Home > Abusive relationships, Borderline Personality Disorder, bullying, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Psychology, relationships > 25 Signs your Narcissistic or Borderline Wife or Girlfriend is Traumatizing You

25 Signs your Narcissistic or Borderline Wife or Girlfriend is Traumatizing You


danger crazy womanDo you experience insomnia, nightmares, fatigue, nausea, aches and pains, and an underlying sense of dread? Do you feel like you’re always waiting for the other shoe to drop? Is it difficult for you to trust others because you’re worried they’ll hurt you? Do you frequently feel ashamed, guilty, and worthless? Are you involved with an emotionally abusive, narcissistic or borderline woman?

Ain’t love grand! Being involved with an emotionally abusive, narcissistic or borderline woman can do quite a number on you. If you’ve been bullied, manipulated, abused, confused, and demeaned by the woman you love, you may have developed a stress reaction from her repeated violations of trust called betrayal trauma (Freyd, 2008). Betrayal trauma can significantly and adversely affect your physical and psychological well being (Freyd, Klest, & Allard, 2005).

Many men who are abused by their wives or girlfriends don’t recognize their behaviors as abusive. These men minimize and misidentify what’s happening by telling themselves that she’s just “emotional” or, worse yet, blame themselves for her cruel and hurtful behaviors. These men blind themselves to the reality of the situation in order to preserve the relationship.

Alternatively, some men realize her behavior is wrong and abusive, but remain silent. There are two primary reasons for keeping mum:

  1. Confronting an abusive woman about her behavior only makes her nastier and you’re then subjected to a narcissistic rage episode and/or histrionic drama queen performance.
  2. She’ll just blame you for everything or deny what she did anyway, so why bother saying anything?

Whether you’re suffering in self-induced oblivion or are painfully aware, but keeping quiet, there are consequences to staying in an emotionally abusive relationship. Trauma affects you physically and psychologically. It also has a detrimental effect on all of your other relationships or lack thereof.

Common physical and emotional reactions to trauma:

  1. Headaches, backaches, muscle fatigue, and stomach aches.
  2. Nausea, irritable bowels, diarrhea, or constipation.
  3. Increased susceptibility to colds and other illnesses because chronic stress is weakening your immune system.
  4. Insomnia and other sleep disturbances such as ruminative thought or bad dreams.
  5. A pervasive sense of anxiety, dread, fear, worry, and/or panic attacks.
  6. Depression, the blues, grief, or feeling hopeless about the future.
  7. Feelings of helplessness, weakness, and being trapped.
  8. Feeling disoriented, confused, and/or overwhelmed.
  9. Isolating yourself from others, not communicating with friends and family.
  10. Feeling emotionally detached, shut down or numb.
  11. Feeling overwhelmed or flooded by feelings that are disproportionate to the situation.
  12. Difficulty concentrating, focusing or remembering things.
  13. Feelings of guilt, shame, worthlessness and/or blaming yourself for things that aren’t your fault.
  14. Difficulty trusting others, feeling paranoid (like others are out to get you), feelings of betrayal.
  15. Drinking too much, taking drugs, overeating or engaging in other compulsive behaviors to numb and/or soothe yourself.
  16. Outbursts of anger, rage, irritability or frustration that are disproportionate to the situation.
  17. Mood swings or moodiness.
  18. Overly sensitive to criticism.
  19. Denying, rationalizing or minimizing the traumatic behaviors.
  20. Feeling on edge, jumpy or hypervigilant to possible attacks, always being on the defense.
  21. Keeping secrets, censoring or stuffing your feelings, lying to others about what happens in your relationship.
  22. Developing false beliefs such as, “All women are crazy” or “Never trust anyone” or “Never let your guard down” or “Never tell anyone how you’re really feeling or what you really think because they’ll use it against you.” These are negative and self-limiting beliefs that keep you from living life fully.
  23. Difficulty making decisions, fear of making the “wrong choice.”
  24. Not taking care of yourself—eating poorly, not exercising, not getting enough rest, engaging in dangerous activities that could be passive suicide attempts like crossing the street without looking or biking in dangerous areas.
  25. Feelings of indifference, fatalism, cynicism, or pessismism.

These are NORMAL reactions to ABNORMAL and abusive behaviors. However, your girlfriend or wife has probably used the stress reactions you’re experiencing, because of her, as another device to hurt you. “Why are you so sensitive? Stop being so defensive! You’re a hypochondriac. Stop being such a baby. You’re so angry. You’re being labile.” Sound familiar? She uses the trauma symptoms you’re experiencing, which she induced, to further traumatize you. Nice.

