On the Shrink4Men Forum, we refer to abusive wives, girlfriends and exes as CBs. CB can stand for CrazyBritches, CrazyB-tch or Cluster B (as in Cluster B personality disorders — Borderline, Narcissistic, Histrionic and Antisocial).
Valentine’s Day can be a downer if you’re alone or, even worse, if you’re still with your CB. As many of you know, Crazy often implodes on and around holidays and other special occasions.
For those of you who are still with your CB, stay safe and remember, no matter what you do, you can’t win. Therefore, I suggest a modest bouquet of flowers and a card if you must pay tribute to “pharaoh.”
For those of you who are waxing nostalgic and missing your Crazy Ex this Valentine’s Day, Shrink4Men is proud to bring you the CB Patch.
What is the CB Patch?
It is the brainchild of CrazyBuster, Micksbabe. In a nutshell:
I wish they would invent some sort of patch to wean yourself off of a CB. Like, when you are sitting at home, lamenting about how much you miss the “good times,” the patch would jump off your arm, kick you in the crotch and call you a loser.
Happy V-Day, everyone.
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.
Want to Say Goodbye to Crazy? Buy it HERE.
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I copied a pic of a huge heart shaped rose arrangement and posted it to FB. This is the pic of the imaginary flowers;from the imaginary love of my life. Maybe Mante Teo’ had this all figured out? Sure beats being with CB
Mr. E says
Love it! I laughed out loud.
I have personally spent this V-day relishing the fact that I don’t have to pay tribute to Pharaoh, or listen to Pharaoh complain, or really deal with her in any way. And it’s not like I would have scored tonight if I was still with her so, in all, I’d say I’ve come out ahead. 🙂
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to see about some chocolate.
Strength to everyone still in.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
I nearly choked on my coffee the first time I read it, Mr E.
Onwards and upwards. So let it be written, so let it be done! 😉
I have been so thankful that this website exists it helped me realize i was with a CB and leave my CB and for that i will be forever grateful. I’ve always seen shrink4men as an inclusive space that can be of a benefit to men and women, including gay men and women, who also have to deal with CB’s. So to see the term ‘gay’ used in a derogatory way was disappointing to me.
That being said, please, Dr. T and contributors to this webpage including CrazyBuster, Micksbabe, keep up the great work. You are helping people.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
I am sorry the post caused you offense. MB did not use the word gay in a derogatory fashion.
Many abusive women call their husbands/boyfriends/exes gay when, after being abused, they are no longer interested in having sex with them. Alternatively, they are accused of being gay simply because they want to spend time with their male friends, their male relatives or because they have a business meeting with a male colleague/client.
These women also call these men pu$$ies, wimps, losers, etc. Perhaps I should change “gay” to loser?
I do agree with Dr. T above … I, for one, can attest to everything she said … I heard ALL those accusations from my CB (this “patch” post really struck a chord with me)! I don’t think it was meant to be derogatory, but I know my CB did!!! … but still sorry Chris!
My husband’s ex used to accuse him of being gay all the time. I know for a fact he’s not gay. 😉 He just doesn’t like to have sex with someone who is crazy, abusive, and insulting.
Cousin Dave says
Wow, being screamed at, lied to, and having your reputation smeared isn’t arousing! Who knew?
Have about 3 hours of nasty voicemails from ex-gf recorded. Was listening to some of it last night, and in one part the ex-gf/CB, between druken expletives, rhetorically asks if I’m gay in L.A.
I guess we can use reverse deductive reasoning here: CBs know that calling us heterosexual men ‘gay’ is done in a derogatory manner, with the purpose of emasculating us and hurting us. Essentially, they believe doing this will hurt us b/c they know we are actually heterosexual, as calling a gay man (or woman) ‘gay’ wouldn’t be hurtful, I suppose(?).
So, in a twisted roundabout way, the CBs are acknowledging our heterosexuality. You just have to know their game/strategy. Hows that for a positive spin?
Sorry to offend, chrispunch. This comment was originally spurred from a thread where several men’s “CB’s” had referred to them as “gay” for not responding favorably to a hoover. Taken out of context, I can see how it could seem derrogatory.
That is freaking hilarious! My husband needed that patch right after his ex-wife’s affair left her and she decided she wanted to be friends with (read “owner of”) my husband again. When we were first dating, it was so odd when he told me what she did in their marriage and would end each sentence with the obligatory, “But we’re friends,” or “…but she’s nice.”
Cousin Dave says
It takes a while to get all of the FOG out of your brain. When you’re in that kind of situation, and the message you’re getting from society is “man up and deal with it”, it’s easy to get the impresion that all women are that way. No, they aren’t, and there’s no reason to think that a good woman would stick up for an abusive woman, any more than a good man would stick up for an abusive man.
I’m sorry I think my political correctness alarm went off a little prematurely. But thanks Dr. T for still changing it. I found so little online support for men until i came across shrink4men and I just have this feeling that other groups such as gay, lesbians, queers, may also have a hard time finding support through mainstream domestic violence websites and find your website helpful, but then be turned off because their political correctness alarms don’t let them delve deeper. I am saying all this because you and this community helped me heal and I really believe you can help so many more people.
Liberated, I’m sorry you had to hear all those things from your CB. I heard some of them too. Mine mostly liked to tell me to “man up’ and ‘grow some balls’. so i did. i left her!
Thanks for the support chrispunch. As a lesbian reader, I would have found it offensive too potentially. (I read it after it was changed.) Though, having been a longtime follower of this site (helped me leave my severely BPD ex-wife a few years ago), I understand that the ridiculous aspect of these CB women is calling you something you are not, simply b/c you don’t act how they want you to. Thats why I can understand the ‘gay’ comment for a straight man, definitely in context of the not responding to her hoovering.
Anytime mine used to think I wasn’t attracted to her (which was like every other day), she would try to convince me i didn’t like women, or I secretly liked men, or I was transgendered, or godknowswhatelse that was totally out of nowhere and totally ridiculous.
Regardless, this site has helped me immensely and I’m sure there are others like me out there. Not to speak ill of ‘my people’…but there are A LOT of CB lesbians out there in the dating pool, unfortunately….so the normal ones, such as myself, are often flabbergasted when the proverbial sh*t hits the fan. This site was my godsend for getting out and also preventing me from pairing up with a similar type in the future.
Cousin Dave says
Bless you, thistoowillpass… One of Dr. T’s main points on this site is that neither sex is immune from having CB’s among them. No one should ever be made to feel like they are being disloyal to their team, so to speak, for calling out the rotten apples. Question: were you taught as a child (like a lot of the guys here were) that “no woman ever does that”? If so, I can imagine that it must have been especially confusing the first time you encountered it.
I think I was definitely taught that ‘no woman ever does that’. Being a woman myself, I just assumed that everyone had the same upbringing/sensibilities that I did, so I often gave women the benefit of the doubt when they did not deserve it. I am much more discerning now, and I truly understand that everyone is very different, and that people do not necessarily have the ability to reason logically as I am lucky to. I did very much underestimate just how cruel/evil someone could be to someone they ‘love’. But, lesson learned! Guard officially up now.
I wasn’t. I saw for myself that bad apples are common among both sexes.
I’m not missing my CB one bit, but I am pretty damned lonely. After being on the receiving end of a long string of verbal, emotional, and financial abuse, it’s hard to envision being in another relationship, though. I guess I’m not confident enough in my ability to screen out crazy just yet.
The last valentines day (2011)I was with my crazy ex-wife I got screamed at for buying her a dozen roses. “You know I don’t care about flowers!!! You just bought these to piss me off”!!! Most people have no idea what its like.
Now I actually feel “relieved” when February 14th rolls around and I DON’T have a Valentine. I’d take lonely any day over the hell I had to live day in and day out.
