Every now and again we tell ourselves lies in order to delay making difficult changes that we know are ultimately in our best interests. We justify, minimize, rationalize and avoid the issue either because we don’t want to face the negative consequences of change (e.g., alimony or less time with our children) or are deriving some benefit or secondary gain.
For example, you know your wife treats you badly and feels no remorse for doing so. You know you should leave, but don’t want to be alone. So you stay in an unhealthy relationship to avoid the temporary pain and grief that ending the relationship might cause.
Deciding to leave a bad relationship with an abusive woman should be a no-brainer, but it’s often a painfully difficult and heart wrenching decision for a variety of reasons.
Here are some common lies men tell themselves in an effort to avoid making this choice:
1. I’m strong. I can take it. Maybe you can, but that doesn’t mean that you have to take it or should take it. The relationship with your wife or girlfriend is supposed to be about intimacy, mutuality and love; not a sentence at Guantanamo Bay.
Furthermore, you can’t take it, at least not without long-term, pervasive damage to yourself — your mind, body, other relationships, career and money. Abuse (emotional, psychological, sexual, physical and financial) takes its toll in the form of cumulative trauma, specifically betrayal trauma. Sooner or later, you’ll develop PTSD-like symptoms and other stress-related medical conditions.
Yes, you’re strong and that’s an incredible, well . . . strength. You’d have to be strong to endure the covert and overt emotional abuse and host of other crazy-making, toxic behaviors. If you have the strength to survive (by the way, surviving and thriving are not the same) in this relationship, you also have the strength to end it, whether you realize it or not.
2. It’s not that bad. Yes, it is. If you’re using this particular lie in order to convince yourself to stay in the relationship, keep a journal for the next 30-60 days. Journal in whatever medium is comfortable for you and that you can easily hide from your wife or girlfriend (you do not want her to discover it). Record every outburst, every time she blindsides you, criticizes you, undermines you and rejects or withdraws from you and any physical violence. Read through it on the 31st day and then try telling yourself “it’s not that bad.”
Seeing the daily minutiae, the venomous attacks, the disconnection to reality and the disproportionate reactions to minor absurdities in black and white can be a real eye opener. Writing it down makes it difficult to minimize, negate or question your perceptions later on. It also gives you a great record of her unpredictable and abusive behaviors should you divorce her and need evidence for a custody battle or to negate false abuse charges by her.
3. If I just work a little harder at the relationship, it will get better. I call this the “Sisyphus Syndrome.” You keep pushing that boulder up the hill only to have it roll over you on its way back down. There’s no winning with this woman. There’s no pleasing her.
You can turn yourself inside out and upside down and it will never, ever, ever be enough. Even if you totally capitulate and submit, it won’t satisfy her. In fact, this kind of woman will then insult your manhood and accuse you of being a spineless coward. No one respects a doormat — especially not an abusive high-conflict personality. She will break you and then blame you for being broken.
Bottom line: You may as well do what’s good for you and, in the long run, for your kid(s) (if applicable). She’ll never be happy, even if you do everything she wants you to do. Additionally, the more you focus on caring for yourself, the stronger you’ll feel and be in a better place to decide if you want to stay in the abuse cycle or exit the relationship. Taking care of yourself will also have the added benefit of driving her mad. Abusers like easy targets.
4. All relationships have conflict. Conflict is healthy. Yes, but it depends on the kind of conflict, how it’s handled and if it’s resolvable. Blaming, name calling, demeaning, belittling and having the same fight over and over again isn’t healthy conflict. Circular arguments that lead to nowhere or bringing up previous conflicts that happened months or years ago aren’t healthy either.
Don’t confuse her anger with passion. Never-ending irresolvable conflict isn’t passion, it’s pathology. Passion and intimacy require a certain degree of vulnerability. Becoming disproportionately enraged over minor issues (or things that never even happened) is a barrier to intimacy and passion. Rage often makes abusers feel powerful and invulnerable.
She desires total control and anger is the means to achieving that. It’s also how to avoid intimacy. Constant criticism and other forms of abuse are not aphrodisiacs. Keeping you engaged in one pointless conflict after the next, so that you are perpetually Justifying, Arguing, Defending and Explaining (JADE) is a great way to keep you distracted. Do you even know what you’re fighting about anymore or does it all seem like the same god damned thing? That’s unhealthy conflict.
