Why did she treat me so bad? How can she move on to the next guy so quickly? What does he have that I don’t have? What if I’d only done this instead of that ? What if I’d said x instead of y? Did she ever really love me? She says she’s never been as happy as she is with the new guy. Why couldn’t she be happy with me?
Being in love with an abusive, high-conflict narcissist, histrionic, borderline or psychopath (regardless of gender) can do a number on you. Whether you were together 5 months or 25 years — it doesn’t matter. An abusive partner can undermine your confidence, destroy your self-esteem, destroy your career, damage your other relationships and cause a host of other detrimental physical and emotional problems. Neither Crazy nor abuse are gender issues. Recognizing these issues and providing support to those in need is a societal gender issue, unfortunately. In other words, as a collective we do a poor job of recognizing and supporting the very real issues of men in relationships with abusive partners.
Many men and women are unable to move on after ending a relationship with a toxic partner. They ruminate, obsess and replay the relationship over and over again in their minds, trying to make sense of what happened and what they could’ve done differently to live “happily ever after.”
If this is where you’re stuck, please understand there is no happily ever after with these individuals. Your happily ever after is getting away and staying away from them, understanding what attracted you to them, why you tolerated it for so long, healing, getting yourself and your life back and moving forward without looking back.
Whether you realize it or not, if your abusive ex has cut you loose and moved onto their next target/unsuspecting victim, they’ve done you a huge favor. She will not be different with the next guy. He will not be different with the next gal. These individuals continue to repeat the same relationship patterns until they drop dead.
Consider your own experiences. If you’re a trauma bonding codependent, you’ve likely repeated relationship patterns, too. How many selfish, self-absorbed, emotionally immature, emotional reasoning, exploitative, one-sided relationships have you been in with partners who ultimately don’t care about you, your wants, needs and feelings? If the answer is more than one, you have a type. And your type isn’t healthy for you.
Men and women who follow Shrink4Men frequently remark upon how similar to their experiences the behaviors and qualities described in the articles and videos are. Do you have a camera in my house? It’s like you’ve written the story of my relationship! To me, these similarities are most likely indicative that there may be a personality disorder at play, because the similarities are so striking and uncanny.
It also means that the crazy and abusive behaviors you’ve experienced aren’t personal.
It wasn’t you. You didn’t make her crazy. You didn’t make him be abusive. You’re not cause of their issues. You can’t fix her or love him to health and wellness. Love does not conquer all and it certainly isn’t the cure for narcissistic, sociopathic, histrionic and borderline behaviors and disorders.
I repeat, the abuse wasn’t personal. You were just an object. A prop in the scripted reality psychodrama this kind of person has going on in their head, in which she’s the long suffering victim/heroine and you’re the piece of garbage, loser-villain. She is engaging in repetition compulsion. If you have a pattern of getting involved with Crazy, you’re probably engaging some combination of repetition compulsion, codependency, trauma bonding, seeking secondary gains and avoiding secondary losses.
If you’re still having trouble understanding and accepting that your partner or ex isn’t going to magically transform and be wonderful with the next guy, hopefully, the following simile will help. Think of your wife/husband, girlfriend/boyfriend or ex as a Broadway play — Crazy Bitch (or Dick) the Musical! Perhaps this comparison is puzzling to you. What does my ex have in common with a play?
Some shows have been running on Broadway for decades. For example, West Side Story has been in and out of production since its premiere in 1957. The actress who played Maria in West Side Story 50 + years ago isn’t the same actress on stage today.
Even though the actors have changed, the story and the story’s ending haven’t. The voices are different. The delivery is different, but it’s the same song and dance every performance and the same ending; Tony dies and Maria cries.
Relationships with abusers are similar in this respect. Think of your abusive ex or current partner as Crazy Bitch the Musical! or The Ice Queen Cometh or The Drama King or Entitled! or I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change! You’re just another hopeful up-and-comer cast in the role of hero/rescuer/knight in shining armor/undeserving villain/screw-up/loser to her victim/waif/queen/I’m too good for you and you don’t deserve me/”fiercely independent” diva. You get to have your turn on the boards and so will the next guy and the next guy and the next guy, but it’s essentially the same damned script over and over again.
If your wife, girlfriend or ex was a Broadway play, it might go a little something like this:
Congratulations! You’ve been chosen to play the romantic male lead, Tom Dickenharry, to the female heroine, Mimi* Furst, in the stage production, Crazy Bitch the Musical!
Act One. Mimi Furst is the beautiful, fragile damsel in distress. Her dad was abusive. All her boyfriends and husbands were abusive, but Tom Dickenharry is different. He’s special.
No one has ever been so kind to Mimi. No one has ever treated her so well. She’s never felt such a strong connection to a man before. She never went to bed so quickly with a man before (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). Tom is her true soul mate (as opposed to the 7 other soul mates she dated before him). Tom will show Mimi that not all men are jerks and he will treat her with such love and tenderness that she will learn to trust and love again. Ah, the love bombing . . .
Mimi and Tom embrace sharing a passionate kiss as the stage lights dim and the curtains close.
End Act One.
Act Two. Mimi Furst and Tom Dickenharry get married after a 6-month whirlwind courtship. They welcome their first child into the world 8 months later, Goldie Furst-Dickenharry of the Golden Uterus matriarchal line.
Alas, Mimi’s love soon turns into contempt. Nothing Tom does is right. He works too much, but doesn’t earn enough money to support Mimi’s spending. Mimi refuses to get a job to help with the finances even though Goldie is enrolled in school full-time. Mimi reminds Tom he promised to take care of her and protect her from having to deal with reality and adult responsibilities.
In a futile effort to win back Mimi’s love and adoration, Tom buys a house he can’t afford. He buys her a blinged out SUV even though they live in Miami where it doesn’t snow and Mimi only travels 1.6 miles to Goldie’s school and Zumba. Tom works longer hours and takes care of Goldie when he comes home at night and the household chores because he has no idea how hard it is being a stay at home mom with a nanny!
Mimi claims Tom doesn’t love her and accuses him of having affairs when he gets caught in traffic and arrives home 10 minutes late from work. The harder Tom tries to make Mimi happy and prove his love, the more unappreciative and cruel Mimi becomes.
End Act Two.
Act Three. While Tom is fixing Mimi’s computer, a message alert pops up. Tom recognizes the name. His heart sinks. Mimi’s been communicating with ex-soul mate and abusive jerk #1, Joey Suckah, on Facebook Messenger. Tom reads messages from Mimi to Joey in which she describes Tom as abusive, cruel, lousy in bed, uncaring, cheap, and a terrible father. Mimi writes that she never stopped loving Joey Suckah and that it is his touch and his touch alone that makes her feel alive and if only there was a way for them to be together.
Heartbroken, sad and angry, Tom confronts Mimi about her affair with Joey. Instead of responding with remorse and contrition, Mimi erupts. She lashes out at Tom.
Who does he think he is?! How DARE he read her private emails?! Mimi accuses Tom of being a paranoid, disgusting, perverted creep who has trust issues. How DARE Tom violate her privacy!? It’s Tom’s fault Mimi had to turn to another man. Mimi screams that she’ll never be able to trust Tom again for discovering her affair.
Tom reminds Mimi of all the horrible things she told him about Joey Suckah when they first met and fell in love. Mimi snarls in rage that she never said any such thing about Joey. Tom is making it all up! She exclaims Joey is a real man and if Tom doesn’t watch his mouth, she will take HER daughter, leave him and he’ll never see Goldie again.
Tom begs. Tom pleads. Tom apologizes to Mimi for being angry about her affair. He promises to work harder to give Mimi “the life she deserves.” He promises he’ll go to therapy to fix his trust issues. He promises her the world, if only they can go back to the way things were. Mimi smirks and says nothing.
Three days later, Tom arrives home from work to find a police car in his driveway. The officers tell him he’s to collect his personal belongings and that he needs to find another place to stay. You see, while Tom was at work earning money to provide for Mimi and Goldie, Mimi went to the courthouse and obtained an ex parte restraining order because she’s “afraid” of him — even though Tom’s never been violent toward Mimi nor has he ever threatened violence. The police tell Tom he can’t be anywhere near Mimi or Goldie and recommend that he get an attorney. Dim lights on Tom and police.
Stage lights on Mimi and Joey Suckah sharing a romantic dinner. Mimi tells Joey that her dad abused her. All of her boyfriends and husbands abused her, but Joey Suckah, aka the recycled new Tom Dickenharry, is different. He’s special.
Wash. Rinse. Repeat. The End.
Mimi may not marry and/or divorce the new Tom Dickenharry, but the same narrative will play out again and again. There are different variations to this tale depending upon the individuals, but it is a narrative or script. This kind of individual casts you into a role that has nothing to do with who you are in reality. You will be devalued and force fit into the role of villain after the love bombing or idealization stage ends. It’s only a matter of time.
