Home > Abusive relationships, Borderline Personality Disorder, divorce, Marriage, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Psychology > Can a Relationship with a Narcissistic or Borderline Wife or Girlfriend Change your Personality?

Can a Relationship with a Narcissistic or Borderline Wife or Girlfriend Change your Personality?


bitch 1Question: Today, after 23 years in an abusive relationship with a woman suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder, I find myself at a crossroad; leave now or live the rest of my life in misery. Sounds easy, but I, for the life of me cannot find the strength and courage to make the right decision, even though I clearly know what it is.

. . . I have been in this abusive relationship for so long, I am no longer able to discern reality or normalcy. I live in such an evil, chaotic environment, that I can’t think straight.. . . Thanks to you and your website, I finally have the answers to the unknowns that have haunted me for 20 years. Knowledge is power and you have given me the power I need.

I asked my parents to read the blogs as well to assist with their understanding, as they may be involved in some capacity with the process of my leaving. After reading your response, my Mother ask if I would write to you and request your opinion related to the transformation of one’s personality and behavior when they are exposed to an abusive partner for as long as I have been. She says that when I was young, I was extremely independent and resisted anyone who tried to control me. I was my own person and thought for myself. Although I was a good kid for the most part, I apparently gave the authority figures in my life difficulties. Is such a drastic personality transformation common, and how does it happen?

Jim

Answer: Hi Jim,

You’re welcome. Asking your parents to read information about what you’re going through, whether it’s my blog or other resources, is smart and adaptive. Unless you’ve experienced what these women are like firsthand, it can be very difficult to describe it to others. Oftentimes, you’re met with disbelief and/or people think you’re the crazy one.

It’s also a good way to prepare your parents. Many women with Borderline Personality Disorder or Narcissistic Personality Disorder traits begin vicious smear campaigns when you end the relationship. For example, she might:

  • Contact your family and friends without compunction to tell outrageous lies about you.
  • Make false abuse claims.
  • Tell people you’re “losing your mind” or “having a mid-life crisis” or pathologize you by claiming you have a personality disorder.
  • Contact your place of work and make wild accusations to try to get you fired.

She’s right, of course. You must be crazy if you don’t want to take her abuse anymore. These women would actually be funny if they didn’t cause so much damage—I find it helpful to find the humor in these situations where ever and whenever you can—Giving your parents’ a head’s up on what they can potentially expect will save you a lot of stress later.

As for your mother’s question, it’s not at all unusual for a person’s personality to change when exposed to prolonged repetitive emotional and/or physical abuse. Abuse is a violation of trust and a betrayal that has profound effects on an individual.

Staying in a relationship after the first abusive episode, opens the floodgates for more abuse. You telegraph that her abusive behavior is ok because she didn’t experience any negative consequences (e.g., ending the relationship) for treating you poorly. Many men minimize or rationalize the first incident by telling themselves she was “having a bad day,” that she’s “emotional,” and/or the BPD/NPD apologizes with a ready made excuse for her bad behavior.

Please note: These women rarely accept responsibility for anything they do. They only feign remorse if they’re afraid you’re going to leave and/or they’re trying to manipulate you into doing something. When someone’s truly sorry, they do everything in their power not to hurt you again. Expressing anger at her behavior will get you nowhere. In fact, she’ll use it against you to portray herself as the victim and you as the bad guy.

Once you decide to stay in the relationship and tolerate the abuse, a NPD/BPD woman slowly begins to:

  • Undermine your confidence.
  • Confuse what you know to be fair and true.
  • Destroy your self-esteem and self-worth.
  • Brainwash you into believing that you don’t deserve better.
  • Erode your ability to take action in your life.

You begin to doubt yourself, question your sanity, feel powerless, and develop what’s called “learned helplessness.” This explains how a person who was once independent can become scared, confused and dependent.

It’s sort of like what happens to a prisoner at a POW camp. A BPD/NPD woman basically brainwashes you into believing that she’s a saint, that she puts up with you, that she’s the victim and you’re the bad guy. If you receive these messages on an endless loop, eventually, you’re going to start to believe it.

Also, her rages, tantrums, verbal attacks, mood swings, blowing hot and cold with her affection, and tear-filled, “poor me” dramas are so convincing, you begin to wonder if maybe you are a jerk. THIS IS ALL PROJECTION and PROJECTIVE IDENTIFICATION.

A BPD/NPD woman projects the wretched feelings she has about herself, but will never consciously admit to you or anyone else (including herself), and pins them on you. When she says, “You’re angry and unloving,” she’s actually describing herself. This is called projection.