5. Things will get better if I’m more patient and pay closer attention to her needs and feelings. This is a variation of #3. This is also a trap. The nicer you are to this woman, the more she’ll view you as weak and pathetic and interpret it as a license to steamroll you. Abusive personalities view kindness and generosity as weaknesses to exploit.
6. Sex and affection aren’t important. Yes, they are. Enough said.
Seriously though, sex may not be the most important thing in a relationship, but it’s right up there along with kindness and respect. Aside from shared pleasures, tension relief and physical closeness, there’s oxytocin. Oxytocin is a neurotransmitter released during orgasm that’s “associated with the ability to maintain healthy interpersonal relationships and healthy psychological boundaries with other people.” Good stuff.
Small signs of non-physical affection are equally important. It’s not the infrequent big gestures that count; it’s the little things a couple does for each other that really matter over the long haul. For example, picking up the other person’s dry cleaning because you happen to be in that part of town, going to a chick flick when you’d rather gouge your eyes out with red hot pokers, making the other person’s favorite dinner when it’s not your fave, etc.
Emotionally abusive, narcissistic and borderline women are rarely affectionate, considerate or generous — unless they’re playing an angle. Doing something nice for you is experienced as a loss or degradation. They don’t give without the expectation of getting something in return. In other words, there are strings attached. Do you really want to spend the rest of your life in a lopsided, nonreciprocal relationship?
7. But the sex is still good. This is a tough one. In my work, it’s almost always more difficult when a man describes a litany of abuse he’s suffered from his wife or girlfriend and concludes by saying, “But the sex is still good.” If this resonates with you, ask yourself if the sex is about love and intimacy or if its about screwing you into submission?
In these cases, sex is just another manipulation tool; another way to control you. The “great sex” also has nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing to do with you. It’s about her feeling desirable (inflating her ego) and powerful. Some of my clients who are in relationships with hypersexual abusers eventually lose their desire even when their wife or girlfriend is still objectively “hot.” This happens for a couple reasons.
One, due to the abuse outside the bedroom, they no longer trust their partners. Two, they come to realize they’re being treated like human dildos. And three, no matter how beautiful their wives or girlfriends are on the outside, all they can see is the ugliness on the inside. If you’re a man who rationalizes, “But the sex is still good,” try going cold turkey for 60 days and then see how you feel.
8. My kid(s) are okay because she doesn’t yell at them. Witnessing physical and emotional abuse is harmful to children, even when they’re not being targeted. Just because your wife or girlfriend isn’t currently attacking your children doesn’t mean it’s not affecting them.
What do you think your children are learning by observing mom’s and dad’s relationship dynamic? If you could choose a partner for your children when they’re grown up, would you choose someone who is like their mother? By staying in the relationship, you’re telegraphing that it’s okay for the person who “loves” you to abuse you and that one individual’s needs and feelings are more important than the other’s. Additionally, when and if the children ever begin to assert their own identities and challenge mom in any way — that is if they’re not terrified to do so after witnessing the way mom treats dad — they’ll typically be subject to the same hot and cold abuse. This usually happens around age 10.
9. I’ll lose my home, my kids and all my assets. Yes, you’ll have to part with some of your assets and you won’t be able to spend as much time with your children. However, if you’re willing to fight like hell, prepare in advance and arm yourself with strong legal representation, you may be able to recoup your financial losses over time and hopefully forge a new and healthier relationship with your kids. Healthier because you’re setting the example of not tolerating abuse in a relationship. Don’t confuse being a martyr with being a parent.
Your kids are going to have issues, especially around relationships, whether you stay in the marriage or not. There’s no avoiding that. It’s a consequence of having children with an abusive, high-conflict or personality disordered individual. However, you’ll be in a much better place to help them later on if you’re healthy, strong and happy. This half lie/half truth is a fear that’s often explicitly planted and encouraged by an abusive woman. She knows she has an advantage in family court just because she’s a woman and she’ll try to control you through your fear of loss and feelings of guilt.
