Home > Abusive relationships, Borderline Personality Disorder, bullying, divorce, Marriage, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Psychology, relationships > Divorce and Break-Ups: There Is No Closure with a Narcissistic or Borderline Woman

Divorce and Break-Ups: There Is No Closure with a Narcissistic or Borderline Woman


please close the doorClosure is a healthy part of ending a relationship. You each get to say your peace. You both apologize for any unintentional and/or intentional hurts. You say goodbye and wish each other well. This is how closure works between two reality-based, reasonably sane adults who basically had a good relationship, but didn’t work because you ultimately had different goals, values, interests, a lack of compatibility or you grew apart instead of together.

A less satisfying form of closure is when you had a relationship with someone who wasn’t considerate, wasn’t invested in the relationship or just wasn’t ready for commitment. If this person is a reality-based, reasonably sane adult then you break up and state how they hurt you. They apologize and give you an ego massage by offering, “It’s not you; it’s me. You deserve someone who really loves you.” You accept his or her apology and you both go away feeling a little better.

Trying to get closure with a narcissistic and/or borderline woman usually results in reopening your old wounds, not healing them

Attempting to obtain closure with an abusive, narcissistic and/or borderline woman (i.e., Crazy) is almost always a maddening exercise in futility. You’re not going to get closure with this kind of woman for several reasons. First, she doesn’t meet the three most important prerequisites for giving and receiving closure:

  1. A reasonable degree of sanity
  2. A foothold in reality
  3. Empathy

Being able to give an ex closure means you’re able to accept your share of responsibility for the demise of the relationship and when has your BPD and/or NPD ex ever taken responsibility for her behavior, especially when she was clearly in the wrong?

Don’t you remember how she would rewrite ancient and recent history when you were together by portraying herself as the long suffering heroine and you as the terrible ogre, after every nasty blow-up, attack or cold shoulder episode that she initiated? Do you really think she’s going to admit to any of the relationship atrocities she committed during the relationship now that it’s over? (*Unless, of course, she’s attempting a Hoover.)

I hate to break it to you, but if you’re waiting for this to happen or, heaven forbid, an apology from this woman; IT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. If you try to get closure from your NPD and/or BPD ex by detailing the many ways she hurt and tortured you, she’s unlikely to acknowledge what she did.

Instead, she’ll puff herself up, look at you like you’re the crazy one, and mystifyingly tell you, “I was a wonderful and loving wife or girlfriend. How dare you say these things to me? You must be crazy or someone’s brainwashed you. Don’t you remember how good I was to you and the many things I did for you?”

Somebody has a memory problem, but it’s not you. If you seek closure from this woman, she’ll regale you with her revisionist relationship history as you have yet another NPD/BPD induced WTF-moment. You’ll be understandably rattled after walking into another one of her traps and  she’ll tell you how worried she is about you because you seem so unhappy now (the “without her” is implied).

Evidence that the hard wiring in these women’s heads is truly out of whack:

1. They don’t get that when you look hurt, unhappy and in pain it’s because of something they’ve done. They think it’s because of something you’ve done because if she hurt you, you deserved it and she was right to hurt you. She’s confused hurting you with “showing you affection” and trying to take most of your assets as “generosity.” You cannot reason with this.

Once most men finally get out of an abusive relationship, they feel an intense amount of relief. They have regret and sadness that they fell in love with a woman who doesn’t really exist and put up with the abuse for so long, but that’s normal. Nearly every man I know who’s broken free from one of these women is infinitely happier — even with less money (if it’s divorce—a reader describes it as “the price of freedom, sanity and happiness”) and/or less time with their kid(s). Once the abuse stops, it’s a tremendous relief.

2. What they call love is really abuse and control, but they doggedly insist, it’s love. Enough said.

3. Some of them truly believe they were the best wife or girlfriend. You could show this kind of woman a video tape of one of her unprovoked rage attacks and she’d still deny she did it or find a way to blame you for it. Her defense mechanisms are impenetrable.

This is why it’s crazy for you to seek closure from this woman. She may have brief moments in which she can recognize the truth of who she is and what she’s done. However, the reality of it terrifies her and shakes her to the core. Instead of apologizing to you, she’ll quickly revert back to her idealized false self or image that no one (who knows her well) believes.

Narcissistic women in particular believe that their facade is so slick that no one can see through it and many people don’t until they get too close, which is why these women don’t let anyone get too close. In other words, she believes her own bullshit. She has to believe it because if she doesn’t she fears she will fall apart. It’s a matter of ego preservation vs. ego annihilation except that she’s actually preserving her false self.

Then she will either attack you or gaslight you by rewriting history yet again. Do you really want to get caught in one of these crazy-making, never ending loops with your ex? Didn’t you learn your lesson while you were with her?

Here’s how you get closure from an emotionally abusive narcissistic and/or borderline woman: Get as far away from her as you can and then get on with your life. The best form of closure for you is living well and that means a life free of abuse, filled with love and happiness. This woman will never have the kind of relationships other people are capable of — she will be left with herself and that’s a fate I wouldn’t wish upon anyone.

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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Photo credits:

Please close the door by aeioux on flickr.

  1. Paul
    September 5, 2009 at 8:23 am

    What a relief to find this website advice.
    Thank you.
    I have been in an on-off relationship with a woman I sincerely believe has chronic NPD. Looking back over the last two years and reading she has exhibited every single behaviour trait and I have been of the ‘type’ to stay with her (I am a ‘fixer’ with a higher degree in Psychology and am a ‘giver’ by nature)./
    From the start she told me that exes were abusive to her, that it was all their fault and that she just wanted true love. this made me want her even more. She also early on told me about being sexually abused by a relative from the age of 6 – 10. Again this made me want to give her love even more. Whenever i was with her it was like I was NOT with HER. She would be ‘distant’ or forever checking her phone. Her mind always seemed to be somewher else.
    She exagerrated/lied about her achievements and her success and from the start it was clear she seemed out of synch with how most people view the world/situations. She lived in a fantasy world and talked about spirituality, healing and mysticism a lot.
    She also had a lot of ‘friends’ mostly men. She is/was very very attractive and spent all her time on social networking sites posting quite provocative pictures and claiming she was something she wasn’t (career wise and pesronality wise…deep and soulful were words she used all the time) . She had profiles under various guises which were totally different from each other. She seemed to constantly need external validation for everything (physical and non phsical)even when I knew the men who complimented her on whatever where false and after one thin whicxh was proved on more than one occassion when meeting up with them for ‘networking’. She probably also knew this but it didn’t matter as long as they fuelled her ego.
    Throughout the relationship any attempt to try and discuss anything rationally was met with a wall of defense so solid and always made me feel like I was going crazy how she waould always be able to turn every attempt at a ratinoal discussion in it being my lack of spirituality or understanding.
    Like a previous post throughout the last year she would say she was unwell or in pain or unable to get together because she was ill.
    I spent sooooo many hours/days/weeks trying to justify her lack of empathy and understand her more but it started to make me feel so down, like I was a failure in not being able to ‘help’ her.
    After all my highs and lows I am now in the stage of ‘letting go’ emotionally. I am trying not to harbour negative thoughts about being ‘used’ and falling for someone so manipulative. It is very very hard to accept that will never get true closure that comes with a ‘norma’ break up when as you rightly say both people accept a portion of responsibility. But thanks to this website I am hopeful i will reach that place.
    Thanh you!

    • shrink4men
      September 5, 2009 at 4:23 pm

      Hi Paul,

      You’ll get there, just keep focusing on the future because that’s where your happiness lies. It’s definitely hard to admit we let someone treat us so badly, but it’s better to admit it rather than continue to accept it.

      You’re fortunate you were finally able to recognize her behaviors for what they are because some people never do. I wish you the best in moving forward. I think you have closure. You understand what really happened in your relationship. Does it really matter if she acknowledges it? You know and you got out and that’s what counts.

      Kind Regards,
      Dr Tara

      • Paul
        September 5, 2009 at 5:28 pm

        Thanks for that Dr Tara.
        Great work you do.
        Paul.

    • P
      September 5, 2009 at 5:14 pm

      Paul,

      You described my situation to a “T”, man — except mine didn’t have any of the so-called physical ailments, (with her, life was always “beautiful/fantastic”, except for our relationship–which she would gladly point out and further gladly point out that she had never been this way (i.e., the bad side of her) to anyone except for me because of the things that I said and did that had ruined our “foundation”). From my standpoint, I’d be scratching my head going, “gee, I’ve never given my heart, soul, money, love, compassion, dedication, etc. to ANYONE at the level I’ve been trying for you, so what am I missing here” — and the constant guilt and mind racing I felt to try to please here was indescribable.

      Another thing you said also really hit me — mine too was very ‘mystical/spiritual/seemingly profoundly wise’, etc. — which I found very intoxicating and the thing that I would run back to as being “but she’s so amazing in certain senses, etc.” However, the constant networking, numerous “guy” friends (whom she was always at lunch with, always going to drinks with — but God forbid that I had a single phone call after work with a female co-worker about work related issues on my end). The grandiose/false/unrealistic viewpoint on her successes and the way life worked generally used to drive me nuts. I didn’t even care about her successes — just wanted her to be herself and not always painting this illustrious/false picture to me and everyone else. The few times she did seemingly step into reality and let her guard down, I’d be like “this is good, she’s acknowledging she’s human and this is real” — and it would pull me that much closer to her and make me thing that we could work through things.

      But it never lasted. Within six hours or less each time,, she’d be a different person and I couldn’t bring her back to being genuine or sincere. It was such a vicious cycle.

      Anyway, you’re not alone, bro. I was there two years (am there, but trying incredibly hard not to let myself go back after this latest break up).

      Take care man,
      P

      • Paul
        September 5, 2009 at 6:05 pm

        Cheers P.
        It is kinda liberating to know that I am not the only guy who has fallen way too deeply for this kind of woman. I always thought I had a pretty good radar but boy she came right under that with her act.
        All the signs were there from the first day, so clear to me even then (and everyoone else) but i tried to justify and excuse her behaviour, illogical reasoning, her lack of empathy and total inconsideration for anyone else apart from herself because of her alleged mental and sexual abuse throughout her life.

        I am certainly not saying that that did not happen but what i am sure of is that she was also adept at abusing people and using them for what she wanted and discarding them with utter abandon as soon as she thought they could not be of any use anymore.

        Another pointer was her air of superiority and her poor socials skills. It was as if she hated being around other people who were genuine and could see through her so she chose to live in what i call quite a ‘virtual’ world of social networking sites.

        She was terrible with money, always in debt, but wouldn’t do ‘normal’ work as it was ‘beneath’ her so she lived in this fanstasy world of one day making it big in the music business. I have my own business, have done well for 10 years, but woe betide me if I tried to make any constructive suggestions on her ‘ideas’ of making it big.

        It also became clear that sexually she was quite adept at going throiugh the motions of making it appear she liked it but it quite quickly became apparant that this was another facade and was used a a trade off. as soon as i stopped helping her out (usually financially or by giving her things she needed) .Looking back I don’t think she ever actually initiated sex from a loving/emotional perspective at all. It was like it was her duty to go through a performance.

        This was the same about her time…..she rationed this quite quickly…she was always busy, doing ‘projects’ that were never really going anywhere. But she believed they would because some shmooz she met on one of the social sites would say she was an awesome talent and give her all the BS . It was a constant series of highs and low for her but she would always be able to justify projects not happening by blaming other people. Never ever herself. Again this is a BIG clue, she never ever could take any responsibility or rationally analyse if she did anything wrong in anything. She thought she was perfect….unaccountable to anyone or anything. But that no-one ‘got’ her because THEY are superficial and not deep and spiritual like she was!

        When I tried to ask her what she wanted from a relationship/partner and then try to deliver that the goalposts would always shift!! It was like trying to grab a handful of water! But somehow it was alwys my fault fot not understanding her enough!

        Hey man, hope I have’t rambled on to much but I have not been able to explain how I feel to anyone about this.
        It is good to even just write this down.
        Paul.

      • jham123
        September 22, 2009 at 5:39 pm

        “The few times she did seemingly step into reality and let her guard down, I’d be like “this is good, she’s acknowledging she’s human and this is real” — and it would pull me that much closer to her and make me thing that we could work through things.

        But it never lasted. Within six hours or less each time,, she’d be a different person and I couldn’t bring her back to being genuine or sincere. It was such a vicious cycle. ”

        BAM!! Are you inside our home describing us?

    • guy
      September 6, 2009 at 2:44 pm

      paul & dr.tara,

      pauls explanation about your X’N’ was dead on with the way mine was as well. its like there was an online college course on being an NPD/BPD as they are all programed the same.

      they are all hamsters spinning in thier cage

      guy

      • StillRecovering
        September 6, 2009 at 3:20 pm

        Paul,

        You’ve described my ex pretty much perfectly. She was addicted to social networking sites as well, specifically a couple of sites for brides and married women. She was on all the time, both at work and at home. She continued this obsession after we were married, and still posts frequently despite the fact we are in the final stages of divorce. In fact, only after we split did I discover that she had joined these sites almost 5 months before we had met. Had I known she was on these sites at the time, I would have run like hell. At least, I would have in my current state of mind. At the time, I was at such a low point, I think I probably would have just over looked it.

        She also claimed that no one understood her, because people were either jealous or just didn’t like her. My family would make comments to me about things she would say around them, and when I would confront her, she would say it was their problem not hers. She had absolutely no regrets for anything she said at any time. Being the devoted fiance and husband I was, I would defend her. My friends stopped speaking to me because of her, and we were invited to family functions only with great reluctance, because she made people feel so uncomfortable.

        Sex was also exactly as you describe. I was quite inexperienced sexually when we met, and she had a very promiscuous past. Sex always seemed like just a physical act to her. There was never any romance, no foreplay. I didn’t really know any better, so I didn’t think anything of it at first, but I now realize it certainly was not a healthy love life.
        Of course, once we were engaged, her interest in sex dropped drastically, and once the wedding was over, it vanished all together. It caused me to have significant anxiety issues regarding sex, which of course she blamed on me. Instead of being a caring and loving partner, she just told me I needed some professional help, and cut me off all together.