Projective identification is when a BPD/NPD woman takes her crazy, internal garbage and self-loathing and manipulates you into feeling what she feels. For instance, when she goads you into losing your temper—it’s because she’s the one who wants to explode. So you feel her inner rage for her and she gets the added bonus of playing the victim/martyr after she baits you into blowing your stack.

Or, she shuts you off sexually, avoids intimacy, and shows you no warmth so that you feel abandoned. If you seek comfort elsewhere, she can paint you as the bad guy for having an affair—never mind that she starved you of love and affection.

She’ll also blame you for her frigidity by saying that “maybe” she would have wanted to have sex with you more often if you weren’t so—fill in the blank—”angry, hostile, distant, spent too much time at work (to support her, mind you), or were ‘nicer’ to her.” She makes you feel like the sexual deviant, pathologizing you for the very natural desire for emotional and sexual intimacy. In reality, she’s the one who can’t handle intimacy and has seriously warped sexuality issues. Projection, projection, projection.

Wow, I’ve gone on quite a tangent.  To summarize, yes, it’s possible to undergo a significant personality change when in an emotionally abusive relationship. However, it’s also possible to recover who you once were prior to this relationship. You’re still that person.

The strong, independent part of you had to go into hiding because a BPD/NPD woman can’t tolerate strength and independence in others—it means they’re not in control. So they break your spirit to control you and establish their distorted view of themselves and reality. It’s like being under a spell. You’ve broken the spell. You can put yourself back together, Jim.

Kind Regards,

Dr Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD

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  1. don
    April 3, 2012 at 7:44 am | #1

    11 months ago I went through a torturous time of abandonment and false accusations. After 34 years the woman who I was married to and who had committed adultery countless times and for a time apparently stopped, abruptly left after 6 months of planning it. This was her admission in a short note. I was accused of anger and control. I just found out she is going to write her story on domestic violence. She starting visiting her boyfriend just a few weeks after leaving me. Over those 34 years I had two episodes where I became angry at her. Both were because I had found out about multiple affairs. She apparently was content to live with me even though now she claims abuse. I chose to hide my head in the sand about her tendencies for other men and try to be the best husband I could. I never called her names or belittled her. I worked tirelessly at helping her become successful. Although I wondered once in a while if she was being faithful to me. Her claims of abuse have been believed by the only daughter and child between us. I am questioning now whether I was the father some 33 years ago. I have been disowned by her. There was no communication with the ex until I chose to file for divorce. After the divorce was final, a flood of letters went out to mutual friends from the ex stating what an abuser I was. I have since moved on in my life and married a wonderful lady who knows the past and recognizes the lies and blame placed on me. It is my hope that men who have been through a similar situation will end their relationship with a narcissistic woman immediately. I should have when the ex left both me and the daughter of 3 30 years ago. At times I struggle with the desire for vindication. That desire has diminished albeit finding out that a “story” is possible makes for some irritation. Anyone else out there been through something similar?

  2. hippmom
    March 23, 2012 at 6:54 pm | #2

    I’m conflicted to find my kids and I are not alone and there are people who “understand” the evil these kind people are driven by. Its not enuf for me to feel somebody gets it…I NEED to find HOW to get the “law” to understand so my precious kids won’t be the next generation to carry abuse into the generations to follow. If I had only known how bad it would get I wouldn’t have left. My trying to break the cycle handed my kids over to him on a silver platter and the family law judge slammed the dooor shut in my face. I would have stayed…sometimes its easier to sleep with the enemy. My “freedom” cost me my health which was hard to cope with but doesn’t compare to having my sole ripped out the day I handed over my babies on their 9th bday…

    • Samson
      March 23, 2012 at 8:41 pm | #3

      As you may have noticed from other comments on the site, one issue for many men is that the law seems to, in general, ascribe to the notion that kids should be with the female parent, regardless of the fact that “primary caregiver” responsibilities aren’t as cut and dried as may have been the case 50 years ago … when women often stayed home and performed the “primary caregiver” role that is generally a major factor in determining who should have custody.

      So an obvious first question is, how did your husband end up with the kids?

  3. trev
    November 1, 2011 at 5:58 am | #4

    ive always known my wifes behavior was very differnt towards myself than it was others ,when the door was closed i living with the person know one else knew ,i statred to doubt my own values,intgrity,my self worth and my sanity.after years of emotional abuse and sex used as some kind of emotional weapon that no one ever saw or knew of we seperated but unknown to me we had actually split for good,i was strung along for a year and a half hopeing we would get back together, i never had any answers to anything or no real closure or even recognition of her need of an emotinal punchbag or whiping boy, iwas erased ,i felt conned ,used ,abused,even our split was emotonaly abusive.i feel very empty knowing that all i had allowed my self to tollerate over twenty years is nothing,even our good times were cast aside,i am being portraid now as someone im not and never was,and no one will ever know because they wernt there when the door was closed, ,ive found others simmilar experiences very reasuring i beleived i was totaly alone and unique ,i really feel so sad for her new partner no one desreves this emotional trap

    • Samson
      November 1, 2011 at 6:21 pm | #5

      Yes, one of the big issues with at least some of these people is that they can come across as relatively “normal” to people they don’t live with or with whom they’re intimately involved.