If you’re suffering from the symptoms of betrayal trauma please take the necessary steps to get out of your emotionally abusive relationship and recover from it. Healing from trauma takes time and can bring up a lot of painful emotions that you had to suppress while in your emotionally abusive relationship. This is also a normal part of the process. Try to feel the feelings as they come up without guilt or self-recrimination.

Other tips to recover from trauma sustained in an abusive relationship include:

Seek support. Share your feelings with someone you trust. If you’re uncomfortable talking with friends or family at first because you’re ashamed or feel foolish, find a therapist or join a support group.

Don’t isolate. One of the effects of being in abusive relationship is distancing yourself from others who care about you. Part of recovery involves reestablishing these connections.

Take care of yourself. Eat well, exercise, rest, and find ways to relax.

Develop a daily routine. This will keep you grounded and help to create a sense of predictability and normalcy after the unpredictability and instability of your life with your emotionally abusive wife or girlfriend.

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.

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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.

Related content:

Traumatic Love: Is Your Narcissistic or Borderline Wife or Girlfriend Making You Sick?

Photo credit:

Danger crazy woman by FaG on flickr.

References:

Freyd, J.J. (2008) What is a betrayal trauma? What is Betrayal trauma theory?  http://dynamic.uoregon.edu/~jjf/trauma.html

Freyd, J.J., Klest, B., & Allard, C.B. (2005) Betrayal trauma: Relationship to physical health, psychological distress, and a written disclosure intervention.  Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 6(3), 83-104.

  1. Micah Scott
    February 6, 2012 at 12:35 am

    Hey Just recently got out of an emotional abusive relationship I had most the signs your desrcibed. She mad me feel like the scumb of the earth, I had never felt so bad in my life. I finally had enough and walked away. Thanks to your site I’ve learned alot.

  2. Gerry
    December 29, 2011 at 3:10 am

    absolutely brilliant and totally correct. All victims remember you are totally correct, the abuser is totally wrong.

  3. KJ
    August 4, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    My experience …Sometimes we men (GOOD AND DECENT GOD-FEARING MEN WITH A HEART FOR PEOPLE) suffer from the symptom I call, I don’t want my wife or girlfriend to tell me that I am just like all the other men in this world. This is a bad disease to contract. Sometimes the women in our lives ain’t worth sh$$%%&&&!!@ from day one. And this is not all women, because the woman in my life now is AWESOME !!!! The woman I dated for only 5 months (thank god!) used the overly sensitive card on me constantly and she criticized me and thought it was FUNNY! She tried to play on me that her abusive boyfriend of 15 years and her lack of her dad being around was her pain. She did some hurtful things to me and at times I have ruminating thoughts about it. She didn’t deserve me treating her like a decent human being like I thought she was. If I see her now, I would treat her like she is nothing. Like she doesn’t exist. I don’t want to have thoughts of her anymore good or bad. When i think of her I get sick and angry. It hurts me at times that I can’t even wish her well. I know she doesn’t think of me, so I want to end thoughts of her immediately !!! I pray for this everyday. Someone told me that GOD put her on my mind to pray for her. I don’t know.

  4. Jazzman
    March 2, 2011 at 10:56 am

    My wife is very loving, kind generous and hard working. She is always there for me and has all the qualities a man would want in a woman. Need to mention she is very beautiful. But we have being having these fights which started from the very first night we attended a party together.

    She could not take her eyes off the host… She kept on staring at him. She was not even bothered about my presence. I even confronted her and told her that her staring was a little too obvious. B4 we left the party she made all effort to dance with him, which she did.

    Although I have not caught her cheating or seen any funny emails or text msgs, but she has continued to be that way, when ever she sees a very attractive man. She seems to become a completely different person. She forgets herself and loses control. I am convinced that if the opportunity arises she would cheat on me if she happens to be alone with a man she finds attractive.

    I conceder my self handsome, and our romance and lovemaking is still very good. We still have passionate moments. We have been together for 4 years now.

    Please advice me, should i consider seeing a counselor, because my biggest problem is that she is in complete denial, and she has not accepted the fact that she is like this even though i have lots of proof.

