Is She a Crazy Bitch? A Quiz

crazy_womanThis isn’t a rhetorical question. If you’ve asked yourself more than once, “Is my girlfriend/wife/fiancee a crazy bitch?” as a clinical psychologist, I’m here to tell you the answer is, “Yes. Diagnostically speaking, she may very well be a crazy bitch.

A ‘crazy bitch’ insidiously makes you feel like the unstable, angry person. You soon doubt your interpretation of events and experiences. In lots of cases, this type of woman may have a personality disorder, such as Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) or Antisocial Personality Disorder or some combination of the Cluster B disorders. In other cases, they may not qualify for diagnoses, but it doesn’t really matter. Abusers are highly resistant to change regardless of whether they have a personality disorder or not. 

Here’s a quiz to find out if your wife, girlfriend or ex is an abuser:

  • Does she fly into rages without warning over relatively trivial matters like a web page loading too slowly?
  • Are you always 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.
  • Is her lipstick a little too red? Is it applied like theater makeup and a tad crooked?
  • 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?
  • walking_on_eggshellsDo 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 identity after she landed you? For example, when you first met her she was a sexy, adventurous, sweet ballbuster; now, she’s afraid of her own shadow, has no outside interests and goes ballistic if she has to do anything without you.
  • 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?

If you answered “yes” to more than two of these questions, you may be involved with a female abuser. You’re not alone. They’re everywhere.

Most of the men who ended up in my therapy office were there because they were experiencing stress, depression or anxiety as a result from being in a relationship with an emotionally 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 my male patients experienced were a direct result of being in a relationship with an abuser who most likely had one of the abusive personality disorders

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.

By: Dr Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD

Private Consultation and Coaching

I provide confidential, fee-for-service, consultation/coaching services to help both men and women work through their relationship issues via telephone and/or Skype chat. My practice combines practical advice, support, reality testing and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit Services and Products for professional inquiries.


If you find the information I provide free of charge helpful and valuable here on Shrink4Men, please consider making a donation via PayPal to help me maintain the site.

Photo credits:

Crazy woman from istockphotos.

Walking on eggshells from “ada loves you” on flickr.

  1. Matt
    September 1, 2009 at 7:48 pm | #1

    I do have one question – where did you hide the camera in my house?

    If I can answer yes to all but one do I win a prize or something?

    • shrink4men
      September 1, 2009 at 8:37 pm | #2

      Yes, Matt—the booby prize!

      • Jacob
        August 5, 2010 at 6:44 am | #3

        … I don’t know where to start. I answered yes to 13 questions up there. I have already triple-checked to make sure I didn’t count any twice. Here is my situation: I am 18 (please don’t focus too much on my age… I hear it enough already, I’ve realized I made a mistake getting married so young, but my options were limited.) I don’t know what to do. Thankfully I do not have any kids. I love my wife, but she for sure has this condition. Life has been hell because of it. I’ve tried leaving her before when we were just dating, but she always guilt tripped me back. I’m not allowed to talk to females, and if they talk to me she gets angry at me, but I have to admit, the jealousy in her has calmed down a lot. It went from an “OMG You A**, your cheating on me!! F*** you” to a “why were those girls talking to you.” She constantly only cares about her feelings and ignores mine. I don’t get much sleep in the army, and on the weekends when I go home, I spend some time with her, then I start dozing off, and she starts complaining at first, then pouting, telling me that I never spend time with her and when I do all I do is sleep. Then once my eyes are closed she will continue to shake me, slap me, or say or do something that will infuriate me, just to get me to wake up. I’m going to have to say I’m concerned about the sex life too. Started off with a bang, came to a series of speed bumps, a halt for my basic training, then sky rocketed right after basic and is now again at slow speed bumps. I see her Friday night till Sunday afternoon, and I expect to have sex a least once. She promises great sex all day, and keeps putting it off until she picks a fight so we don’t that day, and don’t the next day. And I go back to the barracks same as I left. And I have to be very careful about bringing up sex because she yells at me and says that’s all I want. I don’t know what to do. Finally letting this out has made me feel better but reading responses will help a lot too. Thank you.

        • Stefano
          August 5, 2010 at 7:34 pm | #4

          Hi Jacob. Life is for making mistakes and learning from them so don’t beat yourself up over making any mistakes. You are young and if this is no longer for you then get out as soon and painlessly as possible. You have already admitted it was a mistake, no kids are involved so run man!
          It quite normal to have a very strong bond or love with someone when you are young but over time you kind of drift apart. You are still both growing up and changing rapidly.

          Looking at your script above I would say that the fire has gone out a bit for you guys. Take it from me, it doesn’t get better and if kids do come along then you are stuck or have the heart wrenching agony of walking away from your child.

          Take a really long hard look at your life and decide if this is really not for you and if it was a mistake (your words) then fix it now before its too late.

          All the Best

  2. Mark
    August 31, 2009 at 2:31 am | #5

    I would feel better about ascertaining my situation if I heard one thing. I constantly question whether or not I am the messed up one. Am I controlling, demanding, explosive, jealous, trivial, decietful, etc…
    Of course, I don’t just “want to hear it,” but does anyone else think this way often? Maybe I have a problem with BPD(now that I have learned what it is). I don’t think I am any of these things, but “let he that lives in a glass house…” Maybe I play the victim. I don’t know anymore. So, is it just me??? Heck, I guess if it was, it would be a feeling of elation. Then, I just go seek the help that is needed, without depending on someone else making that decision for themselves!!!

    • Mike91163
      August 31, 2009 at 12:42 pm | #6

      Mark, the mere fact that you mention that “Maybe I have a problem with BPD…” means that you probably do NOT have BPD. Spend a bit of time browsing this wonderful site, and others on the Internet, and you’ll quickly discover that the VAST majority of BPD/NPDs utterly refuse to acknowledge that they have a problem. The BPD person might look at these sites and say “It’s not me! It’s my spouse/significant other/parents/friends/etc. who has a problem!”

      What you are suffering (and it is suffering!) from is PROJECTION. Read throughout here how BPDs “project” their feelings and thoughts upon YOU. All of us have those characteristics you mentioned (controlling, demanding, etc.) to one degree or another…BUT, in the BPD’s world, they are perfect, YOU are the problem. For example, if you work as a manager, you may be perceived (right or wrong) as demanding…well, in some cases, you may have goals set by higher mgmt. to meet, and therefore must expect certain things out of your underlings. We all might be somewhat jealous of pro sports players who make barrels full of cash. HOWEVER, while your jealousy level might be a 2 on a scale of 1 to 10, in the BPD’s world, they crank it all the way to 11!

      Your feelings are 10000% in line with what all of us who deal with a BPD person feel most of the time…that we’re wrong, and this occurs because you’re constantly having this “wrong-ness” being reinforced by the BPD person. BPDs are very skilled at taking the most secure, happy, and smart person and beating them (both verbally, mentally, and sometimes physically) into a meek, wussy shell of themselves.

      With regard to “playing the victim”, you have to look back at how you behaved PRIOR to your current relationship…if “bad” things happened in your personal or professional lives, and you “shrugged it off”, but now play the “poor me” game, then NO, you are not “playing the victim”; this is what your BPD person has done to you.

      Your 2nd sentence is very revealing…almost to a person, we have ALL felt this way at one time or another in our BPD relationships…just take some time to browse through reply posts and you’ll easily see this pattern. Websites like Dr. Tara’s help you realize that you are NOT ALONE, and that you CAN get through this and escape, and have the chance to rebuild yourself.

      Good luck!!!!

    • jp
      August 31, 2009 at 5:15 pm | #7


      A relationship with a crazy person, by its very nature, leaves you doubting your own sanity, sense of reality and character.

      Of course nobody on this site can confirm with 100% certainty that you are NOT crazy, which is why you need a trusted advisor–a friend or therapist–with whom you can discuss your feelings and experiences and get a reality check when you need one.

      This is especially key if you’re the kind of guy who doesn’t have a lot of confidence in his own reality in general. People who doubt their own reality testing often come from families with a lot of craziness in them and they grow up wondering if they’re a bit crazy too. Then, if they get involved with a wingnut, they’re never quite sure if the girlfriend/spouse is nutty of if they themselves are. This is a tough place to be, and it’s the kind of achilles’ heel that a BPD/NPD lover will instinctively exploit.

      It gets even more dicey if you do in fact have a minor mental health issue. Say, for the sake of discussion, that you have mild depression for which you take an anti-depressant. Once you admit this to your BPD/NPD lover it’s likely she will never take your feelings or opinions seriously, dismissing them instead with comments like “have you forgotten to take your medication again?”

      In other words, even if you DO have some kind of mental health issue, it doesn’t necessarily follow that she’s NOT crazy and destructive.

      And in any case, you don’t have to be perfect to expect to be treated lovingly in your relationship. When healthy people love you they’ll happily tolerate all kinds of faults and quirks.


      The chances are it’s not just you. Like Mike91163 points out, the fact that you’re willing to look at your own behavior with such honesty

      • jp
        August 31, 2009 at 5:18 pm | #8

        Oops…sorry for that last fragment.

        I was gonna say, the fact that you’re willing to look honestly at your own behavior suggests that whatever is going with you, the chances are it is NOT a personality disorder along the lines of BPD/NPD.


      • mike91163
        September 2, 2009 at 12:22 am | #9

        Hey jp, you NAILED me with one comment: “…have you forgotten to take your medication again?” I have posted elsewhere about my wife’s problems with me taking opiate pain meds for severe chronic pain due to rheumatoid arthritis. Anyway, I’ve been off of them for the past 7 months (at her “request”), and just recently went to my primary care doctor with her in tow for advice re: pain mgmt. Well, long story short, he was no help…but, we’re going to try Lyrica, which is used almost exclusively for fibromyalgia or neuropathic pain–neither of which I have, but, we’ll try it anyway.

        So, I’ve been on it for a week or so now, and the other day, the wife got pissed with me because I forgot something she told me the day before. I got the “are you taking pain meds again?” speech, and the “I hope this medicine is causing problems…”

        Very calmly, I say “Hon, in the past 6 months, not being on ANY medication, have I NEVER forgotten anything that you’ve said to me?” (And yes, I do forget things…I guess it’s the old selective hearing bit or “tuning her out”) There was nothing but COMPLETE SILENCE on the other end…of course, I then got “I gotta go now”…and, the rest of the day, while she wasn’t a total bitch, I got the “cool” treatment.

        Like Jack Nicholson said in “Men of Honor”: “The truth? YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!”

        • Doug
          February 9, 2010 at 7:23 pm | #10

          Mike, your comments resonate with me. I have a severely herniated disc between L4 & L5 that, due to my age, the neurosurgeon did not want to operate on… says I’m too young, give it time, take the meds. So I go to a pain management doctor and take opioids daily.

          My wife has this completely irrational hatred of medication (to the point that I must fight with her to give my teething daughter some tylenol on the nights that she’s screaming in agony). Of course, she doesn’t like me taking my pain medication, but I quit rolling over and playing dead and took a firm stance and let her know that she could not tell me how to care for my body. I’ve since been taking a similar approach any other time she spazzes out for no good reason… seems to be working… maybe she’s not that much of a BPD (or perhaps, she’s not a severe case).

          • Nick
            February 10, 2010 at 1:35 am | #11

            Doug. Mine was a definite cluster b and also dictated which medication to take….NONE. This insisted upon by her through my 4 knee surgeries and cervical fusion. I did what I wanted while she carped incessantly about it. Control control control. Their wretched souls are coming unhinged so to feel better they become dictators.

  3. Kev
    August 22, 2009 at 5:39 pm | #12

    Very very frightening, indeed.

    Actually, I have to laugh, because up until your last sentence, I was thinking “she’s not that talented to plot this all out in advance.” But you’re right. It’s instinctive, and on the fly. Amazing.

    Thank you for this. It only helps explain things more and more.

    In terms of “he cannot make a metacommunicative statement,” any attempts I made were met with continuous frustration, argument, rage, subterfuge, and misdirection. I was suddenly the “bad guy” for “attacking” poor, helpless, her.

    I’m almost at 8 months no contact.

    Life returns a bit more each day.

    • Simon
      November 27, 2009 at 4:23 pm | #13

      Kev, 8 months no contact and life is returning?!….that scares the crap out of me. 8 months and this is still not history for you. I am finding it real tough I admit and am now 14 days (yes Im counting them!) away from her, only 4 days without hearing from her. I know I must must must get away from her and I am trying, but 8 months?!! oh god….

      • Kev.
        December 9, 2009 at 6:34 am | #14

        Hey Simon…

        Just saw your reply now, my apologies for not responding sooner. Yeah, it was 8 months when I posted that. I’m now at almost a year. Things are progressing. Is my life entirely back? No. But I am better, and stronger than I’ve been in a long, long time.

        I was in the relationshit (not a typo) for about a year. She broke me in half, and did her best to destroy the bits and pieces that were left over. Yet, I’m coming through it, through therapy, and, honestly, this site, and my interactions here.

        I don’t know how long you were in the war zone yourself. And, I’m sure it’s safe to say “your mileage may vary” in terms of getting over and through things. Healing comes, and it comes at the speed we need it to.

        I have no doubt that you’ll get through this, too, brother. Just don’t rush it. Take the time to put your stuff in order. That way, the next relationshiP will be that much more fulfilling.

        best to you,

        • shrink4men
          December 9, 2009 at 4:53 pm | #15

          Hi Kev,

          This is great advice for everyone. I believe that the more positive things you add to your life after shedding one of these women will help to accelerate the healing process.

          My very best to both you and Simon.

          Kind Regards,
          Dr T

      • Diva
        December 29, 2009 at 10:38 pm | #16

        Just think of her as a bottle of poison…because poison is what they are and yet to all others they can function quite normally.

      • Recovering Alpha
        December 31, 2009 at 10:51 pm | #17

        Simon, Kev

        I’m at 4 months no contact. THAT IS THE BEST THING I COULD HAVE DONE! I have kids so it’s very tough, but there are ways. We communicate through the (home environment) Day Care people and through our lawyers. If I can recommend one thing to better health AND better recognition to what you were in, then it’s

        !!!!!!!!!!!! NO CONTACT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        I just (and I mean 1 minute ago) got a text message from my (STB)ex’s mother. It was actually addressed to my son, but I KNOW IT WAS SENT BY HER. She wanted to know what he was doing for New Year’s Eve? WTF?!!?!

        It was very very hard not to reply with a smart remark, but as Dr T’s articles say, “No Contact” means NO CONTACT. NONE. ZIP. ZILCH. NADA.

