipulate you with sex, food, finding a job, a 180-degree (pretend) personality change, victimhood, or threatening suicide.
Know your rights and fight like he** for them.
No, she can’t trick me into getting back with her as I know what she is now. It is just amazing to read about my wife in such clarity and to realize I haven’t lost my mind.
She was baiting the trap today with my children, texting offers to allow me to see them. I would respond with a place for her to drop them off, like her or my parents and she would claim she couldn’t understand what I was saying and that I had to call her. I refused to talk to her and the night ended with her telling me I was using the kids for my personal issues and that I couldn’t see them. She has 3 hooks in my mouth, ages 13,7 and 3 years old and she is not afraid to use them to her advantage. The horror of what I have experienced these years will not be forgotten so quickly. But how to save my children?
1) Document everything. Get third parties involved.
2) Do not cave on something thinking that by showing kindness, it will be returned by her. However, you may need to compromise on some things to show the judge that you are reasonable. (I gave my ex a little too much alimony than I probably could have for this very reason. As an unexpected side effect, my two oldest–both non-minors–have learned what my alimony and child support is and have called their mothers bluff when she starts bitching about money.)
I’ll also add: do everything in your power to get custody. In my state, the 13-year-old would be given latitude on who he/she lives with, but not the 7 or 3 year-old. In my state, getting joint custody would be relatively easy, but in many states it won’t be. (A lawyer told me that many municipal judges in my area are getting fed up with histrionics in family court and basically force mediation. However, if you just roll over, they won’t step in either.)
Ron On Drums says
I went through a LOT of that when I broke up with a crazy girlfriend some years ago. I made the mistake of trying to be ‘Mr Nice Guy” and allowing some contact. But soon that became abusive too. So I tried to stop all of it.
That is when the REAL trouble started. I have posted in here before all that went on & it didn’t stop until she was sent to jail for 30 days for violating an Order of Protection I finally had to take out for the THIRD time. Actually she got 15 days for violating it for the second time. She got another 15 days for third violation came FROM JAIL!!..sheesh
I was in a relationship with a BPD woman and though these articles are geared toward men, they were very helpful, especially in helping me to stay away and stop the mind control and manipulation. They helped me to feel some degree of normal again and to see the signs that I was in a psychologically abusive situation. I’m seeing a therapist and I’m on an antidepressant to help me through the grief of all of this madness and chaos. If ever there was a culprit for Situational Affective Disorder, being with a crazy seems to top the list. Now that I’m trying to date again, I’m finding that my ex has trashed me to other women in this community for being abusive and violent, and that has been devastating. But knowing that she is doing this has also been cathartic because it was the final blow to help me cut the cord completely and ease regret, guilt, and worthlessness that she trained me to feel daily. Distance brings so much clarity.
I agree that it’s so important to get therapy when you leave a marriage/relationship like this. You won’t be able to find a normal relationship with a normal woman until you are right with yourself and that includes being ok with being alone again and getting confidence in yourself as a person and not a victim of emotional abuse.
Morning Star says
My brother, who is married to one of these entitled, self-serving crazies (who is also an alcoholic) and has been abused verbally, physically and emotionally, left her ten weeks ago. She went overseas for one month with her mother, leaving her children in the care of my brother. During her absence, she wreaked havoc on the household from afar, including getting her 17 year old daughter to confiscate my brother’s passport and many, many other inexcusable acts of sabotage, such as suggesting to her daughter that my brother is a ‘schizophrenic’ and that he was abusing her (the daughter), making my brother’s position there untenable. The crazy had also emailed her friends, making wild accusations about my brother’s ‘schizophrenic behaviour’ and expressing her concerns for her daughter (who, by the way, is also abused by her).
It was at this time my brother executed his exit plan (he had discussed this plan with me a couple of months earlier). He packed up and moved his belongings to our mother’s home, and then handed over the care of the two children to their respective fathers. He sent her an email to inform her of this. Then he went no contact and straight into counselling. Interestingly, she did not cut her trip short (as we all anticipated – including my brother’s therapist – and had made contingency plans for). She made dozens of calls to him every day, sent text messages etc. Then she started making nuisance calls to my mother. The day after she returned from overseas, her lawyer delivered papers for property settlement to my brother. She continued to bombard him with phone calls.
