This isn’t a rhetorical question. If you’ve asked yourself more than once, “Is my girlfriend, wife or fiancee a crazy bitch?” as a clinical psychologist, I’m here to tell you that, yes, diagnostically speaking, she very well may be a crazy bitch.
Specifically, this type of woman may have a personality disorder, such as Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD) or Antisocial Personality Disorder or some combination of the Cluster B or “dramatic” personality disorders. In other cases, she may not qualify for an official diagnosis, but it doesn’t really matter. Abusers are highly resistant to change regardless of whether they have a personality disorder or not, whether they’re diagnosed or not. In fact, many personality disordered abusers often evade treatment and proper diagnosis.
First, many of these individuals have Jekyll and Hyde personalities — they behave themselves in public and abuse behind closed doors. They can be very skilled at manipulation and are even able to fool seasoned mental health professionals. Second, most disordered abusers don’t see themselves and their behavior as the problem. Even when their issues are clearly of their own making, they blame others. Therefore, if they actually do seek counseling it’s probably not to work on their issues. They’re typically looking to triangulate a therapist into allying with them against whomever they’re blaming for all their woes. For those of you married to this kind of person, you know how it works if you’ve attended couples counseling with her (or him). Third, female abusers have an advantage that male abusers don’t have. Namely, an overwhelming bias in their favor in the mental health field and the judicial system. Women claiming abuse are most often believed. Men claiming abuse are usually ignored, ridiculed or blamed for their wife’s abuse.
Over the years, I’ve been accused of enabling male abusers because I typically only hear the man’s side of the story. I’ve also been accused of pandering to men who are just looking for someone to complain to about their wives or girlfriends instead of dealing with their own issues. Well, the same could be said of therapists who work with women presenting themselves as abuse victims. By the way, the women who pen these vituperous emails and comments are usually belligerent, and engage in name-calling and shaming tactics. Let’s just say they don’t make a very compelling case for themselves or their arguments!
Here’s a distinction between disordered abusers who complain about their spouses and the victims of abusers who complain about their spouses in therapy. The disordered person rarely (if ever) acknowledges any culpability, wrongdoing or how she or he might be contributing to the unhealthy relationship dynamic. While the victim of the abusive person is either too quick to take responsibility for things that aren’t his or her fault and/or is able to acknowledge things that he or she could have done differently as well as their own bad behavior. The key differences are self-awareness and personal accountability — who exhibits these qualities and who doesn’t.
Crazy bitch isn’t a term you’ll find in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). You might even say using the term crazy bitch is unprofessional. The reality is that most men who are involved with this kind of woman aren’t doing Internet searches for Borderline Personality Disorder. In everyday-speak, these women are colloquially referred to as crazy bitches, control freaks, psychos, bunny boilers, etc. And, let’s face it, crazy bitch is often the most accurate way to describe them when they’re acting out, lashing out, being irrational, delusional and abusive. It’s no more offensive than terms women use to describe men who engage in similar behaviors. There are no double standards at Shrink4Men.
Here are some questions to consider if you’re wondering if you’re married to or dating an abusive crazy bitch:
- Does she fly into rages without warning over relatively trivial matters like a web page loading too slowly?
- After a rage or doing or saying something especially cruel or insensitive, does she deny having done or said these things? Does it leave you doubting your memory and worried that you might be the crazy one?
- Are you usually the scapegoat/bad guy whenever she’s frustrated, disappointed or just plain bored?
- Do her friends (that is, if she has any) describe her as a “drama queen?”
- Does she describe herself as a drama queen? If so, congrats. You found one with a modicum of self-awareness.
- Did sex begin with an earth shattering bang and fizzle into infrequent, transactional and conditional sex?
- Is she a black-and-white, all-or-nothing thinker?
- Do you lie to your family, friends and colleagues about what goes on at home?
- Do you find yourself making excuses to your family, friends and colleagues for her inexcusable behavior?
- Do you find yourself walking on eggshells around her?
- Does she hate your friends and family and become angry or tearful when you spend time with them?
- Is she pathologically jealous?
- Does she project her feelings onto you? For example, she’s yelling and raging and then accuses you of being angry.
- Does focus solely on her emotional experience while exhibiting little or no empathy for yours?
- Have you distanced yourself from friends and family because of your relationship?
- Does she place you on a pedestal one day only to tear you down the next day? “I’ve never known anyone like you before. You’re so wonderful!” Next day: “You’re the devil! You’re the most selfish bastard I’ve ever met! You don’t love me!”
- Did she change her personality after you legally bound yourself to her either through marriage, children or joint assets? For example, when you first met her she was a sexy, adventurous and career-minded; now, she’s afraid of her own shadow, has no outside interests and goes ballistic if she has to do anything without you or if you want some alone time.
- Does she put you into “no win” situations in which nothing you do is good enough and you’re guaranteed to fail?
- Does she exhibit stalker behaviors? This usually occurs during the courtship phase or when she senses you’re about to make a break for it. For instance: Calling and hanging up? Calling over and over and over until you answer the phone? Does she wait outside your home, uninvited, until you arrive? Does she show up at places she know you’ll be, also uninvited? Has she tried to get close to your friends in inappropriate ways?
- Does she undermine your role of parent with the children? Does she refer to you as incompetent or stupid in front of the kids?
- Does she control the finances? Does she contribute to the finances she control?
- If she could, would she embed a GPS tracking device in one of your molars?
- Does she demand having passwords to all of your email and social media accounts?
If you answered yes to more than two of these questions, you may be involved with a female abuser. You’re not alone, it’s not okay and you should seek support from trusted friends or a male-friendly therapist (many therapists are not male friendly, so ask questions before you decide on one).
Before founding Shrink4Men, most of the men who ended up in my office did so because they were experiencing stress, depression or anxiety as a result from being in a relationship with an abusive woman. Ironically, most of the time they were shamed and pathologized into seeking counseling by these women. Never mind that most of the symptoms these men were experiencing were a direct result of being in a relationship with an abusive spouse or girlfriend or boyfriend.
If you think you may be involved with an abusive woman, good luck. They’re typically treatment resistant and they never really get any better. If you choose to stay in the relationship, I strongly recommend you educate yourself about the signs and symptoms of abuse, personality disorders and learn some basic behavioral management skills. You’re also going to need some form of support for yourself.
*This is an updated version of the the very first Shrink4Men post on January 12, 2009.
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.
Want to Say Goodbye to Crazy? Buy it here.
Crazy woman from istockphotos.
Walking on eggshells from “ada loves you” on flickr.
Another great article. I gave up wondering if my wife (we’re now separated) was a crazy bitch a long time ago. That said, it’s good to have a reminder of why I’m better off without her – I answered yes to three quarters of those questions.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
Thank you, cushydeskjob. I’m glad you found your way out!
Joshua Strutt says
Very interesting article. I get frustrated at the perception of male abuse in society and the fact that people seem to think that only men can be abusive. I had a pretty abusive relationship with the mother of my son (pregnant within three weeks and we separated when he was 9 months) and have found that it isn’t something people take seriously so I don’t bring it up.
I feel she trapped me in to the situation, she insisted on not using contraception and told me she was on the injection, three weeks later she’s pregnant and low and behold she forgot to top up her injection or some rubbish.
