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. It didn’t work because of 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.

The Paradox: Trying to get closure with a narcissistic and/or borderline woman usually results in reopening your old wounds.

Attempting to obtain closure with an emotionally abusive, narcissistic and/or borderline woman is almost always a maddening exercise in futility. You will never get closure with this kind of woman. NEVER. 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 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 IS NEVER 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 not going 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 again? 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.

by Dr Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD

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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. November 16, 2009 at 2:20 pm | #1

    Well when it’s all said an done, actions always speak louder then words…

  2. Jonathan
    November 15, 2009 at 2:56 am | #2

    Yes,

    It truly is an odd behavior pattern.

    My ex had a ten year disguise of going to college for an engineering degree (yes…it took her ten years to earn a four year degree). Anyway, as soon as she met anyone, she’d tell them she was studying to be an engineer.

    It was under this “title” she used that people immediately were deceived by her. After all, she was an ENGINEER! Anyway, she always talked about how hard she was studying and doing homework, and I swear that in the almost four years I was with her, she only spent three or four laborious nights doing homework. She cut class all the time, and she spend and sucked up so much of my time that I know she couldn’t have been studying.

    However, let her tell the story…and she was SO BUSY.

    These women, although dangerous, are most interesting to study in that they always find a way to disguise themselves along with their true identity. And part of this disguise appears to be how busy they are. But why don’t they say something else…why the term, “busy”?

  3. November 9, 2009 at 12:53 pm | #3

    Interesting enough insomuch that my ex NPD/BPD did the same thing. She was continually telling us and others how hard she worked and in fact told me straight up that “without me, you guys couldn’t survive!”. When I said he told me this in fact she yelled this statement while walking throughout the house making sure the children could hear it as well..

    Well, my reply to her that day was:

    “That’s not true D and yes we would in fact be able to survive without you”

    It’s been three years in NC (no contact) now and we are in fact “surviving without her”..

    So Dr. T. I too would love to know why they do in fact tell us and whoever will listen just how busy they are which is in fact a lot of BS..

  4. Jonathan
    November 8, 2009 at 4:36 am | #4

    Hi,

    Why do these women always make themselves look so “busy”?

    I was with a borderline who had no interest and who hardly did anything…except suck up my free time and try to control how I spent it. But when she talked to her friends, she talk about how “busy” she was. And I knew she wasn’t because I was with her all the time.

    Now that we’ve broken up, she is telling everyone how “busy” she is…and I think what she is really saying is that she finally got a job. But why do they always do this? What is there line of thinking that makes them feel that they always have to be doing something and that when they do a single thing that there so busy?

    What’s up with this?

    Johnny

    • Finally free
      November 12, 2009 at 4:48 am | #5

      I swear we’ve all lived the same life here Jonathan.

      Mine is a busy busy person too. I suppose now that she has to cook for herself, get her own groceries.

      The only thing I can come up with a puffed-up ego, that has to explain how running around in circles is being ‘busy’.

      Heard she’s now going out with guy #3 since moving in with two of them and breaking it off in the span of four months. An ex-friend of hers told me I should get the high-score award for sticking it out for over 7 years with her.

      The weight has lifted. Rejoice! We are better without them. If there’s a new guy, believe me, he’ll be going through fresh hells from them soon enough.

      Having met them, I know there are more stable woman out there, ones who will share the burden, not cause it.

      I know this website has been thrown around here – but I also feel http://www.sharischreiber.com/anycost.html was very helpful for knowing who my former love was, and how/why it fell apart, and why I felt so blindsided when it happened.

      Best of luck and futures to you!

  5. Taras
    November 4, 2009 at 4:45 am | #6

    The day I left my ex, I told her it’s over, picked up my belongings, and while doing so I did not mince words about what I thought of her, her kids and how all of them acted towards me. Since that day, I have not had any contact with her. I literally cut her from my life, and my heart just like a cancerous growth. I have nothing to say to her, and I was relieved it was over.

  6. October 24, 2009 at 4:44 pm | #7

    For me gentlemen being broke jobless and homeless is always better then being in a rubber white room babbling to myself and forming at the mouth by staying in a toxic dysfunctional emotional roller coaster ride too long. Better to get out asap!!!

    Anyway, I heard other members from other forums discuss these issues about them not being able to throw stuff away and *pathological hoarding as well as being a **hypochondriac.

    I know my ex NPD was a big time hypochondriac and hoarder.

    * http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=32923
    ** http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=18718

    • StillRecovering
      November 9, 2009 at 10:25 am | #8

      My NPD/BPD ex was always complaining of being sick or not feeling well, usually to avoid doing something she didn’t want to do or to get attention. The one thing she did not do was hoard. In fact, she’s the only person I’ve ever met that had virtually no indication that she ever had a life before me aside from a collection of old books. She only had a handful of pictures, all of herself from her early twenties, and a few photos of her family. No childhood pictures, no photos of friends. There was no concrete evidence to back up any of the tales she would tell me. I now realize why that is.

      When we first got together, she moved in with her books and her clothes, and that’s all she took when she left. Everything she had gotten while she was with me was left behind. It was very odd. As soon as our divorce was final, I threw it all away so that she had no reason to come back.