        “No contact is for our own recovery of health.” I read that in one Dr T’s articles or a commenter’s blog. THAT IS THE KEY. I realize now that the only way to recover my health is no contact. I REALLY REALLY REALLY want to have 12 months NC under my belt. Kev, tell me it’s not that hard. Lately I’ve been fantasizing calling or visiting my ex, and I know that is VERY BAD!


        • Kev.
          December 31, 2009 at 11:36 pm | #18

          Recovering Alpha – 12 months is a good goal. :) I’m about 6 hours and 11 minutes away from the 12 month marker as I type this.

          Yes, I’m being that exact about it. :)

          Yes, it gets easier with time, and distance. As you’ve said, you are in a better place than you were 4 months ago. Remember that each day. Remember that when you hit 5 months. Remember that when you hit 6 months.

          When you feel the nostalgia come on, remember what she did to you. Remember the fights. The belittling. The snide comments. The cold shoulder. Remember how she made you feel like a criminal and unworthy of even the slightest bit of affection.

          Do you really want to continue those conversations with her? Because they WILL continue, if you resume contact. I suspect you don’t, so don’t.

          When you feel the urge to contact again, DISTRACT YOURSELF. Put on some music. Read a book. Go for a walk. Call a friend, or a family member instead. Have them meet you for coffee, or a drink. It’s okay to confide in someone you trust about what you’re going through, and ask them to help you find something else to occupy your time and mind.

          You may think “this time might be different!” This time she might act kindly towards you. This time she might admit or acknowledge her mistakes.

          It won’t be. She won’t. She can’t. If she does, she’s lying.


          It gets easier with time. There will be good days, there will be bad days. You have kids in the mix, and it will be tough. There may be accidental contact. Learn to discern what is a manufactured emergency where she tries to get you to engage. The text message you received may have indeed been accidental, but as you said, it may have been something more.

          DO NOT ENGAGE THE ENEMY. DO NOT FEED THE BORDERLINES (or Narcissists either, for that matter).

          I’m not in any 12 step programs, but when things get bad, I adopt the “one day at a time” approach. If the future seems daunting (and at 4 months out, it still will at times), concentrate on the here and now. This moment. The next moment. The moment after that.

          It may also seem like an appealing idea to gloat to her and say “look how far I’ve come! Look how much I’m over you!”



          You don’t need her approval. She’s never going to give it to you anyway.

          You may have already lost some, or you may yet lose some friends in this whole process. Be prepared for that. It’s okay. It sucks, but it’s okay. You’re going to find out who truly loves you and is willing to stick by you in this whole thing.

          Hang in there, and have a safe, happier New Year, and remember: NO CONTACT. :)

          6 hours, 1 minute to go now. :)

          Be well, and good luck!

        • free2beYou
          January 1, 2010 at 12:00 am | #19

          Hello Recovering Alpha, Simon & Kev,

          I just wanted to say a BIG Congratulations & how it is so good to see posts of this positive nature with you all going NO CONTACT! You should all be so proud of yourselves! I do not even know you & I am proud of you all! :-) Stay strong/no contact & Happy New Year with your new found freedom! Good Luck & All My Best. Happy New Year Everyone.

          • Kev.
            January 1, 2010 at 12:07 am | #20

            thank you. :)

            It means a lot. And I promise you, I’m not just saying that.

    • Brian Gard
      December 8, 2009 at 2:16 am | #21

      I was married to a Borderline Personality Disordered woman for 8 years, at first
      I was very confidant, had many friends, very happy but as time went on life
      got strange, she tried to destroy all other relationships I had with other
      people, borrowed money from everyone including employer, than filed for
      bankruptcy, we got divorced, I was very frightened she was going to kill
      herself, she threatened to kill me if I let her ex-husband know about
      her behavior because she thought she would lose custody of her daughter,
      life was a nightmare I barely kept my job and belongings, it took years
      to recover financially. After 3 years I felt like I had before I meet her,
      very happy, healthy, lots of friends, many girl friends, eventually I got
      married and have 2 great kids and loving wife. I had no contact with her
      in 14 years though we lived in same town, last week she walked just outside
      of the city limits and shot herself dead, she was a school teacher. I
      was shocked and thinking about her brings back all the sadness and confusion
      and memories of her peculiar behavior, I am mostly angry at her for doing
      it to herself. Fourteen years ago I felt like I was the main actor in a
      Alfred Hitchcock movie, I would awake thinking I was coming out of a bad
      dream and realize it was for real. There is a lot of effort to try
      and ‘cure’ people with borderline personality but they cause more suffering
      to the world than they can feel themselves. I feel so fortunate to
      have my life back.

  4. Freedom
    August 22, 2009 at 3:03 pm | #22

    I have 3 quick ones… they’re funny now since i’m out of the relationship, but they rattled around in my skull when they were happening.

    1 – we’d be talking about some thing, and if my mindset was not completely in sync with hers (agreeing 100% with whatever she was saying), she’d snap at me, saying “don’t roll your eyes at me”. WTF? ummm…. i haven’t been 5 years old in a LONG time. trying to convince her that i kept eye contact the whole time, and that her accusation was completely unfounded, was like trying to teach calculus to a goldfish.

    2 – so then the conversation would start to turn sour, and she’d accuse me of saying (x, y, z). of course i never said any of it, and would tell her so. so would then try to defend it, not even entertaining the possibility that she could have been mistaken. at which time i would calmly say, “no, i didn’t say that, not even close. you know how i know? because i’ve never even thought it”. at which point she would cross her arms and stare at the wall and pout… or fume.

    3 – one night all of the planets aligned, and i got the opportunity to ask her that if i just simply gave in to anything she wanted and never stood my ground, would she would label me as a wimp and lose all respect for me as a man. and her answer was yes. i couldn’t beleive i actually got a thoughtful, insightful answer from her. but it was proof that no matter what i did, there would never be any peace.

    the point of these snippets is that there never was a correct answer. i would be accused of being a heartless, self-centered bastard if i disagreed with her, or a complete wimp if i agreed with her. and it didn’t matter what i said, what stance i took in any given conversation or subject matter. she could have a sock puppet on her hand, call it my name, and i would take the brunt of a conversation that i was never a part of. it really was all in her head.

    cue the circus music…

    • Kev
      August 22, 2009 at 3:17 pm | #23

      I had the exact same things happen to me with 1 and 2. I never tried #3.

      The more I look back at these sorts of no-win scenarios, the more I’m convinced it was never about the answers (there are no right answers, as well you know), but more about her getting an attention fix. By bait and switch questioning, and the absence of right answers, she can play the game all night (and she often did, for nights in a row, despite knowing I had to go to work the next morning).

      In addition to the attention you’re giving her, by playing these games, she gets the added benefits of (a) sapping all of your energy, and systematically destroying your defenses, and (b) getting you into a state of learned helplessness, where you become continuously more pliant.

      Sometimes, I think it wasn’t even about her demands, but more about her enjoying the show of making her puppet dance.

      Ah, good times.


      • Freedom
        August 22, 2009 at 3:40 pm | #24

        they’re an attention junkie. the narcissistic supply really is like a drug. if they don’t get their fix, they act out, cause a scene, create falsehoods, manufacture drama, and then point the finger at everyone else but them. they will never take responsibility for the actions and words they use to manipulate. to them… the end justifies the means. it’s about winning at all costs, obtaining that fix. just like an addict… you can’t help them until they’re willing to help themselves. and if they don’t see it as any type of problem, then they will not change, no matter how devastating it is to them and to anyone that loves them. very sad but true…

        for a guy that really cares deeply… it was a very tough lesson to learn.

        • shrink4men
          August 22, 2009 at 5:06 pm | #25

          Hi Kev and Freedom,

          What these women do is far more toxic than putting you in a no-win, damned if you do-damned if you don’t situation. It’s a far more subversive variation called a double bind, a concept developed by anthropologist, Gregory Bateson:

          “The double bind is often misunderstood to be a simple contradictory situation, where the victim is trapped by two conflicting demands. While it is true that the core of the double bind is two conflicting demands, the differences lie in how they are imposed on the victim, what the victim’s understanding of the situation is and finally, who (or what) imposes these demands upon the victim. Unlike the usual no-win situation, the victim is largely unaware of the exact nature of the paradoxical situation in which he or she is. The contradiction may be entirely invisible in its immediate context and therefore invisible to external observers, only becoming evident when some broader context is considered. Typically, a demand is imposed upon the victim by someone who they respect (a parent, teacher or doctor), but the demand itself is inherently impossible to fulfill, because some broader context forbids it. Bateson and colleagues defined the double bind as follows (paraphrased):

          1. The situation involves two or more people, one of whom (for the purpose of definition), is designated as the “victim.” The others are people who are considered the victim’s superiors: figures of authority (such as parents), whom the victim respects.
          2. Repeated experience: the double bind is a recurrent theme in the experience of the victim, and as such, cannot be resolved as a single traumatic experience.
          3. A “primary injunction” is imposed on the victim by the others in one of two forms:

          * (a) “Do X, or I will punish you”;
          * (b) “Do not do X, or I will punish you.”

          The punishment is assumed to be either the withdrawing of love, the expression of hate and anger, or abandonment resulting from the authority figure’s expression of helplessness.

          1. A “secondary injunction” is imposed on the victim, conflicting with the first at a higher and more abstract level. For example: “You must do X, but only do it because you want to.” It is unnecessary for this injunction to be expressed verbally.
          2. If necessary, a “tertiary injunction” is imposed on the victim to prevent them from escaping the dilemma.
          3. Finally, Bateson states that the complete list of the previous requirements may be unnecessary, in the event that the victim is already viewing their world in double bind patterns. Bateson goes on to give the general characteristics of such a relationship:
          1. When the victim is involved in an intense relationship; that is, a relationship in which he feels it is vitally important that he discriminate accurately what sort of message is being communicated so that he may respond appropriately;
          2. And, the victim is caught in a situation in which the other person in the relationship is expressing two orders of message and one of these denies the other;
          3. And, the victim is unable to comment on the messages being expressed to correct his discrimination of what order of message to respond to: i.e., he cannot make a metacommunicative statement.

          Thus, the essence of a double bind is two conflicting demands, each on a different logical level, neither of which can be ignored or escaped. This leaves the victim torn both ways, so that whichever demand they try to meet, the other demand cannot be met. “I must do it, but I can’t do it” is a typical description of the double bind experience.

          For a double bind to be effective, the victim must fail to see that the demand placed by the primary injunction conflicts with that of the secondary injunction. In this sense, the double bind differentiates itself from a simple contradiction to a more inexpressible internal conflict, where the victim really wants to meet the demands of the primary injunction, but fails each time through failing to see the situation’s incompatibility with the demands of the secondary injunction. Thus, victims may express feelings of extreme anxiety in such a situation, as they attempt to fulfill the demands of the primary injunction albeit with obvious contradictions in their actions.”

          The fact that most of these women do this instinctively without premeditation is pretty frightening.

          Dr T

          • Freedom
            August 23, 2009 at 4:20 pm | #26

            it was all quite silly when it was happening, but it wasn’t a damned bit funny.

            • Bert
              September 17, 2009 at 6:03 am | #27

              Ouch I too agree. This was performed many times to flawless perfection on me as well. Ouch, OUCH!

          • Mike91163
            August 31, 2009 at 12:54 pm | #28

            Dr. T, tell me if this is a good example of a double bind.

            Let’s take something as simple a dinner. In the past few days, you’ve made steak, chicken, pork chops, and seafood. Today, you’re discussing dinner with your BPD, and they say “I’m sick of everything”. OK, so you suggest that you go out to eat…then you get the “we can’t afford it” statement.

            Now you’re screwed either way…can’t cook at home, because “they’re sick of everything”…can’t go out to eat, as “we can’t afford it”. Either way, you’re never gonna hear the end of it…

            • shrink4men
              August 31, 2009 at 4:42 pm | #29

              Hi Mike91163,

              Yes, this is a good example of a classic double bind situation. Double binds induce a sense of powerless and learned helplessness, which weaken you and make you more susceptible to her abuse and control.

              Hope this helps,
              Dr Tara

  5. Janice
    August 22, 2009 at 4:24 am | #30

    My son is with a woman who exhibits all the above traits (except for the lipstick one). He thinks he is in control because he’s learned to walk away whenever she gets upset — which is more and more frequent. He barricades himself in his room downstairs with the door locked, goes for a walk, or to a movie. She had been reeling him back in with niceness or aking cookies, but I feel those times are waning. None of us in the family can figure out “why” he would want to stay in such an abusive woman who is jealous, manipulative, and who is always criticizing him or getting mad and going into a rage!! Interestingly enough, the more he blocks her out, the more she seems to try to get into a fight with him. They’re going to counseling, but she finds fault with that constantly and doesn’t want to go. I feel it’s a matter of time before she’ll refuse to go. She attacks everything about him and their relationship (or lack of a relationship!).

    • shrink4men
      September 11, 2009 at 2:40 am | #31

      Hi Janice,

      I’m sorry to read about what your son and your family is going through because of his girlfriend. She probably tries to fight with him when he blocks her out because many of these women use conflict and anger to hook you in. They accuse you of crazy things and you defend yourself, which only prolongs the insanity.

      The only defense is to walk away and stay away. Unfortunately, I don’t think counseling will help. These women often use therapy to blame and shame their partners into submission with the help of a bad therapist. And, if you should happen to find a good therapist who holds this kind of woman, she finds fault with the therapist and stops going.

      You have my sympathy and sincere wish that your son comes to his senses very soon.

      Kind Regards,
      Dr Tara

  6. John
    August 2, 2009 at 4:48 pm | #32

    Dr. T,

    I stumbled onto your website. You have given some very helpful and insightful information. I answered Yes to 6 of these questions.

    Its still hard for me to imagine my wife as a BPD because she seems so passive aggressive. But then again I’ve always compared my wife to her sister, who is a truly obnoxious, histrionic, berating and self-centered slob. My wife (soon to be ex) reacts more by sulking and withdrawing affection. I’ve felt like I had to walk on eggshells around her for years, as nothing I did was enough. Just having her out of the house for the past 4 weeks has been liberating. Not coming home and worrying and stressing about what I need to do for her , “is it ok for me to go play my guitar?”, or is she going to get mad because I’m not sitting in the room with her while she watches one of her shows on TV despite being disengaged from me – freedom from this is great.

    The guy who divorced her sister told me that it was like an anvil being removed from around his neck when he obtained the divorce. That he was married to a “real woman” now and life is great.

    I’m actually going through the divorce right now . . . . you’re website is very helpful with moving forward and seeing some of the things I should not have put up with, but did, for over 10 years.