  5. s.e. rolf
    October 29, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    I have read and re read every article on this site. Where I am relieved that maybe I am really ok and that my gut was right the whole time, a terrible thought creeps into my head and makes me think that maybe I am the one that was BP and I was the one that created all the hell in her life. I can relate to almost every article and see a part of me in most of the content here. Maybe she was right though, it is my fault.

    I have to be truthful here. I am an accomplished person and am (was) well respected by those that know me. I would get verbally beat up so much that I would end up exploding in a rage. I was a firefighter in a major city and a pilot and a software engineer and currently a defense contractor. Listening to her accusations and rants was beneath me and I knew it but I couldnt cut it off for some reason. Probably because she is beautiful and she is an engineer herself. Smart and pretty. Very hard to find girls like that. Maybe she was right? She is too good for me.

    Back to my point…I would get upset and blow up and try to leave the situation that she started because I hated the confrontation and I hated how she would make crap up just to start an argument, then beat me in the head for being the kind of guy that leaves a woman when she needs him most or being the kind of guy that runs from his problems. In fact, when I would try to leave to let a situation deflate, she would physically keep me from leaving! She would hit me. Kick me. Block the door. The kicker (no pun intended) was that she would deny that she even hit or kicked me or that she even spewed that filth she spewed….She would flat deny everything! Godsmack. I was so shocked I couldnt say a single word. She would actually try to Jedi Mind trick me into thinking she didnt say the things she did and that she didnt get violent. Has this ever happened to anyone? I will bet everyone on this site that if you met us in public, and she told you how bad I was, you would believer her over me every time. I am an Air Force Officer man!!!! Hell I have been known to be a good guy by many…but she has everyone thinking that I am the one with issues? I have had a great life and have done some exciting things in my past with very wonderful and talented people. How does this happen to a guy like me?

    She was wrong about me wanting to bang every woman I saw. She was wrong about all the assertions she made about me and my coworkers. She wont let me have a female doctor of any kind and wont let me workout. She say she does but when I tell her I am going to work out, then there is something she needs me to do at that time. It happens every time. I told her to stop accusing me of banging people at work or trying to pose for others as I work out. I told her not to accuse me of flirting with female coworkers. I told her not accuse me of trying to pick up my chiropracter and I told her perhaps she was “projecting” her daily occurrences on me. She gets to work out at a downtown workout facility that is coed (I cant). She has male doctors and even a male gyno. She is in an all male environment and even used to bone one of her co workers. I never have ever done that in my whole life. But she has. And she accuses me of it. She loves to pick fights in public because she knows that I hate that and that I am trying to look and be respectable in public. She tell me I drink too much but she drinks everyday. I just binge once a week when I can get away with it. Usually because she has something she cant avoid and has to admit that I cant stay home while she gets to go out.

    I am such an idiot. She tells me that I say things to her that have never come out of my mouth. She tells me that I hit her (I dont hit girls). She tells me that I am a terrible man because I abandon women in the middle of nowhere. Its usually me trying to leave the scene of a public argument. She loves to do this!!! And then beats me up for “abandoning” her.

    Last straw was in Idaho. She yelled at me from Idaho all the way to Spokane (about an hour) and I didnt say a word. This seemed to enrage her more. She told me her sister wanted to put a bullet in my head and that her brothers were banding together to come and beat me up. Of course she denies she said this. Of course, once again, hotel security is called because she wont stop and she wont let me leave to deflate the situation. Weeks later (the relationship is gone and I am trying to figue a way out) we get home and a short time later, she kicks dog food (the can kind) all over me with my 9 year old daughter in the room. Of course she denies she did that and claims that she did it because I hit her and slammed her against the wall. (I was trying to get me and my daughter out of there).

    She shows me articles about terrible men. Men “like me”. WTF?

    Is she right? Am I that bad guy? As an ex fireman, and former USAF Officer and a guy with a high clearance, I am deathly afraid of being arrested. I am afraid of doing anything that will reflect badly on me. Am I too tightly wound up?

    I have never lost my temper or lost my head before (a symptom the articles say that BP use which makes me think she may be right). I am being honest thought. I have never been treated like this. I have never been hit or kicked before.
    I have never had my time be controlled to this extent before. I couldnt see parents, my kids, my friends. If I did, it was for a short time or she had to be there.

    I dont know.

    Is she right? Am I the cause of her life being the way it is?