10. Love conquers all. It all depends upon what you define as “love.” To this kind of personality, love is control, anger and keeping others down in order to raise herself up. Do you really love her? Does your heart skip a beat when you think about her?*Please note, your heart skipping a beat should be accompanied by a smile on your lips and a twinkle in your eyes; not a panic attack.
If she wasn’t your wife or girlfriend, is she the first person you’d want to hang out with? Do you feel loved and accepted for who you are? Or have you convinced yourself that you must love this woman otherwise why would you be trying so hard to make the relationship work?
Now follow the trail backwards and ask yourself where this belief came from? Has your wife or girlfriend told you it’s your job to make her happy and that you “have to fight for this relationship?” Sorry fellas, that’s not love; that’s brainwashing. Break the spell.
11. I made a commitment and I honor my commitments. Okay, but is she honoring her commitments to you? Is she loving, honoring and cherishing you? I’m sure she thinks so. Are you honoring your commitments to yourself and your dignity as a human being? Are you respecting yourself by remaining in a destructive and abusive relationship? Are you living your best life by being with this woman or do you feel like you’re serving a jail sentence?
When one partner abuses the other, she or he has reneged on the marriage vows (or other form of commitment). Abuse is a betrayal and you ultimately end up betraying yourself by staying in an abusive relationship.
12. But she needs me. Yes, she does, but not for the reasons you think. Abusers and bullies have to have a target. Narcissists, Borderlines, Sociopaths and Histrionic (Cluster B personality disorders) need narcissistic supply. This kind of person is a parasite and you’re the host. She is feeding on you — whether it’s for attention, money, social status or to appear “normal.”
If and when you finally end your relationship, your head will probably spin at how quickly she replaces you. Oftentimes, abusers have back-up narcissistic supply waiting in the wings and, in time, she’ll do to him what she’s doing to you. Or, she won’t recouple (at least not publicly) and portray herself as the Super Victim whose husband “abandoned” her. For the record, you don’t abandon an adult, you leave an adult.
13. Everyone will think I’m a bad guy. Not true. Some people will think you’re a bad guy because abusive people often conduct smear campaigns against their exes once the relationship ends. Sometimes, the smear campaign starts while you’re still with them.
First of all, who cares what other people think? Let them try walking a mile in your shoes. Second, anyone who believes her BS without speaking with you isn’t someone you want as a friend. Third, if you want to combat the smear campaign, speak up. Talk to the people who matter the most to you and let them know what’s going on and the abuse you’ve suffered. Answer their questions. Stop protecting your abuser from the consequences of her behavior and take care of yourself!
Abusive women and men are liars — inveterate, pathological liars. Their lies will hurt you and engender profound feelings of betrayal, so don’t compound matters by lying to yourself. “Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman” (Justice Louis D. Brandeis). Once you acknowledge the truth and reality of your relationship and exactly who and what your partner is, you can no longer lie to yourself. And that is the first step towards healing.
Counseling, Consulting and Coaching 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. She combines practical advice, emotional support and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for professional inquiries.
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Pinocchio puppet by Abstract-Thinking on flickr.
Relating to no 7, the “cold turkey” on sex happened as I left and was hoovered a 3 months down the line. When she was in full hoover mode with the “happy ending hoover” it was still pretty hot and intense, but it was really not the same. Sex with her had lost most of its power and it was much easier to walk away when the mask came off again.
I got hoovered again later and then about 9 months since I first left her the value of sex with this crazy chick was still intense and so, but at this point it had no meaning. It took just a slip of the mask for me to be gone again, and now it is 6 months since I heard a sign of life. I think I was replaced as she understood that she had lost her power over me.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Well done, misconduct. Onward and upward.
I’m in the middle of attempting to break away from an abusive girlfriend who, looking back, showed her true colors VERY early on. I rationalized staying with her for most of the reasons stated in this article, and one that wasn’t: “I deserve the abuse / this is what I get…”
I’m no saint myself. When I was younger, I was a member of a notorious gang in Los Angeles, and reveled in the “don’t give a fuck” attitude that went along with the lifestyle. I hurt, stole from, and manipulated people who didn’t deserve it, and I feel like I’ve overcompensated for that behavior by being a straight up doormat. It took reaching my breaking point with this girl to finally wake me up: Deep down, I’m still a violent-minded man who can only take so much without reverting to what I knew for so long. I’m just as dangerous as she is, and this can only end badly…
Dr Tara Palmatier says
If you want to atone for past sins, volunteer to work with youth who are involved with gangs. Redemption doesn’t come from being a doormat. It’s about learning to have respect and love for yourself and others, federale.