The only way this script changes is if “Mimi” becomes involved with another abuser. Then she really will be victimized instead of play acting the role of victim. Did your rescuer impulses just switch on while reading the previous sentence? If so, put your noble steed back in its stall and lower your lance.
There’s nothing a professional victim loves more than being victimized. Don’t try to rescue a professional victim (whether they’re female or male) from an actual abuser.
Instead, stay clear of them while they cannibalize each other and get on with your life. If you share a child, gather evidence to show the court that the mother/father is endangering the child by exposing them to an abusive environment. But whatever you do, don’t get in between the two loons and their “love.”
* Thank you to whenthescapegoatquits for the double entendre, “Mimi” (me me), the perfect name for a female narcissist.
** After posting the article, some commenters and I came up with the musical score. Songs include:
- You Never, You Always
- How Dare You?!
- My Father Knows a Judge
- I’m Sorry, But . . .
- Keepin’ It Real
- The Truth Is Mean
- What About My Feelings?!?!?!?!?
- I Will Destroy You
- It’s All your Fault!
- Who Do You Think the Cops Are Gonna Believe, Mister Man?
- The Victim Suite in C Major
- She Got the Goldmine, I Got the Shaft*
- You’ll Never See your Kids Again
- I, Me, Mine*
- It’s Different When I Do It
- You Have No Friends
- You Should Hear What your Friends Say about You
- I Love You, I Hate You
- I’m Gonna Wash the Life Right Outta That Man
- No One Will Ever Love You Like I Did (You Better Hope Not!)
- Everyone’s a Little Crazy Sometimes
* Actual songs
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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I think in many cases there is an epilogue – the Hoovering – when Joey Suckah isn’t what she had hoped and she calls Harry to wail what a perfect marriage they had until he went and screwed it all up; she loved him so much and was willing to try SO hard and Harry was just the meanie who ruined her life, who went back on his word to love her forever. Harry’s not the man she married and he should be ashamed! She never loved ANYONE like she loved Harry! She gave him the best years of her life and he threw it all away! It hit her out of left field; she never saw it coming and still can’t understand why he would leave such a perfect marriage! Whatever loser Harry is with now doesn’t hold a candle to Mimi and never will! Ad nauseum. And god forbid the audience should want to walk away because she will shame them too for never caring about her; the loyalty she demands from her “fans” is so burdensome, but they get sick of the same story again too.
My husband still gets this garbage from his ex three years after he left the crazy, even though he is now happily married to me and still reveling in the very simplest things like having his wishes consulted, being welcomed home with a kiss at the end of his day, or when I admit that I was wrong and apologize for something I’ve done in haste. We calculate that her wails of injustice come more reliably whenever she’s had another disastrous internet date that she’s been building up and looking forward to (which is bound to be disastrous since her dating profiles seem to be written to describe her fantasy alter ego and not who she really is).
Mostly I feel sorry for her, because she will never get to play anyone else other than Mimi Furst. What a sad life to lead.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Hoover from Hell: The Return of Crazy Bitch! How could I forget?
You’re very prescient, tenquilts. I’ve been working on another post about Hoovering, which I hope to have done next week. You’re also spot on about the hoover as an epilogue.
Nevertheless, it’s still the same song and dance. Mimi Furst is the “victim” and her unhappiness is always somebody else’s fault.
Just wanted to say thanks for an awesome post. Esp for touching on how it feels when left for someone else/affairs. It can feel awful at first, but much better when you have distance and then gratitude for her being someone else’s burden now!
However, speaking of Hoover from Hell: The Return of Crazy Bitch!….I just watched the movie ‘Young Adult’ with Charlize Theron. She does an incredible job at capturing the total psychosis that is the classic female narcissist (in a major hoovering for her ex). I felt like, at times, I was watching my ex on screen…which was creepy, but validating bc this movie shows how truly messed up they are inside! Even when they can hide it and seem pretty and ‘perfect’ to others. Its all a lie. They feel nothing and are totally empty. (and also will never change…and will just find one enabler after another in order to validate them so that they dont *have* to try to change…).
B Experienced says
Even if what the abuser said about you is true, or only a bit true, they still didn’t have a right to abuse you. It is part of their sense of entitlement and poor moral gauge. People who wonder if their abuser will be happy with the next person have a big problem in believing that they deserve abusive treatment and it is part of their poor self esteem. People who are abusive have poor self esteem problems, and they are never good for anyone or themselves.
If you want it to go back the way it was, how and why could you forget the abuse? Your love should be dying for them real fast, and you should have enough self love to get yourself out and stay out of that relationship. If not, something is wrong with you somewhere. Nobody in their right mind sticks around to help an adult abuser out. It isn’t your job to be some type of creepy replacement parent either. It is their job to pick up as adult and teach themselves what is right and wrong or get the help they need. Even then, the results are very patchy.
Problems abound in their therapy as well. I have found too many times that the ones who were considered successes in therapy had therapists who tended to diminish, rational or justify their bad behaviors, have muddled moral concepts coupled with poor boundaries and expect too much from their families or friends. Their own problems with responsibility, facing reality, self esteem needs and problems aren’t being kept in check or haven’t been worked out when they should be. This all obviously affects their judgement when gauging the outcome of their client or patient’s therapy.
Being a victim is a very powerful and important identity for the abuser to hang on to. It is too painful for them to get rid of and easier to blame you or something else. It works beautifully in our society too because it pities the abused or other real victims far too long. This social reinforcement of the victim status is one of it’s greatest enablers.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
What BE said 🙂
What an excellent article. Your writing is fantastic. Tom Dickenharry and Mimi. Gotta love it. So sad but so so true.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Thanks, SSG. If I had more time, I’d love to work on the musical score. Some song titles would be:
How Dare You?!
My Father Knows a Judge
I’m Sorry, But . . .
I’m Just Bein’ Real
The Truth Is Mean
What About Me?
I Will Destroy You
It’s All your Fault!
You Never, You Always
Who Do You Think the Cops Are Gonna Believe, Mister Man?
The Victim Suite in C Major
She Got the Goldmine, I Got the Shaft*
You’ll Never See your Kids Again
I, Me, Mine*
It’s Different When I Do It
* Actual songs
“I will cause trouble like you have never known”
john roads says
I love ” you never you always ”
” you should hear what your friends say ” …..” who cares what your friends ” ….” your friends are jerks and flirts “……….” you have no friends “……” you’ve got a friend in …you jerk ”
” im.Gonna wash the life right out of that man ”
” you are always on the phone ” (sung while the lead lady is actually on the phone reading an ipad and the husband is being ignored )
” You never help ”
The ever popular
” Your sister is a whore ”
PS I love /hate You
john roads says
I was typing into the phone I meant ” who cares what your friends think ” and ” you’ve got a friend in me… you jerk “
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Good ones, john roads! Welcome to S4M.
Just got out of a toxic marriage from a BPD woman. Took me 20 years. Been to your site several SEVERAL time and have read countless articles here (first time to log in and comment). Through the years I thought (was told) I was the problem. My story would take forever to tell. Maybe someday I will right it all down. There’s just so much that happened, so much that I dealt with. Leaving was the best. Sadly we have children together so I still have to see her (the only time NC is broken, but I have to in order to see my children)
I’ll give you “for” instance though….Several times the cops were called to our residence by HER throughout the years. Nothing ever happened, no physical abuse but came close (she has a way of following a person around and picking and pushing button to get a rise); but never did I lashed out, just walked; each time I was told by the cops I had to leave. Final straw was the last time when she claim to the 911 operator that I had a gun (I never had one). Cops show up hands on their guns. I was on the front porch just waiting for them. It defuses quickly when they saw I wasn’t the issue. Funny thing is; the cops made her leave that night. First time ever (it felt good). What’s even funnier, she’s now in a relationship and engaged with a narcissistic cop (divorce 4 times) from the same town. He’s already had to call the cops on her because she was combative to him (funny turn of events). I call it the “Two Pit Bulls In The Same Pin Situation” (yes, he was a definite Down Grade). He’s already cheated on her (I had to hear about that); yet he’s “The One” for her. To add insult to injury; she racked up domestic dispute charges on herself from my oldest daughter. These two instance in one month. The situation is a ticking time bomb; just a matter of time before the house of cards fall.
More titles for you Doc……..
I Can See Clearly Now The Pain (in my rear) Is Here…(she’s pulled out all obstacles to throw my way)
Narcs Just Want To Control…sung to Girls just want to have Fun!
No One Will Love You Like I Did!
I Can’t Love You Like That (rewritten version of John Michael Montgomery)
Love Bites* (and I’m the vamp)
Every Rose Has It’s Thorn* (but I’m the whole bush)
I’m Just A Little Crazy (just a little)
You Want To See Crazy Or Do You Want To See CRAZZZZZY?
C-O-N-T-R-O-L (sung to the tune of R-E-S-P-E-C-T….find out what it means to me!!!)
I Want A Man To Love Me For ME!