I had a strange run in with an Internet acquaintance the other day. I was on Facebook and had posted a funny meme by Will Ferrell that read something to the effect of, “If you’re sad about being alone on Valentine’s Day, just remember no one loves you on the other days, either.” I thought it was funny and so did a lot of my friends. Hell, I spent about 29 years without a Valentine, so I know how that day can suck if you’re alone. But it wasn’t personally directed at anyone and wasn’t meant to be mean. In fact, it actually reflects reality.
Anyway, this Internet acquaintance took me to task for being “mean” to all the lonely people in the world. At first I took her at her word– that she was offended. I offered an apology and then said that I can’t know the relationship statuses of all my Facebook friends. I would think to a normal person, that would be enough. But this chick came back and continued to try to shame me over a stupid Internet meme that wasn’t personally directed toward anyone. It seemed like she was trying to make me responsible for the feelings of all the lonely people on Valentine’s Day. It was completely ridiculous. I told her I didn’t take kindly to people telling me what I should or shouldn’t post on Facebook and advised her that if she didn’t like the post, she could hide it, ignore it, or unfriend me.
That was the end of it, until yesterday, when I noticed that she got people all upset on a non-Facebook related messageboard we both frequent. She basically trolled the forum, then gleefully came to a private group on Facebook and bragged about it, posting a link to the inflammatory post that, sure enough, got heated. When her post caught on fire and got people all confused and angry, it eventually got shut down. It spawned a few spinoffs, mostly consisting of confused people apologizing and trying to explain what they really meant… I noticed she wasn’t involved in any of the follow up posts of people trying to figure out WTF.
The provocateur then continued her crazy vitriol in our private Facebook group, which involved some people from the messageboard and a few who were not involved. One of my friends very reasonably tried to discuss the issue with her, but our provocateur acquaintance eventually got rude and dismissive– and acted offended– when my friend didn’t easily accept her point of view. She finally got huffy and took her ball and went home. She left the group and unfriended me (and I wasn’t even involved in yesterday’s drama) and the woman who had debated with her… and probably anyone else who didn’t cave to her ridiculous dramatics. I also noticed a couple of folks begging her not to leave the group. Of course, I was thinking “don’t let the door hit you on the way out, CB…” I’m guessing most people who were involved in that mess have no idea what hit them.
I noticed on her page, she had put up a photo of a woman’s hand flipping off Valentine’s candy. She had made some bitter comments about being alone, joking about how she used to make her ex boyfriend buy tampons for her even when she didn’t need them, then saying maybe that’s why she’s single. She bragged about her “antics”, some of which apparently got her arrested and/or tear gassed. And she started a butt hurt pity party on her page over the whole drama and managed to get some attention from another “friend” who wasn’t directly involved.
I surmised that she was acting out because we just had Valentine’s Day and she’s all alone. I also noticed that she seemed to be hitting on a divorced member of the group who seems nice, witty, and is reasonably good looking. The provocateur is herself kind of cute and charming. I thought she was a pretty nice person until my odd run in with her. She didn’t like it when I didn’t feel sorry for her and kiss her butt, though, so we’re not “friends” anymore.
Gotta say, Dr. T, this site and watching my husband’s crazy ex has really given me the ability to spot crazy, both online and in person. So thanks for that…
When you’re a narcissistic person, you think that everything anyone says is to/about/for THEM. They also have no ability to laugh at themselves. Must suck to be them.
Hi everyone, having read this site for over a year now, and taking comfort at the volume of people in a similar boat, I thought that it was time I added something of a pseudo-humourous nature to the mix. Given that the recent post (as usual great content) refers loosely to ‘V-Day’, has anyone seen the similarity between the title and the Wiki plot description of ‘V’ the TV series?
Anna, the beautiful and charismatic leader of the extraterrestrial “Visitors”, declares that they come in peace. The Visitors claim to only need a small amount of Earth’s resources, in exchange for which they will share their advanced technological and medical knowledge. As a small number of humans begin to doubt the sincerity of the seemingly benevolent Visitors, FBI counter-terrorism agent Erica Evans discovers that the aliens are actually reptilian humanoids wearing pseudo-human skin, have spent decades infiltrating human governments, businesses, and religious institutions, and are now in the final stages of their plan to take over the Earth.
Anyone spotted any parallels?!
Good luck to everyone on this site – good work Dr T
Nice analogy Grow. Given our family court system, female aliens probably took those over about 4 decades ago. Wonder if they’re any good in bed?
Marriage #2 isn’t working out so well for me. She walked off another job because her boss pissed her off. Sorry but thats not an excuse and sits around the house all day and expects me to be the sole source of her fullfillment. And holy crap does this woman lie. I am a bottle filled with anger and resentment, and the therapist sides with her citing that “I should be more understanding and not so rigid.” My “rigid” ways kept me financially secure and a job for almost 11 years. Her way ended up with the repo man knocking on my door and being court ordered to pay her credit card bills. Not real sure if she’s a borderline or just a narcissist. She spends her life on facebook being the star of the show with constant picture and status updates.
My gut won’t let up with the withdrawl from the marriage, and in turn she sulks, pouts, and is extremely passive aggressive.
Great work on this article 🙂 thank you.
Jason – try not to feel bad about yourself. I married one CB and have been involved with a few others. Its a nightmare and its not your fault. I still struggle with blaming myself for not trying harder, earning more money, etc. Narcissist, BPD, sociopath…whatever it is, probably something you want to get away from. I’d at least plan an exit strategy, will give you some relief knowing you have a plan in place if push comes to shove.
I realize this post is two months old, but I just started posting here, and I wanted to reiterate what cuatezon said. Do not feel bad about yourself, but please do take responsibility for yourself. I was with an extremely abusive woman for ten years. I don’t know whether she’s NPD/BPD/Histrionic, or all of the above. At the end of the day the diagnosis doesn’t matter, because what I do know is that I was miserable and exhausted from all of the drama and abuse.
If you haven’t left yet – please follow his advice to plan an exit strategy. She may well start a smear campaign against you, so be ready for that. She may well accuse you of Domestic Violence, so be ready for that. Smartest thing I did was leave quietly when mine wasn’t home. Make sure you have a support system in place so you don’t feel as alone. I would also recommend *not* dating again right away. I didn’t follow my own advice there, and almost ended up with someone just as bad – though I had learned to trust my gut, so I managed to escape it.
I’m amazed at how similar these stories are to mine – it’s like someone cloned my ex. Bill payers knocking on the door when we’d first met, expecting me to wait on her hand and foot, acting extra crazy during holidays, overuse of FB and other sites to attract the attention of other men, using therapy buzzwords to “diagnose” me – yikes!
PS – mine was marriage number 2 as well. Whenever I got close to leaving, she’d often scream something like “good luck finding someone else who will have you after 2 failed marriages”. Does your NPD/BPD say that to you? It turns out I did find someone wonderful. But even if I hadn’t, being alone would have been better than the situation I was in.
cuatezon – I still struggle as well. For me it’s more self-guilt from realizing what a weak loser I was for putting up with an obviously abusive relationship for as long as I did. I comfort myself by reminding myself that I am no longer that loser, since I eventually left. It also felt pretty good to say “no” to some of the women who wanted to date me afterwards – helped me trust myself when I decided to say “yes”.
I am just baffled at how It seems that I am not alone, I’m just starting my journey of *leaving* I’m two months in and finally filed for divorce. I became the ultra submisive and starting falling into every trap laid. Still sometimes do but I’m at two weeks of zero contact and she’s actually making it easier because she isn’t contacting me. As of right now she feels in complete control still because I left empty handed with my clothes on my back and found a small paying low hours job. I did absolutly everything she ever wanted me to do, But FB played a huge role when she grabbed the attention of multiple guys and started using me as *just* the stay at home baby sitter. I love my kids and always wanted to be a huge role for them but I never knew how controlled I was. I really had no clue until I left. I finally had my WTF moment when I realized that everything I did didn’t matter and she stopped wearing her wedding ring while *going to work*/going to see a freind/Multiple other excuses. I fell into the trap of being provoked and hitting back. And I started to believe I was an abuser. I finally realized that this isn’t the life my children needed and I left one night after she came home from *hanging with friends* It was a little heated but I started wising up and called for my brother to be there before she got home. I fell so deep and hard that I have questioned everything about myself and I’m still struggling to find myself and muddle through the exit. Before I found this site I thought noone would believe me. Noone would understand. I finally feel *normal* again, Or atleast, sain. I can’t beleive how deep I was. I basically fill my empty time reading here now and preparing for my next move. All I can say is thanks to Shrink4men, And thanks to every single person strong enough to post here. It’s great to know I’m not alone. And after reading *neveragain’s* post I finally feel like I may find someone to be with one day that isn’t a CB. Thanks again to everyone.