    • November 1, 2010 at 10:45 pm

      This is all too familiar. I am not exactly sure what my wife’s issue is. She presents parts of multiple disorders. She is probably most closely aligned with NPD, but what does it really matter. In the course of 18 months, I left my job to start a business with her, lost all of my money, had her run up about $50K on credit card debt for our wedding and then disappear back to her home in Canada. We went back and forth in our relationship a number of times. It seems that once she got married she felt trapped and was unable to live freely like she did before. She was used to being able to pack a suitcase and leave to travel for a week or 3 months without having to answer to anyone. After a major meltdown last February, I was forced to call the police on her after she pulled a knife in the kitchen. I ended up asking to have her released and the police obliged although they had handcuffed her and could see marks all over me. After I did this, she told I would “regret ever doing that to her.” For God’s sake, she’d destroyed my whole apartment. Anyways, on subsequent trips to her home in Canada, she would become unregulated and go into rages for various reasons. She ended up calling the police because she wanted me to leave the house. I took her cell phone out of her hand and she claimed to the police I “hurt her finger.” They were going to arrest me because when called in Quebec, one party has to be taken away. They ended up letting me go because I had a ticket to return to the US. On another trip a few weeks later, she did the same thing. She called the police because I woke her up in the middle of the night. I did so because an ex-boyfriend of hers called at 2 in the morning. Again I left. Well after that, I like a fool went back again, each time with her knowledge and her picking me up from the airport. Well, after another split in June with her threatening to call the police, I left and have not gone back. She changed her phone number and hadn’t called me in a couple months. I resourcefully got her number to find out if we were going to divorce and to see what we were going to do with our business. She screamed at me for having her number. The next day she called from the police station claiming I was harassing her. I have the phone records of her calling dozens of times prior to then. Well, another two months passed and I finally got sick of waiting to see what the hell she wanted to do so I told her mother and brother that I was going to come to town and settle things. Either go to therapy together or get a divorce. Although she is a mess, I really do love her and wanted to try counseling with her. The next day I get divorce papers and a restraining order filled with complete fabrications and exaggerations. I have photos, video, email and text messages to back up her madness. The sad thing is that I really still love the good 80% of her and would be willing to work things out in counseling with her. Her distortion campaign is crazy and in some ways it feels like in her mind she really believes it. I mean, I have had to get stitches from her cutting me and she is accusing me of abuse. I have never hit a woman in my life nor would I ever. I have been kicked, punched, slapped and hit with a plethora of household items from a rolling pin to umbrella. I am actually wondering if she will follow through with the divorce or at the 11th hour offer to try again under her terms. This has happened before where she wouldn’t call or email and then send me an attorney’s name and number. When I finally call them to confirm that they are representing her, they said no. This time she really did get an attorney and did file a motion for a court date in December. Oh, the madness. I was doing just fine financially, had a great place to live, nice car and a happy life when I met her. We traveled the world, got married and started a business together. Now, I am left broke, in massive debt, without a job, borrowing a car and living in my dad’s empty house. There should be a movie made about my story, I swear. I need help now, major depression and anxiety everyday wondering how this will all play out.

    • Brett
      November 7, 2013 at 3:35 am

      OMG, I think you are married to MY wife! Word for word. Same stuff. UFB…

  6. whitescheme
    October 29, 2010 at 4:28 am

    Thank you for this article. I am also in this situation. It’s really depressing to be in this kind of hole. I can’t believe i was so naive to realize what my girlfriend is doing to me and to my sanity. I am a smart person but it seems you cannot get smarter when dealing with this kind of crap. Once again thank you so much.

  7. Ace
    September 7, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    Welcome back to reality Alistair, you’ve come to the right place :-) Recovery starts here and now

  8. Alistair
    September 7, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    Thank-you thank-you, thank-you for this site. I have read so much. Only over the weekend did I suddenly click that she had some sort of personality disorder. Then I found this, and everything makes sense. I am on anti-depressants and anti-panic pills, sleep fitfully, and have been to the Police who have assured me that they recognize that I am abused. Apparently she has called them and alleged that I abused her, but they are a bit more wise than that! Well done the Police!!! Finally, reading your site, it all makes sense. She held a knife to my throat and I felt guilty! We went to our priest this morning and she said that she wanted a divorce, she no longer loved me, that she had abused me. Her example was once forgetting to clean the shower! He was gobsmacked. I said I wanted to try to make the marriage work, but she would have none of it. Suddenly I realize that the sooner I can get this woman out of my life the better I will be. the good times have been few, and the best in my life. After this I will be bankrupt, unemployed and homeless. She has leeched my entire life savings, and caused me to lose my job as a result of the manic symptoms I was showing. How, at 50, could I have been so stupid!!! She accuses me of treating her like a slave, when I work hard and buy her everything while she sits all day and watches TV. Sorry to rant, but it’s such a relief to know that I am not the crazy one, not the bad person, not the abuser…

    If only she would recognize that she is at fault, get treatment, get better… But I suppose that’s impossible.