I Want To Talk About Me* (Toby Keith)
You Call it Joggin* (Jimmy Buffett)
I Wear a Mask, But Not Like the Lone Ranger!
Paul Elam says
The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable. ~ James Garfield.
I expected to skim through this article because I am short on time, but found myself captured by every single word. Great piece, Dr. T. If I were British I would say I was gobsmacked.
Definitely one for the “best of” by you.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Thanks, Paul. Also as the Brits would say, I’m chuffed.
Very accurate, Dr T. With minor variations, you described my relatiosnhip with my XW.
I may be a little farther out, temporally, than some of the guys who are recently out and still wondering WTF happened and whether it was all their fault( will the next guy be great with her etc?).
Now, roughly 6 years out, I have peace and do not worry about it, at all.
Guys, once you get out, gradually, you start seeing things clearly.
Now, when i look back, I am incredulous about what I put up with and how I could ever have had any doubts about my XW being NPD.
LT Greenwald says
Ron, good stuff. I’m on Day 12 since I left my abuser. I’ve had ups and downs, but I never thought about returning.
I feel like I’m starting to see more clearly.
When I look ahead at my future, she’s not in it. And that feels good.
Stay strong, LT. You have a lot of people here pulling for you, myself included. It sounds like you’re able to breathe again, and that’s a good thing.
LT Greenwald says
Thanks man. Finally being able to breathe feels great. I’ve even felt my day-to-day anxiety level drop. I don’t have feelings of dread and doom. I’m finding that I really like myself. I’m a pretty neat guy. I have great friends. I have a good job. I’m in good shape. I’m enjoying spending time with myself! 🙂
B Experienced says
It’s me BE. I am very happy to see that you are doing well. You are discovering for yourself what I could see in you; which is what counts. You remind me of what a Psychiatrist said. Once we get people away from the N’s (narcissists) and get them calmed down, then we usually see that the N is where most of their problem lies. He said that they don’t often get many N’s in self elected therapy, and when we do they don’t stay long if the Psychiatrist is honest with them.
I think it is great that you are enjoying your own company and self. The more you do that the more you may see that your fear of loss wasn’t as bad as you thought it was. Hopefully, you will see that the fear of losing you is scarier and more important.
LT Greenwald says
Thanks for the insights B. I think the the idea I needed to let go of was the idea that I could somehow “fix” the problem. I had to understand that the relationship was fatally flawed. There is no “fixing” it. I sure tried everything. Everything. And nothing worked. Marriage counseling made things worse. She didn’t think she needed individual counseling. Her ability to live in denial is truly astonishing.
Now, I need to convince her that an amicable divorce is in our best interests! Wish me luck!!!!!!!! I’ll need it!!!!!!!! 🙂
B Experienced says
Denial is their best delusional friend, ally, and the super glue that holds them together. You know first hand what a tiny fracture in it can set off. They guard it with their life. When they appear to pull out of it, it really isn’t at the level and depth it needs to be. It is more like–Okay reality, I’ll meet you halfway and you say it is all the way and fair. It is simply too dangerous and delusional for you to stay.
If you can hire a mediator or have your lawyer talk for you, I would do it. You want to disengage, disengage, disengage and then watch your back and have plans in place.
Another scenario is that she may suddenly meet someone and start a relationship before you get a divorce so be very prepared for that. If she doesn’t start to act out or in that may be a good sign that it is happening. She is going to want to ward off her inferior feelings and pain. If she can hook someone to validate her, she may do it. I myself would like it because it would take the heat off me.
LT Greenwald says
It would be a blessing if she found a new guy! If I could be that lucky!
I’m hoping we don’t have to get any lawyers involved (other than me!). I’m not going to be stingy. I already wrote her a support check. I want her transition to be as smooth as possible. But if she wants to get nasty, I’m prepared to protect myself and I’ll do what I have to do.
I must say it feels really GOOD to be acting and moving forward with my life. Everything with her had become so toxic. And I’m proud of myself for mustering the courage to leave. It’s really unfortunate, but it’s totally necessary — sooner rather than later.
I shudder to think how her incredible capacity for denial will manifest itself over the coming months. I’ve done everything I can think of to protect myself and will continue to do so.
Thanks for the support!!
Funky Monk says
Glad to hear it LT, things will only improve as time passes and clarity returns. If anything I find that one comes to rejoice in the smaller things in life after coming out of an abusive relationship. Things like coming home without being insulted, having order returned to your life and the freedom to speak with whomever you choose whenever you want all serve to reinforce that the decision we have made is the correct and healthy choice.
LT Greenwald says
Great points, Funky Monk. I feel like I can finally live in an honest way. I don’t have to think about her “feelings” anymore. Walking on egg shells (really land mines). How the slightest thing could set off hours of rage. I don’t have to lie anymore. I don’t have to pretend to enjoy watching “Keeping Up with the Kardashians”!! It feels fantastic!
I’ve also thought to myself, what did I get from her? Not much. Real support? No. Everything was always about her. I don’t miss her at all.
Bottom line — THANK GOD SHE NEVER GOT PREGNANT!
B Experienced says
Holy cow-Keeping up with the Kardashians! That had to be a real feat to pretend to enjoy them. Yes you are very lucky that there aren’t any kids involved.
B Experienced says
Scarily, these women can become very jealous of the attention their husbands give their kids. Kids only start another round of crazy.
I’d be afraid that she was watching “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” for instructional videos. If any women have personality disorders, it’s Kris Jenner and her daughters.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Hindsight is 20/20. Oftentimes, it’s difficult to see the forest for the trees when you’re in the middle of the forest surrounded by trees the likes of which attacked Dorothy in Oz.
OMG I just saw this Dr. T, hilarious! Very true too. This is classic. Love it. Thank you, I needed to smile today.
That was a great article . But it really hurt to read it . I have lived through two relationships like this . It will never happen to me again ! But then I have said that once before .
Dr Tara Palmatier says
I’m sorry to read you’ve through a relationship like the one described above two times. Have you figured out the source of your attraction to these types of personalities?
Also, thank you for registering with S4M and joining the conversation. Welcome!
I have it all figured out . But I am so afraid I will fall into the same trap again ! Women like this are so deceptive that I fear another one will sneak up on me .
B Experienced says
The more that you study this group the less fearful it all is. They really aren’t that hard to spot after you have mastered learning the Cluster B’s. Thankfully, their narcissism makes it easier to spot them.
Maybe I am getting smarter ! I had a date friday night and it went totally wrong. I wont go into the details but this woman had serious issues . I chose to say “No thank you ” and walk away. I know she will now be making some other guys life miserable. I feel like I dodged a bullet!
Weve all fallen in the same trap a few times. I like the flu shot analogy. Having a relationship with a disordered woman gives you immunity to some of the variants. But, there are some that the shot doesnt cover.
After my relationship I can sopt crazy a mile away. Its the subtle crazy ones that get past my radar, but Im getting better at that too.
Dr. F says
Thanks for the great read mate, I really like this one.
Sitting in the box seats watching this play is an affair of tongue clucking, booing and hissing. For those on the other side of the curtain it’s either a jolly romp in the fluffy hay or a body roll on a runway of broken glass. If you get the right script then “Hurrah! let’s tread the boards” and if you get handed the wrong one then “tough luck Jack”, the show must go on.
The curtain has risen pal so break a leg… and you spirit. You have to please the audience.
While these preening queens eat from the silver spoon they look with derision at those born with a muddy trowel in their mouths, and nothing can get past the armour in their eyes. It’s behind this shield, be it government paperwork or made of from anothers flesh, you’ll find them hiding.
Do I despise them or feel rage or pity ? No.
Just like a moth eaten deranged moggy that kills a humming bird, or a wolf that rips apart a doe I accept these things as elements proffered by nature and nothing more.
Why get mad at the bird that craps on your car, and why shake your fist at an oncoming storm about to ruin your barbecue ? Do we have to know who made the ocean angry or why buzzards have bad manners ?
Yes, know these creatures you chance upon that have an easy smile and a wish to hug you tightly when you first meet. Watch out for the drama they tell and then the glitter in their look when telling of revenge. Right there and then you’ll see them as they are. – Players with a crown strutting on a stage built just for them as they read a super duper winning script that never fails.
Don’t tax your time and body by investing your emotions in them as you wouldn’t a spider.
And just a spider keep an eye on them at all times.
Very nice piece of writng,Dr F. I think you nailed it. No sense trying to figure them out. Just avoid them.
Like they say in the financial business, “Past performance is not an indicator of future results.”
But this isn’t the financial business and, sadly, past performance usually is an indicator of future performance. Just because it didn’t work out for us doesn’t mean her syanpses won’t be affected by that stray cosmic ray or she could get a little too close to the microwave. Rumor has it burning bush sightings are on the rise.
I meant to include it may not have been better at any time, any age.
My exgf claimed to have undergone a Past Life Regression to the late Middle Ages (no joke). We were “old souls” and had crossed paths before. Apparently, she screwed up that too as she said she was the village crone and lived alone outside the village. 800+ years and not a damn thing to show for it.