      A related issue is that while they’re coming across as being all normal and stuff with other people, there’s a good chance they’ll be portraying you as the nut in the mix.

  4. WaYne
    September 6, 2011 at 6:07 pm | #6

    Dr. Palmatier
    This Q. & A. may have well be written by me. After a 36 year marriage I am considering at least one more chance at having my wife solve her problem. I of course in the last 20 years have attempted every(counseling,kindness, anger, helping in-laws + mother-in-law w/hundreds of projects, asked (pleaded with) her to change her frame of mind) approach to get her to deal with the BPD/NPD to no avail.
    What do think of approaching my adult children and having them ask her about “talk therapy” to help solve this? She is already taking lorazepam(not working) for depression but is in denial re BPD. or am I wasting my time?
    Thanks
    Wayne

    • shrink4men
      September 6, 2011 at 6:32 pm | #7

      Hi Wayne,

      I don’t know if it’s a good idea to bring your adult children in on this. Your wife will probably feel like she is being attacked and then lash out. Are your children aware that their mother has problems? Have you ever discussed these issues with them before? Do some of them enable your wife’s bad behaviors? After 36 years, do you believe that the children will be able to help hold her accountable, when 20 years of professional help and other interventions have failed? Are you hoping, on some level, that bringing the kids into this that they’ll be able to see how bad it is in the hopes of possibly assuaging feelings of guilt you may have about ending your marriage?

      My advice is to be very clear about why you are bringing your children into this and what the possible outcomes might be.

      Kind Regards,
      Dr Tara

  5. Shulander
    July 10, 2011 at 2:06 am | #8

    I have a boss that’s exactly like what you all have explained (Narcissistic women ), we are in a department of 6 and 5 of the 6 has went to H.R. and nothing has been done in fact she appears to be friends with the H.R. person and her boss and now it seems as if she is trying to get everyone fired that went to H.R. one of the women has been fired another one has gotten another job in another department and now she is writing us up for things that just don’t make since what can we do to save our jobs?

  6. Shulander
    July 10, 2011 at 2:04 am | #9

    I have a boss that’s exactly like what you all have explained, we are in a department of 6 and 5 of the 6 has went to H.R. and nothing has been done in fact she appears to be friends with the H.R. person and her boss and now it seems as if she is trying to get everyone fired that went to H.R. one of the women has been fired another one has gotten another job in another department and now she is writing us up for things that just don’t make since what can we do to save our jobs?

  7. Mark
    June 12, 2011 at 5:17 pm | #10

    I am glad to find this website. I was in a relationship with a self diagnosed Pathological Narcissist for 4 years. We were great in the beginning, isn’t it always that way, but she always craved the attention of all men and would use their responses to make me feel less secure about our relationship. I would tell her that she should not tolerate what I considered disrespect in their approach to her and she would get mad at me. She was a nice looking, not great, woman, but she had my achilles heel, she had great taste and really knew how to dress. She was smart, sassy and fun in the early stages. But she could not take ANY criticism, even when it was just banter. It got to the point where I knew that if she was experiencing any level of stress from any other avenue, her mother (who has lots of money), her son (who cusses her like a dog if he doesn’t get his way), her sisters (who are wholly money obsessed), her friends or any associates, she would take it out on me. She would shut down and pick at me until I retorted. I tried to resist knowing where things were headed, but eventually she would get her way and we would have a fight. She would kick me out, blame the fight on my passive aggressive behavior and not call, text or come by for periods of time that got longer with each one. Early in the relationship she asked me what I made salary wise, I told her, low 6 figure, and she responded that I didn’t make enough to support her and her son. I told her that I felt that we could adjust expectations and be fine. Our second Christmas together, I got her a David Yurman ring, very nice, what she wanted. I gave it to her, dropped to a knee and told her that I wanted to marry her. Her response was “this is not a real engagement ring, when you get me one, we’ll talk”. Then she went inside to get me my present, pulled out her checkbook and scribbled out a check for 1/4 of the amount of the cost of the ring and said “Merry Christmas”. I told her that I thought that was not a good way for us to do Christmas so early in the relationship. I didn’t care how much or little she spent on me, but she should get something, put some thought into what she wanted to get and wrap it up. Not scribble out a check after I had given her exactly what she had wanted and told her that I wanted to marry her. Her response was that she didn’t want to spend more on me and I had not told her what I wanted. We used to watch tv in her bedroom all the time. She loved watching Nancy Grace, who always has the horrible child kidnapping and sensational male misdeeds. Tiger Woods situation came on with all of his straying. I said that’s horrible, I would have thought he would have had more thought for the kids if nothing else and she responded “you are just like him!” She once broke up with me for 6 months because the route I have taken to my house for the past 15 years had a single woman that lived on it and she decided that I was stopping by her house after being intimate with her and being intimate with the woman on the route! Our last exchange came when her son, 15, came home at 9:45 on a thursday night with school the next day. He had missed over 50 days of school that year because “he was tired”, “she had not gotten him up on time” or “she had not washed his boxers”. He said he was going to take the generator the next night for a party, she said no and he proceeded to cuss her like a dog. I told him not to speak to her like that, he continues and I tell me a bit more forcefully not to talk to his mother like that and he starts cussing me. I got up, took one step towards him and said, “Do not speak to your mother like”. He left that night, went to a friends house, came back the next morning and said he wasn’t going to school because he was tired. She accused me of being the bad guy for standing up for her. I knew it was over. And I knew that if I was with her any longer, I would be playing with dynomite. Two extreme narcissists in one house and me the outsider, I would either be maimed (which she threatened regularly) or killed.