  7. Jim R
    October 23, 2009 at 4:22 pm | #9

    My wife has been driving me nuts for 27 years “because of the kids” and every time she saw I was on the border line of of total frustration she agreed to counseling or claimed she was dying during which she ran up doctor and prescription bills. Of course she never followed through with the counseling, she never took the medication and was “bs”ing the doctor with symptoms.. I started the divorce process process and immediately she said said she would go to counseling, which she has now refused to do. She has also been in “extreme pain” for the last 6 weeks and claims to be dying. Today she is at the doctor trying to convince the doctor of her horrible condition. In addition to that I am currently sitting in our family room sitting in the middle of a huge pile of trash. You see she never throws anything away. I had told her that I can no longer live with the trash, this has been an on going issue. For the last two weeks she has been “cleaning” which means moving things from one pile to another as she berates me for never giving her a maid. Anyway I am continuing with the divorce during which I will probably end up broke as in my state a contested divorce takes 11 months but it will be worth it. I am retired and it will be so nice to get out of these years of hell. I wish I had found this blog many years ago as I always felt I was the one doing something wrong.

    • jham123
      October 23, 2009 at 6:48 pm | #10

      She Hoards things as well….Bonus

    • Mike91163
      October 23, 2009 at 8:56 pm | #11

      Jim R,

      Welcome to the site! It never ceases to amaze me how all the Cluster B disorders tend to overlap each other…drama queen, huh? When my wife would get a bad headache, she would half-kiddingly say that she probably had a brain tumor! Say hello to Histrionic PD!

      Funny how she won’t clean up “her” mess, yet you better make damn sure you have your stuff in order!

      I couldn’t agree more on your “broke being worth it” comment…some things, like your sanity and well-being are priceless!

  8. October 23, 2009 at 3:04 am | #12

    Dr Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD

    Closure? Never going to happen and how right you are Dr. T!

    Once I accepted this reality I knew I was really to heal.

    Great article and thanks!

    Sincerely, James

  9. Paul
    October 6, 2009 at 8:59 am | #13

    Hi Dr. Tara.

    My name is Paul. I am 42 years old.

    I came across your website a couple of months ago and have posted a couple of comments under the “Why there is no closure with NPD women” Your website has really helped me stay focused and strong.

    I guess what I would like is your professional opinion and experience. I appreciate specific advice on individual cases is extremely difficult. I am writing to ask you if it is not uncommon for some NPD’s to lie about something very serious that they claim to have happened to them. In this case serious sexual abuse/rape from the age of 6 – 11 by grandfather.

    I have had an extremely turbulent on off relationship with J for 2 years. She was 30 when we met and clearly quite immature / childlike .She told me very early on she had been raped repeatedly from the age of 6 – 11 by her grandfather. She claimed she never told anyone until she was 20. The Grandfathers wife, J’ sgrandmother, is still alive and J sees her everyday The grandmother does not know about the abuse. J also claims to have been raped twice when she was 19 and 20 by 2 different men.

    We never lived together and spent probably less that 30 nights together. She would always make an excuse up. Bed was too hard. She was in pain (there was always something medically wrong with her) or she was busy with her music projects (that never went anywhere) . I quickly realised she had personality problems and a distorted, unreal way of viewing even the most simple life situations. She was extremely self absorbed did not seem capable of being aware of anything going on around her, like she couldn’t read between the lines of normal social interaction. She also lacked empathy for people saying they were attention seekers although she was ‘ill’ very ofetn with no physical symptoms.

    She removed herself from or avoided any normal social interaction although she would spend hours on facebook and my space adding countless people to her friends lists. Her profile on these sites was unbelievable mix of fanstasy and delusion and were posted like a black widow wanting to attract mates.

    She displays every NPD trait to the extreme Dr T.

    I need not list them here but I guess the main ones that were obvious very early on were a sense of grandiose that bear no resemblance to her actual life, her total lack of other peoples emotions and a self absorbedness/vanity I have never come across before. She would form contacts with people, mainly men, who she thought could help her in her music pursuit and I am sure she used her feminine wiles…i.e. make it covertly clear she was single/possibly available.

    Other women tend not to like her. Any friendships formed seemed to be temporary and for her to derive some benefit. She would flit from one person to the next.

    Throughout the relationship she would twist things she believed or previously said, around to fit her current goals/beliefs and this slowly made me think I was going crazy. She could not take any form of criticism even if it was constructive and seemed jealous of others people success. especially women’s.

    She had 2 previous relationships, neither of which sound remotely ‘normal’. The terms cat and mouse and mentally abusive and brainwashing are ones that she has repeatedly used to describe them, she always the victim.

    I have slowly learnt to become emotionally detached from a mentally draining relationship that drove me crazy. At one point when I was deep in the mist I could see myself physically hurting her she would frustrate me that much. I realised I had to do something so started trying to stop responding like I used to when she ‘pressed my buttons’. I recently decided I was detached enough to finally let go and that the usual cycle of breaking up and me returning was not going to happen. I am out of the mist.

    Anyway I have slowly come to question some of the things she has told me and know for certain that she has exaggerated many things about herself and told many small lies.

    I have recently found out that she has lied (not exaggerated) about an operation she claims to have recently had. She told her ex she had recently had surgery. This is a lie.

    I realise I will probably never know the true extent of her lies/deceit but I think I got involved and tried to help her because of the abuse she told me she had suffered. To get your opinion of the chances of her exaggerating or lying about her sexual abuse/rape would help me try and make sense of things Dr Tara.

    Do you think it is possible she lied / exaggerated about the childhood abuse and later rapes?

    Thank you .

    Paul.