Two days after her return, he embarked on a 5 week trip to Europe to get away from all the drama and histrionics. She continued to harass him with calls and messages that he did not answer for the first four weeks of his trip… She had, in the meantime, continued to harass my mother with calls at all hours, and she poisoned trees in my mother’s garden. She also sent a Facebook message to my brother’s ex-wife (from whom he divorced 21 years ago) to accuse him of unspeakable things and fish for dirt on him, asking her to keep this correspondence confidential. One can only imagine what she said to her similarly crazy friends and enablers.
What I observed from her behaviour at this time can only be described as psychopathic. She operated on two parallel levels. One was to make outrageous accusations to all and sundry about him, what a schizophrenic, disturbed, asshole he was and made false claims about him. She also falsely claimed that I had bad-mouthed her in her professional setting (we work in the same industry) and that the very senior managers had informed her of this. The fact is that I have never told anyone that I am even remotely connected to her – I have my professional reputation to consider. Nobody in my industry is aware that I even HAVE a sister-in-law, as she is such an embarrassment and has a very poor reputation. On the other hand, I am proud of my professional reputation. Her harassment, her friends’ tirades about my brother (via phone to me), her vandalism of my mother’s trees, then the claims that my niece was phoning her office and ‘upsetting the staff’ etc etc were occurring while she simultaneously bombarded him with claims of undying love, that they are ‘soulmates’ , creating huge feelings of guilt (‘you promised it would be forever’, “I need you”, her claims that my niece was ‘phoning her incessantly’ to express the wish that my brother and she reunite yadda, yadda, yadda…. I am totally stunned by this spectacularly psychopathic behaviour. My brother (who was initially just as stunned as the rest of us) has now gone into denial.
The day my brother answered her call, was the beginning of the end for his ‘freedom’. He has returned from his trip, is in denial about the five years of abuse, humiliation and financial destruction and is considering returning to her. She, of course, has guilted him into submission, is into full ‘love bombing’ and hoovering mode and everything is the fault of someone else (mostly him) and he says he ‘loves and misses her’.
In discussions I have had with him, he appears to understand that he is returning to a hostile environment – her kids, her family and friends don’t want him back because they have been brainwashed into believing he is a monster. I have sent him many articles about BPDs, about trauma bonding, Stockholm Syndrome and psychopaths. I have pointed out to him that his finances have been depleted by this manipulative, crazy alcoholic and he has nothing to show for all his hard work. He appears to understand that, when he can no longer support her extravagant lifestyle, he will be discarded. Intellectually, he understands all this but is considering going back. In fact, I believe he would have gone back had I not informed him that our family would no longer accept his wife in our lives. We have made it clear that he can visit or call us but must not ever allow her into our lives again. My brother’s 22 year old daughter has also been a victim of her abuse and intimidation and will not have anything more to do with the crazy. My brother claims to be ‘surprised by our reaction’. He claimed that she “loves and cares for him”!… I am speechless! How can he presume to impose this loser on our lives any longer?
I strongly suggested that he explore trauma bonding with his therapist. What else can we do as a family? We don’t want to lose him to this manipulative loser. We don’t want his health to suffer or his work to be exploited in this way. We don’t want him lost in the madness…
What do you do when there are teenagers involved and now they have assumed her role?
She cant come into our home and my husband has his no contact in place. So, the kids have taken over plus she has the courts doing her dirty work too. It’s a mess
Well, I did it tonight. My wife had moved out 3 months ago and I have been going crazy with all of the arguing. I had sunken deep into learned helplessness and was mentally confused. This site has given me the willpower to take the first step and go no contact. I put all of her loose belongings in a box and wrote down instructions on how to split the cell and insurance bills so the message came across loud and clear. She did just what I learned she would do from here trying all of my strings to hoover me and started in with the “you will always be alone” threats. She followed me home and was banging on the door and window. I called the police.
This site has taught me many useful terms such as gaslighting and lovebombing. The patterns are so clear to me now and I am so thankful for having learned them and the education this site has provided. I now need to stay strong and keep the no contact rule. She is so good at doing just enough to get me to come back, but my eyes are opened now. I still have my heart to deal with, but I try to take things slow before I make actions.
Also, there seems to be a problem with the forums here. I registered, but can’t see or make any posts.
I love the term ‘lovebombing’
Does that make me a double lovebomber? 😛