    • Joe
      October 29, 2010 at 6:34 pm

      I too am 50 years old and have been with the same woman for 15 years and soon we will be busting up for good because we moved a total of 4 times, lost tons of money on the moves (The second move because her oldest son wanted to move to a more popular town and the house we moved into had a lot of problems (Mould and sewage) and that is where the downfall really happened and of course up to this day, it has always been my fault for the predicament we’re in).

      She has never been good at saving money, she lives entirely on Overdraft, yet she bought her oldest son a car and her younger one is starting to bug her for one.

      Once this House is sold, we both will be walking out with nothing but debts because of all of her nonsense, but thank God for this Site as it has made realize the type of person she is.

  9. August 22, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    Some of the things I experienced before leaving:
    1) Headaches – wouldn’t go away, even after taking medication or napping. This also happened whenever I went to my mother’s house.

    2) Loss of energy – I could be very energetic all day, but the moment he walked through the door, it plummeted, as though literally draining from my body…I felt like sleeping. This reminded me of how infants will fall asleep to ‘escape’ when they feel overstimulated by their environment. It was weird.

    3) Didn’t want to go to sleep, didn’t want to wake up in the morning. Stayed up later than necessary, tried to sleep in as long as possible to avoid seeing him.

    4) GI problems – from one extreme to the next. Acid reflux. Sought out food and alcohol to fill the ‘emptiness’ inside, not realizing at the time that the only way to fill The Void is from the inside.

    5) Scary visions of
    a) seeing myself being violent with him (knives, baseball bats, my bare hands) and
    b) him breaking down the door or feigning fear that I was a stranger breaking in at night and shooting me. This started after he put a 12-guage under my side of the bed and laughed at me for asking about it.
    For two days straight after the gun incident, I wandered around the house, like I was lost and confused…unable to complete the most simple tasks…I was overwhelmed with fear, BUT DIDN’T REALIZE IT AT THE TIME. When my friend told me that I was afraid of him, I disputed it. Sometimes, we are so used to living in fear / repressing our feelings, we don’t even recognize the emotion when it appears.

    6) My very first anxiety attack – it was a sense of impending doom…like “Something really bad is going to happen!” and not being able to do anything about it. The weird thing was, there were no thoughts associated with the feeling…just an overwhelming feeling of dread. I finally had to leave and go talk to a friend. I had no idea what was happening. I haven’t had one since.

    7) In bed at night, a couple times, I had what I can only describe as “seizures.” I’m not epileptic, and haven’t experienced them since. I would be sleeping, then suddenly feel as though I was paralyzed, my body shaking uncontrollably (like being shocked or like a spring, tightly held together, unwinding). I couldn’t be sure I was even awake; I couldn’t fully open my eyes (they may have been fluttering?). I tried to speak, to say “help!” but could only groan. It was the most bizarre physical experience I’ve ever had. I guess that must have been my body finally ‘releasing’ the stress that I’d been holding on to. This was after I’d moved out of the bedroom,sleeping in my daughter’s room with the door locked at night. It was too weird to try to explain to anyone. I haven’t experienced that in at least 5 years now.

    8) Numerous colds, flus, etc. I experienceced my first bouts of strep throat while with him. He of course treated me like an object in response. (Unsympathetic, no empathy for others, sees others’ health problems as an inconvenience – NO compassion whatsoever).

    9) My ring finger on my left hand developed a bumpy and very itchy rash. I figured that my ring needed cleaning. I bought some jewelry cleanser for it; I took it to a jeweler to have it professionally cleaned. I stopped wearing it at night, and made sure to wash it often. Still, after about 24 hours of wearing my ring, the rash would inevitably re-surface. This may or may not have been a psycho-somatic response…but was after 6 years of wearing that ring and having no such effects. And having no such effects wearing cheap $15.00 Wal-Mart and Avon rings since then. I have no explanation for it.