I struggled very much in the relationship as I desperately wanted to make it work but we had nothing in common and by the end I was so depressed I didn’t know what to do.
It is only on reflection people have said it was an abusive relationship. To give you an idea I looked at the list and answered yes to 12 of the questions.
We get on quite well now as we have minimal contact outside of dropping off picking up my son. In fact she is so reasonable and likable I forget sometimes what a nightmare she was to live with.
I have to remind myself how manipulative she was and the fact that she is the best liar I have ever met.
I can never tell if she is being genuine and it unsettles me to a point where I just don’t trust her really at all as I feel we are both just playing the part of civil reasonable adults.
Is this kind of mistrust justified in this situation? should I forget the past and assume she may have grown and changed? Or continue to be guarded in my interactions and (internally ) suspicious of her motives.
Hey Josh- Sounds like you are successfully managing a relationship with a rattlesnake….. from a safe distance.
Funny that you mention that only women can be abused. Where I live a female politician for a feminist political party wanted men to be taxed higher due to the fact that man abuse women and thereby cause society to spend more Money protecting and treating abused women. She stood behind this until a newspaper showed that in lesbian relationships the procentage of abuse is almost or even as high as in heterosexual relationships!
I love women and am totally against abusing women but society can only see men as the abusers and NOT as the abused! I worked with a Young girl who would punch me in the arm and hit me and then claim that I wasn’t allowed to hit back because you’re are not allowed to hit women. It seems like a lot of women feel this way that they can say and do anything and then claim ‘that they are only telling you truth’ and that women can say what they want because men are stronger than women. Well, men hurt too.
Can we add these? If she texts your parents to tell them how bad they raised their son and how they should have raised them.
If she blocks numbers on your joint cell phone (that you contribute financially to) so that you can’t communicate with friends or goes through call logs and calls friends to find out what you say about her.
If she watches chick flicks and tells you to pay attention and wants to be treated like that, or tells you to listen to songs to get you to get her needs met. BPDs have a warped sense of reality and fantasy/make believe or “scripted” songs and movies. These crazy bitches live in their heads.
If you guys are not married or engaged, but she wants/or brings home you articles and books to read on ways to strengthen your MARRIAGE.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
No, Larry. Oftentimes BPD women do things deliberately to cause pain, with premeditation, out of pure malice — not out of the fear of being alone. And then they wonder why they’re alone [insert eye roll].
Btw, sociopathy is at the heart of all the Cluster B disorders. It’s just a matter of degree. It’s why ASPD is on the same continuum with BPD.
Crazy used to tell me how alone she felt, despite all of her friends. So and so is distant with her, doesn’t do fun things with her etc. etc. etc. It wasn’t until after she turned on me that I realized this problem of hers was entirely self-inflicted. If you push away anyone who gets close to you, burn bridges and pick fights for no reason, if you go batshit nuts on those closest to you, you’ll be alone.
Frankly, I’d prefer these women be alone rather than inflict their sick behavior on others.
Sounds just like my mother 🙂
From my experience, if you are having to ask yourself “is she a crazy bitch?” She probably is. I was constantly upset, on guard and constantly asking myself “what the heck kind of person does X, Y, or Z, what kind of person treats someone like this?!” I think to myself “wow, that was crazy behavior.” but then my next thought would be “Ok, now how do I not set off that Crazy button again?” and I’d try to be nicer.
If she sends you racy photos of herself, and then calls you a pervert when you respond with a compliment, she might be a crazy bitch. If she asks you to share specific porn with her, then later uses that against you and calls you a pervert for doing so, she might be a crazy bitch.
If she initiates a conversation with you to thank you for something nice you did, but then accuses you of stalking her and angrily says “I told you not to talk to me!” when it was she that contacted you and initiated the present conversation, she might be a crazy bitch.
Oh, another one, if she jokes on social media that she has “lulled you into a false sense of security” regarding herself, she might be a crazy bitch. I just assumed she was joking around, but apparently not.
I just wasn’t happy in my marriage, so I let her know that I was leaving. As I was packing my things, she entered the room, stood in front of the door, and started screaming at the top of her lungs. I panicked. I asked her to let let me through. She wouldn’t. I then tried to push my way through.
She immediately picked up the phone to her ear without dialing and called the police. I was arrested for domestic violence.
Next thing I know after getting out of jail, I am served with dissolution papers and a restraining order.
I ended up texting her with an apology for taking her for granted. What a mistake. I ended up getting arrested for a second time which happened to be the first family court date.
She got her request for supervised visitation, and I started seeing the kids. The first couple visits went well, but after the initial ones the kids started to disrespect me and act indifferent to me. I learned that she had also enrolled the children to get domestic violence therapy.
That was it for me. I could handle everything, but not the kids getting poisoned. I also found myself defending her to family/friends, as well as wanting to reconcile.
I figured the best solution to keep her away was to just agree to the permanent restraining order, so I instructed my lawyer to move the process forward. I didn’t know what was in it until I verbally agreed to it in the courtroom – 3 years no contact with her or the kids… visitation: if mother agrees during brief peaceful contact.
Problem was that she called the DA after the second arrest and I was given a criminal protective order that prohibited all contact. I immediately appealed the stipulation for RO in family court, but it was denied.
I found out that during the marriage that she took a large chunk of money over time and had been having an affair with a family member for the last two years of our marriage.
It has been 15 months since I have seen or spoken to my kids even though the criminal protective oder has gone away. I miss my kids, but I don’t want to be around kids that hate me and I don’t want to risk further accusations or pain in my life.
Every single day is an ordeal. I cannot stop thinking about what she did or what is going on with the kids.
By the way, I have been checking out your site for the past year and I just wanted to say that it’s a great resource. Thanks.
Dr Tara Palmatier says
You seriously got effed. Didn’t your attorney explain the ramifications prior to court?
Lawyer just said that he loved his own kids, but he would do what I asked. On the day of court his young associate came in his place because his father had passed. The associate told me that visitation was going to be “wide open.” I don’t think she took into account that there was a criminal protective order or that my wife was trying to take the kids.
I fired my attorney, and represented myself.
I added to my appeal the fact that my attorney was not able to come to the hearing, as well as addressing the domestic violence allegation, but the Court did not care.
I try to stay positive about. Maybe I lucked out that the Lawyers’s dad passed. Maybe the judge was sympathetic and wanted to save me further anguish.
Sometimes things work out for the best when it doesn’t seem like it on the surface.
Maybe even for the kids. I haven’t been able to figure out a silver lining on that one yet.
That’s the dilemma in all this.
Is the outcome of not being around a snake charmer that wants me to suffer greater than not being around my kids?
I guess that it doesn’t matter in the end because of the way the restraining order has been drawn up. The outcome is set in stone. I don’t think that it’s likely that she alters the order.
All I can do is change the things that improve my own feelings, as far as what she did and missing the kids. I am not yet there, but I remain hopeful that I get there.
The only question left is what happens after the next two years. I don’t have an answer yet.
Dude, get access to your kids back. They need the role model of their dad and not the constant poison of their mom. Hire a new family law attorney and let them do their job.
