Do you experience an impending sense of doom when Walgreen’s sets up their Christmas displays?
Do you wish you could settle down for a “long winter’s nap” on Halloween and wake up on February 15th?
Does your wife, girlfriend or ex make Christmas lists and expect you to buy every item for her and the kids on Santa’s List™?
Do you brace yourself for your wife’s inevitable tantrums, tears, rage outs, the cold shoulder and other forms of abuse directed at you and your family as the winter holidays approach?
Does your wife or girlfriend demand that you spend the holidays with her family and give you grief if you spend time with your family, that is, if she’ll even let you?
Does your wife or girlfriend sabotage every holiday and then blame you for ruining “her” holiday?
Does your wife, girlfriend or ex throw more tantrums at Christmas and New Year’s than an actual 2-year old?
Does it seem like your wife, girlfriend or ex ruins every holiday and special occasion? Then have a listen:
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Three different women over the years have dumped me right before Christmas! They were people I actually felt very attached to.
My last ex needed to sort out her crumbling life, so she decided to simplify things, beginning with me. Three months later, she had a bad horse accident and ended up in the hospital– out of commission for two months. She won’t speak to me today. I wasn’t there, I had nothing to do with the accident! I’d love to ask how her life has improved, since she got rid of me…
Holidays, real or fake, are used by women to grade their partners as acceptable versus substandard.
All say, Christmas should be, is the best meal imaginable with people you love and care about. Maybe a sock over the mantle piece with a few edible goodies in it-for the kids. Anything more than that just gets most people in the world in debt/trouble. All the off the charts cosumerism- and appetite for chinese crap- will be our downfall.
Releative to my ex cluster b…she wrecked most EVERY holiday. This article nails it Dr. T. My favorite warm memory was when she stormed out of my house because the rare jewels I bought her were “too small”
Mr. E says
My wife doesn’t really ramp up the drama for holidays any more than she does for, say, Tuesday. All the same, holidays are special fun times.
I remember when I used to enjoy buying presents. It was fun, instead of a stressful series of shopping trips, wondering how she would criticize whatever I got her. I used to enjoy receiving gifts too. Now I just feel sick to my stomach about whether or not I’m acting appropriately grateful.
She enjoys cooking for the holidays, which means I get to be her sous chef – which wouldn’t be so bad if she wasn’t such a turd about it. And decorating cookies, etc. is a nightmare, since my work has got to be Martha Stewart perfect (and, you know, because decorating cookies isn’t my thing in the first place).
Forgive me because I chuckled. I had a vision of sweat beading on your forehead as you struggle to frost the perfect gingerbread woman.
It always amazes me that these types who are so proud of being “Type A”, think they are entitled to have slaves do their bidding. If your wife wants a perfect cookie then she can go to all the effort herself, and claim all the accolades (which, I’m willing to bet, she does anyway).
B Experienced says
You are really going to have to take care of yourself and put your foot down. If you feel sick buying gifts than I would say to her that you need a specific gift(s) in mind or you are not buying any. As for the cookies, I wouldn’t help if she can’t accept anything less than perfect for her cookies. As my Mother use to say to my BPD father when he wanted his standard met for things that didn’t require such a perfect standard-Do it yourself. BPD’s and NPD’s pick things that they can perfect to overcompensate for the psychopathology they can’t fix. Then they focus on that and overvalue it so that they feel better about themselves and proceed to put you down in the process. It is called leveling and it is part of the Teeter Totter game of narcissists. If you bite, then you reinforce her pathology as well. You won’t have a good holiday season her way so at least empowering yourself will be a great gift to yourself.
Mr. E says
B Experienced – I do put my foot down, I’m just tired of constantly stepping in shit. Time to get out of the corral, I think.
I have indeed started asking for what specific gifts she wants, and made it clear that “hints” are easily missed.
And for the cookies, I either tell her to lighten up, or I get out of the way so she can do it herself.
Ultimately, I’m tired of having to have these same arguments over and over and over with her. It’s not that hard to just keep one’s mouth shut if someone else was a little sloppy with the frosting, it’s not that hard to refrain from criticizing a gift…
B Experienced says
If you have done all that then that is all you can do. I don’t blame you for wanting out at all. As a matter of fact, I encourage it. The truth is that these people very seldom change and any change is very slow and prone to regression. I would be very sick of arguing as well.
I have to say, a lot of times reading this site I feel like I’ve been really, really lucky. No high-conflict divorce, no kids, and mostly none of this crazy-making holiday crap.
That being said though, my ex-wife was a really difficult person to buy presents for. This is because she, by her own admission, has “poor impulse control.” If she sees something she likes, instead of thinking to herself, “hey, it’s the holidays, maybe I’ll tell my husband that I’d like this for Christmas,” she just tears off and buys it for herself.
Then, when you asked her what she wanted for Christmas, she’d just shrug and say, “eh, I don’t really need anything.”
This left me scrambling a lot of the time for gifts for her. I would get myself into quite a tizzy about it. Some years I’d do pretty well (by my own estimation), and some years I would do much less well.