  8. paul
    January 18, 2011 at 12:27 am | #11

    Dr. Tara,

    I was in a relationship for seven months with a woman whom I believe is affected by BPD and still don’t know if I have to feel hurt and angry or guilty and . I was too quick to trust her as she indeed was the charming and “apparently” kind type of person. What lurked underneath that “Perfect” woman was a verbally and physically violent person, a manipulator, a liar, a cleptomaniac.

    What I’d like to ask is how on earth these people get away with such iniquities and still feel righteous in our society. Do these individuals ever get unmasked and finally get forced to face reality?

  9. The Tick
    September 24, 2010 at 2:41 am | #12

    Short answer : yes it can. It’s passed on from person to person like a virus. Once you’re out, time to detox and build your “immune system” (boundaries) against these types of sick people. Once bs is out the door, NEVER invite it back in for an overture, in any form (new woman, etc).

  10. Stefano
    July 15, 2010 at 8:40 am | #13

    15/07/2010 is a good day for me! I finally got rid of rest of her things last night and so from today it is TOTAL NO CONTACT. I don’t need to ever speak to her again.
    Even last night she was still trying to cause trouble and reason things out with classic lines like “it wasn’t that bad.” I just ignored her and closed the front door because I could see her gearing up for an all out arguement. I’m too tired and just want to be left alone now.

    I fully agree that total no contact is the way to go because that is how I have been reeled back in before…I have changed my numbers and blocked her on my mail. So pretty much covered apart from her turning up at my door, but then again already cleared with Police what to do if that happens. They have been most catergoric that I must never, ever let her in my home because it is dangerous to me both from a point of view of damage but also the accusations she could level if an arguement breaks out. God knows I don’t want to be arrested again for something I didn’t do so this time it is absoulute iron will and NO CONTACT!

  11. Stefano
    July 11, 2010 at 4:15 pm | #14

    Hi…Ermmm not this time Old guy. The difference was she had become physically abusive during an arguement. She would try and slap me at first then start throwing fisted punches often hitting me in the back and shoulders as I ducked out of the way but they were aimed at my head.

    I guess this site re-infroced my decision as I was already ultra determined it was over. After the first time she tried to punch me my love just curled up and died right there and then. So it was an easy decision but hard to carry it out.
    I really have learnt a lot from this whole episode, I understand the danger signals a whole lot more and also I see that moving someone into your life is a huge decision and one that I will not take so lightly ever again. It’s easy to get swept away on loves rollercoaster and these women are very good at putting on acts to get what they want. For me I am staying single and enjoying my freedom for the time being. I guess it takes time to heal the damage they caused and I have started with panic attacks and anxiety which makes me break out in cold sweats. Really feel quite ill these days because of all the upset. But i know I will be OK and will go see my GP to see if he can help in the short term.

    Speaking of scripts guys…She has followed everything you guys have said she would and even texted me a picture of herself with another guy last night.I just laughed and thought poor sucker he is the next victim. These women should have a tattoo on their forehead warning guys that they are good at acting! At least as Old Guy says it now takes her focus off me, I just have a few more bags for her to collect and then I’m done.

    I think I will stay around on here though because having been through it I can help guys, even if it is just an ear to vent their frustrations to. You guys have given me that when I needed it most and believe me it was sooooo needed.