    • guy
      October 6, 2009 at 7:12 pm | #14

      paul.

      i am sorry to hear about your story, it sounds like you were in a relationship with the same person i was with to the letter.. i know you were not but my story is the same as yours…..you are not alone my ‘N’ told me similar stories about her childhood, possible sexual abuse from her adopted father’s brother, a rape when she was in early 20′s i actually bought into her victim mentality and wanted to “help” her…..they are beyond help. i wish you the best, it has been 5 months since i left my “N” and have found a woman who is healthy i am cautiously optomistic in my new venture and as tough of a year as it was to be with my X- “n” it has shown me what to look for and what to be aware of…dr. t knows her shit and it helped me see the forest thru the tree’s

      all the best,

      guy

      • Paul
        October 17, 2009 at 10:09 pm | #15

        Thanks for that Guy. It is kinda soothing to know that there are others who have been involved in similar realtionships and that I am NOT the one who is crazy. I truely wish you all the very very best in your new relationship Guy. Maybe we should try and see our Ex ‘N’s as having been a painful catalyst in finding a healthy person capable of true feelings and emotions.
        Paul.

        • Tony
          December 1, 2009 at 9:32 am | #16

          Hi Paul/Guy,

          Isn’t it strange when you read someones story and you almost think its your own g/f (or wife) they are talking about!

          My NPD/BPD girfriend was so like yours. Told me quite early on about being abandoned by her parents and then fostered, after which she was sexually abused by her foster dad. Very sad i know, but in hindsight I can see it was the perfect breeding ground for developing a personality disorder.

          I knew early on, there was something not quite right about her. Strange warped views on things and then the rages started. Horrible! Twisting of reality, blaming me for everything.

          I did so much for her, but she did very little for me. She talked endlessly about herself, even my friends used to comment how totally ‘self-absorbed’ she was. Boasting constantly of her achievements…it became so damned boring listening to her.

          She got heavily into facebook near the end, adding friends like crazy, posting pictures, constantly making childish wall posts to attract comments from others. Typical of a 17 year old girl (but she was 40 years old!).

          She was in fact childlike in many ways with a very childish sense of humour. Clever, witty humour went straight over her head! It was sometimes funny to see a blank look on her face whenever i or a friend, made a clever or witty joke. lol

          But it is amazing to read stories here and see just how similar many of these women are. Bizarre!

  10. jpyfer
    October 5, 2009 at 1:24 pm | #17

    Does religion have an effect on whether or not we should allow our spouse to keep abusing us. And if there are five children involved, is best to land on my own two feet before a custody battle? Thank you so much for this website- I have gained my self-esteem back. I have been blamed for my wifes outbursts for 16 years, and she had me believing it was fault.

    • Foghorn
      October 5, 2009 at 6:24 pm | #18

      jpyfer,

      No, religion in itself, is not a reason to stay in a relationship. Two people need to share the same morals and values for a relationship to succeed.

      I think there is a quote in the bible that states ‘ rather a crust of bread and a happy home, than a feast and discord.”

      It is a hard day when you finally realize that marriage shouldn’t be this hard. I find solice in the fact that all these posts on this sight validate these people are never happy and their value set is not on the relationship but THINGS…

      When your heart and head align, your decision will be clear.

      Foghorn

      • jpyfer
        October 6, 2009 at 2:22 pm | #19

        Yes- you are right. I have been manipulated by religion with her for a long time. She threatens me with “God”, will punish me, or “I telling someone what you are”. All I am is a man trying to breathe. religious woman bash you over the head with God being their hitman for their cause. thanks for the reply.

    • jp
      October 5, 2009 at 6:41 pm | #20

      Hi jpyfer,

      With respect to your question: “…is it best to land on my own two feet before a custody battle?”

      I’m not clear on what you mean…are you asking if you should leave, get set up in an apartment and put your other ducks in a row, and only then fight for custody? And if so, are you presuming you would have no contact or visitation with your children in this ‘getting on your feet’ period?

      In any case, I’m no lawyer, but I’ve had a little experience sorting out custody issues with my ex and from what little I’ve seen I would say that no, you shouldn’t plan on a ‘getting on your feet’ phase like you seem to be suggesting because any time you spend without seeing the children could be used by your ex later as evidence that you’re not serious about custody.

      That’s just one example of why you MUST speak with a divorce and custody lawyer BEFORE you take any action. Every step you take can have implications in the case later. Protect yourself. Plan carefully. Success in divorce and custody is all about homework. It’s tough to be methodical when you’re under such strain, but there it is.

      Good luck,
      JP

      • jpyfer
        October 6, 2009 at 2:28 pm | #21

        Well by saying I wanted to get on my feet meant, I am disabled from back surgery. I only have a limited income, and my wife is soon to be a Registered Nurse. She threatens to leave me when she is done. This scares me because I don’t make enough to survive. I thought if I left and found a small home, then I could stand against her, but I will follw your advice. It’s hard to think right because she’s in my face all the time. Sorry I did’nt make that clear. I have a hard time concentrating with all this anxiety she puts on me and the kids. thank you for your help.

  11. dur
    September 28, 2009 at 9:11 pm | #22

    Dear Dr. T,

    Sigh.. It is the same incase the ex was the husband.

    But am done and moving along, slowly but surely.

    • shrink4men
      September 28, 2009 at 9:14 pm | #23

      Hi Dur,

      The information here can be applied to NPD/BPD males as well as females. Very sorry to read you suffered the same experiences, but am very happy you’re out and moving forward.

      I wish you the best in fully reclaiming your life and happiness.

      Kind Regards,
      Dr Tara

      • Jessica
        October 27, 2009 at 12:23 pm | #24

        okay, I just read this, so please disregard my post about gender bias. You made it clear just now that’s definitely NOT what’s going on here, and I appreciate that. My other post is still a good expression of my feelings about that abusive ex and the struggles I’m still going through to get past the destruction he caused me. I would like to ask you to please delete my last post because I accidentally put my entire name in the post and I can’t figure out how to alter or delete it ! thanks.