The purpose of this line is unclear: “Taking care of yourself will also have the added benefit of driving her mad.” The last thing that I ever wanted to do when I found myself in a relationship with a crazy woman was to drive her even madder!
I (obviously) agree that it’s important for a guy to show himself care, but suggesting that it’s a positive thing to use such self-care to bait the crazy person doesn’t appear to be in keeping with your other recent writings. Wouldn’t the man simply be lowering himself to her level by participating in the petty conflicts, and finding solace in childish forms of vengeance? Or is there a benefit to madness-piquing that I’m missing? Provoking further episodes for documentation, perhaps?
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Abusers don’t like it when you take care of yourself, when you have boundaries and when you ignore them. Do any of these things, and it will make them very angry, which ought to reinforce that you’re doing the right thing.
Some men want to know how to obtain some kind of justice against these women. Self-care is self-care and if it’s initially motivated by spite, I don’t have a problem with that. It will eventually pass. Not everyone is the Buddha.
“Abusers don’t like it when you take care of yourself, when you have boundaries and when you ignore them. Do any of these things, and it will make them very angry, which ought to reinforce that you’re doing the right thing.”
I realize now that after her 1st rage fit, everytime I pushed back even the slightest bit, her behavior got worse. Then, when I just couldn’t take it anymore and basically flat out said “Do NOT do X, Y or Z to me, I’m serious.” she bowled right over those boundaries, dismissed them as “sob stories” that she “couldn’t be guilted with any longer, sorry” and went on the attack.
It was odd, this made me extremely angry, but also very very guilty for having stood up and protected myself, and that toxic combo ended up having me do and say some things I was ashamed of, that made matters worse, and let her play victim.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
They want you to react in anger because, as you noted, then they can flip the situation and play the victim. After which, you are required to apologize to them for what they did to you.
Life is too short to put up with their BS. I hope you’re well out of that relationship.
It was a year ago today that she first turned on me and I saw completely behind her mask. The nice thing is, I don’t think of her as much anymore, and when I do, they’re not happy, reminiscing thoughts. Still, it’s a bit amazing realizing that I put up with some really crazy abusive crap for several months after she showed me The Crazy.
Probably 8 of the things on this list applied to me, but I’m learning and growing, which these woman will never do, and I’m staying the heck away from her.
I like this line – “Don’t confuse her anger with passion. Never-ending irresolvable conflict isn’t passion, it’s pathology. Passion and intimacy require a certain degree of vulnerability. Becoming disproportionately enraged over minor issues (or things that never even happened) is a barrier to intimacy and passion. Rage often makes abusers feel powerful and invulnerable”
My ex used to say “I’m fighting for us”…. to which I replied “No, you’re just fighting.”
Instinctively, I knew it was just for traction… to manipulate me with her temper (like her NP Momma did with her co-Daddy). A real trigger was
her extra-ordinary fear of abandonment, usually around bedtime, cuz I’d be falling asleep…. all dead like. If I just plain conked out without
packing her in emotional pillows… she’d blow a gasket and the tantrum/rage would last for hours. It wore me the f**k out.
Finally, I said “Hey, you could just ask me to hold your had while I fall asleep, instead of becoming Medusa”. She finally tried (intimacy requires vulnerability….) but I was already half stone….and couldn’t really be sympathetic anymore. So…. she did try to adapt but her prior bad behavior
had already poisoned the well. I kinda regret that…. but I didn’t know a dammed thing about all this then and I really had had enough. No other
woman ever made the bedroom a battlefield, so….. there’s that.
A while ago I mentioned The Room Full of Vampires Problem. Since getting clear of the BP-ex & her NP-momma, I started looking at how I got
into all that. After all… why step in dog crap twice ? Turns out I’ve uncovered some biggie-size NP’s in the fam (Sissy) and work (Boss), and
socially (good friend’s NP Wifey). Changes are afoot… I’m gradually moving away from these kinds of peoples, choosing to bring more independent,
genuine people into my life now.