Wow!!!!! You are certainly keeping your side of the street clean. Good for you!
For 21 years I carried a woman who is highly educated, but unwilling to work…….same stories abound on this site.
My wife is without question a CB.
Long end short. She ended up cheating on me with a fellow who once trimmed trees in my yard. It was a very hot and heavy relationship and for all the efforts i put in carrying her all those years, she was SO MEAN to me. She actually taunted me, laughed at me, smiled when his name was mentioned…it was demonic.
Well, June 10th it is officially over. However, she broke it off with her tree hugger about two months ago.
Seems her damsel in distress act attracted a complete control freak. Hence when I exit the scene, she had nobody to focus her CB behavior on, and took a good look at the snook riding on my former white horse.
Low and behold a family member called me several weeks ago to tell me my wife had taken down her FB wall showing her as “dating in a relationship” back to married and put up the family photos…..(I had blocked her months ago as part of my no contact rule. Now she is calling and texting me as nice as nice can be…..We even invited me to dinner one night, at her request to “be open with one another.” It was a very plesant three hour meal and she disclosed how controlling and crazy this guy really was…..I said very little.
Last weekend she called me to yip yap about a few things concerning our boys when the conversation turned personal. Just being curious, I asked her if she was upset after the breakup with her boyfreind. She didn’t hesitate to tell me (laughing at him in a very familiar way……) that she hadn’t given it a second thought, but wished she could have hung in there a little longer because he would have taken down a huge oak tree in our front yard for free…..Everyone, for the first time I had true empathy for myself. Felt sick to my stomach to hear the words, but greatful I heard it with my own ears. Even at this very moment I am trying to rationalize what she meant, but the reality is although she does have many good qualaties, she is a crippled sociopath deserving of some empathy as well. She has started to go back to therapy, but like before, she will stop after the divorce since she can’t afford the $170/ session fee. Too bad.
I have been on this site for about three years and have evolved from a very unhappy trapped man, into someone a little more hopeful in my future. I am still depressed and worried I will never find a real partner. Worried that I will make the same mistakes. Worried that my health problems will only give me the next 15 years to enjoy…..But the good day ratio is improving slowly.
It sounds like a throwaway line, but it does get better as time and distance grow. (That said I’ll probably have a meltdown this afternoon, but I’m even dealing with those feelings somewhat better.
Good luck brother
Dear Dr. Tara:
My apologies if my question is maybe too general/theoretical and not strictly about the post itself, but there is something I cannot fully grasp: what does exactly mean “personally disorder”?
As I see in many of your excellent posts -with which I agree almost 100%- the concept “personality disorder” and its variants (narcissistic, histrionic, etc.) appears everywhere. But for the description of its associated behaviors I can’t tell: what is the difference between having a “personality disorder” and simply being an assh*le? (sorry if I am too straightforward).
Many of the actions depicted here (mostly carried out by women against men) fall into what I consider simply lack of ethics, empaty or basic human respect (needless to say love). Isn’t there a risk of diminishing personal responsibility when all those actions are associated with a “personality disorder”, a sort of mental/medical/psychic condition? Isn’t it just dishonesty, selfishness and greed?
I do not deny all this may be caused by social conditions and culture, but maybe the same can be said about many of who we would deem just “bad people”. Had Hitler a personality disorder? If a “personality disorder” is something that needs treatment, then we have a public health serious problem, but if this is simply something that can be “cured” with a change of attitude on the counterpart (establishing limits, not letting abuse take place, etc.) then I think that is not a condition but a matter of personal human values.
I am no expert at all, so I may be surely wrong in many points, so thanks for your patience. Your writings are plenty of intelligence and sharp humor, which are scarce goods. Thank you very much for that too.
Jacko – I can’t answer for Dr. T of course, nor am I trained in psychology. I am however a seasoned veteran of experiences with sociopaths. You pose a great question. Personally, I feel our culture/society and its ideals, lack of community, and encouragement of hyper aggressive behavior, ‘Darwinistic’ thinking etc. contribute to more and more sociopaths in society, both men and women. Even if they are not full blow sociopaths (Hitler, Bundy, Gein et al) there are significantly more Borderline and other similiarly disordered individuals in our society. Our society often rewards these quasi-sociopaths for their behavior; cutthroat competition in business, sports, and viewing people/relationships on a purely utilitarian basis (what can you do for me?).
I cannot give s specific quantifiable answer to your question, then, as what level of ‘asshole’ or ‘bitch’ behavior technically constitutes a sociopath, borderline, histronic etc. I can tell you though I’ve dealt with difficult people, e.g., powertrippers, but they don’t necessarily engage in behavior for the sole purpose of inflicting pain on others. While their behavior may cause pain and hurt, its done more for grabbing power than the specific intent to inflict harm and afflict the person with pain.
The sociopath, borderline, histronic etc., on the other hand, DOES inflict pain & suffering for that sole purpose, and takes pleasure in seeing another suffer. This I do know. Hitler, Bundy and others relished hurting people. So do many of our ex partners; women and men who hurt us for that sole purpose, and who enjoy doing so, regardless of the cost to us, the children, or anyone else.
So while there are plenty of selfish assholes and bitches out there, I guess the differentiating question/answer here is do they do it with the sole intent of hurting you/me/us, or, are they just so narrow minded they can’t understand being selfish hurts others.
I could go on but thats my best layman’s explanation hope it makes sense.
In my minor-psych,anectdotal-inspired opinion, Cluster Bs are merely ways of labeling (for the hope of diagnosis/cure??) A-holes.
I.e. Major A-hole #1: Narcissist ~ openly hostile, incredibly rageful, seemingly proud of all the ways they have in their arsenal to keep you in/teach you your place.
Minor A-hole: Borderline~ “Ooops! I did it again; I played with your heart…I’m not that innocent.” “But poopsie-woopsie! (*cue tears*) You know I only cheat on you, put you down and contribute nothing to the household or child-rearing because I’m afraid of looooosing yooouuu!”
A-hole Monster: Sociopath~ a completely fabricated personality that changes to suit a current want or image. Feels no anger when casting others aside, can feel nothing for or from others.
(I do not know enough about histrionic to comment on that.)
Seems to me that one or more psychologists stopped themselves one day and asked, “Why ARE some people such a**holes?” Thus was born the Cluster B type of mental disturbance.
I agree, TheGirlInside, whenever we explain Cluster Bs to a laymen we should first mention what they do – their malicious acts, abusive behavior, frauds etc – and then move on to clarification of what’s behind an abusers mind.
After I left my abuser I began to research everything I could on BPD, NPD, sociopaths…and I was shocked when I found out that real truth was hidden behind
“fear of being abandoned”, “need for love”, “feelings of emptiness and boredom”,
“uncertainty about self-image” etc. I’m not telling it’s wrong, it’s just terribly confusing, and ment nothing to possible victim who might read it. And it’s certanly not very helpful to someone who’s just trying to understand
these PDs better.
CBs are much more dangerous than “ordinary” a**holes. They can destroy your
life, kids, home, personality, career, health, reputation…and they can avoid any responsability for it. They got motive (strong need to hurt you and to turn you into their caretaker), means (excelent manipulation skills) and capability (no empathy).
We must educate people, and tell them – if you get involved with a npd/bpd
you’re gonna be abused and suffer horrible consequences.