        • shrink4men
          October 27, 2009 at 6:29 pm | #25

          No worries, Jessica. The experience you had before realizing that there’s no gender bias here is what many men who have had relationships similar to yours experience when they try to find help on the typical “men are all abusive jerks” websites. It’s like going through the looking glass and it doesn’t feel good. There are abusive men and abusive women in this world. I think it’s a 50/50 split and wish more resources would recognize this instead of elevating women to some unrealistic above reproach ideal.

          It’s not anti-woman to say that there are women who are abusive jerks. Whereas no one blinks an eye when women, sitcoms and public figures man bash.

          I’m sorry you were involved with such a hurtful person and wish you the best in moving forward in your life.

          Kind Regards,
          Dr Tara

  12. jham123
    September 22, 2009 at 8:36 pm | #26

    @ Mike91193

    It is amazing to hear so many on this site use our own words in describing their experiences… I’ve been glued here since Friday (5 days in a row now and work/home life are getting neglected) but I cannot break away from absorbing all that is here.

    I’m seeing for the first time, a place that understands and appreciates how I FEEL.

    Understand, nearly 20 years on my quest for seeking the Holy Grail……(Remember, Percival found the Grail ans all was well, but nearly all the Nights of the round table perished during their quest to find it.) Dr. Tara is Percival and she is bringing the Grail back to Arthur…..

    ….Even though I am not the Hero in this story, and since I survived My attempts at finding the Grail, I get to partake in the renewed World of a once again a land with a King.

    Take Care my Brother…and I have not said today in any of my Post, Thank you Dr. Tara for saving all the lost White Nights before we all perish.

  13. JC
    September 21, 2009 at 9:03 pm | #27

    I am recently getting out of a relationship with someone who I believe was a Borderline. I have been out for 4 months now and am only recently feeling like I am getting my life back together. All the signs were there, and I choose to look the other way many times. She is beautiful, articulate, witty and loved sex on a nightly basis. I met her while I was attending college and we had many hours long conversations on the phone.
    After I graduated and moved in with her, I started seeing problems. The nights where I did not want to have sex would end up in a huge fight. She would yell, scream and become physically agressisve at times. Police were called on several occasions be neighbors with nothing ever coming about (she would act normal when they came) We would break up numerous times with me moving out, only to go back weeks later. Each time, I told myself it was the last time. My friends and family did not care for her and preferred not to be around her as I slowly found myself associating with these people and becoming more withdrawn. The few good moments came while she was attending college herself and I watched her childern at home while she was gone 4 nights out of the week. Other good times were when she was pregnant with our child. I look back at these times as distractions from what the real problem was.
    She was adopted by her cousin when she was 1. Her Mother had psychological problems herself. She was raised in an authoatative step father and a mother who my wife claimed favored her own childern. She said no matter what she did, was not good enough. She revealed that she had anxiety problems as well as issues with depression and an intense fear of abondonment. These issues manefested themselves when I would be 5 minutes late from work and would end up in a fight that would last for hours. Her own family has disengaged from her many times and she had no real friends. She HATED my family and friends and had nothing to do with them.
    Days with her would consist of constant fights. I thought I was osing my mind. I thought many times of leaving.
    Last year she said she was leaving me for a guy she met at the gym 6 months prior. (I ould watch the kids while she went to the gym) I was devistated. I wanted to try to work on things and all she did was say I was the one to blame
    for why the marrage failed. I moved out last year and things did not work out with this new guy. She showed me texts where this guy said she was crazy. She went on to date 2 other guys, both of which she saw problems with and ended thoses too. January of this year, I moved back in, telling myself that I would do all the things that she said that I did wrong and rectify them. I told her that she needed to do the same. Things were good for about a month and the same instability continued. She would agian accuse me of cheating, say I was not supportive enough, tell me she did not trust me. Tell me to move out. (She did this countless times over the corse of our 10 year relationship) Fights woud break out for hours without me being able to get away. She would follow me throughout the house and threaten to call the police on me if I left. After about a month back, I told myself I could not take it anymore. I left in May and have not looked back. She would call and text and send me e-mails, all of which I would ignore.
    Everything seems cleared now. My self-esteem had been eroded to the point where I felt like I could do no better then her (which she would tell me all the time) Her belittling behavior as well as constant need for approval and me proving my trust to her time and time again was exhausting. And I did crave the few scraps of affection she would give me. All the signs of a BPD where there. Many I did not mention. All exsept suicide attempt. She has engaged in exsesive spending (we never had any money and refused to budget on her part) She had done illegal drugs and has engaged in risky sexual behaviors.
    About a month after I moved out, she met a guy,who she moved in with after knowing him for about a month and a half. She said that he is everything that I am not, and he is around every time I pick my daughter up for the weekend when I meet my ex. I have heard that he is a decient guy from others who know him, so I am relieved in that regard. She even allows him to drive her car, something she would never allow me to do.
    Since meeting this guy, she said that she is off her anti anxiety and anti deppression meds, claiming I was the cause for them. These conditions were present before I met her. Since I left, she has taken up smoking again which she had successful quit for about 4 years prior.
    Many things I could reveal about my marrage to this woman. this is a an overview. I do feel much freedom now in which I could not feel with her. it does annoy me that she found someone so soon that she claimes she has found happiness with so soon after me. It validates how little I meant to her. But at the same time, I know that this woman was never really happy her whole life. I do not miss the fights and arguments and am slowly becoming the person I was when I met her initially. I had alway assumed she had some sort of mental disorder, only when I removed myself from the situation was I avle to see things more clearer.
    I thank you for this web site and the information in it. It allows me to see for myself that all the things that she accused me of doing were because of insecurities in herself. And also sheds light on why I put up with it for so long. I
    know that currently I am not ready to enter a relationship just yet, hopefully over time and more understanding of myself I will be able to get healthy again
    and be aware of the warning signs the next time around.
    Again, Thank you very much!