        Even after all of this, I’m still having a great deal of difficulty getting over her emotionally. Intellectually, I’m very aware of all the things she did to me, but I guess I’m still in love with the woman I thought she would become. I poured everything I had into the relationship, and it was for nothing. I know I will be better off in the long run without her, but every day is still a struggle,

        StillRecovering

      • Reg
        September 13, 2009 at 9:50 am

        Paul, i feel you. I was so caught up that I did.nt know where to turn.
        Whenever she and i were physical(not intimate) because that never happened. She would initiate sex as some kind of reward or something. you can just tell that she was not into sex. I don’t it mattered what I looked like……..it was all about her.

  2. StillRecovering
    September 5, 2009 at 3:44 am

    My soon-too-be ex still maintains a profile on one of the major “bride-too-be” sites (not sure if I’m really allowed to name it here), as well as it’s sister site for married women. In her profile, she still has our engagement photo, as well as all of the info about our wedding. All this from the woman that wanted to have our 8 month long marriage annulled because, as she told her lawyer, I was “cruel, hateful, and abusive”, all complete lies, of course. She became absolutely addicted to these sites during the planning phase of our wedding, and sadly, the only friends she had attend our wedding were people she met on the site. After doing some research on her account, I discovered that she had made over 20,000 posts in the last year and a half. She would open up to these strangers far more than she ever did to me, which was not at all. It just drives me nuts that she still poses as a happily married woman on these sites when obviously she is not. I was actually able to use these sites to dig up some information on her to use in my divorce proceedings, particularly posts supporting my suspicions of infidelity. However, it has now gotten to the point where I feel compelled to check these sites on almost a daily basis to see what she is going to post next. Some of the additional information has helped other aspects of my divorce case, specifically information she posted about getting a new job and looking for a new house (despite the fact that she has close to $70,000 in student loan debt and no degree to show for it, and can’t manage to afford a car payment). She also alludes to her new sexual escapades on the site. In one post, she spoke about meeting a male friend that flew in to see her, and the next morning was exauhsted because she had “an incredible evening and an amazing morning”. Oddly, none of the married women on the site seem to raise any questions about her posts. In her last post I read, she said she was going camping with 15 other people for Labor Day, and was going to be having “SG all weekend”. From what I can tell on the board, this some type of acronym for sex. Again, this coming from a woman that would start to complain 5 minutes into lovemaking, on the very rare occasion she was willing, that she was getting sore, and that I needed to hurry up and finish (which led to severe performance issues, which is a whole other post). I know that the more I read her posts, the harder it is for me to really have my own meaningful closure, but I just can’t seem to stop. It’s kind of a combination of morbid curiosity, and my determination to figure out this puzzle that is my broken marriage. I keep thinking she’s going to reveal some missing peace that will make sense of everything. Logically and intellectually, I know this won’t happen. I guess I’m just still having an incredibly difficult time understanding how a woman that you have cared for, supported, seen through multiple serious illnesses, can turn on you and toss you aside like trash. It doesn’t make any sense to me.

    • shrink4men
      September 5, 2009 at 4:36 pm

      Hi StillRecovering,

      Addicted to bride sites? That’s a new one for me, but it makes sense. If your ex is a narcissist and/or a borderline they live for attention. Since many women refer to their weddings as “My Big Day” (interesting that they don’t use the expression “Our Big Day”–it shows how irrelevant the groom is—just a prop) I can understand wanting to hold onto that huge amount of attention by becoming involved with those sites.

      It’s great that you’ve gleaned information from those sites to help you in your divorce proceedings. However, after the ink is dry on the papers, I strongly encourage you to stop reading them. I understand the morbid curiosity, but it’s supremely unhealthy. Not as unhealthy as your ex writing 20,000!!! post in 18 months—does she have a job? It’s really sad. She was too crazy and abusive to have a real marriage and relationship. The best she can do is manufacture one to share with the other entitled, self-centered bridezillas, which is more than sad; it’s pathetic.

      Meanwhile, if you don’t want to have your photos posted on these sites, contact their legal departments, explain the situation, ask that they remove her account (or at the very least your photos because she’s a) posted them without your permission and b) lying about you and the existence of your marriage) or have your attorney contact them. Sometimes these websites don’t want to deal with a potential legal hassle and they will close the account.

      Good luck with the rest of your divorce and please check back and let me know how you’re doing.

      Kind Regards,
      Dr Tara

      • StillRecovering
        September 5, 2009 at 6:39 pm

        Dr. T,

        Thank you so much for your response. I can’ t tell you how much help your site has been in dealing with my situation. My counselor had mentioned the possibility of my ex being NPD/BPD, but I didn’t really understand what that meant until I did some research on the subject and came across this site. The one thing that my ex didn’t do, which other NPD women seem to do, is fly off into screaming rages. I could never really get a read on my ex as to how she was feeling, until I realized I was being subjected to her “cold shoulder”, or complete emotional detachment. This happened if I disagreed with her about something, or I became frustrated with something she did or said. In these instances, usually after some time had passed, I would be told that I was “being hateful, and cruel”, and “going into rages”, which were absolutely false. It seemed that when she was looking to get something out of me, she would be semi normal. As soon as she got it, however, I returned to just being some guy that unfortunately lived in the same house as she did. She was always complaining of being sick, even had to have her appendix removed on Christmas Day last year, and I was always there to care for her without complaint. She never said thank you, or expressed any type of gratitude towards me. It was always about her and about how she felt. In regards to the wedding, she was obsessed with it. She had stacks and stacks of wedding magazines, and had become so familiar with wedding dress designers that she could name the designer just by looking at the dress. At the time I thought it was strange, but I just seemed to overlook it. After the wedding, she continued to be obsessed with weddings, still buying the wedding magazines and still spending hours and hours every night posting on the sites. She told me that she had become a “celebrity” on the boards and that the other brides were always entertained by her posts. And, yes she did work, but would post on the site throughout the day while at the office. I remember her going into a panic when her company blocked her access to the site. I thought she was going to quit over it.

      • shrink4men
        September 5, 2009 at 7:30 pm

        Rages and name calling are overt abuse; the cold shoulder, withholding affection and passive-aggressiveness are examples of covert abuse. Nevertheless, abuse is abuse whether it’s covert or overt.

        In fact, covert abuse is more insidious because it causes you to questions and doubt yourself and your sanity. At least you know what you’re dealing with when she’s a screaming lunatic. Additionally, many of these women in engage in both covert and overt abuse. Fun, fun, fun!

        • Phil
          October 18, 2009 at 9:31 pm

          You are so right, my wife uses overt and covert abuse as needed, the flavor of the day depends on what she thinks I want. She then proceeds to take that away. If I don’t like something I get that in abundance. She has a car to drive, credit cards I pay, but I limit cash because she will not spend it, instead she hids it and then holds her hand out for more. At present there’s no sex and if I press for it she threatens me with a rape charge. In almost the same sentence she offers sex if I will give her money. At frist the price was 5k, I’ve got her down to 2.5K so I guess you could say our relationship is 50% better.

  3. She was hot and smart, but also quite crazy...
    September 4, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    “While she was gone I beat myself up mentally thinking…she is right, she could be out clubbing but she is so sweet she wanted to come home to me and all i have done is rip her over the fact she is drunk. When she came back after storming out I apologised for being such an old grump with her and made it up to her in some way that i honestly can;t remember.”

    Don’t beat yourself up – their ability to distort reality is astounding. And I think it’s the fact that they actually believe in their own hype that makes it that way. My own reality got distorted when I rescued my ex from foreclosure, loaning her money to complete a remodel when neither the banks nor her uberwealthy family would do so(and they think nothing of dropping $1000 on a night out in the city so they’ve got the cash).

    Anyway, I lent her the money immediately as she promised to do the paperwork in the next few days to secure the loan. Instead, it took 3 months and a barrage of begging to get it done. We broke up shortly thereafter because she said I was always in a bad mood around her (that would be because she insisted she didn’t have the time to make a 20 minute trip to the notary to sign 4 pages of paperwork but she did have the time to party, see movies, and go on trips). She refused to acknowledge any connection between her behavior and mine.

    When we last broke up, I made a stink about her dumping me when I lent her that money and pretty much saved her a$$. She replied that any friend of hers would do the same thing. So I replied fine, then pay me back and borrow the money from your copious friends from hereon. Of course, that never happened. But to this day she insists anyone would lend her that money and she doesn’t understand why I think I did her such a big favor. And so when we broke up this time, it took 3 weeks and a gradually escalating bugging campaign for her to send me a copy of that paperwork. She did though, thank god.

    These days, she insists that I’m a cheapskate and her friends treat her like royalty. I’m quite happy with that if it keeps her away once her house sells.

    In closing while this woman is certainly the richest woman I ever dated, she’s IMO the *only* one that was a true cheapskate. While she refused my Christmas gift unopened, demanding $200 towards a new computer, her gift to me was a $15 Costco sweater, a $20 bottle of cologne, and two trade show t-shirts lying around the house. I normally wouldn’t make a stink about such things, but given her attitude that day, I make an exception here.

    Later on, when she found out the gift she rejected was a GPS, something she really really wanted and that’s why I had bought it for her, she started grumbling that it should be *her* GPS not mine. You just can’t argue with logic like that.

    • guy
      September 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm

      i’m lmao on the GPS comment!!!! when i broke off with my N i cancelled her sirius satellite radio subscription i got her for XMAS … i ended up xfering the subscription over to my motorhome…. after we broke up she told me more than a dozen times how appalled she was that i took HER xmas gift back and that she would never take any gifts back that she gave me ever…. my response to her was “the only gift you ever gave me was ANXIETY… who i their right mind would want to take that back?”….

      • shrink4men
        September 5, 2009 at 6:08 pm

        The “gift” of anxiety. Good one.

      • jham123
        September 22, 2009 at 5:18 pm

        Gift of Anxiety….gawd that one is a crack up…

    • shrink4men
      September 5, 2009 at 6:11 pm

      These women are really just all different flavors of toxic:

      “Gimme, gimme, gimme!”
      “That’s not good enough!”
      “It’s all your fault!”
      “Projection, projection, projection!”

      Good grief.

      • guy
        September 5, 2009 at 10:08 pm

        dr tara,

        as time permits i will be forwarding more of what i went thru, you may use this content in whatever way you see fit, including my “one liners”

        all the best

        guy

  4. She was hot and smart, but also quite crazy...
    September 4, 2009 at 10:34 am

    Got the paperwork finally and the bestest line ever about the breakup:

    “I was a trophy girlfriend and you didn’t treat me like one.”

    I genuinely don’t think she’s aware that trophy wife/girlfriend is a derogatory variant of gold-digger…

    • shrink4men
      September 5, 2009 at 6:17 pm

      Now that’s freaking priceless! I almost snorted my coffee on this one. Outta the mouth of “babes”… Absolutely priceless.

      Thanks for sharing this. As one of my favorite comedians/social commentators, Bill Maher, said the other week, “Stupid is a pre-existing condition.”

  5. P
    September 4, 2009 at 2:28 am

    Dr. T:

    I came across your site a few weeks ago.

    I was just dissed (for about the 30th time) by a woman I’d been captivated by (she was hot, magnetic and bright, but as I learned, utterly and completely like trying to reason with a ten year old every other hour, then the most poetically enchanting and understanding person in the world — one hour later, a ten year old again),

    I thought she was the one (I’m 34, so I was confident I was correct about her — wow, was I wrong), etc., then managed to get mind f__’d for the better part of two years.

    Two days before the final, nasty episode, I was pressured to move in and marry this woman by her (all while in my mind being like, “well, if you consistently showed that you loved me, then yeah, absolutely…but given you freakin’ then break up with me every other day…. (to her, doing something “extreme” would’ve actually helped the situation–gotta love that logic) — and literally two days later, it’s if I didn’t exist to her. My attempt to apologize/get closure was awful. It was like I was / had never been anything….terrible and heartbreaking to me.

    I know that she’s out on dates every single night all within (literally) the days of our breakup (I know this because it’s happened before several times and somehow I found myself taking it, over and over and over — and apologizing to her — yes pathetic, I know).

    Anyway, I literally felt I was losing my mind and found myself spending 24-7 apologizing, trying to figure out how to “make it work, make her happy, etc.”

    This woman was going to kill me — or, I’m embarrassed to admit, drive me to the point of becoming violent with her.

    So, I had no idea really what the term ‘narcissistic’ / borderline actually meant — came across this site — and man, what an eye opener. Of course, it’s still difficult because I guess I’m the type that has a hard time in the absence of unequivocal proof or something tangible, but for the first time after reading some of your posts — I feel like maybe I’m not crazy after all and that I’m actually saving my life by getting away from this woman — as much as I love her and as difficult as it has been (and is).

    I’d found myself in danger of jeopardizing everything — all my hard work at my career, my family, my friends — everything.

    It won’t be easy — but I feel your insight is powerful and for what it’s worth — it’s helped me out in reexamining the whole situation and easing a little of my own guilt in the matter.

    Thank you.

    • shrink4men
      September 5, 2009 at 6:33 pm

      Hi P,

      Thanks for the kind feedback re: my site. I appreciate it. Hang in there. You’ll get through this. For what it’s worth, I think you are saving your life by staying away from your ex. These women take what’s good and noble in you and try to pervert and destroy it until you’re as emotionally bankrupt as they are. Don’t let her do that to you!

      On some level, I think a woman like your ex is threatened by and jealous of your ability to have healthy relationships and connections with others, which is why they systematically set out to destroy your other friendships/relationships and other successes.

      You have nothing to feel guilty about. You can’t make a woman like your ex happy. Besides, a healthy relationship doesn’t require that you become a performing seal. Keep moving forward and don’t let her suck you back in. The only way to win is not to play.