    Thank you.

    • shrink4men
      August 4, 2009 at 2:37 am | #33

      Hi John,

      Thanks for the positive feedback and congratulations on removing your “anvil.” I’m sure you’ll get through the divorce process, with all its ups and downs, and appreciate your new found freedom. Once you’re finally rid of her, you’ll wonder why you waited so long.

      I have a friend whose ex didn’t like it when he played the piano to relax after a stressful day. He’s apologetic about his piano playing, thanking me for “tolerating it” and “letting him” play. I love music and think it’s a gift to have it in my life. It just goes to show how sick and abusive these women are that they can’t stand it when you express your creativity and take care of or uplift yourself. They want to anchor you down in the barren wasteland with them.

      Thanks again, John. I wish you the best with your new lease on life minus the ex-wife!

      Kind Regards,
      Dr Tara

      • John
        August 11, 2009 at 2:06 am | #34

        Dr. T,

        Thanks for the encouragement. We have two girls. I’ve read a lot of posts from guys worrying about their children. One thing I’ve learned in the past 10 weeks: the time I’ve had with my kids since this started is ten times the quality time than when my wife was around and constantly undermining me.

        Whatever time you have with your children after the divorce is going to be more time with them than when you were married !!!

        One thing I’m trying to come to grips with is how I let my wife treat me the way she has for so long. If someone was “coming at me” I would normally not back down from a fight or an argument. With her, she would never address anything I said substantively. I was always being told my “tone” was bad. My facial expressions were “like a kick in the stomach to her.” I remember her one time telling me that I never said anything bad, but it was the way I said it. She has had me trying to behave in a “non-defense provoking, corporate-like” manner at home for several years now.

        First of all, I’m not an obnoxious, cantankerous, bullying litigator but a rather calm and quiet regulatory attorney – I don’t go to court and argue cases. I finally started to defend myself against some of her complaints – the response was “there you go again, throwing it back at me.” I could never win. She had me thinking I was crazy, an extremely difficult person to be around, and needed therapy. I ended up calling and talking to some of my friends just to ask if I’m really that difficult a person to get along with. The self doubt and self-questioning I put myself through has been very painful.

        Keep up the great work. You are giving more help to people than you probably realize.

        • B.E.C.
          November 9, 2009 at 8:39 pm | #35


          After reading your posts I see a similarities between your soon to be ex and my wife.
          I wonder if she might be BPD because she seems to fit the criteria but, absent the narcissistic rage. She is more likely to act like she doesn’t care whether I’m around. She’ll ignore me and spend hours watching TV or reading. This past month after I spend 5 days in Michigan, visiting my family and hunting, she barely acknowledged me when I got home. She instead talked on the phone all evening. When later questioned her about that, she said she didn’t recall acting that way that evening.
          She seems to go through cycles of days or weeks where she will be cold and distant. If I ask her how she is doing your response will be a sharp “I’m fine”. If I try to kiss here she turns away from me. Then the next day she’ll be affectionate with me, sometimes to the point of being clingy.
          Things can seem fine and then something will happen, I’ll say or do something that she doesn’t like, and then like flipping a switch, back to cold and distant.
          I really get the feeling that I’m married to two different women. On the good days or weeks, I feel loved and am optimistic about working things out. The bad days or weeks are very lonely and it like she doesn’t care anymore.
          She wasn’t always like this (or I didn’t notice. Love can blind a man.) It seems to have developed and become more acerbated over the 11 years we’ve been together. Looking back now, I can see it progress in her actions and words.
          Anyway, without going into all the details, I’d really like to know, from the readers and Dr. T, are there other disorders/conditions that share similarities with BPD that develop and become worse over time?
          Can some be like a BPD without being having BPD? Would that affect the way one should deal with that individual and the likelihood of healing the relationship with that person? Is she just a High-Functioning BPD?
          Also, for John specifically, did your wife’s BDP-ness seem to become progressively worse over time or was it also there?
          Again, John thanks your posts. Dr. T, thanks for the blog.

          • John
            November 10, 2009 at 3:56 pm | #36

            Hey B.E.C.,
            It’s interesting how you come to this site and see posts by other guys and see a lot of the same thing over and over. It’s a great eye-opener to see that you aren’t alone and that the problems in your marriage really are not 100 percent your fault.

            “Also, for John specifically, did your wife’s BDP-ness seem to become progressively worse over time or was it also there?”

            Honestly, I don’t think my X is BPD (my divorce was finalized on 9/10). Sure some of her behaviors fall into the above descriptions listed by Dr. T. However, when I read the definition and diagnostic criteria of BPD I think of psychotic, over-the-top wacko devoid of reality, and she is not that. However, I could probably add a seventh because she did have this strange preoccupation with red lipsticks and would talk about her “lips” when referring to getting her red lipstick on. No kidding!!

            I do believe she is a narcissist and was emotionally abusive to me. A therapist has unambiguously told me that she is a narcissist and her treatment of me was emotionally abusive and emasculating. That, the confirmation I’ve received from this site, and also talking to my family and friends (is that consensus seeking?) are enough validation for me. For me personally, I don’t feel a compelling need plug my X into a specific cluster B personality disorder to come to grips with the demise of our marriage. I did a lot of journaling; writing many of the things down that she did, talking about it with a therapist and family, comparing it to the blogs and posts on this site, and I realized how bad the marriage and treatment of me was. I don’t recall where I read this, but someone wrote something about the golden rule in reverse. Is your wife treating you the way you would treat someone else? I know mine didn’t. I’ve also learned to look in the mirror and understand that I let her act that way to me; a mistake I’m determined not to make in the future.

            To answer your question more directly, I’m not sure she became “worse.” I think I became more and more drained to the point where I couldn’t give anymore. The marriage just deteriorated and once she decided it was over – it was over. I think she was all take and no give, so when I hit that point she was done. That is what she told me: “I’m done.” She never came out and said she wanted a divorce. She initiated and started the process. I had thought for years I would wait until my girls were 18 and then I would just file and have her served. She truly did me a favor; I clearly see that now. I look at some of the pictures of me over the past year (I’ve started dating and was looking for some pictures to put on an online site) and I think I look flipping crazy in some of them. It’s frankly disturbing.

            Your wife’s behavior sounds very strange to me. She sounds very cold and unaffectionate. I never really thought of my X as flipping an affection switch on or off, but it is an accurate analogy. Do you have any children? I think a lot my X’s anger had to do with an inability to cope with parenting. It was as if she was just angry like a spoiled brat because she actually had to work and was not going to be taken care of by her mother now that she had children and was married. I was always jumping through hoops because whatever I did was never enough. She literally was furious that I did not get a six figure a year job so that she could stay home and not work. I think she wanted me to mother her and essentially be a co-wife. Whenever I didn’t do something or enough of whatever the hell she wanted, she would pout, sulk and withdraw. I remember her yelling at me one time “do I have to yell at you like I’m your mother in order to get you to do what I want you to do.” My X primarily sulked, pouted and withdrew affection, but I have received many ass-chewings too. Many were just bizarre and completely out of the blue. I still can’t believe I put up with that crap.

            Does your wife do anything else to mess (f&%^) with you? I think many have experienced the denial of saying things, changing their stories, “twisting words like crazy pretzels.”

            Does your wife have any empathy for you? For example, I have a bad back and herniated a disc 17 years ago. I stay in shape, workout and stretch regularly, which is how I keep healthy. I don’t have to take pain pills. Typically 2 or 3 times a year I will do something; pick weeds, bend over and pick up a toy or tool, twist the wrong way, and boom I’ll have spasms for 1 or 2 days. I’d sit in the recliner and use the heating pad, take some ibuprofen, stretch and get over it in a couple of days. But for one or two days I’m not jumping through hoops – now I’m not an invalid, but I’m in pain and I want and need to sit in my chair and crank the Thermafore heating pad. X would get really pissed at that and complain. “When are you going to be better? What did you do? Why did you do that? You are always doing this or you are sick? When is this going to be over, it’s making my job with the children more difficult.” The pouting, sulking and dirty looks would come on strong. Summer before last, I was really stressed by her as she wanted me to get a 6-figure job so she could stay home and not work. I was having more episodes, and even muscle spasms in my chest. Dr. T has a blog about this crap affecting you physically – I think its true. X had virtually no empathy. Nothing. Her servant was not serving and she was pissed. I can’t imagine telling my X when she was sick, having allergies, or cramps “when are you going to get better? I’m having to watch the kids, it’s making my home time difficult and I’m not getting to play my guitar.”

            I’ll tell you what though, it’s great to get your “man card” back. Some of my buddies have been jacking me about that – this is a good thing brother. I went hunting in South Texas last weekend and it was GREAT! I did not worry about getting back early in order to make sure I smoothed things over because she watched the kids for two days. No pouting or that cold, distant, forlorn look on her face. That “poor me, I’m a sacrificing victim” demeanor because she was with the children for two days. Oh and the hunting was good too! Now that deer season has started, I’m going again.

            • Recovering Alpha
              May 17, 2010 at 12:23 am | #37

              I know it’s many many mohths past on this blog, but rereading these articles is sometimes helpful. When I came across this,

              “I’ve also learned to look in the mirror and understand that I let her act that way to me; a mistake I’m determined not to make in the future.”

              it HIT HOME HARD. This is where I’m stuck on right now. My divorce finalized March 2010. What I’ve been dealing with is how I could have allowed such bad behavior to me FOR SO LONG AND ALMOST RIGHT FROM THE START? What is wrong with me? Normally I don’t allow people — male or female — to mistreat me. Something about the sexual nature of that relationship I think provided the environment for me to tolerate the CONTINUALLY WORSENING treatment over 18 years. I guess that’s what I need to figure out for me personally. Maybe others of you have been through this and have some pointers.


            • del
              September 21, 2011 at 12:05 am | #38

              holy crap…..ditto …I feel like you,I was just drained at the end,she sensed it told and her her big quotes were”we love each other but were not in love”,”Im done””Own my half….”the last one cracked me up/baffled me the most…I honestly tried loving her til the end and I even asked for 6 more months(but then it hit me…Ive given all I could..)and if anyone was done it was me…according to her..I never “maxed out” on all of the potential I had,I wasnt passionate enough for her,etc…this site and stories /comments are amazing…Im divorced 3+months and some of the crap/physical/mental abuse I took….what the hell happened??????

          • nick
            November 10, 2009 at 4:28 pm | #39

            Thanks for putting so much effort into your post. Your words are truly a mirror to my own experience. I had fusions done in my neck and I remember her being pissed at my recovery rate….as for getting the man card back…nothing like 5 days in Cancun-my particular celebration!

          • B.E.C.
            November 11, 2009 at 6:42 pm | #40


            We don’t have any children. We did try but lost the baby at the beginning of the year. We had issues when we went to visit my family at Thanksgiving (she was pregnant then) which ended with her wanting a divorce and demanding that I drive her to the airport or else she’d walk there in the snow. She eventually drove back from Michigan in a rental car by herself and still states that I made her do it. The next two months were rough. Her mother past away then we lost the baby. We haven’t tried again because I insisted that we start marriage consoling again and work through our issues.

            I fear that if we have a child and get divorced, I will have to fight to be a part of its life. She always referred to it as “her baby” even after I repeatedly asked her to say “our baby”. When we were about to go into her doctors for the second ultrasound, she felt the need to remind me that if she wanted she could have the doctor not allow me in the room for the ultrasound and not let me see the results.

            We’d been to two marriage consolers before the pregnancy both of whom, she didn’t like. We stopped going to the second consoler because my wife wanted a separation. After we left the consolers office, she changed her mind.

            She has stated she wanted a divorce several times over the past four years. I’d fight to keep her and the harder I tried the meaner she got, cursing and insulting me. When I’d give up and say yes, she’d change her mind.

            Finally, after another round of her wanting a divorce and then changing her mind when I said ok, I wrote her a letter telling her what I needed to make our relationship work. Part of that was that the next time she wanted a divorce, she would be it. She hasn’t said it sense although, she have been very negative about our relationship. Even when things seem to be going good and we are having a good time, she’ll make a comment about how we never have a good time together or about how we won’t make it.

            My wife does say things to mess with me. An example; when at therapy, the consoler asked use why we were still together. I said that it was because I loved my wife and was committed. She said she was still with me “because it’s convenient”. I later asked her about that she said she was just saying that to hurt me. When we were have a similar discussion between the two of us and she asked me why I was still with her, I gave the same response, and when I asked that same question to here, she said she was “letting it run its course”. When I asked why she never gives love as a reason for being with me she says that I should know that she loves me and that she shouldn’t have to say it.

            A lot of the times after she says something that makes me think “WTF?, I’ll give her some space and try to bring it up at a later time. But, by the time she’s willing to talk she says she doesn’t remember it or that she’s over it by then. End of conversation.

            It feels like she doesn’t apply the same standard to her behavior that she does to mine. She’ll make remarks about my mother in front of others but I can’t even ask her sister (who is no living with us) to not park on the grass without my wife telling me that that I’d better be polite when I do it. She can make fun where I’m from (Michigan) all she wants but I can’t say anything about where she is from (Haiti) without her getting defensive and argumentative.

            She’ll often complain I don’t do something, such as house work, talking to her, my weight, taking her out, talking to her, etc. Once I make progress on the issue she is complaining of, she’ll start on the next.
            One day, while she was complaining out us not going out enough, I suggested multiple things that we could together (Art exhibition, museum, movies, etc). She rejected my suggestion and later asked why I didn’t want to take her out.

            As for empathy, it comes and goes with her affection. Sometimes should very caring but others she won’t. If I have a sore back and ask her for a back run she’ll respond, “What’s in it for me?” Other times it like she has to try uncaring. She’ll start to do something nice for me and then stop and say, “Why the hell am I doing that?”

            She says that I don’t do anything for her but, every time I try to do something, she doesn’t want me to and usual says something along the lines of “No, you shouldn’t have to” or “It’s not your job”. When I do something (like fixing the toilet) and point it out to her, her response is that she never asked me to do it or that it doesn’t count because I something I should be doing anyways or that she could have hired somebody to do it.

            She’ll often become angry or cold towards me if I spend more than a few hours with my friends or pursuing my hobbies. I.e. she’ll get mad when, once a month, I shot in a match at my gun club, which will last until about 2PM on a Sunday. On the day that I volunteered to enter the scores into the computer (at home), she kept asking when they were giving me for doing that and she said that I’d rather do that then spend time with her.

            When we go out to my friends or see family, she is withdrawn and quiet. People ask me if there something wrong or if they said something to offend her. If it’s her friends and family, then she if very outgoing and talkative. When I asked her about this, she said that it was just the way she was and that I should learn to accept it.