    10) People would often ask me, “Are you okay?” or “Why are you so upset?” when I wasn’t upset or thinking anything negative. I realized that my eyes looked sad (and I didn’t realize it) and that I was holding tension in my face that I hadn’t noticed until after I’d left him…when it was lifted. Kind of like going to the chiropractor – the pain and stiffness builds ever so slowly, until you hardly notice it anymore…then after one bout with a good chiropractor, suddenly, you realize that you don’t hurt anymore, and that you can move your neck or arm or bend – you had adjusted for that so much that you were unable to even realize that you had been unable to move like you should!

    11) Before anything else – this was the beginning of my recovery / freedom. I went to church without him during hunting / harvest season. After that, he came to church with me again. I noticed that when I wasn’t with him, I was open and friendly, and stood around talking to other people. But, when he was there, I looked down at the ground, and made a beeline for the door with him. We talked to as few people as we could get by with. We didn’t stick around (unless there was free food). He was not what you’d call a ‘giver.’

    I know Dr. T says to listen to your own mind, but with all due respect to the good doctor, sometimes living in constant mindf*ck makes it so that even your mind can ‘lie’ to you. But one thing that never will is our bodies. It will tell us things that we are not even able to think to ourselves.

    12) Another sign is feeling a complete absence of sexual / affectionate / physical attraction to him or her. By the time I left, the thought of him touching me, even by accident, disgusted me and filled me with rage. I’m not a naturally violent person (I suppose no one is), and it scared me to realize what I was becoming capable of by being with an abuser. It filled me with rage (that voice that rises up from the depth of one’s soul, low and quiet, saying between clenched teeth, “Never Again.”) when he would be cruel and hateful to me one night, then the next day, smile at me and singsong “Good morning!”
    I was attending AA (their principles can actually be applied to many of life’s situations) for a while, and read a book about a woman who drank herself silly then took strangers home to bed. She described that when she did this, it felt to her like little pieces of her soul were being torn off, tossed into a pile in the corner of the floor. AHA! moment – that was exactly what it felt like to me to have sex with my AXH; and I started to ask myself, “Why does it feel the same to have sex with the man who loves me and whom I’m destined to be with for the rest of my life, as it would to have sex with a stranger every night?”

    It was only when I realized “He doesn’t love me” that the things he did started making sense. If he had, he wouldn’t have done those things. He knew how to say the words, but after all those years, I felt like asking back, “Then why does it feel like you hate me?”

    It’s a bad situation…and sucks to now be on the other side, having healed for the most part, and now watching two of my closest friends (one male, one female) go through it…knowing I’ve done everything I can, and that all I can do now is to be here when they need me, be a friend and support them, and pray.

    I’ve been there. That’s why I’m here. (stolen from Kenny Chesney)

  10. Nick Rivers
    June 26, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    I’ve enjoyed the posts but would like a little more detail on strategies to deal with the psycho-wife I live with. It truly has been a nightmare and I’m trying to last long enough to get my kids out of the house and away from this. Any ideas would be helpful. Reasoning, counseling and “talking” with my narcissist just produced more narcissism so if we can just skip the howdy-doody smiles and encouragement and jump into techniques for documenting and exposing the abuse I’d be grateful. TY!

    • jp
      June 28, 2010 at 4:39 pm

      Nick,

      It’s kind of weird of you to ask for help from people and treat them dismissively (“skip the howdy dooody smiles”) at the same time, but whatever.

      Did you check out the index of articles page? There are plenty that deal with tactics. Here a few…I don’t have time to post the links but look for the titles on the Index page:

      How to deal with a borderline personality woman
      5 Ways to Deal with an Angry Woman
      Coping Strategies for Dealing with a Narcissistic or Borderline Woman
      Emotional Detachment: When the No Contact Rule Is Not an Option
      Another 5 Coping Strategies for Dealing with a Narcissistic or Borderline Woman

      etc.

      JP

  11. June 13, 2010 at 3:12 am

    Thank you so much for this series of highly resonating posts and the original article that goes along with it. I’ve forwarded it along to my psychologist and asked her to help me work thru this. Being married to a pathological narcissist for 5 years had such a negative affect on my life and I am still dealing with it.

  12. sm
    April 25, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    Thanks JP for the support..I have no plans on leaving. It’s important to demonstrate to my sons that their father stood his ground, has staying power and to teach them to “finish things.”