Some people never get it right.
LOL! Even in 800+ years these types never change. Should be a lesson to all of us.
B Experienced says
Oh boy! This is a fine example of the length BPD’s and NPD’s will go to not make decisions and figure themselves out. Even impaired mental health professionals have come up and used these kind of crazy psychotherapies too. Their denial can and does get so high that they become psychotic by starting to believe in things that have no valid grounding in reality. Any normal person would see the laughable absurdity and question a system of beliefs that requires only faith for you to believe in or even rule it out because of it’s bizarre nature alone. Even kids let their weirdo monitor guide their decisions; which is a very good sign to know that they have good reality testing skills even if they are just inklings and that they can make decisions based on those accurate adverse emotions.
It could even be a sign that the Cluster B has Schizotypal PD as well; which I am of the current thinking that it is a milder form of Schizophrenia. This PD is common and is usually found among NPD’s and BPD’s. I will take a person who is medication compliant and has Schizophrenia with mild to no PD traits or disorders any day over any kind of Cluster B.
Well, she did have a BA in Psych and Masters in Nursing. It gets better. She also had a Tarot Card reading done on us. The reader said she’d “…never seen such chaos in a reading and didn’t know he we’d even been friends, let alone lovers.” I asked what the gypsy’s prognosis was and the exgf said, “Maybe if we spent 20 years alone together on a desert island, we might be able to make it work.”
In my defense, none of this came out until after she’d declined my marriage proposal and we had technically broken up. It’s kind of scary to think what might have happened if the gypsy had come back with “You’ll both live happily ever after.”
B Experienced says
Her degrees don’t mean anything to me. I wish I had a penny for every Cluster B person or trait of one that I came across with some type of psych degree or even ones in Psychiatry. Nursing is a common field for the B’s as well because they like to tell people what to do, and they have some power over them as well. I worked in the medical field, and I have a degree it it. Those nurses often times took great joy in hurting patients and harming the good nurses’ integrity and medical skills as well. A Cluster B loves nothing more than creating illusions and trying to get people they are normal and bright because they have a degree in something.
The physicians I worked for kept an eye on them, and they had no problem disciplining them or getting them fired. Times have greatly changed from when I was involved in this. The standards stink and have greatly dropped, and I shudder given all I know.
When my daughter was born, they fired a nurse who started yelling at my daughter in the nursery when she was a day old! It was scarier than all hell, not to mention disturbing and unsettling to see my daughter being yelled at for being fussy. I didn’t sleep a wink after that. She tried to use my anger and fear with her reaction as a sign that I was becoming unhinged from a postpartum depression. I told them that when they got her away from my daughter that my so called “unhinged” behavior would stop. I later found out that nurse had been a problem everywhere they put her.
I am glad to know that it came out after you broke up. Her odd beliefs didn’t seem to be acceptable from what I can make out about you from your writings.
I mentioned the degrees only because I had a hard time believing someone so educated could believe in something like a PLR. When she told me about it, I thought she was joking. She was dead serious. She had told me early in the relationship that one of her greatest fears was to grow old and die alone. After we broke up, she told me that she was “…afraid that one day you’d wake up and not want to be with me.” I asked her if it might be possible that under hypnosis she was bringing her fears to the surface and these were current issues. She said they weren’t and that we had been through this before. When we first started dating, she asked me for the time, date, and place of birth and paid an astrologer to have a birth chart done on me but never appeared too far out there until she told me about the PLR.
This article has been really helpful. I’d been romanticizing the past and thinking things might not have been as bad as I remembered them. They were.
B Experienced says
Sentimental gentle wind, isn’t the song you should be singing after someone tells you that she had a past life regression, abuses you, and other such nonsense! It should be more like, Hit the road Jack (ass), don’t you come back no more, no more, no more, no more, hit the road Jack (ass).
Your problem of diminishing the bad could be because she rejected your marriage proposal, and the fantasies or reality tied into it may not have been looked at really closely yet by you. There may have been some grain of truth that has harmed you by it. It is tough for a man to ask a woman to marry him, and then have her say no. It can be painful, embarrassing and humiliating.
It could, also, be part of your history with BPD’s in your family. Trying to diminish the harm done, can become a maladaptive coping mechanism.
However, past life regressions, Tarot Card Readings, Astrology and any other voodoo and hoodoo that she may do, should make it a whole lot easier to get past her rejection and/or relationship.
I escaped her a long time ago but it wasn’t until recently that I understood what I escaped from.
Or John Cougar’s “I need a lover who won’t drive me crazy…some people don’t know the meaning of, uh, hey hit the highway!”
I had a past life regression a number of years ago– nothing to do with romance at all– and it cracked the door open just enough to let me see more.
I realized, an important client of mine is someone I’ve known through many lifetimes since ancient Rome. This wasn’t what I was looking for. Our last time together, she sent me to do the “Hempen Jig”… dancing on a rope.
I have to wonder: Why do I keep returning to this person? Have we ever had a fulfilling relationship? People sense a connection between us, but she shows only fear around me. She doesn’t seem to have healthy relationships in this life, either. We’ve gone out a few times, but she slammed the door on anything further.
Speaking of Tarot, someone wanted to do a reading for me recently, when I was still obsessing for this client. We drew a card that signified my client– it was the Two Of Swords. This card shows a priestess sitting blindfolded on a bench with a raging surf behind her. She holds two swords crossed over head. It signifies a person who is willfully blind to the dramas right behind her, and the crossed swords symbolize blockage– emotional and intellectual; nothing gets in, nothing gets out. It fits her perfectly.
Yikes this is familiar. I feel like I was the leading man in this musical with a slightly and only slightly different script. Another good article Dr. T. Its very hard to detach but grasping that it isn’t personal will help me.
Oh, I know my ex GF won’t be different with the next guy. I’ve known that all along, even before I found this site. I know for fact she was exactly the same with all the “jerks” she was with before me. Still, I miss her, and often entertain thoughts that playing her game might be more fulfilling than being alone – or pretending to like a nice girl I feel no passion for. *SIGH* I wish she would start hoovering and call me one of these days. After all, I can’t call her, right? I’ve vowed to go no contact… but would probably pick up the phone if she called. I’m in a dark place these days…
Tallwheel – I understand how you feel because I have been where you’ve been and felt what you’ve felt. The first question you have to ask yourself is why does being abused by a woman preferable over being “alone?” Do not allow your relationships status define who you are or determine your happiness. If an abusive relationship is more attractive to you than being single, you need to examine why you perceive being single as such a negative in your life. This negative feeling toward being single will make you come across as someone who is desperate with low self esteem to any healthy girl out there. You mentioned that you feel no passion for “nice” girls. I’m not a professional but it is possible that a better description of a “nice” girl is a healthy girl? when we ourselves are wounded we tend to be attracted to wounded people and are attracted to wounded people. healthy people may seem boring and undesirable to a wounded person. Embrace being single and take full advantage of it. There is NO shame in being single. Work on improving and finding value in yourself. When you do that, you will have more opportunities for relationships with healthy women than you can handle. Just by changing the language from “alone” to single will be a good first step. Hang in there!!
Curtman41 – Thanks. You’re 100% right. It’s all so obvious, but I really needed someone to say it. I am defining my self-worth by my relationships. I have always had self-esteem issues, and that is where the root problem lies, not in my relationships with women. I’ll make an effort to think of myself “single” and not “alone” and partake in the joys of single life.
I’m impressed. Good job, Dr T.
Funky Monk says
“Tom works longer hours and takes care of Goldie when he comes home at night and the household chores because he has no idea how hard it is being a stay at home mom.”
These words in particular resonated with me as I used to give the XW the benefit of the doubt because, as Oprah put it, “Being a stay-at-home mother is the hardest job in the world”. What a bunch of BS that turned out to be, as I came to realize when I overtook the role of mother and father as a single parent — not only was it enjoyable & fulfilling but it was mcuh less of a chore & headache than co-parenting with an abusive, entitled, self-consumed child in a woman’s body.
Great piece again Dr. T, glad to see you’ve gone back to your bread & butter!
B Experienced says
I am a parent, and I can say that there is no “job” harder than being in a Cluster B relationship too. It is a “job” with no or shitty benefits, no retirement in sight or even allowed, relief breaks or vacations that are often ruined or can’t be taken for some reason involving them. This is only a few problems of being in a “job” with them. When you need to be trained as a hostage negotiator just to protect yourself when you are in a relationship with them, I would say that is a good sign that great difficulty and danger lies ahead.
I have been the caretaker to family members who have died of Cancer, AIDS, Dementia, Gangrene, and the main supporter and educated one dealing with the psychiatrists of one with Schizophrenia. I have helped raise our daughter with my husband, and I worked part time and largely took care of our home and did the cooking and laundry. None of any of those combos was as difficult or painful as being in a Cluster B relationship.