            I’ve been keeping a journal since January, to try to help me to sort things out. It’s interesting to see the way she transitions from cold & distant to the next day warm and friendly like nothing even happened.

            Thanks for the feedback. Just writing this helps me to straighten things out in my mind.

          • David Lebrocq
            November 11, 2009 at 9:04 pm | #41

            Hey B.E.C

            In one of your posts you said ‘I fear that if we have a child and get divorced, I will have to fight to be a part of its life’.

            HERE IS WHY NOT TO HAVE CHILDREN WITH A BPD/NPD – I’m a living example.

            Before I was locked out of the house last year my child was removed for a week and I was told to leave the house if I wanted to see my not yet 3 year old girl.

            After I was locked out of the house some time later I had to go to court to gain any access at all after going 7 weeks and missing my daughter’s 3rd birthday – not even a phone call.

            Before I had court ordered access my ex was telling everyone who would listen to her that I was a ‘flight threat’. Complete BS.

            Since then I can not get any cooperation at all or any time other than the court ordered time with my now 4 year old.

            I was unemployed this past summer and so I had plenty of time and saw my daughter a grand total of 12 days.

            Recently I was told by my ex that ‘I’m getting all the access I am entitled to’.

            My 4 year old daughter has made comments to me like – I have two dads now. I don’t have a home with you dad I just visit you I only have one home. And my favourite – dad, mom says all the stuff at my home is hers now. Still trying to figure out why she won’t return my underwear and winter boots.

            I went at 2:45 pm to a 3:00pm Junior Kindergarten appointment and my ex was getting ready to leave – she had intentionally gone early to try to prevent me from seeing my daughter and participating in her education.

            The other day dance class was canceled because the teacher was sick but even though my ex knows I drive 20km to go she didn’t call me to let me know. Of course as I am told biweekly – ‘I don’t have to do anything’.

            I can not even get a phone call through to my daughter despite calling every weekend I don’t have her for almost a year now.

            I could go on and on. And I won’t even get into the horrible BS that goes on in family court.


            The joy is my daughter and I are closer than ever, my time with her is focused on her and we enjoy every second. I saw this crap coming and actually sacrificed work, my life to make sure I spent as much time with my little one and build a strong relationship.

            Sadly at just over 4 years my daughter is already starting to resent her mother. I can’t imagine what things will be like when she is older – other than she will likely be living with her dad at 10 or 11.

            • Doug
              February 9, 2010 at 6:51 pm | #42

              Reading these comments from all you guys is making my blood boil and froth with venom. My wife and I have a one year old daughter… if the wife EVER pulls this s*** with me, manowar, there’s gonna be fireworks.

      • ST
        September 10, 2009 at 5:26 am | #43

        Dr T

        This is so sad. I used to enjoy music and arts. These days if I express that I like such things, my wife comes out with “why? Who are you seeing?”. I enjoy learning new things, new languages and when I comment on wanting to learn something new she’ll say “Why? Are you seeing someone or need to impress someone?”

        WHY is she behaving like this? Read my other posts, WHY is she like this? I can’t understand it. If she is so insecure yet so controlling, what is the point of being in a relationship at all?

      • shrink4men
        September 11, 2009 at 2:35 am | #44

        Hi ST,

        WHY is she behaving like this? Read my other posts, WHY is she like this? I can’t understand it. If she is so insecure yet so controlling, what is the point of being in a relationship at all?

        A woman like your wife will only tolerate you having one interest; her. Friendships, family and leisure pursuits are seen as threats to her control and divert your complete attention away from her.

        She doesn’t want a mutual relationship. She’s not capable of it. She wants and obedient handpuppet. Furthermore, even if you surrender your b@lls and totally submit to her dictates, she’ll then criticize you for having no backbone.

        The only way to win is to stop playing. You need to make a choice about the kind of life you want and the kind of relationship you want to model for your child.

        Dr T

      • Scott
        October 7, 2011 at 12:05 am | #45

        I just found these articles and my jaw is on the floor! All of this applies to my life! I had no idea what I should do and have been laboring over divorce for YEARS! This comment you just left really resonated with me. My daughter is musically inclined and has learned to play on her own. My wife frequently makes her STOP playing the piano because it upsets her peace. I look at her in awe not knowing how to respond. I am currently in a 4 day silence fight because she will not let my kids go with me on a 4 wheeling trip. I guess she hates my family… AHHH! How maddening!

        • Turk
          October 7, 2011 at 10:34 pm | #46

          I hear you! The silent treatment is the ultimate isolation technique. Dr. T says prepare, prepare and prepare before you go into divorce because she will probably become unhinged…then again they’re always unhinged so it’ll be like normal. My record is 45 days of the silent treatment but it was aided by me being out of town so that record should have an asterisk…8) Good luck.

  7. RF
    July 31, 2009 at 8:42 am | #47

    Thanks for the feedback Mike911. I have a question for you and everyone. I dated my wife for 3 years before marriage and have been married for about a year. At this point she wants to have kids and I also would like children. But before I read this site I had a nagging feeling about how appropriate it would be for her to raise children with an anger problem. She even admits that she has an anger problem and says she is trying to control it but simply cannot sometimes. When I read the above I guess she is a crazy bitch if I need to ask the question as Dr. T says. But really she only has the first two issues going on and the quiz says she is a crazy bitch if she has more than 2 of the characteristics. Quite the opposite actually exists for me. She is very good about sex. She likes when I spend time away because she wants me to do what I want. She doesn’t hold any grudge about it. Etc. etc. She just has a crazy inexplicable anger problem and I am often the blame for her anger even when it makes no rational sense.

    So here goes the question I am having at this time: Do I have kids with her?

    Reading all of the comments I think I am walking into a mine field. I wonder if others guys were like me in that their wife/girlfriend only had the anger problem and later developed into the psycho exhibiting all the other problems on this list? I grew up in a relatively stable family and am not used to all these fights/problems. I need help/insight!

    • shrink4men
      July 31, 2009 at 12:34 pm | #48

      Hi RF,

      I would suggest that if you’re going to stay with this woman and if you’re going to have children with her that she address her anger issues before conception. First, if you have any doubts re: staying with this woman, you probably want to think long and hard about kids. Second, her anger issues won’t get better on their own after you have a child, they’ll get worse. Kids are stressful and exhausting, which will shorten your wife’s already short fuse considerably. Saying, “I need to work on my anger problem” and doing something about it aren’t the same thing.

      RF, do some more reading. There are other posts on this site. Read the ones about professional victimhood, emotional bullies, and 13 signs of being an NPD/BPD. To see if she’s really serious about working on her issues, tell her you want to see a therapist with her. Calmly explain you have some concerns re: having kids because of the conflict in your relationship and aren’t comfortable with starting a family until you both understand whats going on. Try to be as gentle and non-blaming as possible. If she flips out on you again, it doesn’t bode well for things to come.

      Meanwhile, make sure she’s using birth control or you take responsibility. This is usually when “accidents” happen.

      Kind Regards,
      Dr Tara

  8. Dave Diaz
    July 30, 2009 at 9:23 pm | #49

    Oh my god, I knew what I was dealing with was BS. My gut always told me I am doing nothing wrong and I would get angry. Then I would just think to myself, well, now you just have to deal with this until the kids get older. What a way to live, dreading almost every day except spending time with the kids. I love my kids so much 4 1/2 and 17 months. Why just last Monday I was helping at our church to move into a new building, she knew I was there, cleaning up, moving chairs, painting, etc. Then when I got home @ 8:30 got the cold shoulder. Then she woke me up at 11:30 to argue about why I was there so long. So as every other time trying to “CLEAR UP” what I was doing helping at a church mind you, she says she is moving out on Saturday.

    Well she has used leaving with the kids in the past as a way to get what she wants. I have since snapped Tuesday and basically told her not to wait until Saturday to move out. My gosh, I was helping at our church. I can never do anything right, like I’m never spending time with my friends, then when I do I’m in trouble. I have been blamed for having an affair, I have been blamed for not ever wanting to go out to eat, I have been blamed for so many things, its hard to keep track.

    The few days of her moving out she is already telling me I can’t see my girls. This sucks, I don’t know what to do, my emotions are all over the board. I heard a little toddler talking at the store and I wanted to cry. I hate this.

    The crazyness started at the start of the relationship, I should have went with my gut feelings back then.

    I am seeing a counselor provided by my work tomorrow because I don’t know what to do. I used to be so happy go lucky and high self esteem never needing a counselor in the past, and this woman has brought me to my knees.

    Oh, and I answered yes to way to many of those.

    I need a hug.

    Thanks, dave

    • shrink4men
      July 30, 2009 at 10:51 pm | #50

      Hi Dave,

      You need to contact some father’s rights organizations and find yourself an attorney who specializes in this. As awful as she was to you while you were together, if she’s already threatening you with your kids this early on, you need to protect yourself as best as you can. Have you spoken with your family and friends about what’s going on? I’d give them a head’s up because your ex is sure to make the rounds badmouthing you to anyone who will listen.

      I’m very sorry to read about what you’ve been going through. It’s not right. Does anyone else who’s been in a similar situation have advice for Dave?

      Kind Regards,
      Dr Tara

      • Nick
        February 7, 2010 at 4:02 pm | #51

        Yeah, I’ve got some advice for Dave. After he gets his hug-grow some testicles. She will beat him to death with the kid threats because she knows it is the only way to rip him apart. What would I do? I’d tell her that I want the divorce done as quickly as possible and just tell me where to send the child support checks. I’ll see the kids when their 18. Yeah, Sure, it’s an unrealistic bluff (for him) but if done correctly it would turn her on her heels within a week! This blasted game with the kids in the middle only works because WE AS MEN LET IT! What ensues is years of paying child support while trippin over her latest weiner to see our kids. I say SCREW it! Have a nice life lady! In my case I mean it. Ten to 16 years goes by fast. Those kids will be well aware of what a wack their mother is by 18. They will be more than willing to have a relationship with their REAL DAD by that point. I’m dead serious. Pull the rug out! Or at least run the bluff….ya can always reverse course.

    • jp
      July 31, 2009 at 1:27 am | #52


      A threat to keep you from your children is a declaration of war. It is cruel and dirty.

      Go straight to the toughest lawyer you can find. Do not pass Go, Do Not Collect $200.



    • ST
      September 10, 2009 at 5:13 am | #53

      Dave I feel for you. Sounds exactly like my wife, you can NEVER do anything right in her eyes. I have not contacted ANY of my friends since my relationship with my wife (then girlfriend) for 5 years now. I only see my parents/family about once a month. If i try to see them more often, or even try calling, its all hell break loose.

      If I go to a shop and the shop assistant is female, I’m accused of wanting to have an affair with that shop assistant even if I just say “Thank you”. If I got to a restaurant and I look a waitress in the eyes while ordering, my wife storms out of the place accusing me of wanting an affair or chatting up.

      Then she tells me I dont take her out – you guess why!?

      Now that I am always sitting at home, just yesterday she saw my playing an online war game that allowed me to chat with other players. All hell broke lose and again, I am accussed of flirting with girls. I told her to read my text conversations and her answer was she refuses to read it, if I’m not flirting just then, I was before or will in the future.

      I KNOW it is not me. I was raised in a healthy, normal family. I had strong friendships and high self esteem and was always positive in outlook on life. But these days, I keep feeling bitter and starting to think dying is better if not for my ageing parents and our yet to be born baby.

      These days, I am too afraid to even take a walk, or put out the garbage without letting her know in case she accuses me of seeing somebody in my few minutes of absence.

      I pray to God every night for an answer, but there’s none forthcoming, at least that I can understand.

      • shrink4men
        September 11, 2009 at 2:28 am | #54

        Hi ST,

        Divorce is a better option than death. Protecting yourself and preserving your sanity does NOT, I repeat, NOT make you a bad guy. Another reader, John, posted recently how there is a double standard in that women who divorce abusive husbands are viewed as heroic; whereas men divorce abusive wives are viewed as spineless deserters and slimeballs.

        Given this popular distortion, I think it is far more courageous for men to make this choice because they receive far less support and become the recipients of further abuse by family law and the courts.

        I encourage you to stop praying to God and consult with a good attorney. Do you want to spend the next 18 years of your life like this? You owe it to yourself and to your unborn child to be a strong, healthy and happy man and parent.

        Just my 2-cents.

        Kind Regards,
        Dr Tara

      • Woowoo
        July 14, 2012 at 2:50 pm | #55

        I used to work with a woman who I now recognise as major BPD, anyway her boyfriend was not allowed to even look at another woman, no matter who, even if the woman is talking to him. She did this to him & her housemate, a much older lady anyway, & he made the grave error of looking at his girlfiend’s housemate whilst they were conversing & that was it. She was wild, he was in the dog house! Unbelievable & we found out later she was hitting on our boss around the same time! She wore the bright lippy too!

      • Woowoo
        July 14, 2012 at 3:20 pm | #56

        To add to the story (it was number of yrs ago), it wasn’t only that the boyfriend couldn’t look at other women. Her housemate told me the 3 of them were having a few drinks socialising at their place at a table, & the boyfriend had to CONSTANTLY have his eye balls on his gf ‘admiring her’ even when said housemate is talking to him! She said she had to talk to the back of his head most the night! He looked at the housemate for a few moments once, & that spelled the end of their evening! This woman, as I say made a play for the boss who’s partner told us about it. She told the boss they’d be great together they’re both ‘so powerful’ how deluded she was! This same woman caused utter chaos in our office. Ended up fired for being so bitchy, competitive, jealous, etc. Unbelievable, she eavesdropped on me confiding to a coworker that I was uncomfortable facing her in a sales contest the next day I had no choice in & my misgivings about her conduct, & I got daggers from her for weeks! Crazy stuff. She came to our super casual work parties dressed up like you wouldn’t believe with brightest lipstick.

        The reason I came here was due to my partner of 10 years displaying BPD signs, however I realise now his symptoms are nothing compared to his psycho mother who only 1 out of her 4 kids will even speak to. She totally damaged their trust in women & humans in general & to this day will not even admit the things & cruel behaviour she committed. This stuff really affects people long-term. I realise my partner displays the signs but is also reasonable & can admit it. But he has some responses ingrained due to his childhood.. If I had his family life growing up with her, wow I don’t know how I’d have coped.. Constant drama, blaming ,denial, conflict non-stop. He stopped all contact with her when she started picking on me behind my back for no reason at all, other than I wasn’t ‘good enough’ for her son. I was too skinny & her other son’s partner was too fat!