I just want to add that she met most of your criteria for a crazy women.
– jealousy: bothered her that I had any good characteristics or friends. She would either say bad things/ discourage me from other relationships or denigrate my good traits. She did it also with the kids. Make them feel guilty for loving me or create controversy out of nothing (like one time I asked my daughter if she could grab me a cup of water. My wife comes in and yells at me in front of my girl for hurting my daughter’s feelings).
-constant lying: Even if it was something small of no significance she would lie about it. She would also lie about things I just saw or heard. After awhile I didn’t know what was up or down.
-blame: I would get blamed for everything, including the things she did or things that never happened.
-changing personality: most people don’t believe me about what she did because she is so “nice.” On the other hand, I am pretty sure that she has been smearing me because I caught her once and I always got a bad feeling around her family or acquaintances.
-empathy: obviously none if she did all that stuff
The other thing I have difficulty accepting is how she managed to fool me all these years. I know what happened now and actively work on not being in a similar situation, but don’t understand how I could be so stupid.
Yup, jealousy was a big one, though she was a bit covert about it. What I mean by that is that she would act goody-goody with people she knew, but would badmouth / say things about them to me that made it clear to me that she was jealous. Definitely very two-faced. She also had an ego / superiority complex that did not at all line up with her actual life accomplishments.
Ding ding ding ding!!! Dr. Palmatier your site expands on everything I’ve been experiencing. I’ve been educating myself on personality disorders because I am in an abusive relationship. In addition to, “Stop Walking On Eggshells,” “Splitting,” and “The Sociopath Next Door,” this article further supports my suspicions. We have been to mairrage counseling to no avail. My wife of 5 years a very high functioning person (she has a masters in Forensic Psychology) with a high-conflict personality.
I recently found out that she has been hacking into my email and iPhone (texts) and literally using that information against me saying that I am talking sh!t behind her back when I am venting frustration with people I trust. At the mention of any of my trusted friends or family, she will fly into a rage and then accuses me of starting a fight. She leverages the children (twin 2-year old boys) against me and my side of the family. I am continually put in no-win situations (Catch 22). She uses sex as a weapon although the ultimatum is probably her favorite tactic when we have a disagreement. And that barely scratches the surface of her continually bad behavior.
The worst part is that I have had sex 5 times in 2 years (maybe longer) and she is pregnant with our 3rd son. Right now the most important thing to me is the health of our unborn child (which she says I will have no input in naming), her physical health and my twin boys. I have secretly made an appointment with our mairrage counselor because he has gained my trust and I hope he can help with a way forward. My wife is ill and needs help, but she probably won’t accept any because she thinks she does nothing wrong.
I am at the crossroads of happiness and despair and will choose the former and am currently educating and preparing myself for a nasty divorce. Thanks for letting me vent here… That alone helps…
This rings home, unfortunately. My wife if three years seems to meet BPD criteria. She is fantastic at gas lighting. I’ve been in what I can only describe as hellish existence. It hasn’t been until recently that I realized that it was not me. To be honest I’m still coming to terms with that. So why am I still here? My eight month old son. He is my heart and happiness. I am petrified of leaving him with his mother without me as a buffer. Don’t get me wrong, she hasn’t done anything to him. However, she has a six year old son from a previous relationship. He is such a sweet kid, who is now having learning and behavioral issues because of how his mother has treated him. It’s funny before I married her she vilified her ex, she now uses similar words towards me. She fails to see that she is the only constant. I told her years ago that I thought she had bipolar tendencies (her mother is bipolar). I didn’t say it to be mean but out of true concern. She refuses to see her role in anything. She had me convinced it was me to the point that I went to therapy. It wasn’t until my therapist said I can’t discern anything that we should work on other than you are in an abusive, manipulative marriage. You deserve to be loved and not used. We did couples therapy, until that therapist called her out on threatening to separate and suggested that we do it. She claimed he was unethical for doing that and cried for three days because I was leaving for a month. She suckered me into thinking my old wife was back. Then to no surprise she didn’t stay like that for long. The sad think is that she came into my life when I was at a low spot and she poured it on thick. Before I knew it she was talking marriage. I was scared and wanted some time. Things for moving too fast. I told her that we should slow down and save up for a bigger wedding. That I needed to go slower. Her response was that if I waited too long her and her son would possibly not be around. Like an idiot I took the bait and agreed to marriage. So here I am we keep talking about separating, I know I need to do it-but to be honest she’s done a number in my self esteem and I’ve been trying so hard to save this marriage that I have some doubt. That plus she has the perfect weapon for me, my son. Its sad to realize that I’ve been waiting for my old wife to come back, when that person probably never existed. I just saw what she wanted me to see. I know I need to run. But for some reason can’t. I know it’s inevitable. I just don’t want to miss my sins first Christmas, Halloween or birthday. We spoke about separating, which will lead to divorce in sure, on January so the boys have a good holiday season. I’m sure she is also doing it to get everything in order for herself. I wish I had a backbone to leave not for my son, but for me.
My son is the only reason I have stayed this long too. He is 2 now. But I am terrified of the thought of not being around him constantly. At least while being miserable now, I have access to my son whenever I want. But I know I need to end it. I feel your pain friend.
Holy crap, I think we married the same person, I am going through almost the EXACT situation, our child is 3, and this has been going on since the birth, she showed me what I needed to see, rushed the marriage and went completely psycho. I live day to day in constant disbelief that I allowed this to happen, with this person… her relationships with her family are the same, her mother, sister, and 1 brother have no contact with her, because they are crazy, or because im an ahole that they dont like, whatever the excuse it, it’s not her. I need / want to end this, but I dont want her to poison our child, and i’m not completely sure that the child is better off with her, she has a drinking problem that she refuses to admit, she says she only drinks because she is married to me, and there is not enough booze to make it better, she has lately started drinking during the day while I am at work and she is home with our child. I too wish I had the backbone send her away, I just dont, I cannot stand my existence!
Joy Mace says
She’s drinking during the day and home alone with your child? Nanny Camera! You need proof and a way to monitor that. Especially if she is home alone and driving your child anywhere! That’s crazy! And it is child endangerment especially when children are that small and dependent! If you chose to leave that kind of evidence would be helpful for custody. Good grief that’s irresponsible on her part and you may not look good in court if you say you knew it was going on and did nothing I would think. Give yourself a reality test: Would you be leaving your child with a babysitter who was drinking? It shouldn’t be any different with a parent. One glass of wine or one beer ok, but if there’s vodka bottles everywhere and she’s doing it all day everyday that’s a major problem.
Your frame of reference is slightly off. Kids need to see you successfully navigating away from her. Give them an example of how to excel in this world. You should not stay, because the kids do not deserve to watch you whither and die. My children are eight and 10. There are times that I feel guilty for leaving them behind, but that pales in comparison to living a miserable lie. There is no greater gift you can give to your children than to show them how to be happy, fulfilled, at peace, and a true leader. Kids learn by example. When you are ready, turn it around and leave your domineering wife. Good luck!
I’m officially new to this site and I never register for a site to simply leave a comment. It’s been a long time since I’ve read words that describe my exact place in my relationship. I answered yes to almost all those questions. I found this site frantically looking for answers to an unsolvable question. The interesting thing about my case is that she gave me control over all the finances but I now know why. She can now lay all the blame for her financial failure on me, which through her adult kids from a previous marriage, is exactly what happened to that poor slob.