  12. July 10, 2010 at 12:17 pm | #15

    Stefano, just out of curiosity if you hadn’t come across this blog do you think that you might have fallen for the “we can work this out” or anything that followed and ended up back with this woman?

  13. Stefano
    July 9, 2010 at 1:26 pm | #16

    Sage advise again “old guy” you really should think about doing this as a profession. Anyway you are right for the cost of a few pounds it’s not worth the hassle. She can have everything she brought or paid for whilst in my house. I guess eating off her Goddam plates would make me choke anyway.
    It’s quite easy to get dragged down to her level even though you are determined to stay above it. Thank goodness for this site, all you people and Dr T. Really cannot wait for the day when I don’t have to speak to her at all…Oooo before I forget…you were right again “old guy” she tried selling some stuff back to me for money, so yes she did come looking for money. I refused and just said “I’m broke.” Real reason is I don’t want to look at her blu ray player etc etc. I will buy my own! Which I guess ties in with the rest of her stuff, it’s amazing how they drag you down to their games. I will give her EVERYTHING she brought or paid for.

    • July 9, 2010 at 3:13 pm | #17

      Thanks, Stefano.

      I’ve been there and done that in respect of just about everything I’ve read in Dr. T’s posts and the comments from others involved with cluster b people.

      I got pulled down to my wife’s level plenty of times and certainly didn’t feel better about myself after.

      Live and learn.

      I just hope that discussing some of my experiences and lessons learned through years with what I believe is a NPD wife can help others to perhaps avoid the crap I chose to live with for many years.

    • Lighthouse
      July 10, 2010 at 2:23 am | #18

      Old Guy:

      A superb application of relentless rational responses – nice job.

      Stefano:

      It takes a real man to listen – nice job.

      I hope you learned your lesson (you need better boundaries) from the relatively cheap cost of this relationship. If you haven’t, we’ll no doubt hear from you again after your next fiasco.

  14. Stefano
    July 9, 2010 at 9:23 am | #19

    Hi ya all. Well we are at the suicide threat stage now. She just about tried everything else. It staggers me that these people have no pride at all. Do she honestly believe I would want her back after abusing me and that threatening suicide is going to change my mind. That may seam harsh but why the heck would I want someone back that plays evil games like this.
    Surprise, surprise she is still in the land of living despite the woe is me act last night…unfortunately I have to speak to her because I need her to collect the final few boxes and bags of hers. One question here guys…when she moved in she binned all my plates and crockery because it wasn’t upto her standard, she then bought new. She is now saying I have to give them her. She binned my stuff and she certainly has no receipts and paid cash. Just what do I have to give her because she lived rent/money free apart from a few groceries for 6 months with me.
    I know again its sounds harsh but I am in no mood to give her anything apart from her personal possesions and clothes etc…She abused me physically and verbally and never contributed to any bills. Any advice much appreciated.

    • July 9, 2010 at 12:18 pm | #20

      I’d let her have the dishes. The cost of replacing these is well worth it to be rid of her and as you say, she did pay for them.

      If you don’t let her have them, it will just give her one more reason to continue harassing you and one more grievance to throw at you and carry on about with others.

      I can certainly understand your feelings but, I think you’ll feel better about things in the future if you act the bigger person now rather than giving into any bitterness, etc. you have and bickering with her about stuff like table settings, etc.

      I heard the suicide stuff from my wife from time to time through the years, along with the “I wish I were dead” remarks, etc..

      She’s still alive and kicking today.

      My opinion, whether right or wrong, is that if any of these personality types actually do ever end up killing themselves, it’s accidental, e.g., cut deeper than they intended. I truly believe that in most cases they are far too self-centered to make a serious attempot to take themselves out of the picture … plus the fact that they’d miss out seeing the sadness, etc. their death might cause their “loved ones” … which is contrary to what seems their nature to sit back and enjoy watching the anguish they cause to others.

      The rather unfortunate reality, and talk about harsh, is that most associated with these personalities would likely be better off if the BPD/NPD person did actually off themselves.

      I know what you mean about “pride” and have thought the same many times. I realize now that I was thinking in terms of “adult” pride, which for most of us is based on, among other things, a feeling of independence and being able to take care of oursleves and our family and respect from our peers.

      But, as is discussed in various posts and comments on this blog, these people operate at anywhere from a 2 to 5 year old emotional level, and 2 and 5 year olds operate on a “I want what I want” basis and aren’t concerned about what anyone else might think about the tantrum they throw to get what they want or using devices like “I hate you, daddy” to get you to come around.

      Anyway, good to hear from you, Stefano. All the best.