I’m fascinated by this conversation. Often, whenever things got weird, I’d try to explain my feelings to people outside of the relationship. They looked at me as if I were the crazy one. “He’s a trophy! It must be your fault. Try harder.” Hmm, that sounds like number 13.
One thing sticks in memory because it was simple, yet stupid, but revealing.
I was told not to buy orange juice with calcium because he didn’t need calcium.
My first thought was to buy two containers of orange juice (it wasn’t about living within a strict food budget).
Next, I thought, if we had kids, they would need calcium (then it would be OK because trophy kids need calcium).
Then I thought, “WHAT ABOUT ME?”
Seriously, dude. You’re going to dip down to whether you will share calcium in OJ with me or not?
Shut the eff up!
So, now you’re drawn a line and issued a challenge. I have to obey your wishes (about some orange juice) or what?
I don’t remember how I handled it. More than likely, I acknowledged what he said and then ignored it. I still buy orange juice with calcium, but he’s not around to drink it.
That one sentence from him was the tiniest of hints that finally tipped the scale. I listened more closely after that. It took years to leave, but I finally did. And no, it wasn’t easy.
This is a good article and at least a few points are extremely relevant to my now dead marriage. I stayed for sixteen years, taking abuse after abuse thinking that if I can just do a little more, be just a bit more in tune with her feelings, tomorrow will be better. Instead, every single day was a recount of what I didn’t do the day before, or how what I did wasn’t good enough, if she couldn’t find anything that day then she endlessly dredged up every failure from my past.
Sex, ah, the sex was great when I got it, is was a real performance for her. She would make it a real show,with special outfits and everything. However the only times I got that kind of sex was when she wanted to reel me back in. If I got angry about the lack of sex, she would accuse me of being a pervert, she would starfish, and then complain about me losing my erection halfway through because who wants to have sex with a person who is making it clear they aren’t into it. Sex of any kind was far less than once a month. I used porn just to get by sometimes, and she literally belittled me and said I wasn’t enough of a man to seduce a woman.
I was red lined stressed at all times. I had high blood pressure and was developing heart and liver problems due to nothing but the stress. I developed a sort of bunker mentality,if I could just keep going for my kid’s sake then a day would come when it would all be over. My work performance started to suffer, and I lost my job. That was one of the hardest days of my life, because at least I could get away for a little while at work.
Then she started beating on me for not having work, I offered that it was a chance for me to finish my college, I had put her through school after all. We had agreed to put her through school and then I would start working on it. She started deriding for not being a man because I was struggling to bring in $400/wk at the time.
What blew it to pieces was when I told her I wanted to go check out some opportunities in our hometown. She took off and hid the kids from me for a month. She then lied to the judge to arrange for me to be thrown out of my own house.
It all ended two years ago. I attempted to form two relationships in the meantime only to find out that I can’t. Every time a woman starts to get close, everything comes rushing back and I break things off because I don’t think it would be fair to them.
I’m a new user, and although I am female, I can relate to almost every post regarding my partner. Anytime I express to her I am hurt, she takes it as if I am BLAMING her and gets very angry, tells me to “stop my crying” along with other name calling and manipulation. Not to mention, yelling at a point where her son can hear the argument, to make me look like I started some kind of argument by expressing my honest feelings. What hurts the most is after she inflicts her emotional abuse on me, she cuddles with her son or sleeps with him to exclude me from the family. I’m new to this leaving crazy thing, and the only reason I haven’t is because I know when I leave, she will be in financial deficit, and her son will have to change schools, friends, and go thru the 2nd divorce of his life. It’s like I’m stuck in a rock and a hard place because of course we love these people, but how do you break away knowing it will only bring out all of my personal flaws to possibly my boss, family, and friends. I need help. I can’t speak to my family about it bc then I’m “bad mouthing” her or “throwing her under the bus” by telling the truth and looking for answers from people I trust. How is this resolved, and can it be?
The thing that really sticks out to me about your post is your concern for everyone else’s feelings and circumstances but your own. Do you not have value? Place your happiness above other people’s opinions and love yourself. If a friend or family member shared the story you did as their own what would your advice be to them?
As much as you love and care for your mate and her son you do not owe them a life. Ultimately her son’s well being is disproportionately her responsibility and not yours.