    • Diva
      December 29, 2009 at 10:17 pm | #57

      THIS B I G HUG to you Dave from cold England : )
      Don`t worry, she`ll soon get fed up with the kids and want you around babysitting.
      PS for some reason these people with BS etc are VERY VERY selfish!

    • John
      February 14, 2011 at 2:48 pm | #58

      Hi Dave,
      i small piece of advice, leave now! I mean run now! I did what you said, stayed for the kids and now they are teenagers. She has the kids wrapped around her finger and when i decided i had enough which has been so many times, the kids blame me for not saying sorry to whatever the problem with their mother is. I mean, the kids don’t care that she is wrong, they just me to fix it. I was kicked out last year and i rented an appartment and my wife said to my kids and everyone she knows that i abandoned them. The kids wanted nothing to do with me.tried calling everyday, when i would text them i would get told off. when i confronted her about the kids attitudes her answer was “i can’t control how they think”, makes me sick. i eventually went back because she was suicidal and drinking everyday and was begging me to go back and things would change. 1 week after i went back, the same routine continued. And the frosting on the cake, my kids are emotionally scarred and look at me as i’m the bad guy.

    • Dan
      February 6, 2013 at 4:31 am | #59

      Damn Dave, are we married to the same woman? I don’t know how many times I’ve been doing something completely innocent and good, like you were doing at your church and then I get my balls busted when I get home. And what is it with the big discussions right when you’re falling asleep? She loves to do that, I guess because I am out of it and can’t think clearly. I hope you were able to get out of that sham of a marriage and keep your kids. I’m headed toward the same road soon.

      • shrink4men
        February 6, 2013 at 2:09 pm | #60

        You’re more vulnerable when you’re tired. Also, depriving you of sleep weakens you, which also makes you an easier target. Also, it seems like many of the ones who engage in “midnight feeding frenzies” are also SAHMs. They’re at home all day, while you’re out working, inventing reasons to be aggrieved, then they clobber you with it when you’re trying to wind down from the day. An excellent reason for these women to go out in the world and do something productive, like, say, get a job.

        • Shirley loves Steve
          February 6, 2013 at 4:11 pm | #61

          I think the quiz actually leaves out a few important points. a) Does she refuse to get an outside job? b) Does she exaggerate medical symptoms for herself or the kids? c) The lipstick may not be crooked but the makeup is overdone. d) Does she purposely make herself dependent on others, eg. refusing to learn to drive?

          Anyway, to all of you men that choose to stay with her for whatever reason. Your assets will increase and those in Ontario are entitled to half your assets, and half your income. She will find another sucker and take your money anyway, as long as she can. My guy’s X is taking home more than he is what with support and the new sucker’s income. He bought her a nice house….lol and she never had a job outside the home for more than 18 years with 2 children ten years apart. She napped every day and had to be home for Jerry Springer. The oldest child is an adult at 23 and she has turned him against his Dad, even though she screwed around on him. Go figure. To this day, if I say something that Steve perceives as criticism, he gets totally defensive and we may end up arguing. An unexpected phone call from me during the day, has his guts clenching and his pulse racing as he wonders what new catastrophe is in store for him. I know that everyone has their own baggage but my guy is so damaged by this woman that it interferes with us. Guys, get out before this woman damages both you and your children irreparably. Trust me. You don’t want to see your daughter turn into her, and on your own, you can provide an example that will offset the poison coming from the other side.

  9. scott
    July 29, 2009 at 2:55 am | #62

    holy shit, i answered yes to more than half of them. here’s the next step…how the hell do i get OUT of this relationship?

    • shrink4men
      July 30, 2009 at 10:18 pm | #63

      Hi Scott,

      Is this a rhetorical question or do you really want to know?

      Dr Tara

      • November 24, 2009 at 6:37 pm | #64

        Dr T, I second Scott’s question. I don’t think of that as rhetorical. I’d REALLY like to know some specifics. I can’t wrap my mind around the ‘break-up talk.’ Scares me to death. I’m not suffering physical violence or fearing for my safety (though a little voice does tell me to be careful), so when is it ok to just leave? Leave a note. Seems cowardly to me, but I entertain those thoughts.

        • Nick
          February 7, 2010 at 3:45 pm | #65

          Kent Kent Kent! Cowardly? man o man I would call it heroic…leaving a note. Ya always hear of the guy who just went out for a loaf of bread or a pack of cigarettes and was never heard from again. Imagine the restoration of self esteem that would trigger. I guess tho, you could keep dickin around until your like me…..15 years of wasted life….I’m finally free from the shedevil. Many regrets for not leaving after the first whacky episode.

          • mr tall
            September 7, 2011 at 12:51 am | #66

            As I keep reading through these comments I just feel more and more like this is my situation. Sometimes I want to leave but feel like I can’t because I’d basically have to wait until she’s gone (stay at home wife who doesn’t do the housework) and then get everything I care about keeping out otherwise she’ll destroy it , I can’t kick her out with no place to go, and then i’d be afraid of her breaking in later, or she’s expressed suicidal tendencies before, i guess when i consider leaving i get overwhelmed with everything. at the same time i don’t know how much more of this i’ll put up with to be with a woman i love (i thought unconditionally), i think i need help but don’t know if i should go to a psycologist or the police

            • September 8, 2011 at 11:18 am | #67

              Ive answered yes to most of these questions. The scary part about this is that i am so in love with her that i struggle to break away from this. She keeps saying that because i wont commit to her that she has every right to be like this, and if we were in a relationship, she would be a lot different. Could this be true? I seriously doubt it after reading these posts. She also has this sexual knot on me that i cant seem to let go of. Im a man after all and i have desires.

              • mr tall
                September 20, 2011 at 5:57 am | #68

                they get worse after marriage, because now they feel they’re entitled to treating you worse, after all it would take alot more for a divorce than a breakup.

              • Turk
                October 7, 2011 at 10:28 pm | #69

                They get MUCH WORSE after marriage because the system is slanted to benefit them. Trust me, the canard of “men won’t commit” is a ruse to convince men to enter into binding contracts with the mentally insane. RUN BROTHER! God bless.

                • Ian
                  October 2, 2012 at 2:08 am | #70

                  Genius! Well said!

              • Ian
                October 2, 2012 at 2:04 am | #71

                GET THE HELL OUT NOW!!!!!!! My wife will not believe that I love her. I’m 5 years in and my story (as far as HELL on earth craziness) is nothing less than extraordinary. I have had most of the items on this list, and it feels far more not even mentioned. Blame is always the name of the game, and it’s not her, it’s you (us), men etc. I’ve gotten better, she’s gotten worse. Just saw this site today in desperation cause I told her 2 days ago I want a divorce, I want you to move out, I will not explain, it is not negotiable. After 5 years of seeing through her insecurity and her bullshit, she admits shes the problem, but this is only been her behavior as I’m about out the door. LOOOONNNNNNGGGGG story short, it is not your fault if she refuses to deal with her own insecurity. No matter what you do, now matter how far, she will accuse you, she will judge you, she will fuck with your mind until it’s gone if you let her. Don’t get sucked in. If you really love her. Get real, get counsel, and work this shit out starting tonight with support so that whatever issues ( hurts, fears, insecurities ) get dealth with in mature order. Or else, like my case, they will not change, they will only grow more unbearable, become even more unreasonable, and even harder to “solve”. Bottom line, you can’t do her, you can only do you. You’ve still got the freedom to choose what you will tolerate and why. There is no law against love. But true love will not allow abuse, no matter where it’s coming from or where it’s going. Don’t get sucked in.

                By the by, if this has no bearing in your situation, appologies, but beware it could very well be the case. Find out before you proceed, or risk ending up like so many miserable men, wishing against reason for death due to one HELL of a reltaionship. Nuff said!?

  10. RF
    July 26, 2009 at 4:07 pm | #72

    My wife exhibits these first two on the list:
    Does she fly into rages without warning over relatively trivial matters like a web page loading too slowly?
    Are you always the scapegoat/bad guy whenever she’s frustrated, disappointed or just plain bored?
    And doesn’t really exhibit any of the other characteristics (although I admit that I am often nervous that she will be inappropriate in front of others). I am trying to figure out what to do about it. I guess my question is, if she is an angry and over-emotional person at times (like 2 to 3 times a week), would you still recommend getting out of the relationship? Thanks.

    • Mike911
      July 28, 2009 at 4:26 pm | #73

      Boy oh boy, did I experience quite a “deja vu” reading your post. And I think I figured out #1…the “trivial” stuff is what gets them going because it’s quick and easy–just like a TRIGGER! Whereas important stuff, like a discussion of finances, is avoided because CALM, rational talk is necessary. Here’s a simple example…

      I’ve been unemployed for quite a few months, thanks to the economy. If I go to Home Depot and spend $20 on something NEEDED for the house, I get the 3rd degree, “we don’t have the extra money”, etc. Yet, she’ll think nothing of blowing $100 on some “chotchkies” (definition: worthless knick-knacks). Or, she’ll send an extra hundred or two on credit card bills…not that reducing them isn’t important, but, at a time like this, we really can’t do it! But, again, it’s that CONTROL thing-do as I say, not as I do.

      With regard to #2, yep, you’re always to blame…get stuck in traffic, it’s YOUR fault you went the way you did. Circumstances are meaningless, you are the problem.

      You say you’re nervous in public with her…ah, the classic “walking on eggshells”. And yes, even if you don’t wind up the target of her detonation, you’re sure to be embarrassed by her behavior.

    • shrink4men
      September 11, 2009 at 5:27 pm | #74

      Hi RF,

      I don’t have enough information to advise you one way or the other. I encourage you to read more posts here and from other resources and see if it continues to resonate.

      Maybe she just has an anger management problem. Or, perhaps, she has bigger issues.

      Sorry I’m not able to provide more insight.

      Kind Regards,
      Dr Tara

  11. ST
    July 25, 2009 at 2:49 pm | #75

    Forgot to add that what really upset me was because of the conversation about the weather and a heater, my wife threatended to abort our unborn child (only 3 months) and apparently it is *my* baby not hers.

    • shrink4men
      July 26, 2009 at 1:14 pm | #76

      Hi ST,

      That’s awful. Unfortunately, once you have a child with a woman like this, you’re pretty much screwed in that she will continue to use your son or daughter as a device to control, manipulate and hurt you. This is only the beginning. What are you going to do or have you resigned yourself to this life?

      Kind Regards,
      Dr Tara

      • Diva
        December 29, 2009 at 10:12 pm | #77

        Can they medication for this?

      • name is irrelevant
        July 13, 2012 at 4:09 am | #78

        this is my life except i will not marry her, she wont leave, she hates my family because of what color outfit they got for my daughters bday claiming it was a puke green color and that they purposely buy our daughter boy colored clothes when in fact it is a girls outfit. stupid how my brother has a baby 6 months after us and to my girl its all about what baby gets what and what color it is. so dumb. and now im in a tough rut. shes tellin me shes goin to change my babies last name if she leaves, shes going to move far away. ruin my under the table job for me. everything to ruin my life if i get her to leave me. im miserable everyday since my daughters first bday. 7 months later im still hearing crap about how my sick mother didnt make it to the party, but made it for the second born granddaughter. i think who cares but with my girlfriend, everything is on purposely done and my family hates my daughter, which is definitely not true but in her mind , the stupidest things mean you hate an innocent baby. Im a laidback kinda guy that doesnt like to start problems and hopes they blow over. but with my girl problems from years ago are always broughten up over and over and over again.
        I wish sometimes I had the money for a lawyer and knew what steps i had to take so i could at least have joint custody of my daughter. its just ridiculous the way my girlfriend thinks. Oh my bad my FIance thinks. If i tell ppl she is my girlfriend i get bitched at for that. i mean its just ridiculous. I get texted at work 60-70 texts bitching about my family . Insane , the mental abuse i go thru.
        And as soon as we get in argument she goes into bedroom with our daughter and sits with her back against door so i cant get in. NOw the last time i got tired of hearing my daughter crying so after a while i pushed door and of course my fiance pushed it back as hard as she could. It was like a tug of war battle just to get door open.
        i had to open door theres no toys or anything for my daughter to do in my room besides go thru boxes of paperwork and destroy the room, cause theres no way my fiance was going to move from blockin door.
        So anyway i got door open a smidge after the tug of war battle, and now my fiance is saying i hit her with door, and her back hurts and I am abusive.
        she scares me, and posts on facebook to the world i abuse her, when really she is nuts in the head and only thinks a one way path.
        and oh yeah forgot to mention this fact too, that her mother is bipolar also. so i think maybe genetically there could be something wrong and i really need to get outta this relationship or im doomed for life. ill probably end up in jail for flickin her on the wrist , its that bad.

        please god or whoever , help me give me the strength to survive and be with my daughter i love her soo much and im being told now im a sperm donor. and yes thats what my fiance is telling my 1.5 yr old.
        too much in my life to say, i would take a giant book with all the crap ive been put thru.

        • Shirley loves Steve
          July 13, 2012 at 2:52 pm | #79

          My heart goes out to you. Start a journal and document everything. Next, apply for legal aid. If you qualify….meaning you don’t own much of anything and your income is below a certain amount, you will get a lawyer to represent you in family court. Take her to court for joint custody. Every separation or divorce is ugly in it’s own way but look around you. Everyone gets over it. If legal aid is not available where you live, go to the courthouse and ask them how to start a custody case. You can actually do it yourself. You don’t even have to leave her to do this. Just explain to her that this is in the case that something happens between you, considering the problems in your relationship. If she freaks….call the cops out of concern for your child and document it. She will probably cite abuse as a reason you should not have custody.

  12. ST
    July 25, 2009 at 2:33 pm | #80

    I knew it and I wish I came across this site earlier. My wife displays most of these signs other than the red lipsticks. Talk about pathological jealousy .. today I suggested to an old lady who was the owner of a grocery store we shopped at, that it was cold and she should get a small heater …. my wife lost it and called me a disgusting bastard and accused me of chatting up another women! My conversation was less than 5 sentences about the weather and a heater.

    It’s been 3 years now of living hell and being cut off from my family and friends :-(

    • David
      April 20, 2012 at 2:26 am | #81

      I can answer yes to at least 8 she has driven me from my family and hates all my friends and throws shit fits if I want to go have a guys weekend. I’m accused of horrible things by her and told I’m worthless lazy and a gd fat ass almost weekly. Except the ups and downs are over now we seem to be on a downward plung. If only I didn’t find her so sexuall but I will survive. She has to go.

  13. Run4TheHills
    July 16, 2009 at 4:45 pm | #82

    So I’m not alone? I answered “YES” to all the questions above except the lipstick one too. The bad thing for me, is that I DO have kids with the woman.