I have known of surgeons who had a Cluster B wife and got rid of her because of how difficult and harmful she was. These guys are highly trained for endurance, patience, keeping a level head and not letting anxiety get in the way. A few seconds of moments in time to even think something can kill the patient because they need that second (s) to do something and not think. They have to know what they are doing or pull a plan out from where they sit in an instant that is competent. These guys can’t even cut being married to a Cluster B wife because they are intolerable. They know when cancer is inoperable and accept the inevitable death of the person. I knew one that saw that and got rid of the 10 year callous of a wife, as he called her, because it can and does start to affect their job as a surgeon and person. She used his job as a surgeon to boost her self esteem too. The problem is that she wasn’t the surgeon, he was.
When you look at it from the surgeons point of view too, it adds yet another dimension on to show how resistant and difficult the Cluster B’s are with just about everyone.
Very true, Funky, although there is a huge lobby who would go ballistic at this assertion re the difficulty of being a stay at home mom. Just not politically correct.
I’ve done both and staying home with the kids is a breeze compared to my job.
Then, when the kids go off to school and the SAHM still stays at home, they really get a vacation.
There is a ton of effort, however, being put into convincing folks that their job is so incredibley tough. It’s complete nonsense, but you will get blasted for revealing the Emperor has no clothes.
Deep down a man reels at the message by media over the past twenty years to be sensitive and in tune with her wishes. He knows that he and he alone is to decide what his woman deserves, and no amount of shaming or guilt-tripping will alter that.
So having a job, solid finances, hobbies, intelligence etc should merit having a compassionate, supportive woman. Right?
Wrong. ABT (anything-but-this syndrome) can emerge to throw a wrench in his plans, because some women are wired to find fault no matter what. You held a great backyard bbq, but forgot to get something at the grocery store (say, potato salad) that her friend likes? Disaster! You express opinions counter to her views? Unacceptable!
Thankfully the manosphere has revealed these symptoms of abuse, with shit tests and how to pass them being high in my valued insight (to pass the shit test, men, fail them, meaning don’t waver and fall into her emotional trap).
I really appreciate this site and your work. It’s always so great to see someone take an unpopular stand – my favorite kind of people. I’ll stop by and type some more later, but had a rough nite and just wanted to say it’s good to read some of the stuff on here.
B Experienced says
I don’t think that Dr. T’s view is unpopular, I just think too many people are afraid to say it like it is with the Cluster B’s and wear velvet gloves when doing so.
Events of the last three months have forced me to reevaluate my complex relationship with my mother. For a long time, I simply assumed she was an emotional bully, but after my latest two email interactions (three months apart) I think she may have full blown Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
1) Does NPD get worse with age? While there was definitely some NPD traits when I was in my teens and she in her forties, it seems to have gotten much worse in the thirty years since then.
2) She treats some of her children with great respect, almost worship, one with a sort of neutral distrust. To me she shows no respect and much emotional cruelty and about half as much toward my youngest sister. Is this typical? Can it be typical?
2a) To put this another way, is it possible for someone to go full-on NPD with only a few people, treating others in a fairly normal, though quirky, manner?
3) Do NPDs delight in the misery of others? Or is there an emotional detachment to their emotional bullying?
4) Are there other psychological conditions which would explain this behavior?
Hi Jason: As the ‘scape goat’ daughter of an NPD mother [and subsequent adult attracted/-ive to PDs and with an admitted Hero Complex] myself, I have been to various sites, sought counseling, medication and read books to figure out why I have a hard time believing that I’m good enough.
I’ll take a stab at answering you based on my personal experiences and what I’ve learned from said various resources.
1) My NPD-M seemed to mellow somewhat with age (70), but maybe she is just becoming more subtle. I HAVE noticed, however, that when others comment on her behaviors, she attacks viciously and immediately (these are the other siblings who she had previously snowjobbed).
2) My brother is NPD-M’s Golden Child (“Will I Ever be Good Enough?”). From my perspective as an adult looking back, she saw in him her ‘claim to fame’ and so she pursued opportunities for him–he even lived in Hollywood for years (after trying stage in NYC) to try to break in to music/movies/television. One book I read explained that N-Mothers want their children to be only successful enough to make Mommy Dearest look good, but not so much that they outshine Mom’s own fame.
2a) I think that one trait of NPDs is Nobody is My Equal. Meaning, they are obnoxious sycophants (ass-kissers) to people they see as being authorities–their supervisors and upper management, police officers, etc. At the same time, they see everyone else as their inferiors (family, the people they supervise at work*, etc) and justify treating them as the lowly scum / morons /ungrateful jerks that the NPD sees them.
3. Yes. Yes. One of their favorite forms of entertainment is to lift you up just enough to drop you on your ass then point, laugh and share the story about your latest ‘stupid’ action (i.e. trusting them) to anyone who will listen. Make no mistake: a narcissist will not wait for threats of divorce / you standing up to them. They have been on smear campaign against you since the beginning. This way, when the day inevitably comes where you finally tire of putting up with their sh*t, they can claim that you have always been “the problem child.”
4.Being an A**hole. I guess that is not considered professional terminology. BPD, NPD, etc. are considered “Cluster B” Personality Disorders. Could there be a chemical addiction? Addicts do crazy stuff (and, many PDs also have some addictive tendencies.
ADDED NOTE: Parents, if you are convinced that you have to stay with an abusive partner “for the sake of the children,” take it from me and other adult survivors of childhood abuse: YOU ARE DOING YOUR CHILDREN NO! FAVORS BY STAYING! Show them that at least one parent will protect them and teach them what real Love is.
It may not be related directly to this post but the comments here got me thinking about it. Is anyone watching the current “Amazing Race” with former Big Brother contestants Brendan and Rachel? That appears to be a horribly dysfunctional relationship with her as a personality disordered woman and him the target of the abuse, constantly apologizing for the slights she imagines, and not taking responsibility for the things she says and does. I’m not sure if I’m just imagining it though so I’d be curious if anyone else watches and sees the same red flags.
This is an unbelievably great article doc! The analogy is priceless! I’m an actor and recently was honored with playing the role of Macbeth. It was a mere 5 months after I finally got out of the F.O.G. and in the scenes with Lady Macbeth, I could not help but draw upon what I went through with “Captain Crazy Pants”. Lady “M” controls Macbeth with seduction, infantilazation (is that a word?)by constantly questioning his manhood, calls him a coward because he does not want to kill Duncan (the rightful king of Scotland), and shames him for having a conscious after he murders the king. She manipulates him to the nth degree and his willing naivete about her and her true nature brings his undoing. Oh, yeah she eventually starts “seeing hallucinations of blood (schizophrenia anyone)? William Shakespeare wrote about these issues over 400 years ago and here we are today with the same issues in a different time period. Amazing how history repeats itself. I saw alot of myself in Macbeth in the sense that he played into her hands by ignoring red flags that should have sent him running.
B Experienced says
People with BPD and NPD can and do hallucinate under stress, and they may or may not be highly paranoid at the time. They are called micro episodes or transient ones. They can be prone to psychotic depressions, and they can have another personality disorder called Schizotypal PD; which could be the reasons for the hallucinations. It would depend on the form of disorganized thinking present to determine if the problem was Schizophrenia or Schizoptypal PD. Bipolar I Illness, Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Illness are organically based and true mental illnesses which can be co morbid too. PTSD is a problem with them and they can run a psychotic form of it as well. In the days of McBeth, it wasn’t uncommon for people to become psychotic from untreated and advanced syphilis as well. The psychosis seen in this is almost identical to Schizophrenia.
It is very common for a Cluster B to have other organic or psychological problems on top of their PD’s. Most run anxiety disorders or have substance abuse problems with them. Eating disorders and self harm are common too. Paranoid PD traits or the whole disorder runs in all of them to some degree.
Bingo! She was diaged as a Bipolar I with anxiety and panic disorder. She was also convinced at times that people were coming into her place and taking thinks (like her flash card!) when she could not find them.
I’ve struggled with accepting my own defects. I’m impulsive sometimes, I’m quite foolish in emotional issues, and I of course have been selfish plenty of times. Hard for me to accept my own faults…Yet, I have realized something. While I’m not perfect, and quite frankly have been a F-up in things, I do not take pleasure in hurting other people. I feel bad if/when my words or actions hurt others. I do not do/say things with the intent or purpose of hurting another. This I know.
On the other hand, I am certain that all these Narcissists, Cluster Bs, BPDs, and other Crazies, take pleasure and enjoy hurting others. They are on the Sociopath Spectrum. They can use and dispose of other human beings at will. No guilt, no remorse, no consequences. These people plan on the temporary use of another human being to satisfy their need for control & the need to inflict emotional harm on others.
I believe women get even more of a thrill/high out of it when they do it to men b/c men are traditionally thought of as the stronger/dominant sex. What greater thrill than enjoying a real-life fantasy of ‘David vs. Goliath’? Females emasculating and emotionally neutering men is a sign of female empowerment and almost a rite of passage to womanhood in our culture. Its condoned & supported.