      Kind Regards,
      Dr Tara

  6. guy
    September 3, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    i just came back from lunch w/ a friend who was on her cell phone accessing her facebook acct to see some new msg’s on her “wall” ….a friend of a friend on her site commented on a photo my X ‘N’ had in one of her photo albums called “riding” (we ride motorcycles)

    anyway my friend and i were able to look at my X ‘N’s pix and low and behold she had about 6-8 pix of her w/ me and in my shop ( i restore antique harley davidsons for a living) and us in traffic at the beach last year….. am i a source of OS???

    even though our breakup was nasty and had no adult closure and she still has pix of “the good times” on her facebook acct for people and her new boyfriends to see??? i ate her past daily for the 10 1/2 months i was with her now….. i am close to seeing some validation that old supply is supply no matter how good or bad it can be…. and the next boyfriends she has will have to deal with ME being a part of her past………i took all pix of her off my web site and deleted my my space and facebook acct’s after we broke up because i wanted “no contact” ….

    the only closure i want is a small piece of validation that i was not the crazy one… i was on board, and very attentive and caring……all she cared about was her image in the mirror….

    • shrink4men
      September 5, 2009 at 6:47 pm

      Hi guy,

      I’m not sure what “OS” means. NPD women view people as objects who exist to serve them. She probably keeps images of you on her facebook account because she sees you as a relationship “prop.” Pictures of the two of you together smiling help make her look normal and desirable to other men. Just like she uses other men to screw with your head; she’s using YOU to screw with their heads. It’s sick, manipulative, deceptive and abusive. Period.

      You’re never going to receive the kind of validation you want from your ex, so I encourage you to find that within yourself by letting go and moving on. That’s the best kind of closure.

      Kind Regards,
      Dr Tara

      • guy
        September 5, 2009 at 10:05 pm

        hi dr tara,

        “OS” stands for old supply, this is what i have picked up on what i have read in the books and other online sites.

        i shared your above comment with my friend who i mentioned above that i had lunch with and she was not surprised at what you said and could totally connect with what she has heard from me, seen with my X’N” and now see’s the aftermath i have been dealing with.

        i honestly feel bad for what the guy she’s seeing now (and after what you say) is about to go thru, even if i was to try and tell him what was going on i know he wouldn’t listen and see it as a threat for me trying to get back with her or something stupid like that…. her ex husband i have talked on a few occasions and he said i was lucky to only have had to deal with her for under a year, he had the 12 year plan and ran, now he his happily re-mairried with a one year old son and a daughter on the way in about three weeks.

        also, my X’N’ had two children. she did not marry the father of the first son , she said she was a “run away bride”, she married the father of the second child mentioned above… the two sons are polar opposites one is smart, keeps to himself, is an absolute joy and is easy to maintain, the second is a MONSTER, and absolute unruly typical pre-teen that would stress out the pope…deep down a good kid, funny and ssometimes a lot of fun tio be with,its his way or the highway

        i didn’t have a problem with him and told my X’N” that he made her look like a liar……..she resented and resembled that comment , haha

        3 weeks after they seperated and started the divorce stuff she told the younger son she did not want him around and that he was going to live with his father, this has been validated by the child the father and my X’N” and other people… how can a mother keep one child and hand off the second? this was a huge red flag , but gave her the benefit of the doubt until i questioned it on wiki answers… here is my question and the reply:

        Do narcissist stop caring about their chidren after a certain age?

        In: Narcissism [Edit categories]

        “It has been my experience that narcissists never truely care about their children. Not in the manner and sense that normal people do. N’s USE their children for various reasons…ie…to gain attention, to have the upper hand, to gain and/or keep perceived control over the narcissistic supply. N’s use their children for many different reasons. Whatever the N thinks is love (N’s do not know what love is) I am sure they feel a certain amount of that for thier children. Make no mistake about it though, once the N is finished with the child, they are finished. If the N has nothing to gain by having the children around, there is no way the children will be around. Children, as well as any other form of narcissistic supply, are disposable to the N. N’s will throw them away like yesterdays leftovers. It’s truely sad because in most cases, children of a narcissist generally have an unexplainable adoration for the N. The N demands that from his children and the children have no choice but to psychologically comply. Hopefully, through example, the children will grow up with empathy and compassion (traits that a N do not possess). The only way to ensure that your children do not become narcissistic is to provide a GLEAMING example of what narcissists DON’T do…and, unfortunately, sometimes that will not be enough. Good Luck! I hope this helped. they didnt care to start with, unless the child can ‘supply’ the narcissist.”

        i practically fell off my chair when i read this response….

        the older son was a joy, a good source of “supply” he made her look good…..

        the younger son loves his mother but he iss bad in her eye’s and made her look weak, made her look like a bad mother, she sustained many narcissistic injuies as a result of him in her custody and made her “true self” exposed, i witnessed her hit him a couple times when he acted out and she had no right to do that, did it shut him up, yes, was it the right thing to do… NO… she would rage whenever the he would slight her in public, she needed to keep he false self polished when he was with her…..i feel bad for the boy because of her abandonment..however, he is in a better home with the father and stepmother,

        i have witnessed mothers abandon their children out of selfishness and laziness but her abandonment was over the top.

        the more i have learned about these disorders and their acts is what is giving me closure, i have moved on in many ways but i have always looked at knowledge being power…

        to quote a lyric in a song from led zeppelin “over the hills and far away”

        “Many times I’ve lied and many times I’ve listened,
        many times I’ve wondered how much there is to know.

        Many dreams come true and some have silver linings
        I live for my dream and a pocketful of gold.

        Mellow is the man who knows what he’s been missin’,
        many many men can’t see the open road.

        Many is a word that only leaves you guessin’,
        Guessin’ ’bout a thing you really ought to know.
        You really ought to know.
        I really ought to know

        thank you dr. T

    • jham123
      September 22, 2009 at 4:58 pm

      Let me slip one question in here….

      Where there any pictures of you on FB prior to your break-up? As in, during the relationship??

      My BPD has built three personal websites that have a photo chronicle of her life…..yet I am never present……Kids…Cats…her…Flowers…..Kids Friends….Never a picture of me. This has been this way for almost 7-8 years…..and she designs and builds websites as a side business (she doesn’t really work..it is just a “play thing” or a “pretend job”).

      So, I imagine I’ll pop up on her FB after we are done.

      • Derek
        September 22, 2009 at 5:58 pm

        Hey jham123,

        Some good comments.

        How’s this for confused – although my ex took my name when we got married, she always introduced herself, signed her signature, name on voicemail, etc. using her maiden name while we were married.

        However, as soon as I initiated divorce, she’s started using my surname for the first time.

        What a nut! :)

      • jham123
        September 22, 2009 at 8:38 pm

        @ Derek

        “However, as soon as I initiated divorce, she’s started using my surname for the first time. ”

        Absolutely Zany…..you prolly asked her nicely to do that when you guys were together and she refused.

        Here she is trying to suck you back in……..Stay strong my Friend

  7. guy
    September 2, 2009 at 1:57 am

    dr tara,

    i would like to forward you some e-mails that traspired between me and my N when we were together.

    after reading 4 books on narcissism i see how she twisted her own reality talking about herslef in the e-mails to the point where after we broke up i broke down her statements in them and seen clearer how she projected this perfect image to me..

    if i had a problem or question she would come back with this long explanation about how she came to be this strong person i really want to share these with you

    these are the books i have read so far:

    why is it all about you

    when your perfect partner goes perfectly wrong

    narcissistic lovers how to cope recover and move on (the best one!!)

    freeing yourself from the narcissist in your life

    i love your site, thank you for all the content.

    • shrink4men
      September 5, 2009 at 7:17 pm

      Hi guy,

      Thanks for the positive feedback re: my site. I haven’t read any of the books you listed. It’s rare that I find a psychology/self-help book that I like. I don’t know if it’s because of my years of schooling, my clinical experience or my general distaste of the tone/voice/language that most self-help authors employ. I also don’t like that they’re generally geared toward women and portray men as clueless oafs or speak to men like they’re all on a highly testosterone charged rugby team—not that’s there’s anything wrong with rugby players.

      I’ll look at the titles on Amazon and see if I can preview them. Thanks for the rec’s.

      Best,
      Dr Tara

      • guy
        September 5, 2009 at 9:35 pm

        dr tara,

        this book:

        narcissistic lovers how to cope recover and move on (the best one!!) click/copy the link below :

        was writen w/ non gender bias some stories/ commentary would have “her” or ” him” as the N and and was dead on on some similariies on my situation with my X ‘N’. i will copy some of the stuff and send it to you here so you can review it.

        i was alittle turned off by some of the books i had previewed and did not read them fully because the content
        (as you are well aware) put the woman as the victim and the man is the big bad wolf… when i found your site and seen that a woman could have the compassion and empathy to blog about a disorder that should NOT BE GENDER BIASED..i was soooo happy!! in the 60’s and 70’s women were fighting for equal rights now they have them but want to be “selective” as to whats good for for them and what they can pass off an make it not apply… the way i see it and with what i went thru and everyone else on here the scales of justice in NPD/BPD gender bias needs to be levelled out..

        i had started a blog about my trials ands tribulations i went thru (it was more for my own therapy) and it has been suggested that writing the accounts of the relationship down help in recovery, and it did for a short time….but i ended up shutting it down because her lawyer contact my lawyer and threatened legal action against me….. there were no pictures, names or dates posted…it was subjective in its content, she and everyone knew it this was when she was “stalking” me .

        i will share some of the content with you on this site. as time permits for me.

        many thanks for all you have done and will hopefully continue to do.

        guy

  8. guy
    September 2, 2009 at 1:32 am

    a couple more things:

    in those three years i was with her 10 1/2 months and the moral to my banter:

    THERE IS NO CLOSURE WITH BORDERLINE? NARCISSISTIC WOMEN.

    been there…done that.

    kyrie elieson

  9. guy
    September 2, 2009 at 1:27 am

    i have been a closet reader of this blog for about two months now and this post is the one i’ve been waiting for. i N was a dream come true when i met her…. the first 4 months were amazing, we were together for 10 1/2 months total. the dream slowly started to turn into a nightmare when she started telling me about her past relationships post divorce. when we met she had been separated & divorced just over two years and she claimed to be “in repair” over it but was ready for something serious.

    i was well overdue for one as it had been 5 years since my sep & div. i dated a few but never found “the one” my N new this, i was up front with her right out of the gate, she sunk her claws into me deep…. just after 4 months into it we were coming up on the winter holidays and she warned me that she had a 4 month relationship with her stepmothers brother a year prior and that i would be meeting him on thanksgiving (i was floored i didn’t know what to say or think i was like WTF are you kidding me?) i am a catholic, her family is catholic this is “legal” but disturbing… she told me numerous times he was a good man w/ good character, ” he wasn’t ready for her” she told me MANY TIMES. he was going thru a divorce as well and i have read that N’s prey on the weak in situations like this and knowing him for as long as she did convinced me now that he was just a source of supply for her while she is in her never ending search for “perfect love” she had 5-6 realtionships in the two years post her div. prior to meeting me. she had two boys (teenagers 18 & 14) from 2 different fathers she passed off custody of the youngest son to the man she divorced and kept custody of the 18 yr old since birth, next may she has to start paying child support to the father as her rehabilitative alimony is finished (she now pays him $142 per wk) but its deducted from the $250 per week alimony chk. she filed bankruptcy immidiatly after the sep,lives beyond her means with a almost $400 per month car payment, the only possesions she owns is her motorcycle, cell phone and laptop computer and her bedroom set. no savings acct, no retirement, just a long list of debt w/ no shovel to dig herself out

    i found perfection in an imperfect person, i was in love with her, she was in love with her….

    to the heart of my reply. i was getting bad anxiety, constrantly guessing what would be next only to find out things could and would change at the ring iof the phone, txt or tick of the clock…UTTER CHAOS 24/7 confused thoughts, guilt, i was “dazed and confused” the relationship was on her terms, her time her dime everything revolved aroud her, her needs her emotions her issues, her passing the buck on her bad decision making (she’s 38 years old) the last 2-3 months she suggested i go to a counselor, visit my doc to see about the anxiety, i thought it was stress from work, it wasn’t….IT WAS HER…..if i had an issue with the relationship she would blow me off, she would say i took things to personal, she asked me if i was strong enough to stand by her, everytime i did something for her or her boys she said i ws doing it for myself, rarely getting even a simple thanks, then i would have to wait and wonder if we were seeing each other that evening she would “pop in” unexpected or just txt me to tell me she was on her way, if she wasn’t coming over then i felt i had to “ask permission” to visit/ stay at her house when she wasn’t coming my way.. (we lived in separate housholds, our living together was something we talked about after her 18 year old was out of her house)

    my trust w/ her was slowly declining the last two months we were together

    towards the end i was at my wits end and kept questioning her on everything she did, said, her actions cause i had enough of being a puppet, she raged we had two huge fights one on a friday….friday night we made up, saturday was like nothing ever happeened..then a bigger one sun-mon that lasted a week of separation from each other,we were both on preplanned trips. at the end of that week i had a melt down and called her telling her i was sorry…. did i tell you that she started both fights? she was trying to pit me against her exhusbands co parenting with her in front of the younger son when she had forewarned me in the early stages of our relationship how delicate a situtaion it was and not to get involved no matter what the cost, i was fine with that i have enough of my own problems with my own EX..

    the sunday of the week ending she comes over to visit, she said that what i did was almost a deal breaker and that i was getting a mulligan…i felt honored…..i was so deep into her chaotic tornado life i didn’t realize that she had her hand around my throat my heart under her heel.

    a week later was her b-day (we went camping at the beach in my r/v for 2 days), i bent over backwards to make it her most memorable,i got thanked with a text two hours after i dropped her off at her house so she could get her car and head to work.