She’s “devaluing” you and grooming you for future abuse. In time, the abuse will get dramatically and progressively worse. I know this from experience dealing with my wife of 12 years.
Knowing what I know now, I would have left early on in our relationship while we were still dating. I am now married to her with 2 kids. I’ve faced every form of threat and abuse you can think of from gas lighting, neglect, financial, physical and the list goes on. Due to the stress of this relationship I’ve had 18 jobs in the past 12 years. When I met her I had one job with the same employer for 13 years. I’ve developed an eating disorder and now struggle with C-PTSD. I have no privacy. The petty arguments are frequent and my outlook on life has dimmed. Heed my words get out now!
Resolve yourself to deal with whatever consequences that are associated with leaving-but get out now.
Haven’t been here in some time. After another night of conflict I was drawn to visit the site and to this article. I’ve been through every one of these reasons over the last 5 years and they’re spot on. We’ve been split up and living in separate houses since 2014 (the kids with me) after 24 years together but lately she’s made overtures about “coming home” again. I put up with it for years thinking I could change her but everything came to a head when I discovered her infidelity(s.) She keeps trying to reel me back in and it’s been complicated with the kids and a business we both own. With a lawyer’s help she agreed to a post-nuptial agreement concerning our finances but we’ve never gotten to the point where I will let her move back home. I still love her but I don’t think I could ever trust her again.
Just found your website last night, and couldn’t stop reading your articles. Another excellent article. Numbers 1, 3, 10 and 11 described my situation perfectly. No matter what I did, I was the problem. I was the one who needed counseling. She promised to love me once I loved her enough–but no matter what I did, she found some character flaw in me.
I ended the 20 year marriage three years ago, but it was too late. I lost my job, a good portion of my health, became a serious alcoholic, and now my eldest daughter won’t speak to me.
Still, getting out of it was life life saving. I only wish I hadn’t waited so long.
Thanks for posting. Now back to reading more of your wonderful articles.
I’m with a crazy now. Every time I try leaving her it’s always excuse after excuse” i promise I will change” stuff. Everything is always my fault. All my stresses and insecurities she says. She chats with other dudes, goes out behind my back and thinks I’m oblivious. Plus there is a big lack of sex which she says I have to be rewarded for. Don’t know what to do anymore.
Jake.. I can’t believe you’re actually writing that last sentence.
The things that these covert narcissist borderline bitches are best at is brainwashing you into thinking you NEED them.. actually they need you to exist. You’re the host, not the parasite, but they are so good at flipping the world upside down and gaslighting and projection, the longer you stay the more crazy you become, and maybe learned helplessness, etc. as they play off your childhood wounds. Why else would any man choose these psychotic bitches, if it was not unresolved childhood conflict issues ?
What are you getting out of ‘no sex’ ? NO SEX. What are you getting out of being emasculated ? NO SEX, lower self esteem. They do it on purpose, it’s a sick game you’re caught in, one that only empowers them and destroys you. They need a lot of help, but stupid men and a misandric society and mental health workers often enable these women to keep preying on the unsuspecting morons.
Watch ALL of Dr. T’s and Pauls videos online. Many you should watch over and over until you commit the knowledge as GOSPEL. These women will NOT change. I was guilty of attempting a rescue of a BPD who refuses to acknowledge her illness, and although she can be amazing. .she can also be psychotic crazy. Her mother was mentally ill all her life, and so were her aunts, there is a familial pattern of severe mental illnesses, codependence and childhood traumas. It took me a couple years to realize that despite many years of counseling myself, I still had hidden layers relating to my own childhood where i suffered incredible abuses, neglect, shame, cruelty, insanity really.. the “gift of the borderline” is that they will rip open those old scars, but if you dare go thru the pain you’ll find they have helped you to revamp your boundaries. Think of them like computer hackers..who seek to destroy your entire hard drive if you let them, but once you catch them, and go about repairing the sectors they did manage to wreck, you’ll redouble your security risk checkpoints next time and no other woman will ever be able to set you up for self destruction again.