Psychic assaults come in all shapes & colors: invalidation, belittling, browbeating, and other similar abuses that women often do to men…and it causes severe damage both emotionally & physically. I see many women delighting in the emasculation of men, and enjoying the utilitarian taking advantage of men, whether its milking guys for free meals via dating, taking advantage of men financially in other areas, and so on.
I havent been on the site in a while. Just happened to log on tonight to catch up. I wanted to offer some inspration for those guys that are still struggling with what to do.
I struggled for over a year questioning all the what if’s –
What if we break up and im miserable?
What if we break up and I never find anyone again?
What if we break up and it really IS me??
What do I do what do i do what do I do???
The divorce was final from my suspected BPD wife 2 years ago. I never heard from her again – nor do I care to.
Do I still think about her? No not really.
Do I still have PTSD type flashbacks? Only very very rarely. I was once in line at the grocery store a few years ago and saw a cookbook with potato pancakes on the cover. I practically had a panic attack beacuse it reminded me of the huge fight we had over cooking potato pancakes one morning. That was one of the last, and it was well over a year ago.
I enjoy my life now more than ever. I bought a house a year ago on my own. I spend time with friends and enjoy things again. Ive got a big camping trip planned for Memorial Day weekend and I cant wait. I have conversations that dont revolve around what crazy thing my ex screamed at me for hours about.
For those of you that are teetering on the edge wondering if your life will be better away from the crazyness I can honesly tell you, yes. I was where you are now. Its so much better, make yourself a priority – the world is waiting.
Hi all. I’m new here. I had a relationship with a woman who has a pattern of being “the victim” and she fits the borderline description to a tee. It led to my incarceration, she ruined my reputation and forced me out of my career field. I’m in a court ordered program but it really is a load of dung. Irony is the word of the day, every day, and has been for 2 years. I want to know what can be done about it. My trial was a farce. She knows how to play people and the system. Everyone tells me there is nothing that can be done, that she can just keep on ruining my life, and whatever other poor sap lands in her crazy. It truly is disturbing how much people tell me cliches that are essentially telling me not to stand up for myself while at the same time telling me that she was wrong. Is there anywhere that is attempting to track anyone who is a “serial victim”? I’ve been told stories of people who serially sued businesses for some faked reasons and only by happenstance got caught, and this seems kind of similar. And please don’t give me the line about she’ll just wind up getting herself hurt and living a poor life.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
If you can prove that she is lying and has set out on a campaign to destroy you with her lies via the DV/LE/court system, you might want to consider suing her in civil court for a large sum.
You should not turn the other cheek with these types and them, being their miserable selves, is not punishment enough, in my opinion. If you have the facts and the ability and resources to put together a strong defense, you should exonerate yourself and expose her for the sociopathic predator that she is. For this, you will need to find an attorney who knows how these people operate and how to both neutralize and hang them with their own rope.
If you don’t have the resources, it is probably best to get as far the hell away from her as you can, stay off her Cra-dar (Crazy Radar) and quietly go about rebuilding yourself and your life.
I’m so glad I found this website. I’ve spent the last 3 years dealing with someone who completely turned into this after our child was born. I’m glad to know that i’m not crazy.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Welcome, to S4M, Rich. I wish you didn’t need to be here, but glad you found us if you’re in a relationship with an abusive woman.
Going thru the divorce right now. Had 5 good years together but she completely changed 180 degrees after our daughter was born, coincidently she did the same thing with her 1st husband after their child was born. Last 3 years have been torture. Looking back now I notice all the telltale signs I chose to ignore or thought I could make better. I realize that she truely does have a disorder & there’s nothing I can do to help her because she refuses to see it.
Reading the articles & the comments from other people here reassures me that I’m not crazy or alone in dealing with this. Sometimes it’s hard to explain to friends what you’re dealing with because it sounds so unbelievable. The articles on this site have really helped me when dealing with some of her episodes.
Rich, believe it or not, IMHO, you’re already halfway there (back to sanity/serenity). You’ve recognized the problems, you’ve gotten out of the relationship, and perhaps the most crucial of all, you know you’re not alone/crazy. Keep coming back.
I found you guys on line and am glad I did. I thought for a second I was going crazy! I was one month from my wedding when she left, siting all kinds of mistakes and character flaws I had: I was a cold fish, I had lied to her, I didn’t make her feel loved, I didn’t tell her she was beautiful everyday, I didn’t stand up for her. Stuff that had come up over the course of our relationship, but had been addressed, and the next day, or days later she was fine, back to happy & loving. It seemed like something trivial would come up once a month that she would blow up over it. It was never that hurt my feelings, or why’d you say or do that, never a calm discussion, it was always nuclear war, we’re breaking up, you’re not who I thought you were, we’re not good together, etc. And she rarely apologized for her actions, it was always me or something I did.
This was our reconciliation too. We were together a year before, I did some stuff that she said was a deal breaker, we split, but even before that, she was online dating and texting guys while sitting next to me on the couch thinking I didn’t know! She went right into a relationship with another guy for 4 months. When it didn’t pan out, she came back to me. At the time I didn’t know of her condition, so I agreed to try again. 6 months later here we are again. She left a month ago based on all these “reasons”, yet wouldn’t let me try to fix or change anything. I now know that she was just using them as excuses to jump to another guy yet again! I’m trying to distance myself from her, but anytime we converse it turns into what a scumbag I am, all the horrible things I did, she’s so angry at me, etc. I no longer participate in her tantrums trying to defend myself, I know it’s useless.
After doing research and reading a lot of things on here, I’ve determined that this is normal for her, this is her pattern. She needs to be angry at me, needs to think I’m a terrible person that’s wronged her. And of course she did nothing wrong. Just like when I found incriminating evidence where it appeared she had cheated on me a couple times before, her response was incredible. I had violated her trust, no wonder people cheat on me because I’m such a cold fish, she wants passion, blah blah blah. There was no remorse, no guilt, nothing to suggest that she had done something wrong. Actually when I pressed her, it triggered a huge fit of rage and a physical confrontation.
And to think I had been worrying about how horrible I had been treating her, how I haven’t been giving her what she needs, what I can do to change myself to be a better person to her.
Thanks for listening all.
Hi Dr Tara,
I can’t tell you how much this website has helped me over the last few months. Thank you.
My ex girlfriend treated me really badly and then quickly left me for another man. Its wouldnt have been so bad if she didnt throw her new relationship in front of me at every oppertunity and then asked me to be ‘friends’ with her.
Eventually i chose to up sticks to another city (I move back in a few months for a teaching course but dont worry I wont be living near her!) and broke contact with her. She was angry when I told her I was leaving, everything to shame and guilt me into staying put and being her lapdog. I knew it was for the best but she hurt me so badly. Using her family against me, telling me that her young daughter hated me, calling the police on me ect…
What is stopping from moving on is that she will be different with the new guy. My friends, family, shrink all tell me the same thing! Even your telling me!!!! and I can’t accept it. I know the new guy is out with her and her young daughter having the fun we used to and I feel terrible. Like he has all the good parts and none of the horrible stuff. People tell me thats shes still using other men behind his back and she will NEVER change but I just cant seem to move past this. Why? The rational side of my brain is fighting with the tormented side. Hope that you can give me some words of hope. Thank you.
That is my exact problem too! She went right to another guy, even before she was moved out of my house I think. I don’t understand how she does that, I know I can’t. I would feel differently about us being separated if she was single too. I wouldn’t be happy that we were apart, but I would understand more, us both taking time, hurt, etc.
I think it may have to do with her needing to fill the emptiness inside her, to quiet her abandonment issues, someone else to tell her how great & pretty she is, to make her feel good about herself. She likes to say & post on her Facebook that girls like me don’t stay single for long, like it’s a good thing. When in all actuality it’s true, but I think it’s more of a need on her part, she can’t be alone. She’ll latch on to the nearest person that feeds her ego or makes her feel good about herself.
I totally understand your pain though!
Scott11, welcome to the group. I have experienced a couple of times what you recently went through. For some reason, I’m attracted to these kind of women. Now that I recognize their archetype and MOs, and that its not just in my head but that these women are evil & deivant & ill, it helps me avoid them.
Why do you keep going back? Perhaps its low self esteem. That was part of the reason for me to continue going back again and again and again. Instead of beating ourselves up though, its often more productive to accpet you were a victim of devious devices and a sociopath…and to forgive yourself for any adverse decisions you made or for even ignoring red flags (or even what I can ‘red banners’ the blatantly obvious signs).
I guess in a way we’re like recovering alcoholics; we’ve been beaten down & downtrodden due in part to our decisions, and so we collectively support each other here in our ‘recovery’ and to avoid sliding back into these relationships…
If you haven’t already, check out the Doc’s original article on this topic.
•Will My Emotionally Abusive Girlfriend or Wife Be Different With the New Guy? (September 7, 2009)
Sorry to hear about your experience. How far out of the relationship are you and how far do you think you’ve come?