    20 days later i callled it quits, she started getting hooked on facebook with her co-workers, friends, family etc… she had accumulated 145 “friends” in three weeks time looking back there was no way i could compete with all that supply… i knew our relationship was doomed, she got to “re-invent” herself on facebook after cancelling her my space and seeing how she could dress herself to impress on facebook, DAILY.. an old “friend” contacted her after not speaking with her before we got together, she e-mailed him from my computer in my office and was talking about our relationship and the issues we were having… like an idiot she forgot to log off when she was done and when she saw that i saw what she wrote she immidiatly blamed me for spying and how dare i not have bounderies……she started posting artwork that she had drawn and painted for ex boyfriends in her pic albums on facebook, when we started seeing each other i asked her why she held onto all the stuff from her past relationships that failed she said they were all good men an d brought something to her life, they were “tools” in her “tool box” she was asked by her uncle the stepmothers brother twice to be friended she reluctantly declined …. i politely asked her to put that stuff aside (literally) because i was finding it hard for us to move forward with “us” if she kept carrying them along, she put it away only up until the last two weeks we were together. her supply in me was tainted and she had plenty of it flowing on facebook it was pathetic to see her on there for three + hours in the AM & PM basically neglecting her houshold responsibilties and to her 18 year old son.

    looking back i see she knew she could go back for OS with the stepmothers brother and the friend from a year lost contact.. it got worse,

    our last day as couple got twisted right around on me her jealousy and envy came out like GODZILLA..the day before i had a old female customer come to my shop and this woman is as old as my X N’s mother, she was always a good friend who never steered me wrong, i had my son take a pic of us together and i posted it on my facebook and mentioned to my N that she missed out on a good day and i wished she could have met my customer….. she writes this to me :

    “I believe that the your new friend can give you all the wisdom, honor and guidance you need in your life. From one blonde to the next.”

    and in another statment she says this to because i was telling my friend about what was going on with us and if she had any thoughts as to what i should do:

    HER: “I tell trusted friends that I have known for a long time my stories. Noone else. You ungrateful man. FUCK YOU. ”

    and this is the best part: because i told her i was all done:

    HER: Way too much flirting on your end to ever say you were in love with me . You are not as broken up this time because now you have another blonde to stroke your ego.

    When you fall asleep at night…which blonde will you be thinking about??

    why do i have to see the flirty posts all over the place. It’s not your friend that gets me, it’s the flirting that get me. You are being very hurtful. Anyone reading this stuff that knows you and I may being saying WTF?? I am not posting flirty remarks under my pics or in my comments about how wonderful another man is. It’s rude and disrespectful. I never expected that from you. I guess that is why I am shocked. You are not promoting your business in those pics.

    I go for a walk. As I turn the corner for my walk, another car pulls in. Thanks.

    ME: the rude and disrespeect has started to crop up w/ you and you friending quinny, and the artwork….you keep telling me i remind you of your past THATS BULLSHIT, you carry it with you everywhere you go and make sure i get a taste of it as my regular diet……

    we broke up msging each other on facebook no phonecall, no in person meeting, this started at 7:00 AM on a wed. AM and ended about 10:30 AM with her telling me i was an ass

    one day after we broke up she started talking to the step mothers brother on facebook, three weeks later i was going on a planned trip that she was going on with me and she ended up with her stepmothers brother on a 4 day getaway…

    now she has been flauntlng a new boyfriend that she might be with now for about 1 1/2 months…i know she has her supplys convinced she is not the problem, she is on her 10th or 11th relationship in three years and only me, her ex husband, her youngest son and the ex husbands new wife see the deals she has got to be the most promiscuous, prodigerous, somantic N in the world. good looks and never ending sex come at a cost…i was way to sick to carry on any further..all the sex in the world could not replace the emotions she withdrew from me…if she could come off her pedastal she could probably make more money than vankin

    • jham123
      September 22, 2009 at 4:36 pm

      “I found perfection in an imperfect person, I was in love with her, she was in love with her….”

      Compelling post…but the quote made me laugh 2-3 times over..

  10. mr f
    September 1, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    Howdy Jim…

    Nah mate, I couldnt get any closure, I did try to but she just said that I had ”played with it until it broke”. She knows how much I self punish with negative thoughts and yet she still didn’t have the heart to leave me with anything other than those words. I told her I had looked back (similar to you) and seen things in a different way, and she replied with ”You had a long time to realise what you are now”. That was it mate.

    It’s devastating, because like yourself, I think…damn, we could have at least tried to make it work, but ironically a couple of weeks before we split I called her on some stuff that was not adding up and basically stood up for myself in a couple of situations and it all started to go wrong, so maybe it’s similar to the abandonment issue you speak of.

    The thing was, I was too quick to say it’s over, and she accepted what I said and wouldn’t go back on it…..straight away she blamed me for it going wrong and said ”You will regret this for the rest of your life”. That remains to be seen, the counsellor I have been seeing for the last year has since told me many things which she could see happening but were out of her remit to say to me.

    The trouble is in all this mate, anything you read or hear or are told only seems to help for a short period, because underneath it all that hole of self doubt is there, and do you find yourself saying this stuff to people and when you hear the words coming out of your mouth you think ”My word, she was nuts”. I do it all the time, I just can’t seem to have that conversation in my head for some reason.

    The very fact that you said you spent almost every day with her is identical to my situation, but this is an unhealthy bond man, too much time in each others pockets is a sign of co-dependency and addiction towards each other, as is the difficulty letting go at the end. Love isn’t about that, it’s being able to share your day when you are apart as well as together…something I will be remembering when I am ready to try again with a new woman.

  11. mr f
    September 1, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Hi guys…great info you post here Doc….this place has really helped me in hard times and 6 months after break-up I still come here often to try and keep my chin up on the situation.

    I can’t go into details about my relationship because it would take forever to divulge all the ups and downs, but I do have a question.

    Have any of you guys experienced your ex/gf hitting themselves when they became frustrated during an argument? My ex did this several times and I took this pain on as my fault when I realise now that I couldn’t possibly cause someone to do this to themselves.

    What you say here about her being perfect with the next guy is my worst problem. I feel like I am making more of it than there was and that the next guy will accept her for who she is when I couldn’t, and I have lost out because of this, It does hold me back from moving on because as so many people have said, the good times, sex and whatnot were out of this world, far more so than anything I ever experienced in previous relationships.

    My ex used to be a cocaine addict a few years before we met, she had a LOT of sexual partners and I could never deal with that. She told me about it on the day after we met, after a few drinks, and also about a guy who was so amazing and they had a perfect romance, but he moved away so they couldnt continue, basically ”the one that got away”.

    She said things at the beginning that I later found not to be true, and she said..”I told you them to impress you, that is what you do at the beginning of a relationship”. When I asked her if there were other things she had made up, she shouted at me and said ”OF COURSE NOT…TRUST YOU TO LOOK TOO DEEP INTO IT”, which of course made me look into myself and think…”damn what an idiot I should have known there was nothing else, now I have upset her”.

    I went to counselling to try and man-up and deal with who she was because I thought she was my soulmate. After one week and seeing her just 3 times she declared..”I Love You Sooo Much’, which set alarm bells ringing but I lapped it up to fill my hole of self esteem. Since I knew I always had slight issues with self esteem and trust I knew I would have to look at my problems to keep this woman, as she was so beautiful and confident and was always life of the party.

    After a short while she had a couple of drunken outbursts, flying into a red-rage and saying lots of hurtful things, these outbursts sometimes were followed by stories of being beaten up or other such things, which I really believed and felt so sorry for her and wanted to rescue her from her dark past. From this point on I couldnt relax around her when alcohol was involved and so I practically stopped getting involved in social situations where something could happen, which caused more problems because she thought I was ashamed of her.

    I could go on forever about things that happened in the relationship, but the hardest thing to figure out is how much of it was me, the arguments I just cant remember and what happened…the times she said things to me that I know were lies, but doubted myself about my preception, and worst of all the times she had told me ”I have said that to you before”, when I knew she hadn’t….only to again doubt myself.

    This kind of relationship leaves a gaping hole beneath the one that is already there when you attract a woman like this, I know I had many problems and I wasn’t a perfect partner, but that knowledge only serves to confuse me about what was caused by me, it doesn’t help.

    Just wanted to add a little something to this site, maybe someone will relate to it, and there is lots more things that happened i can share to shed light for others if needs be.

    • Jim
      September 1, 2009 at 6:32 pm

      Hi mr. f,

      your story sounds a lot like mine. I understand how you feel. Were you able to get any closure? That is one of the most upsetting aspects. It makes everything so confusing because I also have forgotten what all of the arguments and craziness were even about. My ex seemed to just close completely off once we broke up – splitting me black and blaming it all on me. It seems like she was unable to see any of the good times which were so many. I lived with this girl for over two years and spent almost every day with her. But she was just on to the next guy in a flash, and just as intense as when we started seeing each other.

      Another upsetting aspect is that we never officially broke up one time until the very end when she just turned off. To not give it another shot after breaking up seems like such a huge loss – because I wasn’t able to see what the problems were UNTIL the breakup happened. But by then, in her mind, it was over for good. I think it may be that she was making things so bad and that she started becoming aware that it couldn’t go back. And that if she didn’t end it when she did, I would have done it soon because I was becoming more aware of the issues. She basically ended it first so she could blame it on me and avoid her massive fear of abandonment.

    • shrink4men
      September 1, 2009 at 8:27 pm

      Hi Mr F & Jim,

      First, I am very sorry to read about your painful experiences with your exes. You’re correct that there’s no such thing as the perfect partner and we’re all responsible for causing intentional and unintentional hurts. However, with NPD/BPD and other predatory, emotionally abusive women, the hurts they inflict are frequently intentional and they are never sorry, not really.

      They become “sorry” if they’re afraid you’re going to end the relationship, but that’s like a thief being sorry he was caught.

      The fear of abandonment that Jim raises is a valid one—i.e., I’m going to dump you before you dump me—but there’s more to it, I think.

      These women are like broken mirrors with multiple shards that reflect their many aspects. At heart, these women are bullies and a bully’s greatest fear is exposure. Furthermore, when you stand up to a bully, they generally back down and scurry away to find an easier target. In fact, bullies only go after easy targets because they’re cowards.

      Mr F, you mention that you believe your ex preyed upon the holes you had in your self-esteem. Once you stood up for yourself, you were no longer an easy target. Jim, it seems like your ex sensed you were about to hold her accountable and shut you out.

      I think you should be grateful she didn’t linger on so you could “work things out” because the reality is that you can’t work things out with these women. All you can do is maintain a safe distance.

      Thanks to both of you for sharing your experiences. I appreciate it and wish you the best in moving forward in your lives and finding women who are capable of reciprocating love.

      Kind Regards,
      Dr Tara

      • mr f
        September 2, 2009 at 3:35 pm

        Yeah Nick and DR T, i know what you mean…

        it’s just so damn confusing, everything is so ‘under-the-radar’ apart from the drunken rages and a couple of other things here and there, so it’s easy to blame everything on yourself when you know you got probs anyway, before she came along.

        I rememeber once, after one of the drunken outbursts which was on my birthday, have no idea what caused it or whether I had wound her up…she was sick all over our cream carpet and was in no fit state to clean it up, so when I attempted to do it to prevent stained carpets, she went mental saying she didnt enjoy living with me and other such things. 5 minutes later I heard the shower going, and found her in it with her underwear on and sick all over her, looking at me as if to say ”what are you looking at?!”

        The next day I had to take her mum to pick her car up and we spoke about it because she had already that day rang her mum and explained parts of what had happened, and her mum said to me ”She is a very complex character, you may struggle to travel this road, if you need advice and want to talk you can ring me”, which I did a few times to try and get some clarification on what was happening.

        You know what I want to know, is why….after being given that nugget of information from her own mother, do I still manage to dismiss that and think she was perfect and it was all me. I know I can’t get closure or answers from here, thats kind of no the point to me writing this because I know those come from within, but it’s just giving another account of a situation like this for others to read and maybe relate to.

        She once admitted that when she knew she was in the wrong, she would keep on at me until I blew my top and then it became my fault that she was crying and I would have to grovel to her. She KNEW she was doing this, so she wasn’t NPD at all…..I just don’t know how she could carry on doing this when I was in counselling to try and calm my negative thoughts and live in the now instead of her past. She knew sometimes things were her fault yet she wouldn’t tell me this and then I would blame myself all day.

        She knew she had lied to me, and yet when I had troubles trusting her over drinking, she yelled ”what have i ever done that deserves this treatment, I have always been trustworthy”. At that time I didnt know there were lies so I went away kicking myself for not being a real man and being able to trust her. She even said I wasn;t man enough to finish with her and I was waiting for her to do it. Maybe I put that feeling across, I will never be sure.

        I wasn;t going to go in to all this haha, but have ended up doing it anyway by the looks of it…and as I said before there are many more things behind even this last message I write to you all…

        I dont know if she was BPD, if I’m BPD…if we were both BPD….if neither of us were….its a complete headf*ck and no matter what I do I cant see the wood through the trees over her, all the above can still come back to being my fault, this is where I know the problem is in me and I so want to move on from this nightmare knowing the truth, but a huge part of that truth is locked inside her and she is nowhere to be seen to clarify it all.

        Thanks for reading

        • shrink4men
          September 2, 2009 at 4:13 pm

          Hi Mr F,

          You write:

          She once admitted that when she knew she was in the wrong, she would keep on at me until I blew my top and then it became my fault that she was crying and I would have to grovel to her. She KNEW she was doing this, so she wasn’t NPD at all…

          This is VERY interesting. I’ve been trying to figure out for the last several months if women like your ex have any awareness about their behaviors and if they’re premeditated, calculated and purposefully manipulative. I think some of them operate out of sheer blind unconscious motivations and dictates, but, given what you shared, it would seem some of them are very aware of what they’re doing.