We met five years ago and every year since her income has gone down, not up. I have experienced some hard fought and well deserved raises in those five years but we haven’t really been able to reap the benefits because her cut in yearly income has almost matched my yearly raises. At first I gave her room because I have been down in life and she kept the sex amazing. When I finally approached her about 3 years straight of losing income, this thing really started. She accused me of only thinking about money and money is all I care about, but everything she wants as well as I want requires money, generally speaking. She posed a glaring contradiction that I could not ignore but wisely did not directly point out. I asked her how we were supposed to buy more things in life if “we” made less money. I purposely used “we” and “our” in those discussions with her so as not to make her feel like I was attacking her, it’s the same treatment I would expect from her. This, of course, is when I thought I was dealing with a mostly rational human being. Boy, was I wrong. Today, the financial issue is just one of many issues she has with me. She cut the amazing sex off long ago (now she just throws me a bone on occasion) and every day now is some tragic event for her. Everything is a bother and everything is my fault or someone’s (I’m most convenient). She started to threaten to move out, at first I cared, but now I don’t. Amazing how quickly she stopped threatening to move out. Now I know I’m in deep, because I think the only answer in the end will be for someone to move out. I have that bad feeling this won’t be pretty and I’m not one for a bunch of drama plus she has put herself in a financial position of not being able to move out any time soon which makes me a horrible person if I make a move on this.
I never thought I’d fall victim to a woman like this, she was good. Being with someone like this does cause weird feelings for a man. I have level headed parents who raised a level headed son. I feel shame, embarrassment, guilt. At first I thought it was something I could fix, but after about six months of my own research, I see it is her that has to fix herself and from recent conversations with her, that will never happen because there is nothing wrong with her (in her mind), it’s the rest of the world. She recently went to the doctor for a normal checkup and found her blood pressure sky high relative to her last six month checkup, they recommended she see “someone” about that. That someone was a mental health provider, she went, she came home and told me how funny those people were because they said right away she probably has an anxiety disorder and would like to see her again to talk more about it. She told me she might go back just to screw with their (psychologists) heads. That statement was the nail in the coffin for me. I know she will never accept help or try to change her ways because there isn’t anything wrong with her, it’s everyone else.
Generally, I’m a confidant, humble, happy, caring, energetic human but around her I feel like I’m living in some dark recess of the earth after an apocalypse. At home the air is heavy, it’s difficult to get anything done because she wants to discuss some trivial thing that irritates her (usually me) for 2-4 hours at a time. If we go anywhere she finds some problem with where we went, it’s getting embarrassing, asking me to say things to waitresses or managers of stores about how something wasn’t right (I have always declined to do this for her which leads to me being chastised on the drive home). I’m sure I could go on for hours but alas I can’t.
Hindsight is 20/20 but I am now filling in the blind spots with her comments and actions she made over the course of our five year relationship. The red flags were there but I was blinded by love, right? I love the site, reading many of the blogs/comments made me finally realize and accept just where I’m at and most importantly that I’m not the crazy one and not alone.
Phillip Martin says
Wow where has this been for the last 25 years. Always thought it was me… and I think that to a degree it is/was. To be in an abusive relationship, the abuser, imo, must see you as a target. So there must be a weakness apparent to the predatory prospective partner. Anyway, I thought a lot about my marriage over the years and have tried, seriously tried on 2 occasions to do something about it. First I went to therapy and after 3 visits the pychologist wanted my wife to come. She did reluctantly. After seeing her without me in the room he then asked me in and told that I was not allowed to speak unless spoken to. So we sat there in silence. When I finally went to say something I was told to be quiet and that my wife has lots to say when I’m not there. Therefore it was all my fault, so quiet please! My wife never opened up in front of me and the sessions went nowhere until I told the pychologist that it was pointless and I wasn’t paying for this rubbish where I wasn’t allowed to speak unless spoken to.
Then I left home for about 2 years. I had a girlfriend but the new girlfriend found someone else (who was unemcumbered) and so I returned ‘home’. Trying to explain the situation to anyone was awkward. I gave up and now pretty much live day to day trying to mind my own business while keeping the peace. This site is so right on the issue for me that it feels like a scam to suck me in! A lot more to this story and I could write a book – maybe I should.
With mine everything would start out great. She would tell me I was great one min, then satan spawn the next. She would make plans only to break them just hours before we were supposed to go out. Both times we were seeing each other she manufactured reasons to get mad at me, yet when faced with proof I didn’t do what I was accused of she refused to see it. She also says that she wishes she never met me and that I never cared for or about her, yet I was the one wanting to spend time with her and do for her. Both times she dropped me for the same guy that uses her for a booty call and drops her. Then the whole screw love no guy ever really cares or loves me anyway starts. Then a couple months later its back to the same song and dance . She acts like she did nothing I was to blame.Even though she is the one who just up and left me. If I make plans for even the near future i’m pushing , but if she did I was supposed to be ok with it. I could add so much more but it would take too long to type or read. I could say yes to over half of those above with her. But she does no wrong it’s always the guy to blame.
almost forgot , she says she wants no man but is constantly bouncing man to man. As well as she says shes the only person besides her mom that she can truly rely on. shes constantly focused on herself and makes social media posts that come across to ppl as she is an angel and her exes are totally evil. When we were out together she would always make comments about how ppl looked or what they were wearing and talking down about them.
and she says she wont let anyone in because it makes her feel vulnerable. When she feels they are getting too close she says she backs away but she shuts down or looks for any out to run away from the relationship.
Great eye opening article. It wasn’t until I came across this site when I realized just what type of relationship I was in. The kicker is I’m a psychologist. I managed to miss the forest for the tree. We went to couples therapy, until the therapist told me that I couldn’t be the only one trying. She threatened to spate over and over. During a therapy sessions she wanted to threaten me with the “possibility of a separation”. Much to out therapists credit she called he rout and endorsed that idea. He recommended we separate for three weeks and then meet back in therapy. Initial shock wore off as he started creating a list for us on what we would need to live apart for that time. I actually was excited by the end of the session. Our therapist held me back and we spoke for a little bit. He said lets see how she reacts to that, but you have to go through with it. I was excited about that break. By the time I got home she was on the phone crying. She cried for 48 hours straight. She planned a date for us and we had a great discussion. For the entire weekend she acted like my wife again. I thought wow calling her bluff finally shook something back into place. By that Monday I knew it had been a mistake. The true her was back a few days later. She said she was done with therapy because our therapist was unethical for recommending what he did and that I was too happy when he did. Fast forward a few months and when I come home from a business trip (Friday) she was at a bachelorette party. On Saturday when my step son went to a movie with a friend she asked me to meet with her and his father to explain to him why he needed tutoring. I did so and really turned him around. When we returned home she said we needed to talk about us and then stated that she had filed for divorce a few days prior. I was upset because I was ready to go and separate and she convinced me not to then hit me with this. She wanted for us to stay the same and maintain status quo until the holidays were over (thanksgiving, Christmas). When I reached out to friends for support she became furious and kicked me out f the house. This was the fourth or fifth time that she had done that day alone. I finally agreed and packed my cloths in the car. She was again angry because I took my cloth and my stepson would know something was wrong. Fast forward a month, we both have attorneys. Mine is really good and provided me with great legal advice. She continually hits me with passive aggressive shots. Tonight was wanting to share my son taking a bath (we have an amazing 8 month old). After that kind act of facetime, she texted me that she forgot to mention that I need to take boxes and determine a time when all my things would be moved out. We have a temporary orders hearing in two days. She is using my son at every turn. She has the following conditions 1) I cant be alone with my son 2) I have to engage with my stepson before I engage with my son 3) I can only visit him at her house 4) I cant take a camera or take pictures. That is just a few. It scares me that my boy will see this as a role model for women. It breaks my heart that she will use my son for a long time until I can go for full custody. I have no doubt that at some time she will attempt to hoover me. Not sure when because I have not reacted like she is use to me (spineless and scared). Don’t get me wrong I have bad days where I miss my family. Actually the illusion of who my wife was. Anyway, thank you for the articles. They are insightful and cathartic.