    She uses the kids as leverage whenever she feels like “leaving” because (insert today’s excuse here). Every evening I get “talked to” about how I can be improved upon. If I question her or call her out on any of her shortcomings, dear Lord in heaven the hell that follows is undescribable.

    Guys, if you are with a woman like this and do not have chilcdren with her… GET OUT NOW!!!! NOW! NOW!

    I pray almost everyday to get cancer.

    • shrink4men
      July 16, 2009 at 4:52 pm | #83

      Hi Run4TheHills,

      If you’re praying for a terminal illness, there’s a definite problem. There’s a third option to dying and staying in this relationship: divorce. Marriage to these women can be like a slow, long psychological death (rather like certain forms of cancer), so why not cut the tumor out?

      Yes it will be difficult and painful for both you and your children, but so is remaining in an abusive relationship. I know it isn’t easy, but the price of freedom, the eventual peace of mind and ability to enjoy life again is so very worth it.

      Kind Regards,
      Dr Tara

      • jp
        July 16, 2009 at 5:18 pm | #84

        Divorce, agreed.

        Once you decide to take control of your destiny and take the first step…like meeting with a lawyer…you’ll be surprised how quickly your feelings of helplessness and despair will disappear.

        Post-separation, you’ll be poor and you’ll miss living with your kids full time, but when you’re with them you’ll be walking tall. They’ll know it, you’ll know it, and it feels great.

        You’ll be amazed at how much more enjoyable it is to spend time with your children when your ex isn’t off on the side treating you like a hand-puppet.

        Your predicament seems overwhelming, but it isn’t.


        • shrink4men
          July 16, 2009 at 5:20 pm | #85

          Thanks, JP. Glad you’re back.

          Dr T

        • Diva
          December 29, 2009 at 10:11 pm | #86

          I agree do it

      • JAST
        March 9, 2011 at 5:36 am | #87

        I lost count, some she doesn’t exactly fit into. Those she doesn’t fit into, her mother is a perfect fit. Her mother has most of these qualities too where applicable (obviously not the sex one). My gf complains about her mother’s behaviors and turns around and does the same crap. Point is, i don’t know if this kind of behavior is picked up by daughters or if its hereditary, but it’s something to think about. I know my gf has 3 older brothers, all seem rather level headed and fairly passive, just as their father. I’m the same way, probably a characteristic that plagues most men that stay in relationships with women like this.

        I’m considering breaking up. Either I’m in denial, or conditioned, but my gf doesn’t seem completely EXTREME, but mostly there, we’ve talked about our problems and sometimes she can talk fairly about it…right now we are on a mutual “break” which just means we only see each other one day a weekend and she still calls and texts b/c she doesn’t have or isn’t close to any friends, except for one living 5 states away. Even then, they only talk once every few weeks.

        • JC
          May 11, 2011 at 2:04 pm | #88

          I feel ya dude. Remember that most of the time girls turn out to be a lot like their mother whether they like to admit it or not. With your situation you have to think why she doesn’t have any close friends. Just dump her and get on with your life. It will be the best decision you ever made. I too am in a effed up situation. Been dating this girl for 7 months, and for the past 2 months she has been non-stop asking me to move in with her, even though I’ve told her numerous times I’m not ready yet. She has been married 3 times and has 3 kids, one doesnt live at home. I’ve never been married, and I don’t want kids of my own. She gets 12 of the situations above, even though I point out things like this to her, she gets p***ed off and flies off the handle and accuses me of being an a-hole. She brings up my ex’s non-stop and points out why I was the cause of the break ups in those relationships, even if my ex gf make some other dude stick his dong in her. She gets extremely jealous if a female talks to me or if a female friend calls. She gets angry when I hang out with my friends and accuses them of being gay. Everything started out awesome and I thought I finally found the one. But about 4 weeks ago we stopped having sex and she started getting angry over the slightest thing, ie, not responding to a text while i’m at work, friends calling me, me not pumping her gas, etc. I’m dumping her today.

          • Jameo
            August 9, 2012 at 8:04 pm | #89

            OK – I got 7, and several others would have fit, if worded slightly differently. Been married 20 years – I had no idea what was going on until recently, I just thought that’s the way it was with women. Don’t know what I will do – will take a major hit with a divorce and I am not that young to start over, but what the hell. What made me reply to your post was the comment about accusing your friends of being gay – she pulled that crap on me. LOL – what a joke.

            I do everything and I make all the money. And we have no sex. My question is, what do I get out of this – answer: nothing. I do feel sorry for her though, because she is screwed up. Good luck to everyone on here.

            Don’t be stupid like me, don’t waste your life away. Get out now while you still can.

      • July 2, 2012 at 5:52 pm | #90

        good call doc, i feel that now every day even after five years of the abuse, i say what i feel now , don’t have to edit my conversation with anyone. my kids are still too young i feel to bring new woman over so I just golf and have dinner with ladies when I’m alone. What age do you think it’s appropriate to introduce a new woman into childrens lives. of course the wife has had many men over and the kids have seen many movies at the theater at their expense, this is confusing them but at least they see what i see and will make the right choice hopefully when they are older. Thanks for your forum as it is saving lives,not just bad times but actually making men healthier by the minute.

      • Coming Out of The Fog
        January 19, 2013 at 6:39 pm | #91

        I had a buddy that when I would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, “I’m looking forward to death.” Now he has a terminal illness, a long drawn out terminal illness. He was hospitalized for weeks at a time. I would ask him if his wife visited. He said she did a couple of times a week, but she was busy.

    • ww
      September 6, 2010 at 8:31 am | #92

      Be carefull with the divorce option. The courts have an extream bias towards women and you could lose bigger then you ever imagined. My best advice is to plan any divorce you intend on initiating carefully with a lawyer before you ever mention it to your wife.

      • Bill
        August 2, 2012 at 11:43 am | #93

        I am deffinently in a bad situation. I could answer yes to a lot of them not so much the stalker stuff. definitely not getting sex which is extremely hard for me to deal with as she cheated on me a few years back.Now I feel I’m becoming crazy. my situation is a little different as we have 2 kids together house and 8 years of a relationship but I’m not married. and I’m only 25. I can’t leave because I don’t want to give up on all that I have accomplished let me repeat the I have accomplished. and being only 25 it hasn’t been easy to support a family and accomplish the things I have especially with her fighting every step of the way. don’t understand why she cant sit back and enjoy the ride quietly. Also not sure how that would
        legally work out. definitely couldn’t
        afford the child support thing and
        obviously with her there would be no
        working it out.

    • Richter
      October 7, 2011 at 2:44 pm | #94

      Glad i’m not the only one who has thought that cancer would be better than a relationship with a crazy ass woman. There have been nights where I have went to sleep hoping and praying that I wouldn’t wake up the next day. Thats how you know your wife is insane, where death is the only way out of the marriage and you fully accept it.

      • shrink4men
        October 7, 2011 at 2:52 pm | #95

        Hi Richter,

        Death is not the only way out. You can leave. Even if you have children, you can leave. If the choices are divorce or death, choose divorce. You just may find you have a reason for living once you’re away from the source of your misery.

    • December 16, 2011 at 2:44 am | #96

      wow lol just read this comment after my first divorce and onto my second marrage and this is hillarious because ive jumped out of the frying pan into the fire with this one lol

    • Steve O
      December 18, 2011 at 12:57 am | #97

      answered yes t o l i p s t i c k as well. omg

  14. Mr. E.
    July 10, 2009 at 4:48 pm | #98

    Another possible addition:

    Do mutual friends/roommates confront you when they’re upset with her?

    I can recall several instances where a friend / roommate has come to me about her behavior (frequently with some hostility). I always figured this was because I was an easy target, and felt weak.

    I definitely think poor boundaries on my part encouraged this behavior (I should have stopped them and told them to talk to her, not me), but I think the root problem is that they were afraid to confront her directly.

    When I foolishly bring up whatever the friend/roomie complained about to her, I get interrogated and eventually raged at when I freeze up and stop talking. She’ll also hold a grudge against the person in question for ages.

    The good news is, I’ve finally figured this out, and have started telling people to just talk to her. Curiously enough, they never do…

    I’d love to know if this is a common experience.

    • dbear
      July 10, 2009 at 5:03 pm | #99

      ditto, ditto, ditto

    • Diva
      December 29, 2009 at 10:09 pm | #100

      Yep they hold grudges forever

    • Ian
      October 2, 2012 at 1:32 am | #101

      Yep, common in my case at least… I don’t want to say never, (as in things will never get better), but don’t buy into the lie that in time she will get better. My opinion is give her a fair ultimatum to begin change tonight, and to continue improving daily within reason, or give her a time limit at which point you will leave.

    • Bud
      June 18, 2013 at 1:01 am | #102

      I answered yes to 12,amazing! I was with this crazy witch for 14 months, not counting the 10 breakups/makeups and I actually asked her to marry me thinking this would ease the toxic abuse she would dish out on a continous basis, never did, nothing changed with this BP/BPD SMI woman. Everyone thinks she is the most wonderful,Christian woman on the outside for all to see, unfortunately that was the person I fell in love with, but on the inside she is a monster with demons as confirmed by two of her exe’s whom I shared notes with after we broke up, they both told me she was dangerous and stay away from her and be thankful I didn’t marry her.

  15. Kayla
    July 7, 2009 at 2:53 am | #103


  16. Paul
    July 2, 2009 at 1:30 pm | #104

    I read this and after dealing with my ex-wife for as many years as I have, I read this quiz with my marriage in mind.

    The question about the lipstick was the only no.

    I read the description down below and yes, she’s the reason I was in therapy for 7 years.

  17. Narc-ed
    May 19, 2009 at 10:14 am | #105

    I think my girlfriend is definately Narcisistic after reading this – she’s got most of those traits but the one I find most annoying is her distorted perception of reality where I will do something and then be screamed at that I have been told 3 times before not to do that – where as in reality i’ve never even heard it mentioned. I’m also aware that she has been slating me behind my back to her friends and family which is really getting on my nerves as half of what she has been saying isn’t true (well in this reality!).

    What do I do? Should I confront her and risk a minefield tantrum and half the house being blown up!??

    • shrink4men
      May 19, 2009 at 2:16 pm | #106

      Confrontation rarely works. Oftentimes, NPDs/BPDs twist it around and blame you. Also, you will unleash the hounds of hell if you dare to criticize your NPD girlfriend. In fact, the more accurate the criticism, the nastier the NPD will become.

      What should you do? Ask yourself why you’re in this relationship. What are you getting out of it? Why do you tolerate her behavior? Why don’t you end it before, god forbid, you have children with this woman and are tethered to her financially for the rest of her life?

      Kind Regards,
      Dr T

      • May 15, 2010 at 2:11 pm | #107

        I think this is a very helpful website. It has been many years since I splt with my ex, but the scars still remain, and I must admit I was warned before I married her. She was very cute, and I thought her behavior would change. I had no idea at the time she had a personality disorder, and since she blamed nearly everything on me, I thought I was the problem for years. She forced me into a thankless job with a company I ended up hating because they cared litle for their agents and had high turnover in that position. The real problem was in the inability of the church to recognize her behavior and blame me for leaving(divorcing) her to keep my sanity, after she literally drove me into it.

      • Edward Allen
        August 25, 2011 at 6:00 pm | #108

        I have been with mine over 20 years and the first 7 years were fantastic. Slowly over the rest of the time together she had developed most of the traits you listed. I’m afraid that if I divorce she will end up with most of what we have. Over the years she has become slightly disabled with Fibromyalgia. Now I will look like an ass if I try to leave.

        • Coming Out of The Fog
          January 19, 2013 at 6:34 pm | #109

          EA, the first 7 years I was with my wife were fantastic, also. It was as though a switch was flipped overnight. I am sorry to hear about your disability. How has your wife responded to this?

      • ArchCalibur X
        December 25, 2012 at 7:17 am | #110

        What if you happen to love this person? Its sad I know, but I feel attached to her, even if I know she causes me pain. I’ve never dated anyone else, successfully. She’s the only girl I’ve been with and its been for 10 years. She pretty much all I have, unfortunately, your check list almost describes her perfectly. The biggest one is, that there is not room in the relationship for my problems, if I complain to her, or have an issue with her, she makes me out to be the bastard, and guilt trips me in to recanting. Worse thing is I don’t think she knows she’s doing it. Its like she manipulating me without consciously trying.

        • Thomas
          January 2, 2013 at 12:20 am | #111

          The best advice I can offer is: leave before it’s too late. After five years of marriage and two kids later, I’m really tired of all the attempts at controlling me as well as being made to feel that I will seldom do anything right in her eyes. I’m also tired of making excuses for her, thinking that m true love will somehow rescue her. She wants a divorce as I have have been “rebelling” for a while now. I’m convinced that she never really loved me as she is too busy loving herself. Believe you me I started off quite enthusiastically and in love. But tolerating all her crap made me a very bitter person: although she wants to part on friendly terms “for the sake of the children”, I can’t even stand to be in the same room with her and I feel very defensive everytime she starts to speak to me expecting her to have some snide remark or demand. I see she is reading a lot of Christian “self-help” books for relationships, but when she mentions it to me she normally makes it about what I must do and not what she or us must focus on. She would tell me I need to communicate my feelings to her, but when I do she will either judge, minimise or ignore my concerns. About six months back, she gave me back the wedding rings saing she wanted a divorce, I said to wait since she just gave birth and I thought it was the hormones. Well get this: three months ago all of a sudden I get a complaint about how I’m no longer showing her love and how I’ve become HER . When I asked about the wedding rings, she tells me I must propose to her as she proposed to me to get married . To me this is very arrogant and angered me even more: clearly it is all about HER and she feels entitled to string me along as she deems fit. She doesn’t even get it wh I’m angry. My biggest regret is that I gave my children the wrong mother.