          Sociopaths (Antisocial Personality Disorder) are also part of the Cluster B personality disorders. Knowingly and willfully manipulating and hurting someone borders on sociopathy in my book. Furthermore, many of these women meet a variety of criteria from all the Cluster B disorders—Histrionic, Borderline, Narcissistic and Antisocial. It seems like you ex is a mish-mosh of pathology.

          Mr F, there is no truth locked inside your ex. Her heart is full of larceny. The truth lies elsewhere, within you. Don’t let her lies, half-truths, projections and distortions cause you to further beat up on yourself. You need to get her out of your head. It’s her voice that you’ve internalized that’s telling you it’s all your fault and that you’re not a “real man.” She’s the one who isn’t a real human being, much less a real woman. She’s a heartless and surprisingly cunning predator. Once you accept this intellectually and viscerally everything will start to make sense and you’ll feel a whole lot better.

          Kind Regards,
          Dr Tara

          • Kev.
            September 2, 2009 at 6:04 pm

            I’ve been trying for a long time to figure out the premeditation and manipulation angle… Did she doe this consciously? Was she really that malicious, or was it a result of just incredible mental contortion skills to maintain her version of reality?

            I don’t know. I doubt I ever will.

            I *can* say, however, that my ex did display moments of clarity, where she would quietly apologize, and acknowledge that “maybe she’d been too harsh with me.”

            A few of the times these actually sounded sincere enough for me to believe she might have recognized that she’d gone too far.

            Most of the time, however, I think it was a way to just sink the claws deeper into me.

            • james
              September 2, 2009 at 11:35 pm

              In my opinion its combination of premeditation and programmed manipulative behavior. Here is an example from my BPD, she says she will only communicate over email regarding parenting / kids. Thats fine, so i will send professional to the point bullet point emails with feedback or quesitons/concerns on the kids. She will reply with two to three word vague answers, alot of BPDs are also passive agressive, they use this as a way to manipulate / control. They care about no one, not even their kids, they are monsters…

              Dont self doubt, get out of the situation as quick as you can, just remember this when you ask your friends and family for advice, they will all say / tell you the same thing, you are not the crazy one, dont beat your self up, you tried, you cant win with these women or men if they are BPD. Just walk away, it will get better. It will leave you with less money, your kids might not talk to you for a while, but in the end and over time everything will work out. Best of all you will have your sanity and the chance at the pursuit of happiness.

              • shrink4men
                September 5, 2009 at 7:04 pm

                Hi James, Freedom & Kev,

                I think it’s probably a combination of premeditation and ingrained reflexive behavior. Nevertheless, it is maddening to try to figure it out. My opinion is that it’s irrelevant whether this behavior is unconscious or premeditated. The net result is the same. Once you tell someone that her or his behavior is hurtful and ask them to stop, you’ve made them aware. If they ignore your wishes or blame you for their behavior, then it’s time to get out regardless of whether their behavior is purposeful or instinctual.

                Scenario A: She’s completely aware of what she’s doing, purposefully manipulates you and hurts you. That means she’s a sociopath who doesn’t care about your feelings, needs and rights. Survey says: Run for your life.

                Scenario B: She’s completely unaware of what she’s doing. Her behavior is innate and reflexive, it’s just her nature and, therefore, she can’t be held responsible. If you stay with her, then it kind of makes you like those people who willingly choose to keep wild animals like chimpanzees, pythons, mountain lions or wolves as house pets. They are uniformly amazed when these animals revert to nature, attack the people who’ve cared for them, horribly disfigure and nearly kill them and are upset when animal control forcibly removes the animal and has it destroyed or returned to the wild. Survey says: Run for your life.

                Best,
                Dr T

            • Freedom
              September 3, 2009 at 3:13 am

              Kev…
              you’re right, it’s too bad we couldn’t all go out for a beer, cuz the premeditation vs. ingrained reflex angle is a discussion for the ages. i’ve thought long and hard about this one. ya see… in my mind in order for ME to do anything that closely resembled what my ex could do in the blink of an eye, to me, that would require some measure of forethought. but then again… i try to reason thru my words and thoughts before i say them. then again, my ex could also say and do things to me, be completely oblivious to the damage it caused, and go get a good night’s sleep. i said this one before – – “she wants to devour you… and any morsel is tastey”. and when she’s done with you, she will put on the nice girl face and go hunting again.

              • She was hot and smart, but also quite crazy...
                September 3, 2009 at 5:27 pm

                Watching my ex’s appalling post-relationship behavior, I think they just have their own self-consistent morals wherein whatever they’re doing *is* perfectly fine and the right thing to do. The people who get mad at them obviously have psychological issues and it’s a good thing they broke up and they would urge you to get the help *you* need.

                Meanwhile, your psychological issues just aren’t *their* problem.

                I’ve been trying for 3 weeks to get this woman to xerox 4 pieces of paperwork and mail them to me. She just doesn’t have the time because she’s sooooo busy (partying, looking busy, and going on vacations that is and that’s hard work ya know).

                Anyway, I would never do *anything* like this *anyone*. And watching her treat me as if I am less than a cockroach in her world is well, not all that much worse than how she treated me during the relationship (it took her 3 months to sign that piece of paper in the first place).

                • She was hot and smart, but also quite crazy...
                  September 4, 2009 at 4:15 pm

                  “the only closure i want is a small piece of validation that i was not the crazy one… i was on board, and very attentive and caring……all she cared about was her image in the mirror….”

                  You need to get that from yourself and/or your friends. She is not capable of doing so. And the sooner you internalize that, the sooner you’ll move on.

          • Mr. F
            September 4, 2009 at 7:18 am

            Hi again Tara,

            Thanks for those words of wisdom on the subject. I think you are right about her being a mish-mosh of cluster B symptoms, and there is something I would like to add to your response…

            Where you said it’s her voice I internalized, I totally agree, but also feel that there is another voice, that of my mum. Since my mum was controlling and emotionally unavailable, I seem to have either found women who are overtly or covertly like this and can’t actually make anything work with them.

            Whereas my mum would put her problems on me, and therefore as a child all I could do was accept them as my fault, I think I grew up with a need to feel that, but also this became dangerous because when you accept things as your fault all the time you can;t see what is being done to you underneath all that.

            I will give you an example of this, just to strengthen my point.

            One afternoon my ex had some old workmates over to her office for drinks, and she happened to get smashed. She rang me at her usual time to let me know what train she was on coming home, nothing untoward there. Literally 5 minutes after she rang me, she text me the exact same information. I text her back and said something like..”Lol baby, you just rang me to tell me that info, I haven’t forgotten..” to which she replied something along the lines of ”I didnt ring you, thats why im texting you”.

            This was a real thorn in my side, I already had issues over the drink, so when she got home I couldn’t hold it in and I confronted her about it, asking her how I am supposed to trust someone who can’t remember what they have done from one minute to the next, it really worried me and I admitted that when she was sober I would trust her with my life but when she was drunk I wouldnt trust her with SH*T.

            Her response was, if you can’t trust me I’m leaving, I had a few drinks at the work bar and came home, the rest of them have gone out clubbing but I really wanted to come home to you, so you should be grateful I’m not out with them, and then she stormed out of the flat in a mood.

            While she was gone I beat myself up mentally thinking…she is right, she could be out clubbing but she is so sweet she wanted to come home to me and all i have done is rip her over the fact she is drunk. When she came back after storming out I apologised for being such an old grump with her and made it up to her in some way that i honestly can;t remember.

            The point is, my point got lost in that situation…in such a subtle manner it became all about how I had treated her, when I think many normal blokes would actually have a problem with the initial situation of her forgetting what she had done within 5 MINUTES. I did initially, but then ended up feeling like it was unreasonable to feel that way and that she deserved better.

            Maybe that’s the case, but I don;t think so looking back. I dont think my programming helped in this scenario, there were so many things like that which made me question the fact that she may not be all there in her head, but I ignored them to obtain that ‘love’ I so craved.

            Hope this sheds a little more light on the darkness of the world that involves Cluster B scenarios…

            Cheers for reading and commenting Tara, take care

            Mr F

            • shrink4men
              September 5, 2009 at 6:24 pm

              Hi Mr F,

              You seem to have a good handle on what makes you susceptible to this kind of woman. Now it’s your responsibility to break this pattern and condition yourself for healthy relationships. You probably won’t feel an immediate or natural attraction to a healthy woman at first. You’ll think this woman is cute, sweet, nice, etc., at first, but just won’t feel “it.” This is a good indication that you need to push past your first inclination and give her a chance.

              The “it” you most likely won’t be feeling is the unconscious recognition of the old chemistry you experience when you meet an abusive nutter. Ride out the unfamiliar feelings and remind yourself that you want to be with someone who is kind, generous, considerate, loving and sane. Perhaps on some level you don’t believe you deserve love without suffering and that’s why you end up with women like your ex. Just a hypothesis.

              Kind Regards,
              Dr Tara

              • Mr. F
                September 8, 2009 at 6:03 pm

                Hi Tara,

                That seems like an accurate hypothesis to me, the only problem that stays with me even 7 months on is was I the one to cause all this, bringing all this out of her by my own issues that I had coming into this relationship?

                I was no angel in the relationship, not by any means. I never did anything untoward, i wasnt a cheat or a liar, but I had trust issues with her and was controlling of her after several months, I do think partly due to how she was where drink was concerned I didnt feel easy with her going out, so although I never asked her not to go, I did make it easier for her to not go by stating that I would have a problem and be worrying about it all.

                I frequently said to her that if I couldnt come to terms with my issues about this I would have to leave, and on a few occassions I even threatened to leave her in the hopes things would change. On 2 occassions I had my bags packed ready to go, and never really had any intentions of leaving at heart, I just felt at a loss as to what to do next and how to improve things.

                I do think it’s worth stating that she acted that way at the start a couple of times, getting up with her coat and bag on (before we lived together) and saying she would head home, it’s not something I have really done willy-nilly in a relationship before so I do wonder if part of this was me thinking it was ok for me to treat her this way as she had been like that herself so she may understand me better that way. I don’t know..I never will know.

                There were times when I had lots of negative thoughts about her past with cocaine abuse and drinking excessively. I tortured myself thinking about her in scenarios with an ex boyfriend she lived with and was addicted to coke with, somedays I couldnt get these bad thoughts out of my head and they obviously affected how I was towards her, so I shared them with her so that she wouldn;t think I was being distant on purpose, I was 100% open about it all. She sometimes said I treated her like the woman she was back then, and not the one she is now, and that I lived in a fantasy world, not reality.

                I asked my therapist about these thoughts, she recommended I try to sometimes keep them to myself, but when I did and my ex knew I was down she would ask me why, and if I held back the answer she would know I was having bad thoughts and get them out of me. Once or twice I said they were graphic thoughts of her in bed with her ex on coke, and she said I was taking her back to a dark place she had boxed away, so I beat myself up instead about it.

                At the beginning she told me such things as she had never let anyone touch her left breast, and a few other things, but knowing she was in a long term relationship with someone and they were both addicted to cocaine I could never believe those statements, they just didnt ring true, especially since she was down for anything in the bedroom (or public toilets, trains in broad daylight, in fact practically anywhere!) so I had a little voice telling me she was a liar.

                This guy she lived with tried to commit suicide and she found him with his wrists slit, I sometimes wondered if her ways of forgetting what she had said were a contributing factor, but kept that one to myself! She later told me she had never had such a bad relationship as the one she had with me, and I felt distraught to know that she had been with someone who tried to kill himself and that wasnt as bad as being with me. I was very upset about this and she then told me that it was only this bad because she had never felt this way before and this was the strongest so it is naturally the worst.

                So as you can see, I was a nightmare to be with as well, I had constant negative moods because of how I was feeling about stuff from her PAST, and she hated how I brought this up and kept her in it. I had issues that she was lying to me, and threatened to leave her. I tried to manipulate her into not going out by making it easier for her to stay in. She could be so loving and caring and would do such great things for me, making me feel like the perfect man for her and no one could ever touch how i make her feel.

                Im so damn confused, because its clear we both had issues,…..I just suffer everday because Im not sure if I was so bad to be with that I encouraged those traits out of her….

                Is that possible?

                Cheers Dr T….

                • She was hot and smart, but also quite crazy...
                  September 8, 2009 at 8:26 pm

                  I was told again and again that everything was *my* problem. I beg to differ. In my relationship history, I was with the same woman for 13 years (married to her for 6), followed by a 4-year relationship that didn’t work out before meeting my N. In contrast, she had had somewhere around 50 relationships with an average length of 6 months since her early 20s. But of course, as in any court of law, past history of the witnesses is inadmissible, right?

                  So while she brought the worst out in me as well, good god man, give yourself a break. You were working with defective materials. And now that you know the worst that you can be, you know what not to do when you find someone relatively sane. I’m patting myself on the back for not getting violent with this freak (not that I ever have, but given she once pushed me out of a moving car into traffic (not moving fast, not much traffic, but in the middle of a city nonetheless), if anyone was going to bring that out in me, she would have.

                  For I was dumped for being moody and not spending enough on a woman who I saved from losing her home with my own money and on whom I regularly spent ~$500/month on entertainment, but who couldn’t be bothered to bring down my dress clothing one night when I got a phone call saying my father would be dead in 24 hours and I needed to jump on a plane to the other side of the country in 11 hours because “she had already made plans and she couldn’t break them just for me.” Those plans were going to the gym with her friend BTW.

                  You need to get a sense of perspective, seriously. You did your best. There was no way to win. Screw her history, she needs to get over it, and you need to get over her.

              • jham123
                September 22, 2009 at 7:16 pm

                @ Tara

                [i]“The “it” you most likely won’t be feeling is the unconscious recognition of the old chemistry you experience when you meet an abusive nutter. Ride out the unfamiliar feelings and remind yourself that you want to be with someone who is kind, generous, considerate, loving and sane.” [/i]

                This website and this comment especially takes me back some 20 years ago to a woman that I dated briefly before I met my BDP. She was all those things and they grew on me quickly…but guess what?? She wasn’t physically attractive in the slightest way. She was a Friend of a Friend that seemed to be around….