What I dislike most about Cluster Bs is how these people
managed to hide their true nature from public scene. It’s almost like a conspiracy.
This site has been amazing for me. I left my CB 18 mos ago after a 2-day-straight argument of her screaming at me because I refused to allow her to quit her job without finding another one first. How dare I suggest that she be responsible for contributing financially to our family?!?! I was already doing most of the housework, grocery shopping, cooking, and taking care of our son while she went to the gym and hung out with her friends, played sports, coached, etc. 3-6 nights per week while I stayed home with our son at night. Oh, I also made 2-3 times the money she made with the same BA degree from the same university where we met. Our son was about to turn 4 and had been in school since he was 12 mos. AND his current school – a really great private schools in AZ – came with free tuition because she worked there. Without that job, he’d have to go somewhere else. Why would she need to stay home? I should note that I also paid her support VOLUNTARILY to the tune of $800/mo +iphone bill/car insurance on her Volvo. So, ~$950 a month. I’m not rich; I was grossing perhaps $3500 a month, probably less. I promptly lost my job a month later in a corporate restructure and was out of work for 2 months and change, but even then, I kept making those payments.
So anyway, I left finally having had enough of her temper tantrums. We were separated for over 7 mos and things were ok. Around Feb 20, I was at her house watching our son play in the backyard, and she hugged me and asked if I was coming back. I looked her in the eye, told her “no,” and that I was happy alone but that we’d always be friends for the sake of our son. I then picked him up and we went back to my apt to have a fun weekend together, as usual.
Less than 2 weeks later (a year ago last week, as a matter of fact), I was served papers at work she filed with the court seeking divorce, termination of custody, and an emergency hearing in less than 24 hrs alleging a child pRon complaint supposedly originating with my son, and that I was abusive and violent toward her and to our son. She also alleged drug use/abuse. She claimed that I was sexually abused, and that my dad had abused me as a child (he probably spanked me a total of less than 10 times, and it probably should’ve been WAY more! lol). Thank goodness I was in AZ and not somewhere else. A family court investigator was assigned, and I was put on supervised visits while they got to the bottom of it. I was also ordered to undergo hair follicle testing that day. Yes, I temporarily lost my parenting rights for almost 3 months while I was investigated by the local police where the abuse claim was lodged, CPS, and our family court investigator. But it was worth it. Worth the $15K it ended up costing too. Everyone involved realized how full of it she was. My drug test came back clean, and I submitted previous clean tests I’d had for, oh, most of my employment history. We had never had any violence, no previous abuse, no nothing. I have never been violent with anyone. I had no arrest record, save for 2 or 3 speeding tix in over 18 yrs of driving. One accident. And that’s it, police record-wise. We had one incident 4 years ago where, after 18 months straight of being accused of cheating on her at work/with old friends/etc., I lost it and we ended up screaming at each other for 45 mins. Little did I know, after the fight was over and I went to bed, she called the cops on me and they responded. They had to wake me up, took our statements, and wrote it up as a verbal incident and no charges either way. The ONLY incident we’ve EVER had. And it was documented in the old police report as such too. So I submitted that as well. Also, I’d left a month after that incident due to yet more allegations of cheating and the regular BS that goes with being married to a spoiled, histrionic Cluster B.
Apparently they’ve seen it all before in AZ. CPS and the Police both apologized to me and went so far as to say that they wished they could charge her, but until the AZ law changed (SB 1127, false allegations of abuse) this past January, there was nothing they could do. The family court investigator REPEATEDLY stated in court/on record that my ex trying to take my son away was the only problem she saw – there was no abuse, no violence, and that there were NO issues with my parental fitness. In addition, our son was interviewed TWICE and denied making the allegations both times. And then finally, my last supervised visit 2 days prior to having my parenting rights restored, my ex went directly from picking up my son our visit to the police to file a last-ditch report alleging abuse had occurred at that visit in an effort to prevent my rights from being restored. Problem was, we were paying a neutral court employee $800 per month to supervise the visits, and my father and g/f were both there the whole time as well. So the cops show up, question all of us, and the court supervisor as well. The cops even admit that none of them saw any mark and that my son said he fell, which he did, onto carpet, with no mark, no crying, no nothing, in front of everyone, but that my ex INSISTED that they file the report anyway. The visit supervisor was nice enough to write a report of the incident to be filed in court also. The cops that day were great too, telling me to take photos and keep records, and they also informed me that the AZ laws were changing to allow them to press charges if she continued starting in the new year (Jan 2013).
Long story short: that day in court, May 30th, 2012 was one of the greatest days of my life. The judge set a support order of $300, a reduction of almost $650 per month, but ONLY if she began paying his health insurance and we split his new school, otherwise, it’d be even less. He set a 50-50 parenting schedule and I was able to tell her that she was going to be sharing holidays with me from now on (she previously refused, saying I wasn’t religious, thus it shouldn’t matter to me). I got to refuse her previous directive that I get one weekend day, two nights, and one overnight during the week and insist on a rotating equal-time schedule. I was able to travel and take my son wherever we wanted to go without her permission. Out-of-state trips I just had to tell her where and give my cell #. And the cherry on top? The judge telling my ex flat-out that this was it, the court found no evidence of a single claim of hers, that he considered the matter over, and that if she continued to file BS claims moving forward, SHE would be the one on supervised visitation until they figured out was wrong with her, and I’D be granted primary custody and child support from her until her parenting rights were restored. He then ripped her – and her attorney, which I thought was pretty awesome – a new one for literally every single thing she said about me turning out to not be true, and for wasting everyone’s time. He got very close to yelling and was visible angry, red and shaking when he was finished. I never thought I’d see anything like that in court, eps after the horror stories I’d read online from other men who’ve been screwed. The looks on the faces of my ex, her lawyer, and most of all, my ex’s parents, was almost worth the $15k by themselves. After the hearing – which lasted 20 mins end-to-end – her Mommy and Daddy was outside complaining to one of the deputies and asking how to get a new judge. They still just don’t get it, which doesn’t surprise me, because my ex’s mother is exactly the same way, but probably even more nuts. Her attorney also bailed, requiring my ex to use a 2nd attorney for the property/dissolution decree/settlement portion. Not sure if she left or was fired, but either way, she got to see firsthand that not every woman who claims abuse is being truthful. She was young, and I hope this was a wakeup call for her. Of course, she gets paid either way, so probably not.
And since that, my ex has been ok, friendly even, like nothing ever happened, which is the part that bothers me. Tries to hug me on holidays and is more than willing to be reasonable for the first time in our almost 6-yr relationship. Of course, around the time she made her allegations, she also started seeing a new guy too. I’m sure she told him the same stuff about me she told me about previous bf’s: druggies, abusive, violent, losers, etc. And I’m sure he fell for it too. At some point during our 6-mo trial, she also lost her job at the school. Gee, cannot imagine why?!? In fact, the cynical side of me even thinks pulling all this nonsense on me was part of the cover story she told him and her family/friends to explain why I would leave her. That, and to try to terminate my rights for a higher support payment/payment of her legal costs. But then again, I’m not so sure that’s all that cynical of a perspective. Probably pretty realistic actually.
So my advice to you men out there: move to AZ, THEN divorce, especially if you’ve not been married long and have kids. Very progressive when it comes to men’s/father’s rights, and they actually require proof when wild abuse claims are made by CBs. In addition, the law has now changed to where a woman who makes false abuse claims can actually be charged, fined and do jail time. Being a CB now has criminal penalties here in AZ, unlike almost anywhere else. Also, if you haven’t yet, read Dr Tara’s ENTIRE site. Twice. And read the book Stop Walking on Eggshells, recommended by my counselor at the time. Both were invaluable. I’ve been here for over a year, and this is my 1st comment.