The thing was that it didn’t really matter very much how I did. She’d just sort of shrug and act somewhat dismissive of whatever I had gotten her, no matter what it was.
I used to think that it was just me being “crazy,” or whatever. Then, shortly after we separated, my mom took me aside and told me all the opinions that she had been keeping to herself about my marriage. One of the big ones was, “your father and I tried to get her nice things, and she acted like she could care less.”
I can’t tell you what a relief that was. I had known for some time that it wasn’t me that was the problem, but getting affirmation from my own flesh and blood that I wasn’t the only one who noticed these things really helped me move forward.
And I hope everyone’s Thanksgiving was great and not too crazy-making. I know that mine was pretty good.
show title suggestion: “How To Keep Her From Ruining The Holidays”
its funny, for me, mostly, the holidays were when she was most happy/normal/excitable/”loving”. I say loving in quotations, because i felt loved at the time….she bought me lavish gifts, wrote thoughtful cards, smiled alot, decorated. for her, this ‘special’ time of year brought out what I used to think was her best. i felt happy along with her, becuase i used to be so influenced by her moods, that when she was happy, i was happy! (of course, the opposite also was true).
in any case, now looking back, her holiday cheer was really more like that of a little kid. baby talk, gifts, etc. since we didn’t have kids, she got to be the kid.
also, this really only held true when i was being ‘split white’ (most of our relationship…). after we married, and she finally ‘had’ me, everything changed. i was split black, she started cheating (i didnt know this until after the holiday season)…but she was literally cheating while my parents were visiting for the holidays!! and then COMPLAINING about hte presents they bought her. makes me sick to my stomach to think about. pathological really. that she could be so ‘on’ around them, and aall the while having an affair/texting the person the whole time! incredible.
in any case, once i was split black, she did start ridiculing my gifts, and my family’s gifts to her, as not being at all ‘her’ and how could we think she’d wants such things, etc. not good enough for her fine tastes 😉
Ah the holidays,birthday’s etc – yet another occasion for family disharmony! Please excuse the vent and I know I am not facing the violence and abuse but so fed up with being in this situation and not being able to help my brother in law be the confident and wonderful person he was and always has been.
My husband and I are the family that have to fight few a few crumbs of time with my brother in law (BIL). He has a girlfriend who has spent the last 2 1/2 years dividing the family. It has caused strife in our marriage as I refused to give into her requests after 8 months of her not talking to us (2 months of that time was running her child into school and providing free childcare- idiot I am). She suddenly gave us a homemade present which I should have returned but I have been brought up properly so gave a present in return. Big mistake! Next thing I know my BIL asked to have her to our home for our family holiday celebration. She has made horrible comments to people around our town about all the members of the family who would have been present including our children even the youngest of 9 years old.My husband was so stressed after 12 hours, was having breathing problems and his heart was racing. My husband has developed high blood pressure in the last year, mainly due in part to this situation and the worry it has created and the escalation of violence (FYI early stroke and heart attacks a feature in his family, his own mother was 55 when she died of a heart attack). Her History – my BIL managed to get her out the house but remained in contact, not hard as she lives about 10 houses away. I know that she has pulled a knife on him and cut herself, tried to commit suicide several times when he has gone out to friends or our house getting her 10 year old child to phone him to come back. She assulted him at which point the police have asked him to press charges (child present during attack as well), he refused (really worried as she had accused him of attacking her at the time but she had no injuries).
On the morning of the family get -together my husband and I had major heated discussions. He so didn’t want to let his brother down, he called to say we didn’t want her there. I was really unhappy with the guilt trip my husband was given by my BIL, as we know she was going to give him hell all day. I ended up on the phone and lost it, I have for 2 1/2 years done everything that has been asked of us have had friends verbally attacked and suffered the silent treatment from my BIL because of her smear campaigns. It seems that he was upset at my outburst which I stated about protecting my family from this “horrible B***h”. The next day she turned up on our doorstep saying we were destroying him and how she had a mental illness and that if she had cancer we would all feel sorry for her (lol told the world that a family member with cancer was faking it!). It is the first time she has every stated concern for him even when he came out of hospital. I think she was trying to mirror my concerns and putting the blame on us. Unfortunately for her we know how her pattern of abuse goes so i phoned my BIL to remove her as she was frightening our 9 year old who could hear everything. She was starting to get quite aggressive as she wasn’t getting any sympathy. She told my husband that my BIL was stalking her which we know is not true as Husband has been there when she just turned up out of the blue demanding a day out with lunch!She went back and said she would never be allowed in our family again, not said by us. My husband has always maintained that he didn’t know how to react to the person who battered his brother and if could even bring himself to talk to her let alone welcome her into our home.
So I have been made the scapegoat, as my husband doesn’t want to fall out with his brother, but I feel someone has to stand up for the family.
I don’t want to turn my back on BIL but it has been quite distressing for my husband as it seems my bIL is willing to choose this abusive person who can only give a day or 2 of niceness when she chooses. The compromise suggested is that I remove myself from family events so she may attend, 16 years I have been in this family do I need to say anymore!
How are families supposed to react when they have a family member suffering this kind of abuse. I know BIL was quite surprised that it had effected us at all.