                I didn’t have anyone at that time, so I agreed to go on “event” dates as couples with her as my 50%.

                My vanity and need for a trophy wife or one that “needed” rescuing made me quit her as she was “All wrong” for me.

                Looking back, She was probably the only healthy thing in my life at that time and I Shit on her. She was growing on me quickly and I couldn’t have that……She was wealthy, Witty, Professional, Kind (Especially to me). She was grateful for our time together and let me know it.

                …….now look at me…..

                You are right Tara, I have a way of seeking out the “Nutters” so I can be the White Night and save them……

                I *WILL* learn to recognize that character flaw in myself

                • mike91163
                  September 22, 2009 at 8:15 pm

                  jham123: Are we identical twins separated at birth? 24 years ago, I dated, and then lived with for 3 years a woman 12 years my senior, who was divorced with 3 kids. It was then, and looking back now, the most enjoyable 3 years of my adult life. And, as you state, she wasn’t the most attractive person, but was normal, stable, considerate, and loving. I too thought I could “do better”, and I was the one who ended the relationship…and, I’m almost ashamed to admit that I convinced her to get an abortion after a couple of years together because I wasn’t “ready” for kids…yet now, thanks to my BPD/NPD wife and her medical issues (unknown until married 10 years), I have NOTHING…I was young (24) and SOOOO stupid then…

                  Ironically, out of the blue a month ago, she sent me a Facebook friend request…I had known that in the interim she had remarried, and moved halfway across the country. She merely wanted to catch up…she made clear that she was very happy, life was good, and has a beautiful daughter with this lucky man. Talk about heartbreaking for me…

                  And as you mention, the more I think about the “why” I married my wife, I do NOW realize that I was also playing the “White Knight” role, to get her out of the “psycho ward” household she grew up in…and I also will resolve to recognize that character flaw…but, you know what, jham123? I don’t think that being a “good person” and “rescuing” people is a character flaw–PROVIDED you maintain a SPECIFIC distance from them…helping people is one thing-marrying them with the hope of saving them from a bad situation OR themselves is another beast altogether…

    • Nick
      September 1, 2009 at 10:00 pm

      Mr. F.
      Believe me, I can relate to your whole post. Just keep digging around in this site. Your post, with some variations, is repeated over and over. If your like me, you can look back on some relationships and take the blame…but with BPD/NPD’s you are NEVER to blame. You just feel that way because you are beaten down so low. Watch the Sopranos…1st season. Tony Sopranos mother Olivia is a classic BPD/NPD with a little senility thrown in. I’ll never forget Tonys description of his dad in later years: “By the time my mom got done with him he was a nub of a man….a sqeakin little gerbil” That’s exactly where you, I, and every guy on this site will end up if we don’t dump these whackos for good. As for dealing with an NPD/BPD AND a booze problem….holy crap…talk about gasoline on a fire!!!

    • Foghorn
      September 21, 2009 at 7:45 am

      Mr. F & Dr. T,

      I too have been to counseling with my soon to be X..As recently as last week – under the guise of discussing our kids and our custody arrangement. ( We are 50/50, however my oldest (10) does not want to stay with her and my youngest is finding this a new adventure. BTW I have had them at least 75% of the time.

      The appointment turned out to be a modified marriage counseling session. I heard that in all divorces there is 50/50 blame, we both didn’t meet each others needs, I could have seen the signs and taken the initiative and arranged a couples marriage retreat..etc Her counselor has seen me once before for a one hour session regarding an issue with one of our sons. (That meeting was also hyjacked by my X)
      Now mind you this is the second time my X has moved out (1st time I found out about an affair with a co-worker two months later) .. Four months after moving out she came back begging and made every promise known to man if I took her back. At the advice of a counselor that used to work with her, she said if my X reached “rock bottom” there was a good chance she would get help. Woops, here I am again, come home from work on a friday, she is unhappy, she needs to move on because I would never have the guts to end this crummy marriage. She has been out of the house now for three weeks and is begging to come back – now says I moved way to quick. She only wanted to seperate, maybe even stay in the house in another room until we worked through this. She has rallied the friends, priest and her counselor to believe this. Here I am thinking I just gave her what she wanted: a divorce.

      Mr. F, I don’t know that I would beat yourself up over the what if ..(As I type I can only laugh and say “Pot, Kettle Black). My X has been to numerous counselors, through a number of Meds (on an off depending on how she felt about “being on meds”, and I am convinced she is looking for validation not help. I left my last meeting with her and a counselor with my head spinning..

      This person was a professional and maybe I could have done more. Maybe I could have been more attentive. Maybe it will be different this time. MAYBE NOTHING WILL CHANGE AND IT WILL GO BACK TO THE SAME.

      Maybe nothing will change scares the heck out of me; enough to be serious this time and move on. For me, for my kids, for my family and for my sanity. When your heart and head have equal input your decision will become clear. There is a reason why the windshield is so large and the rear view mirror so small.

      Hopefully sharing helps.. All of your experiences have sure opened my eyes!

      • AnonymousT
        September 21, 2009 at 12:37 pm

        Foghorn –
        Your experience is similar to mine. My ex would get the counselor lined up, go the first few times, then I would shown up and she would cry at the meeting, and I would get the same 50/50 “needs” and “understanding” talk you did (with the implicit “you could do more, just look at her”). I would try, but apparently it was never right. But none of these people ever asked her to do anything from her end.

        This continued until she demanded a separation, and backed it up with threats, and I finally picked a neutral counselor out of the phone book (a woman) who for the first time ever told her that she might have some issues. She left that counselor, and me, shortly afterward for a “separation” that included a long term lease of a new house, a very detailed list of asset demands, custody arrangement, etc. When my lawyer and counselor both advised me to divorce her, I did. But before I did I made a last effort to get some sign or hope of reconciliation (with the ultimatum of divorce if there wasn’t any), and she began telling me I was moving way too fast, went crying to the church and had the priest around her finger telling him that she still loved me and I was misinterpreting her motives, and why was I pushing a divorce when all she wanted was a separation? My view by then was, I don’t think a woman does all these things intending really to come back in any serious way, let’s get it over with. I needed the help of others to see this, because I didn’t want to give up hope even after she left. But the constant fear and anxiety took their toll, I couldn’t live like that anymore.

        Different from yours, though, once I actually filed, she went cold as stone, the most frightening and upsetting thing I ever saw in her, and never gave the slightest hint about being remorseful for leaving. Just bargaining for maximum money, including using the kids as leverage. At least that’s how it seemed to me. Really disheartening.

        She also seemed to do the same medication thing yours did, including being on-again off-again indifferent to using them, via various doctors and counselors, I never knew exactly what her status was on these.

        Don’t back down without checking with some professionals – don’t rely on your own opinion alone, remember that your opinion has been warped and battered for a while and it’s not objective anymore. It was a hard and sad decision for me, and I still struggle with it, but less so as time goes on.

        Best wishes, there really seems to be just a few basic patterns to these situations, with only minor variations.

    • Foghorn
      September 21, 2009 at 9:22 pm

      Mr. F,

      Mine was not physical. She was not ever done until she was done. I would get the evil eye, the I can yell louder than you, the reversal of the point or the let’s argue about something other than this topic. The other ploy I got if I didn’t participate was name calling, insults about me or family, bring up something sacred that shouldn’t apply, or the taunting tactic.. “your a puss, a real man wouldn’t take this shi* and just sit there. .

      I also go alot of her getting on the phone to friends and family and expressing the arguement to them as she saw it. She would love to do this in the same room as me to get a reaction. I would bite more often than not. Then the minute I reacted she would let the person on the phone know how much of an a$$ I was.. This tactic for me was horrible.

      Mine also loved to get everything into a tirade right before we went somewhere or someone was to show. Then she would act like nothing happened and would tell everyone to look at how mad i was or what a d *ck I was for not letting it go.

      The fights always seemed to start with her and end when she wanted them to. I never understood how you could start a knock down, drag em out brawl over something like the toilet seat being up, then put the kids to bed, go to sleep and wake up the next morning like you didn’t say or do anything. Her favorite line the next day was “you’re not really gonna stay mad all day are you” … Heaven forbid you tell her “yes” and why you were made. No matter how awful the comment she would always rationalize to me in this fashion –

      You know how I get when I mad.

      I know I should not have done that, but you said some awful things too.

      My favorite – Well it all was true and you just can’t deal with that..

      What I am realizing is every second of every day is like a scene in a movie to her. Thanks for sharing as we are all in the same boat we just have different motors..

  12. james
    August 31, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    Im going through a divorce with one of these BPDs and they are vindictive in the process. Be prepared when you file that they will accuse you of everything, domestic violence, emotional abuse, etc…and they will want sole custody and the ability to relocate to another state. Stand your ground, proceed with the custody evaluation because it will favor you as the reasonable, rational non BPD. Document everything in email, its a waste of time and air to try and talk to them on the phone about parenting / kid issues, they will know doubt hang up on you when they cant control the situation. The no contact rule is key, the only way to detach and actually find out what the hell happened to your life is get out and talk to family and friends. In my situation my family knew 18 years ago she was like this, but as many of us are good guys and committed family men we stay and hope it will get better, it doesnt it just gets worse with age. To run is to escape, to escape is to realize you are not crazy and to realize you are not crazy is reason to begin living a normal happy / non BPD life! Dr. T is right on with her advice and comments, dont put up with this abuse from these women or men, take control of your life and pursue happiness! Life is too short.

    • Nick
      September 1, 2009 at 1:47 am

      Kev,

      Very well said!

    • shrink4men
      September 1, 2009 at 8:07 pm

      Hi James,

      Thanks for sharing such important advice. All I would ad to it is that your needs and feelings are just as important to your wife’s, gf’s or ex’s and do not sacrifice your needs for the sake of their unreasonable and punitive ones.

      Best,
      Dr Tara

      • Foghorn
        September 17, 2009 at 11:01 pm

        Dr. T,

        I think the problem with most men caught in these types of relationships is we are who we are. We have put our wifes and children first. We have been conditioned to respect the thoughts and feelings of others before ours. We are respectful and feel a huge sense of guilt when we don’t do what pleases.

        This game (Sorry, that is how it feels to me now) is played at such a high level that just when you had enough, this type of person comes back and appears normal, thoughtful, and loving – game, set, match. You are in again. The feeling of pain and anquish leaves and the inflow of calmness sets in… Just in time for the next storm.

        In my case it feels like such a war of attrition; a sum zero game. I don’t know if my X is N, B, OCD, or even Bi.. What I do know is most of what is discussed here is relevant to my situation. Even today, as we are divorcing, that little seed of doubt crops up daily. My kids, friends, family all get confronted by X’s compelling sobs and then I am always aske if I am sure she isn’t truely remorsefull this time.. Hmm my head thinks … Then I remember a little fight here, a little look here, a comment, a demand, a threat, a little sex, then you are 2 years in , 5 years in , and it all seems so normal again. The more events that happen, the more time that goes by, the more all this disfunction is your normal.

        Trust me when I say that this is not easy. For me my family and friends have been ultra supportive. The see this for what it is. The scary part (for me) is I can see their apprehension.. That is why they will hold thier breath the entire time this is going on hoping you finalize everything yet realizing there is the chance you may get sucked in again.

      • shrink4men
        September 17, 2009 at 11:25 pm

        These are all excellent points, Foghorn.

        You have been conditioned to put others needs first often to the detriment of your own. Therefore, you can unlearn or uncondition yourself, too. It works both ways.

        I would argue that staying in the marriage for your kid’s sake is a distortion. Your wife has also conditioned you to believe this. It isn’t good for children to be exposed to abuse. It’s not good for them to see their father put-down, mistreated and manipulated. They’re likely to grow up thinking this is normal and then they begin the next generation’s cycle of emotional abuse.

        Yes, you are who you are to a certain degree, but how much of “who you are” in this moment has been shape-shifted into a fragment of who you once were? You’re also right in that when these women sens you’ve had enough, they turn on the charm (or treat you with baseline decency) and you’re lulled back into submission, wondering if it’s really that bad and hoping maybe things can change. A dear friend refers to this behavior as the “tyranny of small mercies.”

        It’s wonderful your friends and family are being supportive. It goes a long way in these situation. I have a hunch that they’re going to be even more supportive once the divorce is finalized in that they’ll probably tell you things they were afraid to say about your ex all these years.

        Kind Regards,
        Dr T

  13. K
    August 31, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    Dr. T.
    Thanks for the excellent info you consistently present. Your articles have helped me open my eyes. After (too) many years in a relationship with a BPD, I finally got up the courage to end it. I vowed to push passed the inevitable hurricane of abuse. As I went thru with it and was about to walk out the door she threatened suicide in no uncertain terms (complete with all the details). I was paralyzed, and couldn’t bring myself to take another step. All this from a person who ‘loves’ me so much she can’t bear to lose me.
    In my heart I know that I must leave, yet the consequences of doing so seem unbearable. I feel completely trapped. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    K

    • shrink4men
      August 31, 2009 at 4:38 pm

      Hi K,

      Don’t fall into the trap. Proceed with your plans and state, in no uncertain terms, that you are NOT responsible if she decides to attempt suicide. She is holding you hostage with emotional blackmail, which is just another abusive control measure.

      Most of the time, these threats are empty or these women make a parasuicidal gesture for attention and to induce guilt. If you really believe she is serious, call 911 and let the police take her to the ER for a psychiatric eval. You are only as trapped as you allow yourself to be. You cannot save her. You cannot love her enough in order for her to love herself. If she tries to kill herself, she is accountable, NOT you. By backing down and staying in the relationship, you’ve reinforced this behavior. Now, anytime she wants to force you to do something against your will, she’ll play the suicide card. Do you really want to live like this?