So this past Valentine’s Day was the 1st since my CB tried to destroy me for the unpardonable sin of leaving her. It was also the best one I’d had in forever: I spent it with my little boy, in our own place, making cards for his party at school the next day, with our dog asleep under the table, and not a CB anywhere to be found! My ordeal sucked, just like all of yours do. Worst thing that anyone’s ever tried to do to me. I was sick, cried myself to sleep at night on those night when I actually could sleep, wondered if maybe I was what she tried to describe me as, and more. Sometimes I wished I would just die to stop hurting so much. But eventually the truth comes out, and while you may think you’re the crazy one until it’s over, and you lose a lot of money, it’s worth it. 1 month after my divorce was finalized, I bought the car I’ve wanted for 10 yrs – Mini Cooper S, (used, of course :)). Now, 6 mos out, I’m buying a little house for my son and me and our dog, complete with a garage and little pool. Life is great. We’ll have our own space finally, and he’ll have a quiet, sane, stable spot as I know she’ll never be able to provide that for him. She’ll never again be able to tell me I’m a bad dad. He knows better. He’s 5 now, and he tells me all the time that I’m a great Daddy, and he has even told me that when he grows up, he wants to be a Dad just like me, because I’m the best Dad. I always thought my Dad was the best too (still do), and hearing that from my own son is the best thing on the planet. Sometimes I think I could’ve done more to save my marriage, and that it is my fault somehow, then I come here and realize I did more than I should have, and that I wasn’t the problem, just like the men here. It was so amazing to realize that I wasn’t alone, nor was I the only one going through this. Just stay strong, men (and women who love the men going through this stuff), and eventually, it gets better. They’ll find another target, and then you’re free. You’ll still cry, but it’ll be from joy, from freedom, from hearing your kids, your family and/or new partner confirm that you really are ok and a good person. And it’s an awesome feeling. I’m not dating yet, and not sure I will anytime soon still, but I know that when/if I do, it will be with someone I deserve and who deserves me too.
Amazing post thanks about go through the same with a CB
Hang in there buddy. It will be the worst thing you’ll ever go through. And then it will be over before you know it and she’ll never be able to hurt you again.
Thank you for this inspiring post. I am a “healthy female” who has witnessed these sort of women tear GOOD men/fathers/husbands down and it breaks my heart. I am obsessively concerned about the state of our society…as the family unit is our glue. Yet, with mental disorders being on the rise, creating more and more sociopaths, Cluster B’s, histrionics, etc…I am extremely concerned about the children and how it effects them, spiritually, emotionally, physically and socially. Yours is one of the few success stories involving children that has a peaceful outcome…most men still have to endure the crazy-making, threats, and everything in between.
I am tremendously moved by the judge in your case because I often complain about the ignorance of our judicial system when it comes to CB’s and the strategies they use to manipulate and destroy the lives of innocent men. It pains me, actually. But again, your story gives hope. I know of someone who was involved with a woman like this and is still getting over it…and I know of men who remain in these situations due to fear of retaliation or just that they are unhealthy themselves.
Thanks to Dr. T for her bold stance…educating and offering awareness. I am on TEAM TESTOSTERONE when it comes to this subject. It is a serious issue which needs to be addressed on a grand scale. Lord knows, more women need to step up and support websites such as this for the sake of our future as a human race…
Best of the best to you and your son!
ImOnYourSide, its encouraging to see a woman who understands these issues and who bad these situations are for men, children, and the normal women in their lives. If only more women could be honest and allow themselves to see whats happening and help put a stop to this, before the society is destroyed.
Thanks IOYS. I had read all the horror stories too, and thought I was in for a way worse ride than I actually ended up on. But our judge set the tone Day 1. Appointed a court investigator to get to the bottom of it to save us money, and demanded she produce evidence for her disgusting and ridiculous claims. And she failed miserably. In AZ, the laws are VERY clear, and he was VERY adamant that he would be sticking to it, and he did. My attorney was great also; she understood the system and basically let my ex-wife and her 1st attorney destroy themselves, almost rope-a-dope/Mohammed Ali-style. It was really frustrating at first, but she was right and it became amazing to watch, and even entertaining and satisfying by the end: here was an entire system exposing my ex’s craziness, and people that weren’t my family and friends actually saw what I saw and believed me! Validation! I have heard similar things from others here in AZ, mostly recently since the laws were changed. A guy I work with had a very similar situation at roughly the same time. Same deal: 50-50 time, low support, judge told his wife to get a job, etc.
And like I said, now my ex is fine, like nothing ever happened. Maybe because my boundaries were in fact supported by law? Maybe because the judge told her next steps included placing her on supervised visits until they figured out her psychological issues (he literally said that in court and I had to stifle a laugh…IN COURT)? No idea. But we’ve both attended events at my son’s school, and she talks to me like an old friend again and then hugs and kisses me on the cheek and before I leave. I smile all the way home every time knowing that she can never hurt me or our son again, and if she does or tries, I have the laws, her history of nonsense now documented in our case and the financial means and support to fight back finally.
Life is good. And yes, AZ rocks. 🙂
Yes! This is a celebration of life! Freedom from insanity! I’m going though it as I write. I have two beautiful children…when I wonder how in the world did I get myself into a relationship with and get married the “semi-goddess” with an inflated sense of herself (really nothing more than a tramp fueled by her own delusions and anger — anger because deep down she knows she is a tramp, cheap and unworthy of the very air she breathes) and I begin to really, really get pissed at myself for having been such a sucker, I just remember the image of the Divine reflected in the sweet, innocent faces of my young children (3 years old boy and 1 year old girl), then my anger turns into gratitude! Even garbage can give birth to the most beautiful things! My Beloved Little Ones are my beautiful hope and my Legacy to the world! A gift from the Almighty to be loved and cherished.
There are unalterable facts that no amount of denial, no amount of hysteria or virulence can change: the love of a good, caring husband that was utterly rejected and soiled by a deranged CB in her pursuit of whims and desires cannot tarnish the love of a father to his children who unconditionally know and accept fatherly love! As young as they may be, children know the difference…they know when they’re loved. They know where safe harbor is…and it is not with a crazed CB intent on a path of self-destruction even if it means burning the world to cinders, including her own children!
Six months and $
Completion: Six months and $70k later, I’m still dealing with the false accusations of DV. My soon to be ex, has been empowered by the California legal system (even though I live in New Mexico) by having kidnapped my children an ran off to her “night in shinning armor” (who in reality is a private security guard) and even after I obtained court orders both from New Mexico and California to return the children to their home, cops whose jobs is to enforce the laws, decided instead to break all of the laws and allow this deranged woman to file a false DV TRO (a full six days after she was served!) and get me embroiled in the craziest legal system in the country. She kidnapped by kids; the cops broke the law and here I’m fighting for dear life because of a broken legal system that pretends to serve “justice” and all it is doing is enabling and rewarding bad behavior!
If I actually told my whole story, I’m certain most people would think this is straight out of Kafka novel and such a situation is not possible in our legal system…but it is!
My point is this: hang in there and know that sooner or later the truth may not prevail, but love to your children no matter what the “legal” outcome is, will always prevail and if you’re free from the toxic, noxious presence of your ex CB, count your blessings! Life will always find a way to correct itself!
While I was going through my ordeal, my dad kept telling me the same joke:
“Do you know why divorce is so expensive? BECAUSE IT’S WORTH EVERY PENNY!”
And you know what? He was right.
You will get through it and it will be worth it. And one day, your kids will will see what she did to you and to them, and what it cost you and what you endured to fight to be part of their lives. And at that moment, they will instantly understand what kind of dad you are, what kind of person their mother is, and they will see the truth with clear vision.
It may take a couple years, it may take 20. For me, it was a couple days after my son’s 4th bday, and maybe a little more than a month after my parental rights were restored, when he told me from the back seat of my car that he was angry at Mommy for telling lies about Daddy and trying to take him away from Daddy. And then he told me that when he grew up, he wanted to be a Daddy too because he thought I was the best Dad. I had to pull over to cry. But it will happen for you too. And that day will be the second best day of your life, just after their births.