In reading your article and answering yes to several of the statements, so how do I break it off with her, she will scream very loud all the neighborhood will hear her, then how do I protect myself?
The way I dealt with that problem was to let all of her precious cats out into the night as she tried to bar my way. I am deeply allergic to cats, and it felt wonderful! Then, as she tried to keep me from getting into my car I set off the car alarm and started yelling for help. I lived in a nice neighborhood, and with witnesses there was nothing she could do but let me leave. it was not the type of image that she could accept for other people to see.
So nice to see I’m not the only one dealing with crazy!
I know I wont find answers here, and I know I can’t change my situation without moving out, but, this seems the place to vent…
My partner and I met about 3 years ago. At first it was all happy honeymoon period stuff, all good. Her ex had died about a year earlier from Chrohn’s disease, and she was left with four kids, then 15,9,7, and 2. I noticed they were getting away with a lot of things, but I put it down initially to her trying to find her feet. She seemed to think her ex had an affair with a woman, who is ironically the mother of the 9yo daughters best friend at school. He wasn’t the greatest dad in the world, certainly not very responsible. He had no life insurance, and he used to stop direct debits in November so “We could have a good xmas”, i.e. afford more booze and food.
Around xmas time she started thinking that this “mistress” was now trying to sabotage her, things like blocking the vent on the boiler so she got CO poisoning, bugging her phone etc. She even bought a “bug detector” to check, and went mad when it actually beeped when put to the phone. Her being her she didn’t actually check the details. Me being me, I did. She had bought a signal detector, which ofc went off when put to a mobile phone! But, she didn’t want to hear the actual truth. It was around this time she revealed that her ex had previously “aggressively raped” her, and she thought the mistress knew about it and was mocking her behind her back.
This part came to a head in january when she had a mental breakdown. She threw ALL the CANNED, SEALED food out, claiming this woman had poisoned it. She was prescribed anti-psychotic pills, which were delivered daily by a medical team and they observed her taking them. They told me, aside from her, that it was a paranoid personality disorder. She became very protective of the kids, so any attempt by me to discipline them was met at best with silence from her, at worse flat out defence of their actions.
For a while it was ok, with only the occassional flare up. In january I had to sell my house due to my divorce, and felt i had no option but to move in. I thought maybe if I was here 24/7 I could put boundaries and rules in place.
Nope. I tried several times on many things, but everything was soon forgotten. The three youngest kids were going to bed around 11pm, when she did. I put a system in place, with her agreement, to start a chillout time at 8pm, milk and snack, tv downstairs, just to relax them. This was fine for a week, then she started cooking dinner for 8:00, and bathing them at 8:30. It soon reverted to type. I gave it a while, then tried it one more time. This time she let them have their tablets/phones/portable game machines in bed with them! WITH the chargers! …. i sighed heavily.
There were many, many more things like this, but to cut a long story short, she simply will not take any advice. She is so stressed every day, especially with the now 9 year old boy who has ADHD, and no rules, no limits, no boundaries, no discipline. To make it worse about a year ago she got a £95k payoff by the hospital who treated her ex for some kind of … not malpractice, but compensation. So now the kids all know she has it, so bug her for everything under the sun. Before this she was on benefits, and even had door-to-door loans, which ofc she didn’t even know the interest rate (80% btw).
It wad bad enough they weren’t taught respect, rules, money, to look after things etc before, but now they know if something breaks, mum will buy a new one. The 9yo also knows if I tell him to do something he doesn’t want to he just goes and sucks up to mum, who lets him off. The boy is the worst, making her life hell, yet she still doesnt punish him, defends him from me, and keeps saying “i WILL discipline him!”…but never does.
Here’s the crux. It’s ALWAYS someone else’s fault. It’s the school…it’s the government…it’s not easy when your partners died you know…it’s all that mistress’ fault……I’m sorry, but how is YOUR decision to let your FOUR YEAR OLD DAUGHTER stay up till midnight his mistress’s fault?!?!?!?! How is it the school’s fault you didn’t punish your then 16 year old for not going to school, and not even getting up when his home tutor came round? He still had his pc, games, phone, etc….and now he didn’t even TAKE any exams, let alone pass them. I called her on that, and she actually believes NONE of that is her son’s fault…it’s the school’s fault, and the mistress’s fault.
The real problem started last night, when I yelled at the kid who was making his sisters cry, in the same room as her, yet she did nothing. So he scampered upstairs, and she followed, giving the dagger looks. I went up, and the battle began, and culminated with the following.
“Not very nice, is it, you telling him you hate him over and over!”
“I never said that! Who told you that?!?”
“OK, thing very carefully before answering…do you believe your 9 year old son, who has a history of lying, and even got you called into school over lies he’s told about his homelife…over me, your adult partner?!”
…..that has set a VERY dangerous precedent in my book. What if he tells the school I’ve been abusive? She will agree…where does that leave me?!
I gotta get out..i know she will never change..
Vent over…god I needed to get that out… =/
I had met the most amazing woman online. We met and within 48 hours we were having the craziest wildest sex I had ever had and being in my late 40’s thought I had hit the fountain of youth. First red flag, after the first night she begged me not to leave though I had to go to work.
Everything clicked like magic, so well so that I even often asked her if someone planted her in my life. Should have gone with my intuition,,too good to be true. All the hopes and dreams clicked. Loved all the same food, activities etc. I always said I would not date a lady with tattoos or smoked and she had and did both. The start of my waiving off signs.
I was told I was the only guy who ever listened to her and since I have a teenage son from a previous marriage we would see each other every other week and it was like two gloves fitting together. She had raised her two girls while going to college and getting her degree and working nights. Was a child model, traveled the world, owned businesses etc. All turned out to be false. Abandoned the kids when they were young, neither daughter speaks to her, no degree, in fact never finished high school, no modeling, whole life she told me about was a lie. Family would not speak with her anymore and she would always say the greatest day in her life would be when her mother died. Her father left when she was a baby and ended up committing suicide when she was in her 20s.