      Hang tough,
      Dr Tara

      • Nick
        August 31, 2009 at 10:59 pm

        Dr.Tara,
        One of the reasons men stay with the abuse- is fear of that next guy….or better put, i guess, jealous feelings. Tough to admit, but i think that’s what rules most of us at one time or another. I think that could be the premise for a whole new post-by you. You touch on that quite a bit here and there in your writings, but I think a concentrated dose of your thinking on the issue would be great. Title it “Why your NPD/BPD will NOT somehow become NORMAL with the next guy”

      • Jim
        August 31, 2009 at 11:40 pm

        I agree with Nick. A lot of my feeling terrible and guilty at the moment has to do with thinking that my ex-girlfriend is going to be roses now in her new relationship (one that she started immediately after our breakup). Her brainwashing of me and her absolute refusal to take any responsibility have left me thinking that this next guy is going to meet the woman of his dreams – the woman that I “lost” because I wasn’t good enough to/for her.

        This regretful thinking is also the reason that I’ve been so torn about breaking no contact, which I know intellectually is a terrible idea. The emotional part of me says that I’m still in love and that I should keep trying to convince her that I’ve changed and can now be a better man. This is what she kept telling me I should be doing after we broke up – contacting her as much as possible to get closer to her again. Even though every attempt I made at this after the breakup left me feeling humiliated and emasculated by her. very maddening…

      • Kev
        September 1, 2009 at 12:32 am

        Nick, Jim –

        Will the next guy find your ex to be “the woman of his dreams”? Sure. Just like you did, at first.

        And, then, as happened with you, and everyone before you, that dream will slowly morph into a nightmare.

        The thing to remember is there is no “good enough” in these instances. You weren’t good enough. Her prior boyfriends weren’t good enough. I wasn’t good enough. The next guy eventually won’t be good enough either.

        There is no stable and consistent definition of “good” at work here. Remember when That Thing You Did was the Wrong Thing? Remember when The Exact Opposite of That Thing You Did was Equally Wrong? It’s going to be the same thing. Over, and over.

        For the next guy. And the next. And the next.

        Love isn’t about being “good enough.” As my sister implored me to believe (and it took me a while to get there, myself), love isn’t about finding The Magic Solution. It isn’t about jumping through hoops.

        You were set up to fail. And you did. We all did. I did too. And, sadly, the next guy will, too.

        I can’t remember if Dr. Tara posted the analogy somewhere or not, but it’s like Charlie Brown and Lucy with the football. You need to stop playing that game.

        YOU WILL NOT WIN.

        The game isn’t designed for you to win.

        But here’s the thing. That doesn’t mean you’re not worthy. It doesn’t mean you’re not a good person.

        It means you’re playing the wrong game, and it’s time to end it.

        -N.B.:
        I’ve been where you are. I’m only 10 months out. I know how hard it is to believe other than what you’ve had beaten into you during this relationship. I still have my days of doubt myself.

      • shrink4men
        September 1, 2009 at 8:02 pm

        Hi Nick & Jim,

        I understand that many men have the fear that their ex will be “normal” with the next guy. I’ve addressed the irrationality of this fear elsewhere on the site.

        I think Kev’s summary of the great unlikelihood of this occurring is spot on. If these women were capable of normalcy and consistent kindness you would’ve seen it.

        For these women, finding a new boyfriend/husband/emotional punching bag is the equivalent of the “geographic cure” described in Alcoholics Anonymous—it’s their attempt to get a fresh start with a new partner. However, like the AA saying states, “Wherever you go, there you are.” In others words, they will continue to take the same problems, behaviors and craziness into each new relationship because they are the primary source of their relationship problems, not their most recent ex.

        I know it’s difficult to accept that all the time and energy you wasted on this woman was to no avail, but that’s just the way it is. If you had a car that kept breaking down all the time, would you continue to pay for repairs for 20 years in the hopes that it would suddenly become a reliable car or would you figure out it’s a lemon and sell it for scrap metal? It’s kind of the same thing.

        Best,
        Dr T

      • She was hot and smart, but also quite crazy...
        September 7, 2009 at 4:34 pm

        One thing I want to add is that your ex may *appear* to be better with the next partner because the next partner may have a much higher threshold for abuse and/or might be the legendary inverse narcissist who actively seeks out a narcissistic partner.

        And in that case, wish them great happiness together – they’re both getting what they want out of each other. But it sure isn’t “normal.”

      • shrink4men
        September 17, 2009 at 10:10 pm

        You make excellent points, hot and smart.

        Thanks,
        Dr T

      • jpyfer
        October 5, 2009 at 1:30 pm

        I love the term emotional blackmail!! I have gained so much insight to how I have been minipulated for the past 16 years. Noone can abuse you anymore once you learn this term.

    • Jessica
      October 27, 2009 at 11:55 am

      This is all excellent information, with disturbingly accurate cookie-cutter mold behaviors being described… Every epiphany and every analogy match my own throughout the long journey to escaping the madness. The only thing I find disheartening is that I am the female in the relationship. And the abusive women’s personalities discussed on here are identical in behavior and words and psychological manipulatiions and blaming, bullying, scapegoating, no-win prisons – identical – to that of the man I was involved with. Why???? What is going on with this gender biased clinician’s counseling?? I’ve called male therapists in the past, thinking they would be able to best help me re-learn what is and what is not acceptable treatment from any man I’m involved with. Ironically enough, NONE of the Male Doctors were willing to treat a female patient. They ALL told me it is always best to seek therapy from a doctor of the same gender as the patient with regard to
      marital therapy / domestic violence / psychological abuse / emotional trauma from … etc…. I live in California (Los Angeles). I don’t know if there is a theory of mind out here that differs from the rest of the country. But my ex-boyfriend should be a woman. His personality is identical to all of these other men’s descriptions of their own abusive exes.

      • guy
        October 27, 2009 at 12:25 pm

        jessica,

        this forum is for men who were in abusive relationships w/ NPD/BPD women, there are plenty of other sites out there that cater towards women who were involved w/ men. we represent the minority of men who were in relationships w/ women according to the “experts 25% of women are NPD and we are here to talk about our experiences and dr T is well aware that the men are not “crazy” and have been driven to the point of insanity being exposed to women w/ these personality disorders. trust me i feel for you and it is a terrible thing to have encountered. 5+ months after my breakup i am still trying to find myself , its a long road but one that god has sent me down for a reason. i am getting better, it just takes time and perserverence, it was not you, it was him, they are selfish people who only care to get a means to their end, an end that never ends, its a continued cycle of chaos in their own mind.

        all the best to you,

        guy

      • Mike91163
        October 27, 2009 at 12:33 pm

        Dear Jessica:

        First, you should not be “disheartened” because you happen to be a female involved with a BPD male. The advice that Dr. Tara provides applies to ANYONE involved in an abusive relationship, regardless of gender. The reason (I believe) this site/blog exists is simply because realistically more resources exist for women entangled in abusive relationships…domestic violence hotlines, support networks of friends, and so forth. When was the last time you saw a domestic violence ad or billboard that featured an abused man? Not that a man would even call a hotline…blame it on a man’s “macho” thinking, embarassment, fear of humiliation, right or wrong. Thanks to the relative anonymity of the Internet, us men can share our tales, and partake of the excellent advice provided here while maintaining some measure of “dignity”.

        I’m as confused as you are with regard to male therapists’ failure out in CA to take on a female patient…perhaps, as Dr. T mentions in one of her posts, it’s due to the preponderance of female therapists entering the field over the past 30+ yrs, and bluntly, maybe many of the men in the field are “wusses” who lose sight of the male/female dynamic…I don’t know.

        “But my ex-boyfriend should be a woman.” Jessica, keep in mind that BPD and all personality disorders affect BOTH women and men.

    • December 15, 2009 at 10:16 pm

      K! I don’t know what has transpired in your life since you wrote this, but I’d really like to know. Did you make the break? I am where you were last summer and I constantly break down. I don’t follow through with leaving. I succumb to that paralysis you described. I can’t bring myself to endure what you called “the inevitable hurricane of abuse.” I’d love to hear how your story stands now. And if you did push through it, what happened and how did you do it?

  14. She was hot and smart, but also quite crazy...
    August 31, 2009 at 9:02 am

    I’m actually getting the closure I need now that I’ve broken up with my narcissistic ex (well technically she just dumped me one night in the middle of a phone call about a cancelled concert, but I digress).

    And that closure for me has been my attempts to reason with her and present my side of the issues that led to her doing so (she owes me money so unless I want to write that off, I’m stuck interacting with her for now, so I’m bouncing my thoughts off her superbouncer exterior as we wind this down). These attempts are, of course, futile, but the futility itself has been utterly liberating. Because now I viscerally understand that the only winning move was not to play. The game was rigged from the get-go, and to quote Danny Devito from _War of The Roses_ “There’s no winning in this. It’s only degrees of losing.”

    I’m usually a very methodical and persuasive guy – I can’t even chip the paint here. One can read a hundred articles and understand this abstractly, but experiencing this phenomenon concretely is a whole new level of understanding. Because after all, it’s all my fault, she did nothing wrong. If only I hadn’t been so moody (gag me).

    • shrink4men
      September 1, 2009 at 7:50 pm

      Hi she was hot and smart, but also quite crazy,

      I think you sum things up very well with these two sentences:

      Because now I viscerally understand that the only winning move was not to play. The game was rigged from the get-go, and to quote Danny Devito from _War of The Roses_ “There’s no winning in this. It’s only degrees of losing.”

      The only way to win is NOT to play. As I’ve stated many times, these women make the rules, change the rules and break the rules, therefore, you’ll never be treated fairly and there’s no pleasing them.

      Furthermore, if your relationship has devolved into a battle in which both parties define themselves by being the “victor” and the “defeated” you’re in an incredibly unhealthy relationships. Ideally, both partners build each other up rather than tearing each other down.

      Congratulations on getting out and good luck getting your money back.

      Kind Regards,
      Dr Tara

  15. Freedom
    August 30, 2009 at 2:24 am

    and meanwhile your tone of voice has remained the same, you’ve kept eye contact the whole time, never once changed your expression. they make things up, create things that aren’t there, any weapon they can use to win at all costs. it’s not about you, it’s all about them. they’ve cornered the market on feelings and emotions and yours just doesn’t matter. i won’t even say that theirs comes first, cuz the guy’s feelings aren’t even on the radar. theirs comes first, last, and everything in between. like i’ve said before, the girl could have a sock puppet on he rhand, call it your name, and you’ll be blamed for a conversation that you never had, and things you never said.

    • mike91163
      September 7, 2009 at 12:53 pm

      John & Freedom:

      Oh–My–God…what a deja vu I just experienced. John, I have heard what you quoted WORD FOR WORD exactly. There must be an NPD/BPD playbook published somewhere…

      And, of course, there’s the classic “It’s not what you said, it’s how you said it.” BULLSHIT!!! I could speak like HAL9000 and she’d STILL have an issue with it!

      Yep, Freedom, you could lock on her eyes like laser targeting and they’d still tell you that you rolled your eyes…umm, maybe it was the pained expression in our faces as you tore us apart yet again???

    • del
      September 18, 2011 at 1:50 am

      funny dude—sock puppet—–haha

  16. John
    August 29, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    looks at me and says: “when you say things like that, it feels like you’re punching me in the stomach.”

    I heard that one all the time. It wasn’t the substance of what I said either, it was the “tone” or my “facial expression.”

    • Moo
      January 13, 2013 at 1:19 am

      Me too, (I’m female with a BPD husband). I would sit there and listen and acknowledge his feelings but when It came time to express mine in order to come to some kind of middle ground, I was belittling HIS feelings and I was a cow coz it was always all about me even though he’d barely let me speak so much as a full sentence.

      Along with it being the tone or facial expression etc that was wrong – I would also be accused of THINKING the wrong thing, i.e…. that’s not what you meant tho is it, what you were really thinking was…

      Last week he disappeared for 3 days after an argument and because of his threats I was worried he’d done something stupid so I was calling all his family and friends to make sure he was still alive. He got in touch with his family but not me, we basically haven’t spoken for a week as when I tried contacting him it descended into pointless arguing that I no longer have the energy for.

      Along with a couple of others (all about him and his needs) I received this text message from him about an hour ago…
      “I asked you not to ring my dad, poor bugga’s had a fall and knocked himself out coz of the stress. carpet in the lounge stained with blood, leave him out of it, he doesn’t need it”.

      That’s his response to one very simple question I posed.
      He blames me for being worried about him and contacting his family and friends as being a cause of stress to them – NOT the fact that he ran off for 3 days and was uncontactable and that we all thought he’d killed himself!

      Well, I called his father to appologise for the stress I had caused him and he told me what happened and it’s certainly not the tale his son is trying to tell me.

      I think after 13 years we are finally over but I know I’m weak to his manipulation so I really hope reading about so many other people in this situation can help me to keep my eyes open to the reality. I came on here after googling BPD as I didn’t see the point in even trying to contact him at the moment.

  17. Jon
    August 29, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    Hey Dr. T:

    Yet again, another fantastic post. This site has been such a life-saver for me. Whenever I think about making any sort of contact with my BPD/NPD ex, I check back in here and read over some of the materail to get my head back on straight.

    One thing that I was baffled by during the course of our breakup: my ex said some horribly vicious things to me; blaming me for ALL of the demise of the relationship (and when I pointed out to her ‘babe, I’ll gladly take 50% of the blame, but to think that I am completely to blame is just unreasonable.’ her response: ‘I want you to take ALL of the blame, I don’t think I did anything wrong’ – sigh) telling me that I was holding her back in life (when all I did was support her) and that I should be happy that she is even talking to me. Mind you, this is a mere 8 hours after telling me that I’m the best man she’s ever known. (wtf?)

    Anyway, after this tirade finished, I said to her: ‘*A*, I know this is difficult for both of us, but please don’t say things like that to me. It completely undermines the great relationship that we had and honestly, it really hurts me a lot. I know you don’t want to hurt me, so I’m telling you this so that you’ll think about what you’re saying.’ She sorta huffs for a minute, looks at me and says: “when you say things like that, it feels like you’re punching me in the stomach.” and makes a motion like she wants to punch ME in the stomach. It was so bizarre. And then there I was actually feeling BAD about hurting her? WHAAA?