Hang in there man. And keep reading this site. I don’t know how I would’ve gotten through my divorce/custody battle without it. We’ve all been through it and gotten through it. And you will too.
Valentines Day. Interestingly, throughout the history of our relationship, this has been the one day that blowups don’t happen.
It is my sincere hope that any post I make will, in some small measure, help someone here. I am 48 years old. I am not mentally ill for staying with my wife. To me, it is better for the kids, and that’s not an excuse. But, that may all be changing.
Do any of you ever get the “be on time” form of abuse? See if this resonates with any of you.
This is my post from my personal diary today.
Her sister and BIL back home for several days with their boys. Since there were no melodramatic pre-visit outbursts, this one passed without me even being afraid of them coming here to visit. I didn’t even think about the normal repercussions of the dreaded sister-visit. Then…after almost making it to the finish line for the first time ever, the dam broke.
Saturday morning we got up very early to take our sons to little league baseball tournaments. Her sister and brother in law, and their children were leaving that day. The ONLY indication that she was under duress was her usual insanity about leaving on time or getting somewhere on time. As she usually does in these situations, she begins with setting the stage. It starts early and it continues until we are wherever we are going. We MUST be on time. We MUST NOT be late.
Of course, there was never any concern about being late to begin with…it’s just her way of getting everyone on super high alert. I’ve always thought she uses the “be on time” scenario to mask whatever her real problems are, just as she does with all the other ones. It’s an excuse…a perfectly unchallenge-able reason for her to act like a complete asshole to me and the boys. After all…we’re dealing with life and death shit here…like being ON TIME!
So, there is all the normal pre-freak out shit…”should we drive separate cars?!” so that SHE can be the hero and actually get him them there on time, on the assumption I will make everyone late. First, nobody gives a shit if we’re a few minutes late. Second…it’s a baseball tournament, not a wedding. Third…she acted mortified when, on our recent ski vacation, she’s going totally berserk about our son being at his snowboard lesson on time and how it was going to be REALLY hard to get him to the meeting spot. No it wasn’t. They weren’t late. They got there on time….even though she SWEARS they had to LITERALLY run from the gondola to the lesson building…which they didn’t. SHE had to run to make a show of it….and she made OUR SON run…in order to validate her own craziness.
But, little did I realize (again…to my own detriment) how she would file this away for later use against me. I wondered why, later that day…she asked the inevitable question, ”is something wrong?”….when ABSOLUTELY NOTHING could be even CONSIDERED to be wrong. It was so out of the blue I momentarily lost it and said, WHY DO YOU ALWAYS ASK ME THAT, WHEN IT’S OBVIOUS that everything is actually RIGHT with the world??!!”. We’re on vacation. The sun is shining. We are SNOW SKIING for crying out loud, in gorgeous weather. People in North Korea are STARVING TO DEATH. So, I ask you, HOW could anything be wrong!!?? Again, she just shut up and acted hurt. But, I have come to understand that any time she asks this question, “it” is going to happen sooner or later. It’s an ACT. A SET UP. I had failed to realize she was simply in the process of creating her mental list of “gotcha’s” that she knew she would use when the dreaded sister-visit happened.
SIDEBAR: We are rarely late to any function or appointment. RARELY. Hell, if anything, we’ve waited untold hours on other people over the years. But for some reason, she MUST be…..better? LOOK better….than others? I don’t know why, but she uses this like CRAZY…take separate cars, hurry up, get in bed, take your medicine, brush your teeth, as if she’s the crypt keeper who got banished to centuries of keeping everyone ON TIME. It’s maddening. It is NOT necessary. Sometimes…not often (unless you ask her opinion about it) but SOMETIMES, life just happens. People totally understand. But, even if they DIDN’T understand…I don’t CARE. My entire life is driven by appointments and schedules and timelines. There just comes a point when you realize 30 seconds here or 10 minutes there isn’t going to kill anybody every now and again. It is NOT disrespectful to others. And, it ISN’T HABITUAL or “ALWAYS”…unless you ask her because, to HER, EVERYTHING is “always” and absolute if it isn’t how she wanted it or expected it. Life just happens. Kids get sick. Alarm clocks get ignored. Tires go flat. Gas needs bought. She drives us all CRAZY…me AND the boys and probably everyone else…with this. To me, it’s NOT about being on time. It’s about CONTROL! But, since she knows it’s really not that important to me, it’s become INCREDIBLY important to her as time as gone by. There MUST be drama. And, invariably, that drama is focused on how uncontrollable forces are impacting her and keeping her from realizing something incredibly important to her…such as being on time.
So, we leave in PLENTY of time to get to the ballpark but, trying to buy her a few minutes of time, and my family some sanity, I told her we would just stop at a fast food place to get breakfast. ANYTHING to keep her calm and keep her from freaking out. She wants to stop and say goodbye to her sister and the boys on our way. We get there, sprint inside and, VOILA, the only people awake are her mom and one of our nephews. Some words were exchanged…GOD, I SHOULD HAVE PAID MORE ATTENTION to what was said because it may have been THE trigger to all of these issues. One moment I’m hugging my nephew and the next thing I know, she’s sprinting out the door, urging the boys with, “come one! We’re late”.
What happened? What set her off? What bombastic and disgusting remark did her mother make that made her world spin out of control? What CLUE did I miss? Damnit…I missed a golden opportunity to get a hint of what all of…this…is.
A mile up the road, I’m thinking about breakfast and I realize I don’t have any money with me. I haltingly say so. INSTANTLY, her face falls and she says, “should I just take (our youngest son) and we can get a granola bar at the concession stand?!”, as if, this is IT. The WORLD is ending. I say, “Oh (wife), stoooooop….it won’t hurt anything if we’re a few minutes late”. I turn around, go back, get my wallet out of my truck door and we’re on our way again. Her breathing is now rapid and clipped. Over being late….to a baseball tournament where our sons are star players…on a Saturday morning…when we will be among the first ones there.
3 miles south of the house…SHOCKING, I KNOW…BUT, THE TEARS START. The oh-so practiced grabbing of the Kleenex and the dabbing of the eyes. The ACTING is if she’s trying to hide it by turning to the window when, in reality, it’s a lie. She WANTS me to see it. She NEEDS me to see it. She NEEDS to be victimized and traumatized by lateness and forgotten money-ness.
AND THAT’S WHEN I REALIZED I’D BEEN HAD AGAIN!!!
So, I simply said, “Really?”. Aaaaaannnnnd, she’s off. The explosion. The accusations about last week on the ski slopes and invalidating HER “feelings”. Her FEELINGS. AGAIN with her FEELINGS! Now, the MOST disgusting thing about it was this; for the most part, she has done her best to hide these issues from our sons up until now. I don’t think they’re stupid, but I’ve found myself making excuses and making light of her “ways”, to the boys in the past. Of course, I’m sure she’s done this on my behalf to them, as well. But, what’s disgusting is this; it seems apparent she has now decided it is time to show them her charade and parade of misery. Time to stop hiding the craziness and indoctrinate them into the whole disgusting thing. And I tell her so.
There was NO effort to control herself and the things she said about me and accused me of. Out it ALL came….I don’t CARE about her feelings….HER emotions don’t matter to me….last week on the ski slopes was PROOF when I told her to CHILL OUT about things. Wait, what? You’re bringing up something I don’t even remember from last week on vacation? Yes, and that PROVES I don’t care, etc. The same old bullshit. The same old insecurities. But, this time, with a twist. Try to make me look EVIL in front of my sons.