  15. Stefano
    July 5, 2010 at 2:20 pm | #21

    Well what a few days. You guys and ladies are just spot on with how this would go…Friday she rang me from work saying she was outside with her sister for her things. I told her under no circumstances am I coming there without the Police there. She rang the Police and they duly obliged. So I got rid of most of her stuff and she wasn’t allowed in my house!!! Yah one for the sane people…Anyway after threats all week about me getting arrested for abuse and other threats the Police finally turned up Monday morning for me to give my side of what happened. When I read the utter garbage she had written it was just laughable. I gave them all the evidence I had and told them exactly what had happened. She had even got the dates wrong, the doofus! The Police completely dropped all charges and even asked if I wanted to press charges because of the abuse I have suffered at her hands. The Police were brilliant and looked on her report as a pure fabrication especially when she had got all the dates and days wrong. She painted me as a big bruiser that beats people up, the Police even sent 2 officers because of the picture painted and could not believe how different I really am.
    The facts of the case spoke volumes and because I kept a written log and kept phone messages and threats she didn’t have a leg to stand on. The one were she left a message on my home answer machine admitting she had made threats made them actually chuckle!

    I guess the moral is keep everything, even when it’s a little scary to keep it. Keep a record of every time you call Police and dates and times of any fights and an account of what happened. It makes their records just look stupid and what they are…made up!

    • July 5, 2010 at 2:28 pm | #22

      Glad to hear everything seems to be working out for you, Stefano.

  16. Stefano
    July 2, 2010 at 8:27 am | #23

    Hi and thanks for all the good advice above. Oooo she’s as mad as an angry hornet now! Had the phone call spewing all sorts of threats and that she has been Police and can enter my property to get her things.She even said she was going to take shelves off the wall and scour all my cupboards for anything she thinks is hers. I decided it’s time to get my solicitor involved and rang to check on this matter. Just as I thought as long as I am willing to give her the things she owns she has no right to enter a property which is not hers, both the mortgage and deeds in my name and only ever been in my name. I am fully entitled to ring the Police if she comes around.
    Spent hours last night bagging and boxing everything I could think of that is hers. I don’t want her stuff but am not having her over my door step. It is all ready to go and with my parents we decided on a strategy of them being there when she comes down and I answer from around the back. The door is locked each time I come through it to collect her things and she stays at the front of the house. If she wanders anywhere on my property I will signal my parents from outside to call the Police.
    The best bit was how she said she had been Police and showed them bruises and they were very interested…Firstly no bruises that I caused and secondly if she had I would have heard by now from the Police of the allegations. She just lies like you would not believe, she told me at first she had a van coming next week and now it’s not, as long as i have known her she lied all the time.

  17. July 1, 2010 at 4:15 pm | #24

    I’d say the “deer in the headlights” feeling is quite understandable.

    In my view the luckiest thing that can happen to someone who has beein involved with a BPD/NPD is to have them latch onto someone else right away, giving them someone othe than yourself to focus their “attentions” on and allowing them the feeling of “hurting” you they seem to crave by depriving you of their company and being in “the arms of another”.

    If this doesn’t happen and they have time to chew over how, in their reality, you “victimized”, “used”, “abandoned”, “screwed over”, etc., them, you never know what they’ll do to make your life miserable or when.

    Added to the fact that they often save their more insane moments for your eyes only and may come across to others as being pretty much as normal as anyone else and are quite willing to tell others the most horrible lies they can think of about you and your time together … with the others perhaps thinking that no one would say or could hink of these things unless there was some truth to them … and I’d say anyone is entitled to feel a certain sense of dread after leaving the relationship.

    And then of course there’s always the possibility of PTSD.

    http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/pages/what-is-ptsd.asp

    On the positive side, you’re fortunate enough to have your family as a support group through this.

    Just make sure that after receiving their support, you don’t at some point end up back with this woman as the support might not be so forthcoming the next time. I speak from experience here.

    Confrontation has never been something I’ve enjoyed either however, I’ve seen a lot these past many years as I would never be a (complete) doormat for my wife. In retrospect, I can’t say this has been great for my health.

    Best of luck.

  18. Stefano
    July 1, 2010 at 1:11 pm | #25

    Thanks for that “old guy.” Is it normal at this point to feel like a rabbit in the headlights! Once you have made your decision and you are dealing with all the BS your body just sort of wants to lie down and sleep, well mine does anyway! I have loaded my car with boxes from work out of the skip :-) I am going to box off everything tonight then at least it is nice and easy to get rid of should she just turn up. I have the local police number next to my phone and any messing and I will lock the door and call them. I have decided if the door bell goes I am answering from around the back, that way I can lock the high gate behind me each time I hand stuff over. According to solicitor she has no right to enter my property and if she tries she is breaking the law.
    Change your personality eh!!! Well I’m like a cat on a hot tin roof till this is over. My confidence is zero, I am actually physically scared of her coming around. How sad is that! I guess confrontation was never my strong point and I avoid it at all costs. She feeds on it.