Then the legal problems, FTA’s, drunk driving charges driving without a license and the jail time. Told my son she was away on a trip for 30 days. Had me watch her email, phone and FB page during this time and much to my shock it was all texts, emails and messages to guys talking about having sex with them and her sending pictures of herself or porn. Found 100s of violent sex videos on her phone etc. When confronted she said it was during our small breakups of a day or so and nothing any different than what I was doing.
The drinking was always there and I started participating. Either ended in wild sex or wild arguments that I would wonder what just happened. She would get violent and throw glasses at me, punch me or slap me. She destroyed my work computer and numerous other things and act like nothing happened.
The behaviors started with the rages when her phone wouldn’t work and she would bang it against the dash in the car, walk out of a restaurant if they didn’t greet her right away, walk out of the grocery store if the line was long or the self scanner went to slow leaving the full cart or basket. If I was a minute late to pick her up I was ripped from head to toe. Did I not know what time she got off?? But if I had to wait for her I was just supposed to wait and not complain about it. There were the outbursts at friends that were helping her and found myself lying on her behalf to work and friends. I got her jobs that she would subsequently mess up. I was the only person she could use for a job reference as ever job she had ended badly.
She left trips because she felt I was not being respectful, left my work dinners if I did not save a seat next to me, would leave mid conversation with friends and co workers without saying a word. Found myself always having to cover for the question “what happened to your wife/girlfriend. Became isolated from friends and family as she hated half of them.
She wanted to get married so quickly,,I have wanted to be married so I finally gave in after a year and a half of dating. That was 10 months ago.
The abuse/control really kicked in.
If I didn’t answer my phone in 2 minutes when she called she was going to turn the phone off, if I didn’t answer her emails in 2 minutes the internet was going to get turned off. When I didn’t call her one evening when I was at my family reunion she hung up on me the next morning and called me every name in the book and that I didn’t respect her. Booked a separate hotel and still came to my reunion. She would call co workers and tell them to quit calling me or she would turn them in to my superiors. She would leave notes on my neighbors cars without telling me, telling them to stay out of our business etc.
We tried counseling but after 3 or 4 sessions which took forever as she would always pick a fight the day of and then cancel the session she said she didn’t click with the counselor.
I would try to talk to her about the relationship and it always ended up being my fault because I was never really committed to it and never really respected her. She was sure I was cheating on her and was lying to her. I am the most loyal guy there is and I had no reason to cheat as she was everything I ever wanted.
3 months ago I told her I could not do this anymore and we needed to start working on going our separate ways. She said ok that she needed to find someone who respected her more than I did. We got separate bank accounts but then all of the sudden she started using mine for her direct deposit etc. I was thinking that the conversation about going our separate ways never happened.
I decided shortly thereafter to go back to the counselor myself. I didn’t know who I was anymore, I had gained a ton of weight, my health was crap and I was afraid to do anything. After the first session she told me I was in an abusive relationship and had to find a way out. I started to tell my friends, family and even my employer to be prepared as I had no idea how things would shake out. Then she put the plan on fast forward.
My boss came to town and I was having dinner with her when the texts started from my wife. “I wouldn’t be to generous with your time, I have seen her and I know you are not out with her”, then “should I send and email to her asking why she is keeping you out so late?”, it was 930pm. Then it was “I can” and finally “if you aren’t home in 7 minutes I am sending the email”. That was at 953pm and I already had texted her back that I was on my way home and would be there by 10pm which I promptly walked in then. She ignored me. Next day I found out from my boss she had sent an email to the President of the Company and told him I was having an affair with my boss and also with my customers. Come to find out it was not the first time she had sent emails/letters to my company accusing me of all kinds of atrocities. It was decision time. I took the next day off, filed for divorce, packed up what I could in my van, had her served and went full no contact. That was 2 months ago and it has been the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. The attorneys are taking care of the divorce stuff and I have since found out she also had built up a relationship with my 1st ex wife and had told her months ago she was filing for divorce but of course never did and also met with my college son unbeknownst to me and told him I was stealing from company and cheating on her.
After I filed, she called me to tell me I just needed to come home so we could talk it out,,,,What the heck were we going to talk about?? Then the texts that I needed to come see the cat as she missed me,,,all the while my buddies would tell me she was at the bar hanging all over some guy. Within 48 hours she was already with someone else. Family has since told me when she has a bad break up with men she goes to women and has broken as many womens’ hearts as men. I also found out I was her 4th marriage The smear campaign started right away with all men are liars and cheats and I am the biggest jerk in the world. Thankfully our worlds are not to intertwined and I had warned most of my family ahead of time.
I don’t know if she is BPD/NPD or both with an alcohol addiction. It has sent me on a voyage of self discovery as I wrestle with the why with so many red flags in front of me did I stay as long as I did. I still miss her every day but think most of it is my trained responses from having so much attention lavished on me,,,good and bad. Nothing was ever her fault and I have wrestled with all the accusations and how I was a yo yo. This is actually the cliff notes version as it just touches the highlights or lowlights however you want to look at it. This was the last correspondence I had with her which just shows the yo yo. I actually don’t really understand what most of it means except that it was all my fault.
The demise of this marriage falls 100% in your lap. This was ALL you. And somehow you still think that you have the right to treat me like shit? I was trying to be nice. I have been fair even when you don’t deserve it. Why can’t you act like an adult. We were in love once so stop acting like that didn’t happen. All the despicable things that you are and I still hold on to those 12 days. I don’t know why you fight so hard to not be that guy. You have it in you, I know it. There is so much I don’t understand but I do know this, I want all this madness to end and if divorce is what YOU want, then so be it, but just know it is NOT what I want. I will let you go because I need peace. Being without you is not my need but yours.
I loved us first and apparently I love us last.
You are right there are no winners.
You don’t realize that you were, have always been, the one thing you chose to be jealous of.
I hope this helps some of you out there. It has felt like a reality tv show yet the pain is very real.
Posting my story here – I guess to vent, or seek advice or just to say it to someone.
Worked with this woman about 5 years ago now – she was married and had just come back from mat leave with her first child – she seemed nice enough, fun to be around etc. She began flirting with me when she would drink. I didnt think anything of it, lots of women would flirt with me and I tended to always attract older woman because I have always been mature for my age (she is 10 years older). Anyways I fought off the seduction for a long time, and pushed her away as it got more aggressive. I told her I couldnt do it, she was married. Eventually though, she pushed hard enough and I caved. We started meeting up secretly for a bit and after about 2 months, I got her pregnant (I know, completely stupid). Anyways after the full on panic subsided, the original plan was not very solid in terms of how we would proceed. But after a little while, she told me she couldnt see me anymore and that she was going to tell her husband and that I would have no interaction with the baby. What proceeded over the next 9 months was literally the worst 9 months of my life. She manipulated me, abused me, blackmailed me with my own child. Told me I would never see him, he would never know I existed etc. But then when I tried to move on, she would harrass me and tell me I just so easily moved on from her as if I didnt care about her, baby etc. It was awful. I got the shit kicked out of me emotionally and mentally. Almost no one knew what was happening to me except one close friend I was confiding in. It was an awful experience that I wouldnt wish on my worst enemy.