  13. sm
    April 25, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    Still being worked out…it’s a live in divorce…living together when married is hard enough but when living together when divorcing is barbaric—one of the tragedies of the whole system. New York State courts, unlike many others, do not routinely award temporary exclusive occupancy of a residence to one party. In New York, there is no way you can get a spouse out, without showing that there’s danger of physical violence. It’s awful..

    • jp
      April 25, 2010 at 9:55 pm

      Sounds nasty. But resist the urge to leave. As you probably know, you don’t want to be seen as the one who left the kids, or allow a precedent to be set that has you ‘visiting’ your kids. If NY is like Mass., the courts don’t like to change the kids’ routines, and if you’re out of the house and getting less time with them than your stbx, you’ll probably end up with that as your custody arrangemen by default.

      Rooting for you,
      JP

  14. sm
    April 20, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    Hmmmm….I’m in the middle of a divorce, gender reversal. I was laid off from a well paying marketing job in 2003, my wife is a teacher…makes a good salary. When I was laid off in 2003 was my youngest son was diagnosed with autism at 2 yrs. old, he’s high functioning, mainstreamed in school with an aide and is 9 presently yrs. old. I also have another son who is presently 11 years old. Since I was laid off from a highly competitive industry I chose to switch careers and become a teacher. While my wife worked, I went to school days, nights, studied weekends was the primary caregiver for both my children, including but not limited to therapies for our autistic son, maintained the household, cleaning, inside and out,laundry, car maintenance. That was my job. Knowing my wife wished she were home with our sons I tried to make it as easy as possible for her. Helped her get out the door in the morning, helped her with reports. I wanted to provide my sons, especially our autistic son with an emotional foundation that he would carry with him for the rest of his life. This is my gift to him which you cannot put a price on. I will go to my grave knowing I did the best I did for my sons. What did a get from my wife..divorce papers..resentment, bitterness and anger because she felt I wasn’t carrying my share…

    I might add…in doing so I received my teaching certification, presently working at a Hilton Hotel full time for the past two years to help with the bills. My wife can’t get let go of her anger & resentment & it’s destroyed a family…very sad…

    • jp
      April 20, 2010 at 10:22 pm

      sm,

      Sorry to hear about your situation. What’s your custody/parenting time situation…has that been resolved or is it still being worked out?

      JP

  15. kevin
    April 4, 2010 at 1:13 am

    These stories are similar things which happend with my wife and I……horrible , simply horrid.

  16. February 23, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    I found myself experiencing an upset stomach ( acid reflux ) and said that was it it was time to stop letting myself be the target, one night me and my girl were laying in bed and I was telling her the importance of spirtual connection vs physical connections and out of the blue came well how many people did you have the physical with and I asked where did that come from, and that was all it took next thing I knew get out, which I did mind you at 2 in the morning, but none the less I needed a cigarrete and knew that by the time I got around the corner she’d call where you at I’D BE RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET watching her search for me and let her get a litle frantic and then tell her where I was and she’d call me back and that would be it. I just learned to let her have her little tokens of insecurity and as time has went by she see’s that I just ain’t easy to manipulate cause I see the game coming before it starts and counteract before she can weave that little guilt web around me, by simply holding her responsible for what she has said or done. I was once in one of those 70′s type peer pressure where we constantly worked on group problems and conflict resolution was the foundation of the program so standing around in circles with guys discussing problem for hours on end just comes naturally for me and I wear most people down before they can wear me down . Though I like this girl I know that it’s time to stop feeling sorry for her and move on, just let it go their will be better God be willing.

  17. Chris Koch
    November 1, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    I am finding myself in a situation where when i confront my wife regarding her cold behavior and lack of love towards me , she will fly into a fit of rage, never actually let me finish trying to explain to her how im feeling and rather accuse me of minor things in the past, rather than face the situation at hand, where i am sincerly trying to explain to her that everything is getting to me and i try and turn to her for companionship , she will tell me im feeling sorry for myself and rather shift any blame towards me and pretend its not her fault . A while back she attacked me physically by hitting me and verbally abusing me to such a degree that i hit her back . Now she constantly tells me i am a ‘ wife beater’ when in fact all i was doing was defending myself to stop her from attacking me further . She has two kids from a previous marriage who i am raising as my own , and i always put her and them before myself but yet she will tell me that i dont like her kids and that i am always looking for excuses to blame her for anything , when in fact all im trying to do discuss small matters that could be easily resolved but end up in her swearing and shouting at me , or her throwing things as me and breaking our possessions etc. I knew when i married her that she was bipolar and my mom was bipolar as well but sadly ended her own life earlier this year. So the fact is i know all about bipolar hence me marrying her and knowing how to deal with it . But her behaviour towards me is getting worse and more violent by the day . Should i end this marriage or is there a solution to this problem im faced with?