So, I can see the boys getting really nervous in the back seat but…these are my sons. If I don’t say anything or at least defend myself, I fear they will learn the same response if she starts doing these same things to them. And GOD KNOWS I don’t want that for them. So, I defend myself. I ask her repeatedly to calm down. Tell her this isn’t necessary. Even come out and tell her I guess she’s finally found it fit to not hide her tirades from her sons. Finally, after several miles her invective and rancor are at a fever pitch. She is now in full blown meltdown, with the shaking-crying and the thousand-mile-look-how-traumatized-I-am stare, and I’m trying to maintain SOME degree of sanity when what I really want to do is knock her teeth down her throat. I grab her arm…hard…and demand that she calm down, or I am going to stop the car. I can see the terror in my children’s eyes in the rear view mirror. They aren’t important to her at this point, though she would SWEAR it was my fault they saw “this”. Exerting ABSOLUTE leverage to try to bend me to her will is what’s important and it’s evident she is now beyond trying to shelter her own children from it. They are now PAWNS in her freak parade of emotional control.
As usual, she turns away and continues to weep quietly with her face against the window. I manage to maintain some degree of composure and as we drive through town. I ask her if she is prepared to apologize when we get the ballpark actually early, even after stopping at McDonalds to get breakfast. She doesn’t answer because, of course, THAT possibility never crossed her mind. Because it isn’t ABOUT being on time. It’s about something else that I may never understand. I tell her I realize it doesn’t make being late “okay”, but that it’s a SATURDAY, it’s a BASEBALL game, not a wedding. And, we are probably going to be among the first to get there anyway. She screams it isn’t about others, it’s about how I minimize her feelings and emotions (by “risking” being late??!!) which I never purposely do. I just suggest she try acting rationally and giving sound judgment a try before acting bat shit crazy. I accidentally mutter to myself how STUPID I was to not think that since her sister was in town, it was all too good to be true. Then, I think to myself, how could I be THAT blind? That I should have KNOWN she would never be able to hold it all together for an entire sister-visit and, I think to myself, there is a dynamic at work here in her family that I simply am not aware of. That I cannot figure out on my own. And, that I MUST discipline myself even MORE in the future to be aware of an unknowable, unseen spector, beforehand.
We arrived at the ballpark at 9:20. Ten minutes early. We are the third family there. Out of 11 families. As usual I avoid gloating, knowing it isn’t kind (and truly believing that in my heart) nor is it how normal humans act toward one another in normal circumstances. She never mentions it.
I’m still waiting on that apology. And, I know full well it will never…ever….come.
To all site users,
I just saw a rather disturbing movie: Blue Valentine. Michelle Williams’ plays a borderline scarily similar in too many respects to my own ex. There were points in the movie where I cringed.
If you are doubting yourself, you may be in the pink haze of the emotional reasoning of the CB. And the way to get out is to reality check your feelings. Look at the facts.
( https://shrink4men.com/2011/08/29/welcome-to-the-land-of-emotional-reasoning-id-turn-back-if-i-were-you/ )
You feel like a loser?! Look at the facts: you were nice, you were understanding, you were thinking of the feelings of others, you always did your best – whatever the situation was. The real loser (although I don`t like to call anyone a loser, but I`ll do it here for the sake of the conversation) is the CB – for not realizing, and appreciating how good she really had it.
We all want to feel good, we all want to love, and we all want to be loved. But the CB understands all this from a distorted perspective to begin with, so unfortunately for her – she`ll never know feeling good, or loving, or being loved. As much as you tried to show her. All she knows is feeling powerless and fearing abandonment, and the relief that comes with punishing someone, somehow for that. Feelings of love, of self worth, of joy and happiness are far from the CB – she has no idea what you are talking about, and because whatever perceived feelings she has are so strong, she can`t even begin to understand you.
But you tried, and you tried – not that it ever was your job to try so hard, but nonetheless, you did. And instead of staying in the pink haze, remember the facts: you wanted a nice relationship, and you did your part. It was her, because of her distorted views on life, who did not do her part. Instead of appreciating you, and your efforts in the relationship, all she did/does is criticize you. Guess what? It`s not your job to guess what she wants, and give it to her. For the most part, it`s her job to get it herself – to accomplish whatever she believes she wants.
And there are times when you feel wonderful, and you want to show your love and appreciation to your partner – and so you do. And because your partner also feels wonderful, and wants to show their love and appreciation to you – they love you for it, they appreciate you for it, and they go on doing the same for you, in whatever joyful, happy, wonderful ways you both enjoy the things and interests you share together.
Instead of this however, the CB`s way to *make you give her what she wants is by guilting you into giving it, by making you feel badly about yourself. IMO – none of us should ever offer a behavior (whatever that may be) out of feelings of guilt. Nothing good ever comes out of it, quite the opposite. It`s not your job to give her what she wants – because you`re not parenting a 2 year old (no offense to the 2 year olds). You are in an adult relationship, where both parts are equally responsible for its success, and both parts are to be equally loved, and appreciated.
You`re not the personal ATM machine of the CB. You are a *person who understands and knows the responsibilities that come with being an adult. You put in your time, your attention, your focus, your knowledge, your experience, your passion, your love, your *self into the work you do – and it is only normal, and logical, and natural that you get paid for all of this. And it is only normal, and logical, and natural that you *enjoy the fruits of your labor.
And while it is normal for us all to want to do better, and to want to earn more money – again, we must do it out of love, and appreciation for our individual selves, and not out of feeling guilty for not being able to fulfill the irrational, unreasonable, childish (no offense to any children), illogical demands of someone who will never understand and see you as the wonderful person you ARE.
You`re not a loser for putting up with the irrational behaviors of the CB: you are a patient, understanding, kind, loving, appreciating person – who was put in an absurd position in an absurd situation, every single time while interacting with the CB. Learn to appreciate yourself, for being patient, understanding, kind, loving, and appreciating are qualities to be appreciated in oneself, and not faults to be mad at. It is not you, it was always her. It is not you who were in any way inappropriate, it was always her inability to see, appreciate, and love who you are.
So here you are, realizing the abuse of the CB, and doubting you`ll find someone better. Maybe you should stay in the relationship, because, after all – there`s a jungle out there? First of all, I think that you should consider practicing for a while the healthy, normal, natural critical thinking of everything you doubt, before you go out there, in the “jungle”. Remember: you`ve lived with the CB for a while, and may very well have picked up from her, a few “fleas” – including the infamous “emotional reasoning”.
We all do it sometimes – we all emotionally reason a decision. But doing it very often, or all the time are indicators that there`s something wrong. If we all decided to follow whatever emotions we have in the moment, at all costs, regardless of their basis on reality – there`d be no doctors, no engineers, no anybody doing anything, because nobody would be patient, and normal enough to think of the long term benefits of decisions.
Get out of the pink haze, and stay out. But – take advantage of all you`ve learned from dealing with it: remember, and practice thinking, and practice remembering that – while you are indeed responsible for yourself, and your part in any relationship, the responsibility of the other 50% of the relationship belongs to the other person. Remember that you are to be loved, and appreciated for who you ARE, while becoming someone even better – as well as you are to love, and appreciate the other person for who they ARE, while becoming someone even better (assuming they are normal and healthy, of course).
Remember the signs of the CB – pay attention to what your gut is telling you, and stay out of the pink haze. For as many men CBs out there, there are as many women CBs, so chances are – for as many normal, healthy men out there, there are as many normal, healthy women out there. Work on yourself first, build your own confidence, and then consider dating again. And don`t even put the “2 failed marriages” on your new dating CV – because none of those were your sole responsibility to fix in the first place. And besides – you can`t fix crazy!
Good commentary Claudia. You’re rivalring Dr. T with your concise diagnostics & analysis! I needed to read this. As a man, its very hard to accept I was ‘weak’, i.e., too nice, too patient, too soft. This is really hard for men to accept, that we were emotionally & financially taken advantage of. In society, ‘weak’ men have no respect. A man taken advantage of by a woman is weak and therefore, undeserving of respect.
In relationships, or the typical unpleasant ending of them, men are supposed to be silent and ‘take it like a man’, where women are expected to emotionally react, emotional outbursts, verbally abuse the man, and take their pound of flesh. So many men suffer in silence, like I did, while many women gain the sympathy of society by playing the victim, and then receiving their ‘deserved’ compensation of excessive alimony, custody, child support.