Anyways, this continued and the only reason I stayed around is because she was carrying my unborn son. I couldnt leave. I didnt get to be there for his birth (Even though we knew it was my son). I just got a text the morning of telling me he was born). He looks just like me. Spitting image. After a couple weeks, its like she became this different person. ONe who wanted me to meet my son, to see her and all this stuff. Like a complete 180. I was skeptical at first and had some seriously mixed emotions because of what I had jsut been through and I also just missed hte birth of my first child.
Things continued and we began seeing each other secretly again and I was getting chances to see my son (who i couldnt tell anyone about). The red flags were all there but I felt so vunerable because of my son. Eventually she was good enough, for just long enough that she convinced me to be with her publicly (after she left her husband) and to tell my family and so on. He was 9 months old when I told my parents he existed. How awful is that? There own grandchild (I am very clsoe with my parents). She was very good with my parents at first, polite, responsive, excited to let them be involved in their grandsons life. Well that didnt last long.
Let’s fast forward cause Im rambling. My son is now 2 years old. I am still with this woman. They moved into the house I owned myself (when my son was about 11 months old) with her 5 yr old daughter as well. Things were bumpy but not bad for a while. But the signs were still there. We bought a new house this spring and things have only gotten worse. She hates my parents, thinks that they are out to get her. She hates my friends. She wants to get married but can only focus on getting the biggest most expensive ring out of me. She is just an awful human being. She exhibits every trait of someone with BPD. She abuses me emotionally daily. She has never once apologized for all of hte awful things she has done to me or my parents.
I have been planning my exit for a few months now. I have a lawyer on retainer, etc.
My biggest concern is my son. Who I have done this all for to date. I just want him to be happy and healthy and i realize now that he can’t have those things while I am still with his mother who is batshit crazy. I am just afraid of what happens next. She is also a drunk and incapable of taking care of my son throughout the night when he gets up. Which I plan to use against her in court. I have been documenting everything since the summer. Pray for me everyone. I soon am headed to a separation from this devil of a woman. Any and all advice is welcome friends
Dave, I feel your pain brother. Your story resonates with mine and I have experienced many similar things with my wife of 20+ years…gaslighting, quick to anger, ignoring, widthholding of affection, control of the finances, excessive spending, splitting with our children, walking on eggshells, black and white thinking (I’m always horrible, always arguing alternating with never etc which leads me to..,projection where I get accused of things that she is doing..(i.e. moods, behaviors), button pushing that leds to arguments to substantiate her accustations. It sounds like you have been through hell too with that crazy bitch. I pray for you brother.
Scott Dougall says
Thanks for this site and this article – I am happy I have found it.
For me I am currently divorcing my wife – it actually took me being abused by a person I meet through my hobby of hang gliding – they were NPD and undermined my social position in that sport – it took me 2 full years to get out of that painful situation.
Once out and then fully up to speed on covert sociopathic abuse I found myself looking at my wife in an alarming new light – bells ringing all over the place… I could not believe that after getting out of what was such a painful experience socially with the NPD abusive pilot I realised I had been married to one for 20 bloody years.
I did not want to believe it yet sitting back watching how she was she kept acting out in a very subtle under the radar sort of way all the behaviour of a covert sociopathic abuser – walking on eggshells – no social connections – friends disapproved of – jealousy of every single friendship – having phones put down mid sentence – silent treatment – projection the list goes on and on…
Now during divorce there is almost a tasit expectation that she will get the house – she uses the child maintenance service to take money from me – she will not help me remain connected to my son – put him in a school away from where I now live having chosen to live near my sons school she put him in one far away…
The way things are it looks like I am going to come out of this with a fraction of the shared assets – with severely damaged links to my sons – financially prostrated I do however think I am lucky – I have confidence that my sons will find me in time – I can already feel my old self re-emerging – its like meeting an old friend…
its so hard not to see my son – when I do he is worried and defensive I guess he is worried how she will be with him after seeing me – I see in both my boys the result of them coping with a manipulative and abusive mother – I look at that and feel really guilty that it took so long for me to be able to call it a name and realise it was not my fault…
But at least I did – perversely in some small way – I feel like thanking the abusive pilot – this insight has gifted me back my life… I am so lucky.
Sadly I only came across this blog after being dumped for the 5th and final time by my abusive common law spouse
Until this blog I did not realize I was abused. I had convinced myself my ex was simply dismissive avoidant, was not her fault because of a bad childhood, etc.. and had always felt I was the hero who could ride out her dramatic spells while all other men before me failed.
After 6 years together, this final push off from her consisted of meeting a man online a few hours after dumping me and spending 2 nights at his house.
Armed with amateur knowledge of attachment theory I applied it to our relationship convincing myself I was anxious, she was avoidant.
Now that I have been away from my abuser, and moved on to someone very secure, caring and supportive, I have begun to see the relationship for what it was. Your article on why your EX downgraded was an awakening for me. My ex took option one in a big way, this guy is a total milk SOP and ripe for abuse, I feel really bad for him because I know she is holding me up as an example of what happens to men who don’t follow her terms and what a vilian I was when in fact I killed myself emotionally and financially for her.
The hardest part for me to move on was for months after I still felt I need to check in with her and get her approval for things I was doing. Each time I improved my life I found myself wanting to tell her about it. This was what really made it sink in that I am not a dumped ex but a recovering victim.
For me, I am a good looking man, a power lifter and physically impressive as well as a kickboxer, I have an executive level job, and since the dump women have been dating steady 10s and finally met my new girl L who has been a savior. The white knight has been rescued by the damsel this time and I am enjoying it !!
My employer has paid for therapy and it has also been amazingly helpful.
The list of questions in this article represents to me now what was essentially a prolonged campaign to wear me down and break me. And finally after being dumped for the fifth time she waged a second campaign to destroy me. She tried to sabotage my career, ruin my rep with everyone on Facebook, each time she felt I was getting over her she would sleep with me and reset me and I would start mourning all over again. She dangled the “maybe we can start to date again” carrot infront of me for weeks, while dating other men and standing me off.
In short she did everything she could to keep me stuck, keep me from moving on, and keep me in pain, while she acted like a vampire taking daily sips of it and getting that power rush.
Now she is pushing for me to be friends, maybe we can all go for dinner together, her new victim, me and my new love. Why I said would I do that? So you can play me and your new puppet off eachother? While my girl sits uncomfortable and hurt and you sit there feeling like the master puppeteer enjoying the disharmony?
No, I will not be friends with her. She continues to try and hurt me every chance she gets.
The other night was a key moment, after dropping off the son to me for the night, she had forgotten for the umpteenth time to send his phone so he can watch his videos at night and not need my phone. Keep in mind, I bought this phone for my son. I said to her “K – This is the third week in a row, get your act together” – and her face went white, JUST WHITE, as she realized that for the first time I gave zerofucks about what she thought.
Her reaction then confirmed all that I have read on your blog to be true. Her immediate reaction was to take out her phone, and text her new puppet madly with that angry crazy text you know a woman is doing when you see it.
I shook me head, I feel for this guy, but at the same time so glad I am FREE!
I am doing all my can not to carry the paranoias and fears I was taught during the past six years into my new relationship so I continue with my therapist and tell my new girl when I am having some trouble. She is so supportive. We all deserve someone like that, the trick is to convince yourself to accept nothing less.