    • jham123
      September 22, 2009 at 3:56 pm | #28

      Awesome post JC. The part about returning to the guy you used to be when you met her, her is my favorite quote regarding that…

      “When the last speck of fairy dust is gone, and you are married to exactly the person you married, and not any fantasy of your own, you find out whether you have what it takes to make it through a few more decades together.”

      Here is the reason she had to try so hard to make you change…she didn’t like who you were to begin with. Her new Fling will soon stop sparkling as well. Then what?? The fact that she can “move in” within 6 weeks of meeting him should be enough proof for anyone.

      She finds the “willing victim” uses her “skills” to lure him in and then once he is “in place” she begins to try to shape him into what it is she thinks she wants.

      My Wife’s very much older Uncle came over to our newly purchased house (maybe around 1999 or so) to view it. We had a few people over and we were having a BBQ. We were going on and on about all the things we were going to do to change the house. He said something that hit so hard…..I had to laugh at myself then….I continue to laugh at myself now about it…..He said…..

      “Why didn’t you just buy one you liked to begin with?”

      DOH!

      He was right. And herein lies the problem with these women….how can they find one they really like when they bounce from man to man and then lower the % of the pool by only going after willing victims and blowing out healthy men……..

  14. Foghorn
    September 16, 2009 at 9:50 pm | #29

    Same boat, same story – going through the big D now. Long relationship with N, countless death stares, arguements about nothing, lies, an affair, new friends annually, rift between parents, never doing anything right, OCD, being loved then hated, rules that only apply to you/kids, all for the sake of having something to get mad/argue about.

    N has threatened D numerous times since early years of marriage. Has moved out, begged to change and come back (I let N), this time just had enough. N has asked for D, moved out again, filed, now within weeks of moving out – this is the biggest mistake ever, take me back. I’ll change, it will be different, do it for the kids, everyone wants us to work it out, family is the most important, I know I hurt you “but”. Heard it all before. Goes from cry-cry to you are an *@#*$$* and I am taking you for everything. Even thinks we should try to live together as “friends” for sake of the kids. Please remember – No trust = no relationship.

    The root of the problem, as I see it, is collectively we (society) are the perfect storm. Our N’s have probably all gone to some form of therapy. At which time they were told they had anxiety/adhd/pms/ocd prescribed pills or they successfully minipulated the therapist to believe their version of their life events. Heaven forbid the therapist catch wind of something and on to the next. Add in the common advice of a therapist to remind the subject that “you can’t make anyone else happy until you are happy” and you have a license to do as you please. BTW if you are a male w/Kids, the courts don’t care if N cheated on you, abused you verbaly, walked out on you, caused you financial burden by the constant need for change and excitement. N was just unhappy and for that you will share the blame. Don’t forget, N will put on a great show to get what N wants whether in court, your house, friends house, parents house or just in a parking lot. N must exert N’s will on everyone.

    What I can offer is I have finally realized there is a huge difference between acknowledgement and accountablilty in these people. (They don’t mean the same thing) Sure you will get the “I know I have problems” then the a$$ language .. BUT you do, did, have done, will do .. you get my point. These people are survialists, parasites never tired of feeding at the troth. They also are never accountable for what they do – crummy childhood, mom, dad, friend, you all made them do something or act a certain way.

    Once you recognize that you are the alcohol for the alcoholic, a little light will go off. Wow, what a day that is! That sigh of relief you exhaled after the last fight subsided will no longer be enough to justify living this way. It is hard, the act is unbelieveable, unfortunately that is all it was, an act.

    • shrink4men
      September 17, 2009 at 10:33 pm | #30

      Hi Foghorn,

      You make an excellent point regarding acknowledgment vs. accountability. Many of these women will acknowledge they treated you cruelly, but it’s always your fault and you deserved it and you should be ashamed of yourself for making her behave that way.

      Everything else you wrote is pretty spot on, too. No matter how difficult they make it for you to get out; it really is better on the otherside once you get some time and distance.

      Kind Regards,
      Dr Tara

      • Foghorn
        September 21, 2009 at 8:12 am | #31

        Dr. T,

        Thanks for the validation. I wish I would have found this site five years ago when the first chance to leave was presented to me.

        My X has never been clinically diagnosed with anything, however I have suspected for years something was terribly wrong. It started with her OCD type behaivor and lead to my brain wondering if she was Bipolar. Most of the anecdotes on this site I have witnessed, lived and put up with.

        Sad there are this many people living with these types of issues. And to think we all just thought we had needy spouses. Thank you for taking the time to champion this cause. I, for one, can tell you it serves as constant reinforcement of my convictions this time.

        Foghorn

      • Foghorn
        October 5, 2009 at 6:17 pm | #32

        Dr.T,

        Very hard to get distance when you have kids. Everything appears to be a ‘tool’ to satisfy their emotional needs at that time.

        My 9 yr old son was going to bed the other night and told me his mother had said to him ” No one likes me because of what I did by moving out” ..

        How do you counter that? Everything is a catch 22… If you respond to him it goes on and he is in the middle, and if I let her know I know, then it starts a fight and fulfills her need to fight.. AGHHHHHHHHHHHHH

        Foghorn

  15. Bert
    September 16, 2009 at 4:19 am | #33

    Dr. T-

    The recent article on ‘closure’ as well as, most all of these articles are remarkable and insightful. A beacon of light from within a VERY dark tunnel while searching for a way out. Seems each and everyone of us in varying degrees are looking for a little light of insight from this insidious madness, the ‘gifts’ within it all and clarity to best understand / process the madness of NP/BP. The very articles on ‘closure’ and ‘the new guy’ specifically are of current relevence for myself. Trying to find reason where absolutely no true or healthy reason even shall exist.