In divorce/separation, Dr. T is a proponent of 50/50 custody, 50/50 child support, basically 50/50 everything. The femi-nazi movement and their court cronies (judges, lawyers, mental health professionals) won’t accept this common-sense approoach though because again, the woman is automatically considered the best/most nurturing parent, the automatic victim of male domination & abuse, and therefore automatically entitled to as many ‘perks’ as possible. Bottom line: Its not about fairness, equality, justice or the children. Its about ‘winning’. And ‘winning’ is really one of the main cruxes or goals of the sociopath/borderline/cluster.
Sometimes you may struggle with blaming yourself for not trying harder, and other times you may say it`s hard to accept that you were “weak” – too nice, too patient, and so on. The thing is that the two statements are actually mutually exclusive in the first place.
In reality, trying harder on your part would have meant being even nicer, even more patient, even more understanding, even more loving, even more appreciative, because the relationship between you and the CB was never a normal, healthy one in the first place. There is a fundamental difference between what a relationship means for a healthy person, and what a relationship means for the CB – so you never had a real chance to make it work (none of us ever do).
For us – a relationship is supposed to bring happiness, and joy, we are supposed to be in love, or to love, and from this point of view we go on doing things in the relationship: being nice, being patient, being understanding, being loving, being appreciative. For the CB however, a relationship is supposed to bring *her “happiness” (in the twisted way these people perceive happiness to be), by seeing you miserable. But not only that – she also has to be the one inflicting the pain that causes you to be miserable.
So there was never a common denominator for you to work with, or for the relationship to stand a chance. There was never a time when you could have tried harder, without being too nice, or too patient, or too understanding. But there was never a time when you should have had to try harder – be too nice, or too patient, or too understanding, in the normal world.
IMO, a society who not only condones the crazy behaviors of women CBs, but also sides with them, and rewards them – is not to be taken seriously. The society may think you are “weak”, but also the society thinks she`s right, so whatever society thinks – is far from the truth to begin with.
There is only one opinion you should take into consideration, and that is YOUR opinion. Nobody should ever be given the privilege to “judge” you, and you shouldn`t allow anyone to tell you that you were weak, or whatever else they may say. *You are the one who has lived this nightmare, so everyone on the sidelines – “shut up”. *You know what it`s like to put up with the CB, while giving her and the relationship your all, they have no clue, so they shouldn`t be talking in the first place – especially since they agree with perpetuating crazy behaviors.
And you can continue to think that you were taken advantage of, or you can turn it around: you can choose to be proud of yourself for your choices in the relationship. You can choose to be proud for being nice, and understanding, and patient, and loving, and appreciative – regardless of what she did. You can choose to be proud for being *yourself – regardless of the conditions. You can choose to be proud of yourself for standing your ground – for not letting a CB change who you really are, what you really want, and the way you act/behave.
She`ll always be miserable – but you have the chance to be happy in the way you want to be. This absurd relationship can help you figure out what it is that you want from a real relationship, and then you can choose to focus on that, and to settle for nothing less.
“Take it like a man” is meant as a compliment, IMO. Being able to think, speak and act rationally, logically, reasonably in a separation/divorce is something to be proud of. Think about what it really means that women are expected to emotionally react, and abuse men in separations/divorce: it means that women can not be expected to act in normal, healthy, rational, reasonable, logical manners. It`s an insult – IMO. Expecting this from women is not anything to be proud of – because it continues to perpetuate the crazy behavior from them, by expecting it, condoning it, and rewarding it. And crazy behavior is crazy behavior – no matter how some/many may choose to excuse it.
And being seen as the victim, and being given compensation is again – nothing to be proud of. The “victim” is the weak one, who needs the help, assistance, and compensation – because they are not able to provide for themselves properly, in healthy manners. The real victims – we don`t want help, and assistance, and compensation, we want a real fair chance to get out of the relationship with our human rights intact. We want things to be fair, and everyone to have an equal chance for improvement, because we don`t want to separate/divorce in order to hurt the other party/parties, but in order to improve the individual lives of those involved in the situation – in healthy, reasonable, rational, logical, equal, fair manners.
Society expecting women to be this way, especially in separation/divorce situations is setting women up for failure, in addition to women themselves setting themselves up for failure, by *giving them these “benefits”, because society does not believe that women are able/strong enough to work on achieving these things themselves. But they are not benefits at all – they help keep these women exactly where they are: in the powerless position of having others provide for them, even though, in normal conditions, they should be/are able to be independent of the men they are living with/separating from/divorcing.
It is out of this illogical belief that “women neeeed help, assistance, compensation” that society continues to disempower them by overcompensating for the illogical belief, at the cost of men having to do the extra work, earn the extra money and so on. So the bottom line is: we are not equal in the eyes of society, but men are strong, and women are weak – men are able to be reasonable, logical, rational in any conditions, and women are not – men can work and provide for themselves and others, and women are incapable of providing for themselves, little less for others.
So feminism/femi-nazi whatever it is, is acting from a false premise to begin with, which is why everything turns out to be so unfair, illogical, unreasonable, irrational – not only for the men who have to overcompensate for crazy, but also for the women who are kept in the crazy position by never assigning to them the responsibility of them having to provide for themselves – and their children. The feminism/femi-nazi/society is emotionally reasoning their premises, their perspectives, their actions – without ever reality checking the validity of what they believe, say, do.
Women who have been given these “benefits” will never know the satisfaction that comes with working, earning, achieving in life. Not only will they continue to take these “benefits” for granted, but they will not know the true feeling of appreciating oneself for their own accomplishments. And in this way, they will never know true self worth, true self confidence, true self love and appreciation. They will always be dependent on others – on the society, on the men in their lives, on their children, on the judges, and so on. They will always be at the “mercy” of others – and because society sees them as the weak, unable victims, it overcompensates for this perceived weakness and inability, perpetuating more of the same.
Who wants to be given stuff? Who wants to be seen as a victim? Who wants to be seen as a “poor thing”? Not anyone with a normal, healthy sense of self, that`s for sure!
I know the compensations for the crazy behavior are a lot to deal with – I have been there myself. Unfortunately, at the moment the laws are on the side of the crazy, and there is nothing we can do to change them *right now. But we can choose to move on, and be happy in spite of all of that – while participating on websites like this one, raising awareness of how things should really be like in a normal, healthy society. And doesn`t this make us even stronger? Having been through hell, and still choosing to be happy and healthy, independently of it? And besides, there`s a bonus: us being happy, in spite of what they tried to do, drives them nuts. And they`ll try to lure us back in, but now we know better!
And by more and more of us choosing to stick to our healthy, rational, reasonable, logical beliefs, perspectives, choices, behaviors, by more and more of us choosing not to participate in the condoning, rewarding, and perpetuating the crazy, by more and more of us choosing to settle for nothing less than our healthy, rational, reasonable, logical standards of life, relationships, society – we live independently of the crazy, and eventually, crazy will have no choice but to empower themselves and do the part that is their responsibility to do.
I do have to say, there are beginning to be more and more places where the laws increasingly are LESS on the side of the crazy. My story in AZ is a great illustration of this. AZ can be crazy in its own right in so many ways, but in family law matters, it’s just about the most progressive and fair place I’ve ever heard of.
But otherwise I agree with everything you wrote. And seeing it in print gives me some hope for dating once again sometime before I’m 50 (I’m 35 lol).
Yes thanks Claudia. It will take a lifetime to recover from what I’ve been through. Having had a sociopath in my life was like a hand grenade walking into my life saying ‘hello’ and blowing up everything.
I wouldn`t give them this much power – if I were you 🙂 I`ve been “raised” by two sociopaths, plus I have met many others, and dated two myself 🙂 and have had the “pleasure” to interact with some BPDs…BUT I`m not gonna let these people drag me into their drama and crazy stuff 🙂 they are only as powerful as we allow them to be! 🙂 I am very happy to say – I`ve learned a lot from these people, but I`ve never changed 🙂
Dr. Nathaniel G. Manchuck says