Thank you so much for your work Doctor.
My wife told me how “evil and mean” her family was before I married her. I figured I was going to “rescue” her treat her like a queen and would live life happily ever after. Two weeks after we were married I was back in front of the priest that married us because someone had told her that I had a fairly serious girlfriend before we met and might have even been engaged before. She balled constantly and said she couldn’t get over the fact that she wasn’t my “first choice”. Too young and inexperienced to realize that I should have instantly asked for an annulment I stayed around and tried for years to “prove” to her that I loved her. The abuse I have suffered is so great that I won’t even begin to tell all. Here is one example, its valentines day (I had made reservations to go out to eat but she said she didn’t want to go because the food is overpriced and it is crowded) she is sitting in a chair looking pouty and I ask her what is wrong. She looks up at me and says “I hate this day, this is the day that I agreed to marry you, It is the worst day of my life. The biggest mistake I ever made was marrying you”. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard this (and never had her say “sorry, I said some things that were really mean I was just upset). My wife never gives me a hug, kiss, or even say goodnight or good morning to me, yet she will demand that I come and flush the toilet immediately if I forget to flush after urinating. Started therapy three years ago. She refuses to go. She says, “How could any therapist ever know what I’ve been through. All they do is go to school and study books. How stupid are you to think that someone like that could know what I have been through.” I go on my own. She doesn’t even know that I am going anymore. When she knew I was seeing the therapist she would say to me “So, what did you tell your “girlfriend” today? 19 years ago I thought that having children would help because for years she said “all I want to do is be a mom” Ended up with three beautiful children. One is 18 and went away to college as far as she could go. The other two will be 18 in a year. After they got older they told me how when she was a “stay at home mom” she would get mad at three little 8-10 year old girls and storm off into the garage and drive away in the car and leave them for 15-30 minutes. She drove them up to the police station once when my oldest was about 10 and threatened to turn the child over to the police for doing something trivial. I didn’t know until the kids were older they never told me. I thought that even though my relationship with her was rough that she was a great “mom”. Boy was I wrong. The teen years have been especially difficult because she cannot deal with teen age behavior. I cannot leave until I am sure that they will be safe or that she cannot force them to live with her. I bludgeoned myself for years actually believing that I was wrong, that I worked too much, wasn’t “loving” like all the other husbands.
I have figured it out though. And although it will cause me great pain to walk away from a 30 year old “construction project” that we call a marriage I can’t bear to spend the last few years of my life having someone tell me that I folded the towels “wrong”.
First time I ever put any of this in writing. Thanks for the opportunity.
My wife got 16. My kids have moved on but I still find it so hard to leave. When she is good(not that often) she is great but putting up with so much pain is getting me down.
My wife has the majority of these traits listed and i have recently learned through therapy that i am codependant, which i learned is a typical scenario with BPD women. When we started dating, she would regularly tell me that im “perfect” and i was on that pedestal in the beginning. Deep down i knew that her quick attachment to me was a red flag, but i ignored it. Well, 20 years later and still married to her, i feel defeated, confused and honestly…depressed. I have limited contact with my siblings because if I did, she would complain, sulk etc. Also, I limit contact with them because on some level, I know that they are aware of how she is. My sisters would tell me that “she is not right for you”. I didnt listen bc on some level i wanted to prove them wrong. My wife is very attractive and is the chameleon…super friendly and sweet to outsiders, and only shows her true self when others are not around. When i attempt to confide to mutual friends about her, they dont believe me. She is quick to anger if i set healthy boundaries, so for my sanity i am careful but i feel like i am constantly walking on eggshells. She gaslights…denies saying things she did and said. She often flirts with men in front of me and then when i try to talk with her about it…she denies that it happened and says she was being friendly. I don’t know if she has been unfaithful but deep down I think she has cheated.
She controls all of our finances….claimed bankruptcy twice in 15 years bc of her spending. I recently was approved for permanent disabilty and received a check for back payment. It was in excess of 13k. She spent in all in a matter of 3 months. I attempted to talk to her about putting it away for savings and she flipped out on me. I knew she would spend it all as she usually has no self control with money. I didnt bring it up again to avoid conflict and it was gone in months. Her family…parents and siblings all have similar qualities and I tend to get the brunt of there craziness..name calling, ignoring, etc. I carefully pick my battles with them by setting healthy boundaries but its not easy bc they have a clan mentality. I could go on and on bc she has the majority of the qualities listed. I am not perfect, and I take responsibility for my shortcomings but in her eyes I am at fault for most of our issues. She rarely if ever admits when she is at fault. She has apologized only a handful of times for her temper, mood swings etc. I love her but I know I am not in a healthy marriage and that she will not change. We are going to marriage counseling and she has convinced the therapist that I’m at fault for the majority of our issues. As a matter of fact, our therapist told me I need to implement radical acceptance and love her unconditionally. I’m stumped….
Wrong therapist. Been there.
This site has been a tremendous blessing and help in dealing with my own FOG. Posts like this are in my bookmark bar so when I get any thoughts of guilt, confusion, or doubt I instantly snap out of it when reminded what I was dealing with. I’m sure as time goes on and the experience becomes more distant the FOG episodes will decrease but resources like this are still important so one does not forget and fall prey to old habits or new abusers.
I can relate to every single item on this list especially “Does she project her feelings onto you? For example, she’s yelling and raging and then accuses you of being angry.” I often will get yelled at or dealing with hostility in conversations or even voice mails. If I defend myself I then get told to stop yelling even though I am not or that I have and edge and she even recently hung up on me and told me to call back when I felt like being civil. In the past I started questioning myself even trying to think if I raised my voice. I tend to end up saying sorry and trying to make amends to win approval. Beyond that is the making me question myself, I will tell her something about work, life, what have you and when I bring it up I get told you never told me or I did not know that then I find myself questioning my own memory. There of course has been more such as when I had a big work dinner she stayed out in the sun all day and got sick so I had to pass and stay home which at first seemed like an accident but it has happened more than once or when I have had important work calls and even an interview found something to bring up preventing me from doing what I need to and if I comment then I get told I am a jerk or worse.
It’s been seven years since I finally escaped my seven-year-long crazy, life-devouring relationship. During that on-and-off-again roller-coaster I realized that it was like dating a crazy steam boiler. Pressure would build up and every two to three days there would be an explosion and I apologise and try to fix things.
I remember telling her, “we can’t go on like this. We broke up. You have to leave me alone. We broke up because if we stayed together, I would commit suicide within five years.” This didn’t stop her appearing in front of my building.
I moved back in with my parents, on the other side of the country. She began dating an acquaintance of mine from my home city.
I ended up emigrating to another country, and a few more thousand miles away. That finally worked.
But the problem was, I developed something like Stockholm syndrome from the lows and highs and even now, years later, therapy later, in a stable relation later, I find I have times when I miss those highs.
Times like that, I come to this blog, to remind myself of the nightmares. After one or two posts, relief washes over me and I just think, “thank my stars I’m out of that.” I’ll never have those seven years back, but at least I’ll never experience seven years like that again! Clearing out the trauma-bonding … thank you for this blog. Really.