  18. JT_Fan
    October 20, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    If you’re not familiar with the behaviors of a BPD woman then it feels as though you were run over but you’re not sure what happened or what hit you. Most of us know something is wrong with the feelings we have while we are with the person that’s abusing us except we can not pin point the exact cause of it because it’s an accumulative effect. The lack of concrete evidence is why they are able to convince us to stay and endure more punishnment. Word of warning: The more intelligent the person is, the more complex the web they use to keep us enduring the behavior. We are perplexed by the two different lives that are going on in front of us. Actions do not match words and visa versa. You can probably count yourself into the category of “nice guy” because you have to pratically be a saint to stay after the behavior begins to show up on a regular basis. I remember the first real breakup and my telling her that she had two lives going on at once. At the time it was just what my intuition was telling me but now is seems profound.

    • kirk g
      May 17, 2010 at 11:40 pm

      that is one of the deepest comments pertaining to dealing with these kinds of women. how true it was for me. people were thinking, hey get out of there, and i was going , well… wait just a second. i wish i could do this over again, i would have been gone in less than half the time!

    • racketman1103
      March 23, 2012 at 5:32 pm

      Mine was so insidious. This woman by all outward appearances is the nicest, sweetest, fun loving, gorgeous smile, Christian woman who ever walked the Earth. But behind closed doors she is pure venom. I don’t mean overt either. She never once yelled, screamed, hit, cursed or otherwise did anything overt to me. I actually was the one who ended up yelling and screaming at her and on two occassions put my hands on her (took 4 years for the first incident).

      This woman was a master of the double bind and in ways I never saw it until she finally booted me out of her life. Small example: I’d ask her how she slept in the morning, “I didn’t sleep well, you tossed and turned all night” So I’d sleep on the couch after hearing this many days in a row then ask, “How’d you sleep?” Not well – because you weren’t in the bed with me.

      Seems so simple, so neutral, so unaggressive. Well after a few years I had huge anxiety about going to sleep. Caused me a boatload of issues and within 4 weeks of being away from her I could actually get some peaceful sleep. Sleep without nightmares or constant ruminating thoughts.

  19. BLaze
    June 1, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    how can i get someone out of this relationship when i see its destroying them and I really care about them too. Its gonna kill him. ; (

    • shrink4men
      June 1, 2009 at 6:21 pm

      Hi BLaze,

      Unfortunately, you can’t help your friend unless he recognizes there’s a problem and wants help. All you can do is have a heart-to-heart with him, express your concern, provide him with some information (books, links to websites, and other resources) and let him know you’re there for him if he wants your help, support or just to reality test.

      If he has other friends who are also worried about him, perhaps you could join together (sort of like an intervention) to let him know scared you are for his well-being. Ultimately, he has to be the one to pull the plug and get out of his abusive relationship. However, I know what cold comfort this is when you’re watching someone you care about be hurt and tortured by one of these women.

      Kind Regards,
      Dr T

      • jp
        June 1, 2009 at 8:58 pm

        Blaze,

        When you talk to your friend, don’t attack the woman who’s abusing him…that’s likely to make him defend her and get you off-topic.

        And don’t attack him, either ( for example, “you’re no fun anymore, all you do is b*tch about this girl!”). This will make him more ashamed then he may already be.

        Try to get him to see the cost he’s paying to stay in the relationship. Help him see what’s happened to HIM. What’s he MISSING? Has he become unhappy, withdrawn, sullen, depressed? Has he stopped pursuing his interests and hobbies? Has his work suffered? How about his relationships with friends or family? When’s the last time he had a good time, or felt good about himself or excited about the future?

        JP

        • shrink4men
          June 1, 2009 at 9:00 pm

          Great suggestions, JP. Thanks for posting them!

  20. April 3, 2009 at 5:59 am

    The first 2 sentences sounds like the script from the movie Ghostbusters!

    • shrink4men
      April 3, 2009 at 1:32 pm

      Ahh, if only you could zap women like this with a NPD/BPD Busting pack and keep them detained in a hermetically sealed chamber so they can’t spew their bile and slimy green goo on unsuspecting people…

Comment pages
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