    Reading these articles are troubling/disturbing on one hand and on the other bring long overdue relief. Over the passing months having read so many of the reader’s contributions have left me beyond sick and nausiating. All these stories of various ‘trails of damage’, havoc wrecked, untold and unidentifiable pain, loss and chaos is beyond disturbing and yes truly heartbreaking. Now also add the projections devalue and discard. Simply put, twisted and toxic destruction….all left in the ‘wake’.

    Why does all this seem disturbing and make me beyond sick? Like each and everyone that also has read these articles and posted here…I too, fell prey to this insidious madeness of HIGHLY distressing abnormal and beyond dysfunctional mess. Every article, every insight, EVERY behavior-ad naseum made more than sense. As if a ‘template’ for this toxic behavoir is written. For the longest time this was difficult to initially swallow and absorb yet, now seemed all too familiar and could NOT be ignored. No square peg into round hole. It fit too perfectly.

    If it ‘quacks’ like a duck AND has a beak like a duck, has webbed feet like a duck, feathers like a duck, paddles along in a pond like a duck….it’s more than likely a DUCK. This is being too kind actually. As ducks are rather so unlike NP/BP yet, we get the intent.

    My best guess is each and everyone of us most likely share some very interesting common ground and attributes, at least initially, in that we all are in varying capacities:

    Deeply caring
    Loving by our nature
    Overly understanding and accomodating
    Compassionate
    Conscientious
    Steady and reliable
    Respectful
    Honest
    Empathetic

    In other words, REAL and authentic good attributes. As a result, we can be prefect candy, targets, prey and victims VERY easily to these damaged people. We may also have loose or flexible personal boundaries. I certainly did in retrospect.

    This article you referenced Dr. T by Roger Melton is a MUST READ for all of us to complement YOUR writings. I read it and it was too late at the time. I could’ve written this very article almost word for word. I had no idea at the time. There was no cutting, no suicide threats and so forth. No, after the fact, I learned that there is real mask worn by the ‘highly functioning’ variety that YES does trojan horse this madness upon OUR ‘committment’ to these potential toxic monsters.

    Most of your writings came to me after the fact while in pursuit of finding the ‘whys’ to my responses and an unusual and terrifying pain I was in. Most unusual and never had felt it before. I had been reduced to babble overtly for only 3 months and covertly for at least a year. How quickly the damage can be done. Subtle and swift then it can be too late if one is not careful. That was my personal casualty. Your writings now put an identifiable label to the unnecessary pain and damage done. Idealized, devalued and discarded. Perfect candidate I was to the perfect template of this BS madness. Don’t also fall down into the abyss and ‘black hole’ as it can consume one easily.

    No point in detailing my personal journey and details. I’ll spare because they are right OUT of the articles in this blog!!! So nothing new I could add really. Too much common ground in the stories and articles to not be discounted.

    All I will contribute is that I too had the distinct pleasure of a 4 year ‘relationship’ with a truly craftly disguised brutal / toxic / TREMENDOUSLY damaged Narcissist AND borderline all released in pure Trojan Horse fashion! Ouch.

    Oh well, damage done…. time to become realistic and remove ALL denial of my own. The true and deep love I had for this person was real and authentic from me and looking back had to have been perfectly feigned and mirrored back. Add the deep level of attachment to her children from a previous ‘marriage’.

    Now, I was faced with the most insidious monster and my worst nightmare that I could’ve never conjured up on my own. The ‘Jeckyl and Hyde’ person became a person I did NOT know right in front of my eyes. She jumped straight into within weeks with a ‘friend’ of mine.(yeah right) Now, I found myself enthralled with her baseless legal threats and his physical threats. Truthfully for ‘what’ I have no idea. I was devalued/discarded and she wanted me GONE. Never more evident when I started questioning her radical changed behavior- it was unlike anything I’d ever seen before. Insidious part is I did NOTHING and was blamed for really everything. One could not have written a better hollywood script for a drama filled movie.

    Well, I’m gone now and have spent the past year on this long path of acceptance, personal well-being, healing AND learning. This has led led to understanding, ‘answers’ and some much needed relief.

    I recently had to come to terms this year with MUCH money I had lost that I had invested in ‘us’ as well as, the money lost on a very expensive engagement band. I lost my business as a result of this crap. She discarded and I was left with the garbage and mess to clean up. Finally getting to ‘peace’ with it all. I counted my personal losses for way too long. At some juncture we have to let it ALL go. The grief was the absolute hardest aspect of it all. Until I fully process MY grief, hurt and anger will there be total acceptance and forgiveness. Forgiving myself may have been the hardest to come to terms with.

    I’m finally seeing a strong flicker of light now at the end of the longest tunnel.

    Thank YOU Dr. T and EVERY single article and contribution you’ve written. Your services are immeasurable. You are a Godsend and an angel to this community. Obviously there IS a HUGE need.

    All the best,

    Bert

    • Barry
      September 16, 2009 at 10:50 pm | #34

      “My best guess is each and everyone of us most likely share some very interesting common ground and attributes, at least initially, in that we all are in varying capacities:

      Deeply caring
      Loving by our nature
      Overly understanding and accomodating
      Compassionate
      Conscientious
      Steady and reliable
      Respectful
      Honest
      Empathetic”

      Thanks Bert!! After my recent experience with an NPD woman I was left completely confused as to why she could not appreciate me? I have all of the qualities you describe and it just made no sense? I would have understood if I were a jerk but I was being so kind and understanding to her! The more I tried though the more rotten she treated me?? Your post really helped! Thanks to you and to you as well Dr. Tara!! This has been a very confusing ordeal.