    • jp
      July 1, 2010 at 10:06 pm | #26

      Don’t beat yourself up for feeling fear. I get jittery every time I see an email in my inbox from my ex, and she wasn’t even physically abusive, unless you count that one time when…oh wait, or those other two times when she…well, anyway, you get my point. They’re perfectly capable of hurting you emotionally and psychologically and that pain is real. Can you have someone be here with you as deterrent and/ot witness?

      JP

    • Lighthouse
      July 1, 2010 at 10:16 pm | #27

      Stefano:

      I am very much in alignment with Old Guy’s comment – it is worth the peace of mind to box up her stuff and deposit it in a storage facility with a months worth of pre-paid rental. Just remember to e-mail her and all her friends with the contact details then refuse to answer your door to her.

      You committed to paying this price (albeit unknown to you) when you failed to apply good boundaries and started to date her. It is now time to pay. Pay it gladly knowing the valuable lesson you (hopefully) just learnt.

      Lighthouse

    • Jason
      July 2, 2010 at 2:56 am | #28

      I’ll disagree with the storage idea. Very bad. You can’t sign a contract for another person and there would likely be a legal liability if the storage locker is sealed for non-payment and the contents forfeited.

      Far better to get a family member of yours and a friend of hers and have them transport her stuff to her and have her sign for it. Perhaps your attorney/solicitor can whip up a release form witnessed by the two third parties.

      • Lighthouse
        July 2, 2010 at 2:44 pm | #29

        If you sign the contract on your own behalf then fully fund it to avoid credit reporting problems at the end of the contract the storage unit owner will post an ad in the paper then sell the goods to cover his costs if she does not collect her stuff. You may wish to verify that they do not presume a month-to-month contract at the end of the initial lease and file a credit report when you fail to pay. As an alternative, as long as you have sent her by certified mail to her known addresses a request asking her to move her stuff or you will ditch it, I believe you are entitled to ditch it after a legally acceptable period.

        I know – it’s expensive. But think how financially and emotionally expensive it would be to defend some imagined assault charge in court (even the court of public opinion) ! While you have my condolences, it remains your choice.

        All the best,

        Lighthouse

        • Jason
          July 2, 2010 at 7:07 pm | #30

          Yes, and she’ll likely have grounds to sue and Stefano would likely have a judgment filed against him, screwing up his credit rating.

          • Lighthouse
            July 2, 2010 at 7:46 pm | #31

            Stefano:

            While everyone has the unalienable right to sue at any time for any thing. However, if she decides to try and engage a lawyer I am hopeful the multiple precedents from the storage industry would ensure that any lawyer worth their salt wouldn’t take the deal and any lawyer willing to take her money would get admonished by any judge worth their salt for wasting the courts time by taking the case and the claims would be dismissed.

            Even if he suffered a judgment, he would still not get a ding on his credit rating because the government does not report to credit ratings.

            I still believe it is worth it. Clearly Jason does not. I understand it is a difficult choice and that is why you have my condolences.

            All the best,

            Lighthouse

            • Jason
              July 3, 2010 at 1:56 am | #32

              Lighthouse, you fail to understand that if you sign a contract with a storage facility and fail to pay the amount you agreed to, they can, and probably will, report you to a collections agency and that will affect your credit rating.

  19. Stefano
    July 1, 2010 at 9:23 am | #33

    Hi and thanks for the advice. I will box it all up and take the photos before and after. Each time I have tried to get her out she has always done this exact same thing. First meek then threats. The thing is she has no evidence of anything, no bruises, no sex so she can’t claim rape because not been near her for weeks. I think by now PC plod would have called if she had filed a complaint. Yes she will threaten me but once her stuff is gone I can change all my numbers etc.
    I contacted a solicitor and she is entitled to nothing apart from what is hers in the house. Basically I did right by leaving everything completely in my name.
    I will make sure a family member is with me when she comes for stuff. I would love to follow your advice re the delivering it but she will not give me an address.
    Earlier someone said I should put it in storage and then she would need to go there to get it. What do you think?

    • July 1, 2010 at 11:27 am | #34

      For my part, I think the storage idea is preferable to her coming to your home, particularly if she starts playing little games like arranging to pick her stuff up then not showing or telling you she has to make multiple trips because she can’t take everything at once.

      I’d pay the storage for a month and tell her that whatever happens after that time is her responsibility. I wouldn’t say anything to her about the storage until after everything was there.

      Of course, if you know where any of her friends or relatives live, you could just have the stuff dropped off there, again without saying anything to her first.