These women don’t change. That’s pretty clear to me. I have a narc borderline parent who is never going to change her insane emotional reasoning, false reality, redefining history, destroying all her familial relationships, etc. all to save her narc view of the world. It’s very frustrating that you’ll never get any validation from women who are like this. It’s bizarre that so many act identical, it leads me to think it is very hard wired neuroligical damage, and some are more reptilian acting than others, like whatever damage they suffered in childhood that destroyed areas of the brain responsible for ’empathy’ and the ability to reason properly, at some point becomes inaccessible for them, so not only behavioral patterns for decades, but perhaps neurological pathways… we may cure parkinsons and alzheimers before to find a way to actually treat a borderline. The DBT cognitive stuff may help some, and I’ve seen minor improvements from it in my parent, but not enough to say she’s ever going to be a ‘healthy’ individual.
You have two choices really, one is a no brainer, the other is to consider living a life of chaos, hell, dangerously on the edge of insanity and a path to obliteration of all your dreams.. all for a person who truly cannot love you equally, as they are damaged children inside their adult bodies. Sex was just a hook to get you there as supply. It never goes back to that wonderful seductive phase. Like the advice of Dr. T and Paul.. RUN from women who try to seduce you at all. My ex BPD was a victim of childhood sexual and mental abuse, and clearly she will hang onto the professional victimhood tangent for the rest of her life, as she refused to listen to me about a potential path to healing, and ways to modify her hairtrigger splitting and disregulation of emotion, her impulsive and insane reactions, instability, blaming, etc. I think they really need to hit a total dead end before to consider they are at all at fault. In the meantime they will use you up, then go find another host. If they are not taking responsibility for the abuse you claim they delve out and making some efforts to consider your feelings equally as theirs, then you’re asking to get more abuse.
What I did was to sit her down one evening after a morning ‘explosion’ she had and explain to her that I needed peace and an organized life and could not support her drama and crazymaking.. I was giving her a choice. To go to counseling or leave. She pretended of course in her coy and sweet seductive ways, that she was agreeing with me and we would work on things together. Don’t fall for that shit… they NEVER will admit to wrongdoing or that they need help. Blaming and being a pro victim is their identity. So she decided to wait a few days, and purposefully screw me over on a planned trip and cost me the hotel fees, as she didn’t come back home, and texted me only an hour before we were supposed to leave. Her way of saying ‘screw you , I’ll show you.. “. They are tiny children control freaks, and they would rather totally destroy you and use all your resources before to be honest, real, vulnerable.. and for months after that, she continued to come & go to see what love, support, money, etc. she could get from me. Never taking her illness seriously, crying that I wouldn’t stop letting go of this silly notion she was “borderline”.. I’ve had friends and therapists familiar with it confirm it. and she was a high functioning chameleon who can fool the pope. Takes a year or so to really see it more clearly, and they gaslight so much you have to anchor your self in others and fact checking. It’s good to journal, as I did, from the outset, all of their insane blow ups and behaviors, and periodically check back to see the pattern.
But since the whole thing is one big exercise in futility.. why freaking bother at all ? Do you have any hobbies ? If not.. get some !! Man hobbies.. women love men who can take care of themselves and have man skills. The borderlines want you to be their Daddy. Healthy women just want a man who can add a lot of value to her life, and recognize that you have skills she doesn’t that she can rely on you. .even if its just automotive or home repair or gardening, or just a good job and income. If you focus on that stuff, and real self esteem, you won’t have any time to journal about a borderline’s insanity, or put up with one in your life.
They will survive. We all fall for that little girl crying for help.. in my case, my ex has an inept father who still cannot validate her needs, uses her for his own caretaking needs. I was a stand in for that man.. and I grew to resent his ridiculous crap, while I paid all the bills, he never lent her a dime.
Once you can accept what you’re dealing with, it’s a hard choice. You’re going to always love parts of them. Doing that from a safe distance is still a healthy choice. They will destroy another few men’s lives until they are old and less attractive and finally have to face up to their own behavior.. but many just choose to stay old narcs.. and get their supply from their kids lives. None of that bodes well for a male companion, husband, etc. I just look at them as soul suckers… that vagina you’re seeking to enter, is also a portal to the end of YOU… celibacy & sanity make more sense.
Say good bye to crazy. 🙂
Bjoern Johnzon says
I have done number 2,3,4 and 5.