      • Bert
        September 17, 2009 at 5:11 am | #35

        Barry,

        Just being another human being, I feel for you man. Again we all seem to share in similar fashions the same core experiences and behaviors. They may ‘play out’ different but the core behaviors seem to be rooted similar. Their entrenched defense mechanisms are brutal when we don’t have any idea what is happening and are blindsided from it. It can become highly toxic and out of control within the blink of an eye. Why? Because of OUR attributes, we engage in this damn dance. We are now caught up in the downward spiral. This kind of crap is why Dr. T advises us to DISENGAGE, protect ourselves from this madness and work on our boundaries.

        It IS confusing Barry as well as distorted and frustrating. Should we not be careful, continue to engage to defend ourselves, explain, placate, try or wait for the mess to get better we shall go down into a very dark place. Almost like drowning in my experience and it can be emotionally and psychologically damaging. I know as I went down into this damn dark place and it has taken me waaaay to long to unravel this mess internally. AND, it didn’t take all that long to get drawn under in that toxic mess. Obviously many others have gone under too.

        This is really ALL Dr. T’s area of expertise and experience however, from my learning and personal experience these VERY attributes served several purposes from the abnormal and dysfunctional aspects regarding a NP/BP.

        First, they do NOT possess these attributes, at least not in a healthy and functional capacity, and often these very attributes are what had actually drawn them to US as a result. My belief is they actually want them and we are their ‘source’ for it. They want what they do NOT have the capabilities to healthily experience. So we provide, they take.

        Also, we as normal functioning humans are attracted to certain qualities and aspects in others and they become our friends, lovers, spouses, etc. When it’s healthy and supported so is growth and appreciation of these attributes in another.

        Here is where it seems to get tricky,.. eventually these attributes become the very aspects they hate in us, resent us for or hold us in contempt for.

        Second, these attributes are good ‘breeding grounds’ for the toxic and abusive behaviors. Because of these attributes by nature OUR tolerance is high for these abuses and these people always stick their ‘toes in the water’ initially very subtly to check water temperature or rather to test our boundaries and flexibilty. These people (NP/BP) can smell this crap in us and our tolerance of their crap. Hence, they test and find as they ‘amp up’ this testing how far they can go. In my opinion this is where the high toxicty starts to gets rooted and grows into a full acidic and poisonous bloom. Is this conscious or unconscious? I have no idea however Dr T. likely has experience there.

        Defense mechanisms?

        Maybe Dr. T can provide us some good examples or do an article soley on ‘projections’ and their use beyond the clinical detailing. Real world applications and how it is used on us or on an unsuspecting audience. I learned the hard way entirely too late the poisonous use of projection and ‘tag, your it’ and so forth. It was nasty and used to HARM, HURT and DESTROY. It’s overwhelming truthfully. Actually on some levels I’m glad I don’t know- means it is not in MY arsenal! So as to better protect us in the future, good defense (other than disengage and not stoop to childs tactics) is to understand AND know the weapons that are potentially to be used against us in this style of conflict, mayhem and quest of power and control. Madness it all is truly huh?

        A friend of mine said to me a while back, ‘to some degree we can become crazy too trying to learn what crazy IS!’ Hmmm, may be a point in that too. Yet, to work on ourselves we must ALSO add understanding to what works against us. My opinion.

      • shrink4men
        September 17, 2009 at 10:28 pm | #36

        Hi Barry and Bert,

        The qualities you list do indeed make you a prime target. These women are bullies and all bullies like easy targets. Here’s a link to a post I wrote about bullying in the workplace that explains this in more detail (http://shrink4men.wordpress.com/2009/03/16/workplace-bullying-in-office-politics-what-is-mobbing/).

        These are great qualities and you should be appreciated for them, not tortured. A healthy woman will appreciate these qualities, so don’t change them. Just change your choice in future women!

        Kind Regards,
        Dr Tara

      • jham123
        September 22, 2009 at 6:42 pm | #37

        “I have all of the qualities you describe and it just made no sense? I would have understood if I were a jerk but I was being so kind and understanding to her! The more I tried though the more rotten she treated me??”

        Wait….who just said that?? Was that Me that said that?? or Barry??

        I’m so confused now…..Barry has stolen my words verbatim.

  16. Mr. F
    September 10, 2009 at 2:36 pm | #38

    Yes mate, I fully understand where you are coming from there. Getting perspective is the most difficult thing for me, that is what I was trying to convey in my last post.

    I’m even coming close to contacting her again after 7 months apart….very confusing stuff man, these things leave a stain on your brain, especially without perspective on what was her and what was brought on by us.

  17. Dr. P
    September 9, 2009 at 2:29 am | #39

    Dear all,
    One other things is still not clear to me. Does it make sense, for instance for my parents who also are very much hurt by my ex, to tell her the truth? Or is this a wasteful excercise? Should we keep on repeating what really happened and hold her accountable for it or leave it as it is and just try to avoid conflicts? I mean everything I ever said just bounces back and she will trun it around as if I was the one in the wrong. even if in anger she should of my arm she would argue I am such idiot to leave a weapon in the house how can I be so unresponsible? So I wonder if others like my parents should express themselves honestly or should i try to convince them to stay out and away as far as possible? Best, Aragorn

    • shrink4men
      September 9, 2009 at 11:18 pm | #40

      Hi Aragorn,

      I don’t understand. Are you still in a relationship with this woman? Both you and your parents can speak the truth to her until your all blue in the face, but it looks like her defenses are geared to help her avoid the truth by distorting it.