      I’d suggest you just make a decision in this regard and do it, without letting her have any say in the matter, within the next day or two.

      I’m sure you know that regardless of what you do, you’re likely to hear complaints about “missing” or “damaged” items. The photograph, or video, idea above is a good idea as it might offer some protection from false accusations.

  20. Stefano
    July 1, 2010 at 7:04 am | #35

    Gosh! You people are spot on with how this is going…Once again early morning and the phone rings. I have to answer because I need her to get her stuff and that includes her documents such as a passport etc, anyway…We have now reached the threat stage. “Stefano the fight is just beginning, I have accepted it’s over but you left me covered in bruises.” What! I just didn’t take her on and asked “all I need to know is when are you coming for your things.” The reply ” I don’t want money but your not getting away with treating me like this.” I eventually got out of her that she is coming tomorrow for some but with a van next week for the bigger items. God I hope so! I am not letting her in the house because it would be too volatile and she may kick off and break things so I will have it all lined up and ready to go.
    I have been thinking about whether they can change your personality when you live with BPD’s and yes they certainly can. They can make you go a multitude of ways including very quiet and withdrawn, they can sap your self worth and esteem and make you a shell of your former self. But even already I know that once I have severed all ties with this woman I can get back to the happy caring guy I used to be.

    • shrink4men
      July 1, 2010 at 7:13 am | #36

      Bypass her bullshit by photographing all her things, put them in boxes, photograph her things in the boxes and hire a service or get a friend to deliver them to her. Do not see her alone without witnesses. Sounds like she’ gearing up to call the police. If you must communicate, do it in writing so you have a record. Do not engage in her bs. Simply refute her vague allegations of abuse and nothing more. You are in danger. In fact you may want to file a protective order against her with the police. Do not underestimate the seriousness of her pathology. Your personal freedom is at stake.
      Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

    • July 1, 2010 at 1:25 pm | #37

      If she says she diesn’t “want you money”, she’ll likely be looking for some.

      Re: Dr. T.’s comment in the post that “these women would actually be funny …”, some of the attitudes and antics of the BPD/NPD would be absolutely hilarious if seen from an animated character in a cartoon. Of course, not so funny when directed at you or other people in the real world.

      One of the attitudes I can’t help but find rather amusing … and amazing … is the overwhelming sense of entitlement at least some of these types … my wife, for example, have.

      They can contribute little or nothing in any aspect of and throughout the relationship and then when it ends actually believe that you “owe” them something for the misery they gave you and that you’ve somehow caused them to “waste their life” rather than the more accurate vice versa.

      Another source of endless chuckles with them is how predictable they become after awhile.

      I could always tell with my wife when the “I think we should separate” talk was on the horizon. She’d get really quiet for a few days, after which it would be a blow-up over some trivial thing or a quiet conversation starting off with “I’ve been thinking …” or something similar.

      If the conversation, I’d get the “no one’s to blame …” line …followed by various example of why I was to blame, etc.

      For many years, I’d discuss things in an “adult” way and explain why from my perspective, “we” should keep trying.

      I discontinued that awhile back and began to just agree with her whenever she started in on the “going our separate ways” stuff.

      At which point, she’d express her hope that we could do things in a “friendly” way. Of course, after a few days in which I didn’t try to talk her out of “separating”, she’d become less and less “friendly” and start in with the, at first, veiled threats, unreasonable demands, insults … generally projecting her own thoughts, actions and attitudes onto me, etc.

      She finally moved out the other day however, I’m not kidding myself that things are over because I know she’ll be sitting around brooding on the various injustices she likes to imagine I’ve visited upon her and is likely to eventually do something stupid.

      On a different note, one thing I really appreciate about this blog is that it has allowed me to talk about a few things that through the years I’ve been too embarassed to tell family or friends.

      The truth is that if I was watching a movie of my relationship with my wife these past many years, I’d thinking the male in the movie was a complete idiot and asking myself why he couldn’t see the woman was trouble, why he chose to get involved with her and ignore every red flag and why he stayed with her.

      Not that I’m beating myself up about this.

      I made my choices and decisions in respect of my relationship with my wife based on my understanding, knowledge, personal issues, insecurities, values and maturity level at the time.

      In hindsight, it isn’t hard to see where I should have done something different but, I can’t judge myself because any such judgement would be based on knowledge, etc. I have now but, didn’t have at the point in my life I’d be judging.

      The one key piece of information I never had was that “she will never change”.

      Of course any reasonably intelligent person should have understood this years ago but, I just never “got it” until recently understanding … largely from information on this blog … that she is a BPD/NPD.

      Anyway, stick with it Stefano and if you ever find yourself weakening, just keep the “she will never change” reality of the situation in mind.

Comment pages
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