          • Dan
            February 6, 2013 at 3:57 am | #112

            Wow, when I read your comment about how she wants a divorce because you’ve been “rebelling” I got chills. I’m always accused of being a rebel any time I speak up and attempt to state my side of an argument. Now she is beating me up because I am “not the same person that I married” according to her. That is because I have quit being a doormat and just going along with everything that she wants. It took me over 5 years of being married to this devil before I finally realized that she was just going to continue to take advantage of my easy-going good nature and bury her high heels deeper and deeper into my throat. During one blow out yell-fest she said she missed the old me. I told her she killed the old me, that he’s gone and now she gets the new me. Her favorite label for me was passive-aggressive (thanks female-biased family counselor) so I dropped the passive and now she just gets the aggressive. She hates it, which is ironic because she is uber-confrontational and thinks it is wonderful to just say what is on her mind regardless of who it may affect. I hate it too because it is not who I am. In this relationship, I used to be a very easy-going guy not sweating the small stuff. I always thought that if I gave her her way on little things that didn’t matter, if something really important to me came up she would remember how I never got in the way of what she wanted and she would return the favor. Funny how someone who can remember what I was wearing on a particular day 7 years ago and exactly what I said during an argument about something that I have completely forgotten about 6 years, 11 months and 3 weeks ago can’t remember the good things that I’ve been doing for her all along. What I didn’t realize at the time is that I am dealing with a person with a behavioral defect. She cloaks her agenda with “I am doing this for the good of the family, for us.” She plays the martyr to a tee. She calls me “the lawyer” because usually the only time I will engage her is when I have some firm ground to stand on. She hates it when I have a valid argument and the moment she senses that I have a slight upper-hand in the fray, she finds an excuse (I don’t have time for this, the baby can hear, etc) and walks away. She accuses me of not finding “appropriate” times to discuss issues with her yet 9 times out of 10 she initiates the argument in the “inappropriate” venue (usually in front of the kid) knowing full well that it is an issue we do not agree on and then tries to turn me into the bad guy for responding. It’s like being in grade school and getting in trouble because you hit the bully back after he punched you in the nose. Another thing I find interesting and conflicted about her behavior is how she touts “abandonment issues” as her core problem and yet she is the one who is very flip and quick to throw the “D” word around, as she did tonight. It must feel great to be that free and not worry about the affect your words have on others. She grew up without a dad. He left her and her mother when she was an infant. In my experience, women who grew up without fathers are so screwed up in general and especially in relationships. I’ve dated several and should have known better. Hindsight, what can I say?

            • Mike
              March 16, 2013 at 9:16 pm | #113

              I totally understand where you’re coming from. I am starting the divorce process (her choice) and I’m hoping she doesn’t financially ruin me with spousal support in addition to child support for the 2 children.
              I’m always wrong. I’m always the bad guy. I’m unreasonable. I’m illogical. She even makes up stuff when she goes on about all the things I’ve done to her. It’s truly mind boggling.

            • Robert
              June 23, 2013 at 2:22 am | #114

              Dan, you have described my marriage and my most recent relationship which I ended 10 weeks ago. I totally know how you feel, I guess the one good thing about me is now is that I am now alone, however I am not lonely!

              I have come to realization thanks to this site, I that I have a lot emotional abuse issues, low self esteem and worthiness issues from my childhood. I am now taking the steps to working myself so that I can stop the cycle.

              Last night I had my first emotional break down and in a sense I feel good about it. To be honest I feel it was purge of bad emotions and now I feel I can really begin to heal.

              I was so in love with my ex-girlfriend, I wanted to marry her and give her the world but now when I look back, the cost of doing so would of been my soul.

              I believe you should not have to beg anyone to be with you and after all the games and guys she threw at me I just shut down. I really should of had the courage to say and do something at the time but I just couldn’t. To be honest I could not believe that this woman that I loved so much would hurt me so but after spending time on this site, I was dealt a no win situation, of course I did not know what I know at the time and I just played along. My health went down, my relationship with my children were effected, I became moody and would snap at anything.

              Now that I have removed my ex-girlfriend from my life I have seen incredible changes with myself, however I am still scared, I am not use to this new empowered me, I am making the child in me grow up and he does not want this although it is for the better, I will benefit from this growing pain and so will my children.

              I am proud to share with you that I did not give in the child in my contact my ex-girlfriend, I was so messed up last night that I want to beg for her to come back. Well guys, I did not do it! I am so relieved today.

              I do know if I ever get that feeling again, all I have to do read the articles and posts this site then the feeling goes away. Thank you once again to everyone for letting me share. I love you all!

              • builder
                June 30, 2013 at 4:41 pm | #115

                You’re not alone buddy.
                You’re on the right track. Keep it up.
                Remeber. Pain will be temporary, but quitting lasts forever.

                • Dan
                  June 30, 2013 at 11:10 pm | #116

                  How many of you guys HATE weekends as much as I do? I really wish I could work 7 days a week because work is the only place I can find any peace. Tomorrow I will be wearing my TGIM shirt!

                  • Zappo Blappo
                    July 1, 2013 at 5:28 pm | #117

                    I recall that seemingly never ending time. The weekends were always the worst time and by Monday when I arrived at work I would be so emotionally numb and feel like I had run a triathalon. It wasn’t until late Tuesday that I began to feel normal again. This went on for months until I tricked her into going to marriage counseling and the counselor told her to stop yelling at me for the 15 minutes of time on Saturday and Sunday mornings when I did my free weight lifting. The counselor called it my “sacred time” and all people should have some every day regardless of what alone activity you’re doing. In response to the counselor’s comment my wife (now X) screamed at the counselor. From that point on I made it a clear habit to take that time and keep that boundary drawn. Looking back on it nearly a dozen years later, that was the best change I could have ever made. If your partner won’t support you in something basic and fundamental, then she is not your partner. She’s just using you. Best wishes and good luck.

            • ncstarbuck
              December 6, 2013 at 6:34 pm | #118

              Ha! My STB-X is the same: Stating she is the more “direct one” who “says what’s on her mind”, and I’m the pleaser who trys to avoid conflict.Yet she would flip her shit the very moment ANYONE would be honest to her. Slight sulking, withdrawal and backstabing later on if it was just about some difference of opinion – a major rage-episode if it was about her.
              And yes, these people can sense your arguments making sense a mile away, and when they KNOW they are losing the argument, because of rational and logic, they will either withdraw with a strawman-argument, “don’t want to talk about it” or will blame and insult you to death. So that after 5 minutes you don’t even know what the “discussion” was even about.

              But I think they DO remember the things you did for them. Back then, those things were wonderful to them, a proof of your love – right now, they are to be expected for they are entitled to them.

              My SAHM did less and less of housework. In the end, when I brought the children to bed (which I love, dont get me wrong), she said after 7pm “It’s home time for mommy!”, while I was doing laundry / dishes / younameit till 10pm. What did I get for that? Her saying “I even considered you might be gay” after the break-up. Ugh! All while I was the one almost begging for sex after months of emotional and physical withdrawal from her side.
              When she once hugged me out of the blue after maybe a year of withdrawal (we haven’t cuddled once in four years after our first child was born), I couldn’t move! I didn’t know how to react. I was frozen like a statue, unable to do anything, fearing either outcome of my actions might be wrong.
              Anyone watched Arressted Development? It was like the scene where Lucille hugs Michael: “Why are you squeezing me with your body?” “It’s a hug, Michael!”

  18. c man
    May 16, 2009 at 3:22 pm | #119

    oh, god this might be my situation. she tells me to go hang with my friends and is mad about it when i get home.

    • Doug
      February 9, 2010 at 6:34 pm | #120

      I answered yes to about 5 of these questions, and honestly, I think I might be able to say yes to more… but after 8 years, the lines sort of blur, so I can see how she’s made me feel like I’m the goofball. She always will tell me to go hang with my friends and the once per month that I do, I get a damned guilt trip about it.

      • February 15, 2010 at 12:55 am | #121

        are you the doctor that posted a story? wow , that sounds unreal

      • ncstarbuck
        December 16, 2013 at 5:38 pm | #122

        Mine would encourage me to hang with my friends, too. But would call, facebook, text, whatever me a couple of times while I did so. “The kids are finally asleep, after a long battle!” at 10pm, “Kid A is coughing all night”, “I’m so exhausted, my back hurts, because I carried Kid B all day…” and so on. Making me feel bad about spending time without the family. Thinking “no, I can’t go out again, I already did that 4 weeks ago, she’s so exhausted because being a SAHM is the hardest job ever, apparently”. I mean it must have been super duper hard, because she complained all the time, right? *sigh*

    • mr tall
      September 7, 2011 at 12:34 am | #123

      my god, THIS. i answered yes to six of the above, and the one that gets to me the most is when she tells me to get out and won’t even listen to a word i say, then when i do go to leave she gets angry that I’m leaving, she has severed abandonment issues to the point of i can’t go outside for a cigarette while we’re fighting because she’s afraid i won’t come back, yet try to open the door and she’s locked me out

      • Jinx
        January 15, 2012 at 12:58 am | #124

        That’s a cluster B whacko in a nutshell. Abandonment is their single, biggest fear.

    • tireddadof3
      September 13, 2012 at 12:17 am | #125

      Wow i have the same thing with my wife of 4 years

  19. Mr. E.
    May 6, 2009 at 7:29 pm | #126

    I don’t know if this is common, but my wife pouts at the slightest disapproval. For example, if I don’t laugh at her “jokes,” or on the rare occasions when I tell her to “stop it.”. The pout also makes an appearance when I dare to start a “we need to talk about [x]” discussion.

    She pouts by sticking her lower lip out really far – it’s cartoonish. I’m starting to think, however, that it’s not deliberately comical. Usually it’s a quick flash of the lip, unless she’s about to start crying (which happens when I’ve held her accountable. This leads straight into the “not my fault and you’re so mean” spiel.).

    And a couple of times when I’ve screwed up extra special, she gives me this look where her face muscles all go slack and her eyes seem to turn black. It’s _horrifying_.

    So, “makes inappropriate faces” might be another hint…

    • shrink4men
      May 6, 2009 at 7:35 pm | #127

      That’s a good addition to the checklist, Mr E. Inappropriate or disproportionate reactions are definitely a common occurrence with these women. I’ve heard others describe the last facial expression you describe as “the death stare” and, yes. it’s horrifying.

      Remember, the emotional range of these women is that of a 5-year old. Hold her accountable, criticize her or ask her to have a conversation she doesn’t want to have (for fear of being held accountable or criticized) and you’ll get one or a combination of the following three responses:

      1. Tantrum
      2. Tears
      3. Cold, sullen withdrawal (i.e., pouting)

      Thanks for the addition.

      Dr T

      • Phil
        November 19, 2009 at 1:23 am | #128

        No 1. check, No. 2check, No. 3 check,check and check. Been there for a long time now. And the”LOOK” as it’s sometimes called is a “death look”. very well put. When I first met my wife I know she could “look daggers” at anyone who crossed her but in those early days I never thought that that look would be turned on me. Wish all this information has been availible 40 years ago.

      • April 27, 2010 at 12:04 am | #129

        This is great info to know, only thirty years to late for me. Unofrtunately the church does not recognise this either, as the man is supposed to bend over backwards for the woman regardless of what she does

        • Dan
          September 25, 2010 at 9:09 pm | #130

          Agreed. My church laughed off abusive behavior as just being a female thing and that somehow lasting years with an abusive psychopath was an honorable anniversary to be celebrated. That. Is. Sick.

          • will price
            September 26, 2010 at 4:04 am | #131

            We have progressed to a point in the modern era where rational thinking IMHO has now become irrational. Politically correct laws pervade everything, and the lives of many men are viewed as expendable in regards to family.

          • Steve Olimer
            December 17, 2011 at 1:23 am | #132

            I was married for twenty years. She left 3 years ago and hooked up with a guy that worked for me for the previous 7 years. I tried to leave 10 years before, but she got pregnant with our second child. I moved hell and high water to please her, she always found something to criticise or complain about. Lost contact with all my friends, most of my family and and all my colleagues. Made excuses all the time why i couldn’t make 20 years of staff parties-didn’t go by myself either. I changed my interests and lost me. She lied about many things or hid the truth. The silent treatment and withholding of emotional intimacy and love were her well developed weapons. I eventually realized I had lost her too years before, shortly after we were married. Yeah, I did the right thing by the church and family and tried to make it work until depression, stress,self abhorence and resentment made me give up and just be a door mat. This pushed me over the edge untilI stood up for myself, went on a fishing trip with my 65 year old brother … and she kicked all of points 1-17 into ultra mode. Counselor even told me her emotional wounds were real and i should treat them as such. So much for reality. I didn’t even get a chance to talk to her face to face in sessions. Wish I had of nipped it in the bud 17 -18 years before. Much better now but scars run deep.

            • Nick
              December 17, 2011 at 11:38 pm | #133

              Amen brother! I’ve got seven more years before plan B and I can’t wait to be free.

              • tireddadof3
                September 13, 2012 at 12:45 am | #134

                I have have 17 years left.

        • stanley
          December 19, 2011 at 4:02 am | #135

          Yes i have went through this also the control thing got way out of hand she wanted to control everything i was involved in she even want to have some type of job booking my band’s jobs and then if someone tried to dance with me i was yelled at like a kid all the way home i told her that i had talked to my ex- whom i left for her. she hated her and told me that she should be around when ever i talked to her.rage and conflict were always. involved sex was good but then while having that she would bring up my ex during that i finally moved in to the other room. occasionally going back our room and later it all would star over again finally she went and had a agreement for the house drawn up because she rented the house a year and a half before i moved in but we bought the house together and she felt she should keep the house. i did not know what i was dealing with because her family won’t tell her she needs help the preacher at my church said you love your wife like God loved the church But he’s never lived with this woman only me finally i got my own place gave her the house and now she says i ruined her leaving and of course she has never done anything wrong. there is so much more but she had me thinking i was crazy and feeling guilty and sorry for her

      • shattapaul
        December 31, 2010 at 4:19 am | #136

        Wow, I never knew only 2 symptoms were good enough to tag these hellcats.

        Mine used to pout, complain when I spent time with family, direct what I bought and what I should wear, laugh at things masculine, like the show ‘Manswers’, and return a cold, deadly stare when I asked her questions that stumped her. When I saw that, I submissively apologized and then she raged about how I was disrespectful. Oh, she also teased me sexually, but when the time came for actual sex, she broke down crying.

        Diabolical vamps.

        • NoBPDforMe
          June 16, 2011 at 11:06 pm | #137

          Hellcats, what an apt word.

      • tmoo
        April 19, 2012 at 12:19 pm | #138

        how do i leave a woman like this while fearing that she will self-harm and knowing i’ll probably have to change my phone number? i love her but i think she is why i’m depressed… i’ve always been introspective but never this frantic and downtrodden.

        • tmoraca
          April 19, 2012 at 12:22 pm | #139

          oops i noticed a typo in my email right as i hit submit… hope i get notifications

        • Kenny
          April 19, 2012 at 2:21 pm | #140

          Hey tmoo, you can not let yourself fear her self harm. You are not responsible for her actions or her happiness. Get out, don’t look back and do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself. You will feel better when you do. Good luck.