    She’s the second BPD/NPD girlfriend in a row that’s used this ploy. The ploy being: when we start to talk about feelings and how I’m being hurt by them, they suddenly become physically ill. This last one went o far as to say she felt like she was going to throw up after our conversation took a downturn.

    My question is this: has anyone else seen this? And does this really happen? Do they really get ILL when we call them on their hurtful behavior? And if so, why?

    It was baffling – made my head spin.

    Oh, and one more thing. As this was happening, and I was looking at her with a sincere look of confusion, she actually looked at me and said “you’re probably wondering what happened to your sweet pretty lady right about now”. Almost as though she knew that she’d virtually changed personalities on me. And she said it with such an air of contempt.

    Chilling.

    • shrink4men
      August 30, 2009 at 6:57 pm

      Hi Jon,

      Basically, you tried to hold this woman accountable for her bad behavior and she became “physically ill.” What does that tell you? The truth is like shark repellent or shining a light on a cockroach to these women–they scatter pretty quickly. They “can’t handle the truth” to the point where it causes them somatic pain. That’s how primitive and powerful their defenses are. Hearing the truth is experienced as a physical blow.

      For a healthy person, hearing and/or speaking the truth is freeing—even if it’s something you don’t want to acknowledge at first because it’s painful. Speaking the truth takes away the fear of whatever your imagined worst consequence is. For an emotionally abusive NPD and/or BPD woman, the truth coming out is the worst thing that could happen.

      “Chilling” indeed. I’m very glad you were able to get away from your ex. From your description, she sounds frightening.

      Kind Regards,
      Dr Tara

      • guy
        September 7, 2009 at 1:39 pm

        dr tara,

        i ran into this “pysically ill” scenario approx 4-5 times during my 10 1/2 month relationship with my X’N’ here’s what happened:

        one particular saturday last nov. we were going to 3 family parties (all her family) in one day.

        anyway i had things to do with my son in the AM so i could not attend i ended up taking her younger son with me so we did not go to the first party together, although i heard all about it while we were on our way back to her house so she could change her clothes to the second one (she didn’t need to change, she looked fine, me and the boys were in our clothes that we put on that morning our attire would be fine for all the activiy’s we were doing that day.

        the last one was a huge family function we got there quite late because after the second party she needed to go back to her house to “get ready” for this larger party, mind you she looked fine at the first one that i did not attend, she looked even better for the second one….so that day she wore three different outfits anyway at thgis last party i had “held down the fort” at our table so to speak with my son and her two boys, it was getting late and she was out on the floor mingling, and talking to everyone …..me and the boys were getting tired and even a little hungry (this third party did not have food) she would come and check in on us from time to time but could have cared less about our presence at this party, she was “ON” for this one and wanted her family to see how we were such a great blended family, (i was her “babysitter” that night…

        finally the boys and i get up and go to find her, we tell her we’re all set tired and hungry and want to go, of course she had to go say goodbye to those that mattered (we didn’t) i made a mention to her younger son that i was ready to leave her there and we were leaving w/o her her laughed, then she walked in on our conversation and projected blame on me holding things up and how could i be so cold to her and her family at this function etc…etc… etc…bla bla bla

        i told her all she cared about was herslef and how she looked in front of them of course she denied her actions we proceeded home when the kids went to sleep she rolled over and started to talk about the party and everything that went on. (we never did get anything to eat) i told her i could of cared less and the start of her disussion led me to telling her i was getting my son up and leaving because i had had enough of her selfishness that day.

        i was going home to my bed and would see her later the next day. this turned into the biggest crying fest i ever witnessed from and adult in my life OMG she thought i was leaving her forever, she couldn’t believe that i could be so cold and that i was doing this and that and ending such a good thing. she went into her closet and put herslef into the fetal position cring like i just took her bottle away at feeding time IT WAS PATHETIC!!!

        anyway i felt bad and ended up staying w/ her. the next morning i did have to get back to my house and do some stuff with my son and he was going with his mother that day anyway my N had to work that day, i called her when i was settled and she said she didn’t feel good and felt she was coming down with a virus i told her i’d ake my way back over her house. once there she looked fine but she was eating saltine crackers and sipping tea. i was puzzled, she ended up calling in saying she’d be late for work. she gets herslef together and goes to work, i head home. she calls a 1 1/2 hours later saying she’s leaving work and coming to my house she’s ill and needs to go to bed..

        here’s the deal:

        she comes over walks thru my house to my bedroom climbs into my bed a stays there for 40 hours.. except to go to the bathroom, she never showed signs of a virus, cold, stomach bug, sniffles, vomitting, cough or anything 40 hours the remainder of 12 hours on the first day, 24 the second, the first 8 on the third.

        when she got up on the third day i thought jesus christ had risen from the tomb she was healed she felt great, never better, i was such a good caretaker nobody ever took care of me the way i did, all i did was check in on her from time to time, i fed her etc…and didn’t even catch whatever she said she had..

        my assumption is that she sustained a narssistic injury thinking i was abandoning her and became “ill” so she could get back the much needed attention?

        this was the worst scenario of the 4-5 i can recollect….it was the most exhausting thing to see her “ill” when in hindsite she never really was, it was all attention seeking like when a baby gets placed in a playpen and doesn’t want to be there, i call playpens “baby jail” they act out, cry and put up a big fuss until the parent or caregivver goes over to sooth them pick them up and hold them… i would have ever thought that a mature adult woman could act out like an infant…. over and over again

        guy

    • Angela
      August 30, 2010 at 9:31 pm

      My ex actually DID become physically ill, twice, when confronted relentlessly with the truth from me. She raged, she knew she had done wrong, she was contrite & upset. When I tried to hold her accountable for her behaviour she could not handle it.

  18. Freedom
    August 29, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    Well said Kev. any attempt at mature closure with my ex would mean nothing more than opening a door to another hurricane. there’s lots of lessons to be learned from my situation. the important thing is to learn those lessons and become a better man for it. and never to take out on the next girl what the previous girl put you thru. my closure amounts to how much i am SO done with her, how far i can move beyond that relationship, and the better man i can be.

  19. Kev
    August 29, 2009 at 1:47 am

    I wrote a letter. It came out to 16 pages (single spaced). I never sent it, because I have no idea where she is (nor do I care), and I’m all about the no-contact.

    Writing it was extremely cathartic, and helpful. The only thing I have left to do, is to read it out loud.

    My goal is to do that on the one year anniversary of the break up, with a few trusted friends to bear witness. Afterwards, I will burn it.

    Attempting to contact her, for some sort of “closure session” would probably be the stupidest thing I can imagine doing, outside of getting back together with her (which will also never happen). Closure in these situations comes from within, and (re)discovering one’s own strength, and either remembering who you are,and/ or creating the new and improved version of you that will never fall into this trap again.

    The rest of my life is my closure. And I’m more than happy with that.

    • shrink4men
      August 30, 2009 at 6:36 pm

      Hi Kev,

      I love your idea for a closure ritual with your friends. Very symbolic. You’re absolutely correct about closure coming from within in regards to this kind of relationship.

      It’s natural to want to show the person who hurt you so badly that you’re happier without her and what a crazy, cruel headcase she is, but she’ll never acknowledge it. These women are too well-defended. I once had a bf with these issues. He was my last unhealthy relationship. I had my WTF-moment shortly followed by an A-HA moment while on holiday in Italy with a good friend and decided not to contact him when I returned.

      2 months later, I received a typical email from him that I’ll never forget. Even though he did his best to make me feel less than and keep me at a safe distance for the entire 9 months we “dated,” his ego couldn’t handle it that I was the one who stopped contact without explanation. He sent this email that reminded me of a rejection letter you receive when a company you interviewed with doesn’t want to hire you. “Despite your impeccable qualifications, we regret to inform you, blah, blah, blah.”

      He actually wrote, “Don’t think I don’t think well of you. I admire many things about you. Your sense of humor, your love of ‘The Sopranos,’ and amazing salad assembly skills.” Salad assembly skills? It was so crazy, I couldn’t help myself. I called him and laid into him for a good solid 10 minutes. I began by telling him that I didn’t care about his good opinion of me because I had an incredibly low opinion of him. I detailed the hurtful things he did and said during our relationship and nailed him on many of his delusions. And just before I delivered the coup de grace, the thing I most wanted to rub his nose in, he sputtered a few times and hurriedly said, “I have to go now” and I never heard from him again.

      This was a guy who spent 9 YEARS in therapy (which should have been my first sign to run for the hills) and described his progress in his near decade of treatment as “wearing down a rock with a feather.” In retrospect, this is an incredibly accurate simile for the ineffectiveness of therapy for a NPD and/or BPD. I’m not a geologist, but I’m pretty sure that “wearing a rock down with a feather” takes far more many lifetimes than I would care to wait for some nutbag to get his act together. Also, it’s an apt description of what they actually do in therapy, they sit there and tickle their rocks while making no progress.

      What’s the moral of this story? I felt triumphant for a day or two after telling him off, but then I realized that it would have no long-term impact on him. I believe he recognized the truth in that moment when I had him on the ropes. However, he was probably able to talk himself down in a very short time and make himself believe that I was the crazy hurtful person. It was good in that I said what I needed to say, but I’m sure he repressed my words into oblivion long ago.

      All’s well that end’s well! I moved on with my life and began to date emotionally healthy men (it was weird at first) and now I’m with someone who is the perfect complement to my life. It’s a relationship filled with mutual acceptance and just plain joy within each other’s company. The relationship I have today is why I know it’s possible for people to break out of the pattern of abusive relationships and find true comfort and happiness.

      Best,
      Dr T

  20. shrink4men
    August 28, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    I forgot to add one thing to this post. If you still feel that you need to say your peace to your ex, by all means do it, but let that be enough. Get it off your chest and then turn a deaf ear or blind eye to whatever nonsense she hurls back at you.

    Alternately, don’t be surprised if she blinks a few times, sputters, storms off and you never hear from her again. Sometimes it’s satisfying to let out everything you’ve bottled up over the years, but don’t let receiving an apology from her (or sanity or an accurate version of events) determine your ability to gain closure.

    Best,
    Dr Tara

    • John
      August 29, 2009 at 3:18 am

      Dr. T

      Another great article. I will have to deal with my X as we will be co-parenting our children. I don’t have the luxury of completely ignoring her. But I have minimized contact. If I have to deal with her I just send an email. She is doing the same thing . . . but then again my X is the victim. Your article on the Professional Victim really hit home with me.

      I wish I had kept the letters and notes I had written down occasionally throughout the years when she really did something to hurt me or after an ass-chewing that I was completely perplexed by. I would discover her faulty reasoning after I wrote it down. But I always ended up throwing them away and thinking its not worth it, she would just explode and continue the conflict if I confronted her. Her standard response to me defending myself was “there you go again, throwing it back on me” and other variations on that theme.

      When this all started back in May I started journalling. I wrote all kinds of incidents, behavioral issues, problems, disagreements down. Then I went out of town for a week to see my family and took my girls with me. Had some long talks with parents (and a relative who has a Masters in clinical pysch.) Consensus was that I couldn’t get the hell out of the marriage quick enough.

      When I discovered your site about 4 weeks ago, it was as if the lights became turned on. Going back through my journal, and looking at what has been written here (as well as talking to a professional) has really opened my eyes.

      I’m signed up for a Divorce Recovery Group session that my lawyer referred me to. She said it was supposed to be really good. I think I’ve made a lot of progress by just having her out of the house for, I guess it must be 8 weeks now. I truly don’t miss her. I miss the concept of having a mate, or significant love. But in truth, I’ve been alone for a while now. Also, just not having the stress and tension of coming home and worrying about what I need to do to please her sorry self-centered butt. My natural personality has started to come back out now, too.

      Another thing, I’m getting tired of talking and thinking about her treatment of me. Its as if I’m allowing her to f&*^9 with me all over again. I think I just need to say to hell with her, its over, time to move on. I’ll find someone much, much better and enjoy life again. I’ve learned a hell of a lesson.

      Keep up the good work Dr. T

      • Nick
        August 30, 2009 at 4:18 pm

        John and Dr. T.

        This site has made for a complete turn around in my thinking…and FINALLY, i ruminate and wallow and blame myself-a hell of a lot less. In fact i now realize my pissy disposition was brought on by the daily emotional beatings. I actually would rather it had been my fault! At least then I could do something about it. Three years ago I went to a psychologist. I emphatically told him i was not there to impress or win. “Just tell me what this is Doc!” He basically said she’s nuts and to run. That was fine, but had he explained NPD/BPD…the way this site does…well, i would have avoided three more years of utter misery. I would also say that without this site, I would be back with her. Over the past 90 days she has made 5 attempts at contact. I ignored them all. Because now i have knowledge and we all know what that is….that long lost commodity-POWER. Thanks again Tara, and all you guysout there- working to regain your self-respect.

      • shrink4men
        August 30, 2009 at 6:49 pm

        Hi John & Nick,

        I kept all my emails and notes from my relationship with my crazy ex for awhile. It was my form of a “psychological scarecrow.” Reminder! Reminder! Do not venture back into these waters! After awhile though, I deleted the emails and threw my notes into the fireplace. I wanted to purge myself of all the negative energy and toxicity.

        It looks like you’ve both turned a corner in your process and I sincerely wish you the best.

        Kind Regards,
        Dr Tara

    • September 26, 2010 at 5:15 pm

      Great article Dr. Tara. I’m a woman who dated a BPD/NPD man and I waited for the apology and closure for a month or two and then gave it to myself (after writing a scathing email which I think is one of my best works and I am a writer). You’re absolutely right in this article, they will never accept blame, apologize or give you the validation and closure you want. You have to let go and move on.

      One thing I did learn from this relationship was how to deal with my narcissistic mother, so there was some value in it.
      Jennifer

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