I know what you mean. Before I was in a relationship with her she would jump between men for a really short time. I would tell her to take a step back and focus on her daughter. She never took the advice. She told me that she wanted to be with me and we very slowly starting seeing each other, I thought she needed a good and stable person in her life and I could be that person, I resisted her for so long but she saw my weaknessess and took advantage when I let my guard down….I have myself to blame for this.
Hi Mellari! I have read that. It gives me alot of strength when I feel down, I guess I just miss the good times and dont want to believe that she could ever be so cruel to me after telling me she loved me.
I’m sure lots of people here will kick me in the ass, but we originally broke up last summer, in which she immediately went to another guy. I even found out she was online dating while we were still together, texting/emailing guys while I sat next to her on the couch. And you guessed it, when I brought it up I was the one that was in trouble somehow.
Either way, she was with the new guy for about 4 months, she later told me she was unhappy after 2, but stuck it out. We started talking and eventually got back together. At that point I was unaware of her condition and she actually had me convinced that it was due to my insufficiencies and mistakes I’d made when we broke up.
We were planning our wedding and were a month from getting married when she basically lost her mind, drug up a bunch of mistakes I’d made over the course & my supposed shortcomings, wrapped them all up together in a nice little bow and dropped it on me. Same issue as before, I think she was talking to this other new guy before she even left, just used the issues as an excuse to leave. It’s been about a month since she moved out. I have good days & bad days still. My bad days consist of me missing the good times with her and the bond we had, the good days are when I get pissed thinking how dare she abandon me for someone else & not even have the balls to tell me. Although I realize it’s part of the condition, she really thinks I am this horrible person that severely wronged her in her mind, and she has nothing to be blamed for.
I wont kick you in the ass, although I wanted to kick myself in the ass a few times. Like most abusive relationships with these women your story is very close to my own and even closer to her ex husbands before me. We go back because it feels so special with them like it would be impossible for anyone else to make us feel like they do but its only a matter of time before they go looking for someone else to fill their needs.
They cannot stand to look at themseleves so when we get too close and we see the other sides of them they cannot stand it and need to start fresh with a new victim. I wish I could see this clearly but I guess I’m not out of the fog yet. Be kind to yourself and heal my friend. You are not alone in this.
Yeah I’m still attached too, even after knowing all I know this time. And instances like what happened yesterday don’t help my situation. We had to exchange keys and some things that we left at each other’s places. Her new boyfriend was at her apartment so I was just supposed to let her know when I got there and she would come down. She hugged me twice, for a long time, when I first got there and when I was leaving. The second time she told me she loved me and that she missed me and misses us. If that’s true why aren’t we together?! Telling me stuff like that messes with my head, even knowing all I do now.
Great article-great site. At 50, I thought I’d seen it all. I hadn’t A CLUE. Contacted on FB by an old girlfriend from college, I went to see her and thought we were picking up from a love I should have taken to the altar 30 years ago. Well, either I never really knew her like I thought I did (NPD’s are apparently masters of masks) or life had changed her ENTIRELY into a madwoman. Still lovely, she looked very much the same.
She was NOT the same person I remember. Looked the same, sounded the same; but her actions quickly went from the sweet loving adoring girl of my college memory to…well, everything I’ve been reading about at this site. Gaslighting, verbal abuse, and then came the violence.
Strangely, after six months of the worst nightmare of my entire life (and I’ve seen some things) I still can’t shake the memory of my college sweetheart and connect her to the horror I’ve just dealt with.
Sadly, there were a number of personal family tragedies that slammed her in a row after we met-none of which, however, were my fault and all of which I tried to stand by her through-to the point of physical and emotional exhaustion-only to be cheated on, discarded, attacked, and then fed a plate of “I’m going to dinner with so and so, and so and so invited me to his hotel for the weekend, and so and so is sleeping over but he’s just friends of the family-and like, OKAY- why is she telling me this to plant suspicion in my head and then act outraged when I complain or question her?
Brutal, is all I can say. Simply brutal.
The reason these disordered women feel so “abused” by everyone is because they expect their close ones (significant other, even their own children) to coddle their every need and shield them from adult responsablities. They expect to be the center of attention and to be adored and take take take giving nothing in return, cherished no matter what they themselves do. They expect to continue to live consequence free, to summarize, they expect to be treated just like a baby by their close ones. Their every need met. Of course, its impossible to carry this through 24/7 for a grown adult. People can mangage to keep up the energy for this for 1-2 years for a real baby, not perpetually for the next 80 years for a spoiled adult abuser. But that’s just what these abusers expect. They expect to be treated as babies. They demand it. How dare their bf/spouse/children not treat them as such! They feel entitled to such treatment. They feel its ABUSIVE not to be treated this way (like a baby with no responsability, consequences, adored and coddled no matter what without boundaries). That is why they cycle through relationships, characterizing each successive one as “abusive.” Their relationships abused them by not accepting their crap unquestioningly..by not satisfying their exorbitant, endless needs. Well, no one can satisfy an adult with baby sized needs, ego, entitlement.
Swan Song says
So Ginger, you’ve apparently met my ex.
I agree, ginger. However, I would add that aside from wanting to be treated like babies, they also want you to respect their “superior intellect”. At least babies and young children are likely to recognize your authority. With a PD woman, you get an entitled, coddled adult baby who also expects you to take her seriously. It’s not a very attractive proposition for other adults.
Just try imposing a boundary on them and watch what happens. They will invariably go ballistic and throw a tantrum. Just like a toddler would in the terrible twos. The crux of their disorder is their self-centered stance that they remain operating in life as though they were still babies, despite being grown ass adults.
Oh boy!! It is like someone has been reading the going on’s in my life! Here’s a “funny” (sad, really) story that dove tails with Dr T’s article.
I divorced a few years ago. I’m still single. Been trying to “fix myself” before I get hitched up again. I’ve dated but keep my distance for the most part. My counselor said “That’s healthy (waiting). Most men I’ve counseled over the years (he’s 63 years old) that have been married 15+ years need 5 to 7 years to really be ready for the next companion.”
My ex? Well she was with another man IMMEDIATELY … I mean living together daily before our divorce was final. I remember thinking “Wow!! 18 years with me, 4 kids, 3 houses, meant nothing to her.” I felt like I was cheating on my marriage a year after divorce when I went on a date.
The guy? Definitely downgrade. Much less educated. Much less money. Much less athletic. And all that. But did she change? Nope.
I know this by COURT TESTIMONY! My ex was arrested last October with an Extreme DUI at 11A on a Tuesday. How do I know? My little 5 year old kept telling me “A man on a motorcycle stopped mommy. Took her car away.” It took me a few weeks to realize she had our 5 year old in the car at the time, which bumped the citation to a “Child Endangerment Felony”. Once I realize that, I took her to court. I was freaked out! I didn’t try to take complete custody, though I easily could have, (we have 50% custody of the 2 youngest — though I have 100% of the 2 oldest), just wanted the court record of what she did. She got her custody back but had to submit to weekly drug and alcohol testing for a year. That was sufficient to me to make sure my boys were safe with her driving.
But in court during she and her boyfriend’s testimony I heard the inner workings of her “new life.” Massive domestic violence; I never touched her nor threatened etc. The ex’s boyfriend’s little girls called their mom and captured on a voice recording the fighting with my 8 year old crying in the background “Please! No more hitting!” I know this because my ex-wife’s boyfriend’s ex-wife (yup!) contacted me about the recording. She stopped by my house to compare notes. She told me her ex (e.g., my ex’s now boyfriend) told her that my ex told him “I’ve only slept with two men in my life: my ex-husband and you.” OMFG!!! I just about laughed my ass off. My ex admitted to me early on she’d slept with a dozen or more men, to my chagrin after we’d married and she was pregnant with our first child. She did this when she was drunk and later regretted saying it and recanted it. But the real clincher was … my ex gave her new boyfriend herpes and he was over at his ex-wife’s place (she’s a nurse) asking what these symptoms were. He told her that my ex told him she’d only slept with two men (me & him) and that he must have brought the herpes into the relationship because she had it to. (Definitely: WINK-WINK-NUDGE-NUDGE!!!). Poor guy. I had a similar experience with my ex in our first year but instead of herpes is was clams, so I should consider myself lucky to have gotten away with nothing permanent.
Anyways, I won’t belabor anymore courtroom testimony but it was obvious that her new “wonderful life” with new beau wasn’t! My life is so peaceful and content and I’m alone. After comparing her path after divorce to mine, I am wondering if I should remain single the rest of my life. The older divorced (and remarried) men I say that to me all laugh as say “We ALL said that we’d never remarry. But we did. You will too. Give yourself another few years.” But I hold to my conviction that I won’t remarry and I cite the ex’s poor decision as an example. Plus second marriages have a 75% failure rate compared to first marriages at 50%, so why would I?