          • tmoraca
            April 19, 2012 at 3:57 pm | #141

            god it’s going to be so hard because our lives are so intertwined… we’re in the midst of moving from a room in a house to an apartment (my name’s not on the lease, and there’s a third party, one of her friends)… i tried to leave once before, but she got bery compassionate and convinced me i was a scared little boy trapped in an adult’s body. i have no one to talk to because all my friends are alienated, evem geograpgically, but i can move bavk with them. she says i can’t leave because we have ferrets together… so glad they aren’t human babies. thanks kenny, i know you are right but it is very hard to just leave, and i think how she’s conditioned me to think makes it harder. typos: mobile device, please excuse.

          • French Spy
            November 30, 2012 at 12:27 am | #142

            Thanks for that answer, which I needed. (Worried about the woman I’m divorcing, who is self-dangerous.) Now that I think about it more, I can feel sorry for her without thinking for one second that it is my problem or responsibility.

      • July 2, 2012 at 4:38 pm | #143

        i call that death stare the medusa face. has she ever punched you for running a yellow light, kicked you in the ass as you were leaving the house to avoid getting physical with her or just escape her rants . of course she has. get out and enjoy your freedom because as it is you are in prison with this woman, there are beautiful girls out there, your sisters and mothers are perfect examples.

      • Nick
        February 14, 2013 at 10:45 pm | #144

        The Death Stare! I know it well. Those are the times I actually feel physically intimidated.

        Problem is most people do not see that side of her.. They may think she is over bearing, but if I go through the divorce it will be my fault to most people.

        I do not hate her I think she is a very good mom and made me a better dad, but I cannot stand how she treats me and doing it around our kids.

        I stayed 21 Plus years of this and have a 16 year old, 13 year old, and a 6 year old. I am not perfect, but many of things I was driven to. (Not abuse of any kind). I feel alone and isolated in my basement, but I also do not want to interact with her.

      • Stu
        February 22, 2013 at 5:37 pm | #145

        My marriage has been interesting, decades of giving in. My advice is never marry for sex. I have been physically abused and battered. I have never fought back. She has damaged our walls with her angry violence. She gets nuts 1 day a week and lays down and sobs and freaks out and for no reason the next day is a completely happy person. I love being around the kids and find enough satisfaction there. I fear it will be worse if I leave before the kids are out of school. So I just keep on keeping on. FYI. She has become her mother.

  20. Al
    May 4, 2009 at 7:51 pm | #146

    Shit – I could answer yes to SEVEN of the above….

    ….kill me

    • John
      September 12, 2009 at 6:51 pm | #147


      I answered “yes” to all of them when assessing my ex-wife

    • Nick
      October 9, 2009 at 6:21 am | #148

      its great to know that im not fricken alone, i dont know what to do any more i feel like i am falling in and out of love with her daily… she admits she has a problem, but never changes. its a god damn roller coaster

      • David Lebrocq
        October 9, 2009 at 9:43 pm | #149

        Nick: When my daughter was 1 month old I was told by my ex that she would take my daughter from me so she never knew who her father was.

        The next day my ex was telling me how much she loved me.

        I stayed for as long as I could (almost three years) to make sure I had a strong bond with my daughter before I was locked out during another blow out.

        My ex also acknowledge she had problems, but I can tell you after 3 years on the roller coaster the roller coaster ride WILL NOT END.

        Dr Tara is the expert here but my advice – Get out – and get out now.

        • mike scott
          December 14, 2009 at 10:13 pm | #150

          Scarry sounds like my ex wife. Oh wait it is. Sorry David. It’s not our fault. The only one that suffers is our children. The ride will never end for us.

        • July 2, 2012 at 4:21 pm | #151

          i did the same, i stuck it out with my crazy ex until i knew that my kids could pick me out in a crowd, then I pulled the rug from under her lazy, crazy butt, i brought home a moving truck, gave her a furniture store card for 2 grand and money for rent, and still she went to a womens shelter and kept my kids away for 88 days until I learned that all i had to do was get to the court house and I had a court date 9 days later. All that heart break was resolved when the judge gave me the three days a week that i was asking for. she tried to say that i was abusive but i did my homework, voluntarily went to an anger management class, got assessed by a social services psyhc and brought him to court with me. The judge balked at her abuse complaint because she had no police report and I was granted my parenting time starting that same day. The first thing my 4 year old said to me at pick up was “happy dada home”. He is ten now and he and his little bro say that to me every day. She has moved on to another poor sap, and the kids are already asking when they can stay with me fulltime. pls pray for their safety.

          • cant say my name
            July 13, 2012 at 3:41 am | #152

            i feel like im going thru the same thing right now, but my baby is 1.5 yrs old. and i get told im abusive and i have to choose my family or her, and stuff that happens years ago or months ago never gets forgotten. so my first step is to see like you said an anger management class. thanks for your help i dont wanna lose my daughter

      • Stephen
        May 25, 2010 at 1:36 pm | #153

        at least she admits it

        • will price
          September 29, 2010 at 12:37 pm | #154

          I wonder just what percentage of women are like this. I talked ot one pastor that said many of the women he counseled were getting out of relationships because they were bored. These women are being conditioned this way, because this is only a recent phenomena

        • July 2, 2012 at 4:26 pm | #155

          admitting it is the first step, but as the the dr. states ,typically these woman never change. god bless the ones that do.

      • matt
        December 29, 2010 at 4:35 am | #156

        my life…exactly…

      • mazzy star
        April 7, 2011 at 6:27 pm | #157

        i feel you bro, im in love with my sour patch kid.

    • Ray
      January 18, 2010 at 6:49 am | #158

      10 out of 17. Mine also has OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) on top of everything else. Cleaning herself like crazy, making life miserable to me and her family on a non-stop basis. Things like, passing nearby of a mail envelope which has been left on the floor drives her nuts cause the envelope is dirty. Things like keeping her cell phone and all the remote controls at home in plastic sandwich bags so she doesn’t have to throw them away if somebody outside of the family touches them. Things like not sitting next to me on the same couch because I have my daily clothing on me. Things like following me around the house to make sure I washed my hands everytime I stepped out and came back.

      Oh boy, I must be crazy myself for marrying this woman, I see no other explanation!.

      • Kelly
        September 26, 2010 at 7:40 pm | #159

        I hope that anyone who is reading this and is in this situation WITHOUT kids will think twice about starting a family with such an unstable person. My grandmother was like this (actually, she was much, much worse) and wreaked havoc on my family for years. Obviously, I’m glad I’m here and I’m glad my Mother is here, but bringing kids into a situation like this is only going to make things worse as they will become pawns in her game. She will manipulate, abuse and treat them like crap – just as she has done you. They will bear the scars of her behavior and never feel adequate enough because of all the shit she has put them through. My grandmother literally ruined my Mother’s adult life (as well as childhood) with this childish bull shit. Just read the comments of these men who have kids with women like this: RUN LIKE HELL.

    • S
      December 9, 2010 at 8:47 am | #160

      7? I got 12.

      Yesterday was our 11th marriage anniversary.

      • JP
        March 7, 2011 at 11:31 pm | #161

        Are you staying for another 11years?

    • AlphonseO
      March 28, 2011 at 5:22 pm | #162

      Hell I answered yes to 15, sometimes to 2.I must say the first 6 monthes were the best 6 monthes of my life, then thing began to change, slowly she went from Totaly awesome to total nut job. I can’t figure out why her exhusband moved into the spare bedroom for 8 years, and stayed away for weeks on end befor finding a girlfriend and divorcing her. It sure wasn’t anything she did.

    • NoBPDforMe
      June 16, 2011 at 11:05 pm | #163

      Yeah, consider yourself lucky. Besides jealousy, lipstick, pedestal and stalking (sofar) most of these things ring true and have happened. Daily. 5 years long.

      God, am I stupid or what?

    • Luca
      August 4, 2011 at 9:53 pm | #164

      Hey, me too: i answered yes to 7 questions….but i didn’t need this test to know that she is a bitch. I would have already left if it wasn’t for my 3 yr old daughter. what should i do? it happens way too often that i just want to leave and never come back without giving any warning , just leave. but then what would happen to me and my daughter? I feel really trapped

      • SKY
        August 19, 2011 at 3:05 pm | #165

        I am feeling the same way. It feels like my happiness, my life, my hopes and dreams have been ripped apart by this woman. I am sorry to hear, but can’t you take your daughter and fight her for custody.

      • Chad
        March 15, 2012 at 8:55 pm | #166

        I know how you feel. I just ended my marriage with my wife who was diagnosed with BPD and I also answered yes to over 7 of those questions. I luckily didn’t have any kids with her. I do have a friend that has two little girls and he was married to his BPD wife for 9 years. He is divorced and two years later remarried to a great kind, “genuine”, loving woman. We were talking the other day and he said getting divorced was the best thing he ever did for him and his girls. There was some hell to deal with but in the end it is worth it. Life is too short, don’t let her control your life. It has only been two months since my divorce and I 1000x better than I did. You can take your happiness back, these women are cruel and controlling.

      • Kevin Mays
        December 19, 2013 at 4:35 pm | #167

        I feel trapped also. I have a 15 yearold son and a crazy crazy wife that works for a lawfirm. She threatens me all the time with…. you will be broke and homless when i get finished with you. She is extremly mean, controling, un affectionate…cruel…cuses at me and all I do is is non stop fix, repaire, help people in our family etc. I am told by our friends all the time rthat I am the nicest considerate affectionate man they know. IM screwed!!

    • del
      September 19, 2011 at 10:10 pm | #168

      I swear,Ive been through/seen at least 13 of them…just got divorced 3 months(and I actually didnt see see it coming—)…and Im still wondering what more I could have done….going to divorce support group for the first time tonight.holy friggin crap…gotta get my shit straight….

    • leave the bi**h
      August 12, 2012 at 2:40 pm | #169

      looks like i am in the crazy bitch club.. i thought i loved her but i think i have bitten off more than i can chew this time.. she is just not reasonable and now my sex life is pittiful i was getting more when i was single, not that that is the most important thing but jesus… cant be bothered any more its time for a new start. its been almost a year of frustration.. what a bitch.. my advice if your reading this and you are wondering if your gf or wife is crazy and your unhappy get out of there while you can. if its not good now dont hold on in hope that its going to get better, trust me it wont you will just end up in a bad place. run.. run realy get the f”*k out of there while you can.. life is too short to waste on somebody undeserving of your affection!!!

    • David
      August 13, 2012 at 2:56 pm | #170

      Hell I am at 8. I am hoping it is just because she is pregnant.

      It has been a hell of a ride.

    • Cor
      July 1, 2013 at 5:42 am | #171

      My wife won’t forgive me for anything. She is always right and I am always wrong. Her way or the Highway.

    • Anonymous
      August 4, 2013 at 9:39 am | #172

      I answered yes to 11 of these. I know this girl is wrong for me. I don’t know why I’m still with her. Our good are great, our lows are terrible, and I’ve always felt she doesn’t approve of who I am or how I live. I can’t bring myself to leave her. I feel like I’m in high school again, I’m a grown man.

  21. joe smith
    February 28, 2012 at 8:42 pm | #173

    “From dwagner0402″ I think this is really quite a biast article. c’mon now… I think the lady who wrote this has some daddy issues, and really wants to be liked by men. A HEALTHY relationship requires TWO parts. two sides that both care, give input and output, and want to HELP EACHOTHER. Not bash, and make one sided excuses for failure. seriously, all this article does is encourage ignorance and listeneing to people like this, is never going to do any good, except make you feel better for an hour, or a day. … use your head people. its common sense.”

    Yes dwagner0402 the relationship does takes 2 sides and that is the problem.

    These people crazy woman in our lives NEVER looks at both sides and that is the problem. They are not healthy relationships, we(at least I), do not bash or blame the other side. I only blame myself.

    Unless you have personal experiences shut up… You lose common sense when you are abused. After weeks, months, years of abuse you are so sunk so far into the situation you lose a since of reality.

    What about or just one example… At first you suck it up as PMS, then hormones may be off for a few weeks, then stress at work. We do love these people so you let it slide at first and then you are trapped. You start to believe everything you hear from there mouth. Things build over time you have a mortgage and built a life together. At first you decided think I get help her, couple years later you blame yourself

    Rage of trivial matters…. You load the dishwasher and forget on glass in the other room. You are called a failer, loser, etc. The first time you are like fine I will get that, you do. The second, third, you start to believe you are a failure because you forgot a simple task. You fixed the problem but still receive text messages, emails of stories for distrust because you forgot one glass.

    Escape Goat… You have you arm around them at 6am when the alarm goes off, they hit the snooze, they get up 10 minutes later than planned. Its your fault and they hate you for.

    Drama Queen… A friend places a incorrect middle initial on a wedding invite, so they send the friend a letter on proper etiquette on wedding invitations. You include 3 examples and doing it properly.

    I will save everyone else from my pathetic life of examples my story.

  22. Nick
    March 27, 2012 at 12:15 am | #174

    WOW! MGTOW.COM! Read. It’ll save your freaking life. These stories are very close to the average experience of most guys. It was for me. MGTOW.COM and READ.

  23. Robert
    June 20, 2013 at 10:00 pm | #175

    Wow, my ex-girlfriend screamed at me for not loading the dishwasher her way, after that I stop loading the dishwasher, it didn’t long for her to scream at me later that I don’t help with the dishes and she feels like a slave. I could not win?!! Now that she is gone guess what everyone? I now load the dishwasher my way and although it’s a small victory, it’s still a victory never the less!!! One more thing that has happened since she left, I loss a lot of weight, I have never looked so good before in my life and I am 47 years old!!

  24. ncstarbuck
    December 16, 2013 at 6:00 pm | #176

    “The second, third, you start to believe you are a failure because you forgot a simple task.” OMG this hits home with me on so many levels. Unbelievable now, or fpr anybody else who’s never been in the situation. You really believe you are an idiot/failure because he forgot a glass, dropped something or can’t figure the kids’ new buggy out immediatley.

    Reads like my story, expect I didn’t get to put my arm around her for the last 4 years of the relationship…..

  25. alotbetternow
    June 23, 2012 at 12:04 am | #177

    Sorry for double posts above, I don’t know what happened there. Nick thumbs up, on the mgtow. I tell many about shrink4men here, I know there is much wisdom and care here.

Comment pages
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  1. July 22, 2009 at 3:34 pm | #1
  2. November 17, 2010 at 2:53 pm | #2
  3. May 29, 2011 at 5:38 pm | #3
  4. November 1, 2011 at 9:13 pm | #4
  5. February 14, 2012 at 7:07 pm | #5
  6. February 15, 2012 at 4:51 pm | #6

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