Crazy Bitch the Musical my ex kept playing it with a new cast for sure! I’m hopefully trying to not.
I found this site after searching for female stalking behavior after my garage got broken into by the ex girlfriend.
Funny finding out she’s a cliché.
She had a whirlwind courtship with a guy, six months, got married, pregnant on her honeymoon, quit her job, and then left him six months after the wedding day to move in with her mom. The guy lived in a rural small town. The divorce was so draw out and acrimonious that he gave up seeing his kid.
I knew there was something wrong with her, but thought “Eh, this won’t last long” but I was wrong. We dated a few months, we broke up, she moved in with a guy and was subsequently kicked out two months later. Moved in with a roommate and quit her job once she got child support to go back to school and get a psych degree.
We started dating again. She proposed during sex, I refused, she bit me. She tried to get concessions from me during sex often. Roommate kicks her out after six months.
She moved out of state and I thought it was over. Kept calling telling me how much she loved me asking me to visit. I do, and immediately pick up she’s been sleeping with another guy.
We weren’t “together” I told myself but figured this was it.
Her dad dies unexpectedly and suddenly she’s moving back to where I am.
She could be sweet, but she would rage at night over stupid stuff. She drank, a lot, but hid it. She once asked me if it was serious that a neighbor had passed out and her job kid had been locked out in the middle of the night (I found out later it was her).
She was always trying to get me to quit the things I like doing, my hobbies, and interests. In retrospect, it sort of made sense. She didn’t have any herself. She was empty, and empty person.
Her brother had a falling out with his best friends (plural) and she made up a story why, but it turned out the guy was sleeping with their wives.
She was lying all the time, cheating, and at the same time accusing me of lying and cheating.
She played the victim card. She would play on being religious too. Whenever something good happened she would claim it was because she prayed for the outcome. It was a way to take credit for everything, and also to make her my good luck charm.
Eventually, demands (not asks) demands to move in and I say no. Three months later she’s seeing someone without telling me, two months later he’s proposed, a month later she quits her job and moves in with him, they’re married a couple months after that. The guy lives in a rural area again.
I stopped speaking to her as soon as she left. Now she’s texting me because she wants “her friend.”
I can only imagine that things are deteriorating for her. I want her to know all the lies I have figured out, but I know that’s foolish so I haven’t spoken to her.
It is darkly amusing to see that she follows this pattern so well she’s a cliché.
“It is darkly amusing to see that she follows this pattern so well she’s a cliché.”
They can be but it depends a lot on how much damage they wreaked on you, how cleanly you escaped, and the length of their attention span.
Oh, She wrecked damage. She stole from me, disrupted my business, she was able to suck a fair amount of money eventually out of me (no boob jobs are things of that level, but we travelled some, and she’s very good at getting men to take her on trips that she wouldn’t ever be able to go on her own and I look back and think about how foolish I was at various times.
Granted I didn’t marry her, I didn’t have her move in, I didn’t have a kid with her and she’s trying to hoover right now (after being married just a few months). She’s a taker and plays the victim.
And I could write volumes more about her.
Welcome to the “Bullet Dodgers!”
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Okay, I totally want a mock-up of an LA Dodgers baseball jersey that says “S4M Bullet Dodgers.” Love it.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
And I’ll sell it through the website.
Put me down for an XL.
I read this and I thought wow. I dated a woman that is no doubt cluster b or crazy bitch . Histrionic personality disorder and followed this disorder to the T. She even practices wicca witchcraft and is part of a pagan group. You mentioned empty inside. You hit the nail on the head. These women cannot love you. All of their relationships are about attention for themselves ,any kind of it. To be able to put up with one of these women you cannot be a human being with emotions to be able to feel anything at all. Self centered to the max. Sociopathic lies. Nothing but manipulation in their actions to get their way. They donot care about you or your health.. I tend to call it “THE MONSTER BEHIND THE BEAUTY”. They want you to trust them, but the only thing you can trust them on is that they will try their best to hurt you. The sad thing is you will not know this until you spend time with them. They only get depressed and feel anxiety when they receive no attention from no one and they loose control of someone. They are constantly looking for what I call victims. Many times they are very intelligent and clever. They are masters at it. Take care of yourselves and try to learn what to look out for. Too many years men have gone through mental and emotional abuse and you know why. Simply because we cared about them when they really didnt care about us. It all starts from when they were babies. like all of us. The best thing you can do is to educate yourself about these kind of women, Im telling you this because Im a victim of it once in a marriage and second in a 10 month relationship. Be careful.
Just a quick update, because they repetition patterns are so spot on,
I found out through a mutual acquaintance that she gave birth earlier this month. She was pregnant before she got married, but just like with the first child, the marriage and the pregnancy occurred after the whirlwind six month courtship.
So she’s done the same thing twice. Married a rural guy after six to 8 months of knowing the guy and gotten pregnant immediately (or a little before ) the wedding day.
She hasn’t left the second guy so that hasn’t happened, but everything else follows the pattern.
Did I mention her father was a farmer?
Dear Dr.T, dear fellow men,
i have been reading this site lately quite extensively. In fact you could say that I read almost all of the posts. The reason is simple: i was dating someone who i believe is a narcissistic, bitchy, princess woman of 30+. It was the first time ever that I dated such a person. I have been, in less than three months, emotionally blackmailed into paying for “our” trips, taken for granted, ignored, mis-treated as if i was asking for weird things (i.e. tenderness and affection), accused of not living and loving enough (“otherwise you would not care how much you spend on your woman”), of not being a man b/c i refused to “invite” her out to weekends, of not being a gentleman as i was not planning the stuff that we were supposed to do “together”, gaslighted (“when did i blackmail you?”), bashed at for seemingly small behaviours (“don’t do this, don’t do that”)… and the list can go on …
I called it off last night. Men, should you ever be in the same situation, makes use of this advice: brace for impact, face her and then WALK AWAY.
I was dumb enough to walk her home and listen to what she wanted to say, a walk turned into a tea at hers (i know… ) and into a cuddle/embrace/sex/physical contact seeking attitude. Basically a Love Bomb Stage II: sweet talks, caresses, promises to change, “never felt so comfortable with a man”, “i deserve punishment for how i treated you” … you got the gist.
I stood my ground but today i was feeling a wreck. Until I read this post. My brain went like: “Holy sh***!That is word by word what i have been told last night!! I Cannot believe it! How?? What??? … … I see… they were empty words, vacuum to suck me in again … I see now … sad …” It was just another Act I, in full force.
Bottom line: I wanted to share my experience and really thank you Dr.T and all the men that were brave enough to share their experiences and life ordeals. Your suffering has not been vain: you helped me out. Had i not found and read your site, had i not prepared and braced myself, I would still be with her, right on the path to a life disaster that i hope I will avoid in the future, now that I got “vaccinated”.
To you, dear anonymous reader, desperately going through these pages to try to understand, to make sense, to figure out, I say welcome, you are not and sadly won’t ever be alone. Take your time, read through these pages, have a honest scary fast forward look into your future with the person next to you, seek help of family, friends and professionals, even if it hurts. Once you have done all of that, prepare, rehearse, take a deep breath, brace and confront her. State your points and walk away from her life, now that you can. It will not be pleasant but in a rather short time afterwords I can promise you will feel better.
And once you will, come back here, post, it will help you rationalize and, more importantly, your experience will help others.
Good bye, the time has now come to roll-up my sleeves and start building my life again.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Onwards and upwards. I’m glad you stopped allowing yourself to be treated like crap.
Wow I can relate to your play so well. I’m in therapy now dealing with the after affects of this woman. Yet I. Still have feelings for her after not seeing her for six weeks. I know she has forgotten the good times and only brings up negative issues. I’m this I’m that,etc. I found out she has been on Facebook and dating sites seeking other men but still dated me for years . I’m angry , frustrated and sadden . She left me for another and was proud of it with no remorse or apology. It was my fault. Thanks for pointing out it was my fault. I loved this woman ,her kids , parents and did wonderful things for all of them. She had been planning her escape and I was the last one to know. Yes I should be glad but 9 years has shaken my core because I can’t understand how a person can be so insensitive about hurting a person that loved and cared for them and her family. Struggling with this.
Itza Sekret says
Keep reading stuff here Chas12…. you will be freshly unbrainwashed. These disordered women just go from victim to victim. Be thankful you are not being victimized any more. In time you will take a deep breath and be at peace with it all.
hi Tara, my wife is such a Type of Woman and we have three kids. she cheated, Moved out, bought a House with the new lover and got pregnant from him all within 4 months. i know the Wife of the guy and he cheated on her and Left her and the kids. he is an aspd apparently. how long will this Dream last? they are together now for 10 months. when will they start to cannibalize each other. i have parallel Parenting with her. are my Kids in Danger? both my wife and the guy are not Violent but highly manipulative and are Working towards pas to get all 5 children into their Household, uncounted the unborn. Any suggestions how to deal with it. Kind regards sebastian