      If you’re in an ongoing relationship, by all means, you and your parents should set boundaries. If you’re phasing her out of your life, your parents probably don’t need to waste their time and energy on her.

      Kind Regards,
      Dr Tara

  18. mike91163
    September 7, 2009 at 12:39 pm | #41

    Hi Dr. Tara and all,

    Hey Doc, I was checking out some of your blog links, and your friend Kathy at Narc Attack has an EXCELLENT description of an NPD wife in her April 11, 2008 post. Here’s the quote:

    “Let’s get real. Narcissists think they have a right to punish you just for being the way you are. Think, don’t you have the right to be the way you are? Do you have to be some character in the narcissist’s fiction that conforms to his or her specifications?”

    What an incredible “light bulb” moment! The key word here is FICTION. I’d bet that if you polled most posters on this site, fully 80-90% would tell you that their wife/ex-wife gets wrapped up in watching soap operas, “reality” TV shows, women’s mystery books, and those horrifyingly awful Lifetime/Oxygen chick flicks that feature men as either “sensitive” or god-awful scum. And yes, your NPD wife wants YOU to be like the FICTIONAL male characters.

    Ironically, while these women will hassle you because you enjoy movies with characters like John McClane, Dirty Harry Callahan, and Indiana Jones, we are WELL entrenched in reality to know that they’re just fantasy…but YOU, my friend, need to have Victor Newman’s money and business acumen, Paul Williams’ sensitivity, and Jack Abbot’s “anything for my women” attitude to make ‘em happy. (All characters from Young and the Restless, a CBS soap)

    • shrink4men
      September 17, 2009 at 10:19 pm | #42

      Hi mike91163,

      This is very interesting. Maybe they like the reality programs because there are so many women who act like crazy divas? Perhaps it normalizes their similar behaviors or maybe it’s yet another aspect of narcissism and they’re watching a reflection of themselves…hmm.

      These women often appear to be regurgitating a bad script from a really bad movie. Who knows? Maybe they are.

      Cheers,
      Dr T

    • jham123
      September 22, 2009 at 6:24 pm | #43

      Can you say “Edward” from the “Twilight” Series?? My wife openly fantasized during sex that I was him…..Openly…..Told me that she was in love with him…..while in the midst of “doing the deed”

      Yes, I am no match for Edward and I never will be. However, she may be a great stand in for “Bella”

      She has been infatuated with many other fictional characters as of late as well…….She seems to go from one to the next. Her feelings for these fictional characters are so strong and real…yet she has nothing to “give” other than the cold shoulder

  19. Paul
    September 7, 2009 at 8:10 am | #44

    I fully empathise with how difficult it is to try and leave a NPD/BPD woman. They become like a drug you can do without and you (well me for sure) stay in there to either try and ‘help’ them or to try and NOT go crazy but the fact is is that being with them makes you crazy…but when you are in the fog you just can’t see that.
    After 18 months I began to slowly see the cycle of my own behaviour to her disorder. I slowly began to start to detatch from her extreme NPD behaviour/reasoning and would try and remain kind of neutral to her constant negativity/victimisation/delusions. Instead of trying to sort out her problems (that she actually created or were never really there) I would use some standard sentences such as ‘I’m sure you will sort it out’ or it will be fine’. In othere words I tried hard not to get into the games she played. This was ery difficult but it slowly halped me to start to see her much more objectively becase i had slowly abandoned the role of fixer. She could not ‘press my buttons’ so to speak anymore. I was no longer bothered that men ‘were after her’ or that she needed help with her bills or that she was ‘misunderstood’.
    As a consequence her NPD behaviour became so apparent to me …I was no longer blinded by her ‘victim’ role like I was when we met and could see how narcissistic, to the extreme she really was/is. To start seeing her in everyday interaction started to become embarrassing, I could see what those around her were thinking how she was soooooo absorbed in herself.
    I am writing this as a suggestion to other guys who are still in the mist so to speak. Take a slow step back guys, reduce the time you spend with them, don’t take the blame for eveything and stop justifying yourself. Start to look at her objectively , it it very very difficult to do but I think it was the only way I could get to this place of seeing her for the person she really is. I don’t tink I would heve ever reached this point is I simply cut it off when I was still in the mist.
    Hope this helps.
    Paul.

    • Jim
      September 7, 2009 at 2:47 pm | #45

      Paul,

      Thanks for the post. Did you know about BPD/NPD before you started seeing this woman or did you find our about it through research while dating? Or was she actually diagnosed and you were aware of it?

      A quality that’s unique about the different stories on here is the TIME that one started to realize that something was far from normal about the relationship and the woman they were in it with. I didn’t start considering BPD/NPD until my relationship was over. I was so completely enmeshed with her and was suffering from what I now believe was severe projective identification. For a guy dating a woman like this to be able to have any type of distance from the crazy-making behavior, especially if you are living together, is beyond me. I felt totally out of control.

      Now that I have had this nothing-less-than traumatizing experience though, I’m pretty confident that this won’t happen again. I guess this is the gift of the BPD – the experience has made me aware of my unfinished emotional development. I had no boundaries. I allowed this person to betray and manipulate me and in doing so I betrayed my own instincts.

      Anyway, I’m just saying I find it amazing that someone who is actively in a relationship with one of these woman is able to figure out wtf is going on while they are knee-deep in it.

      • Paul
        September 7, 2009 at 4:34 pm | #46

        PS Jim.
        What was turning point for you? How did it come about? Was it an acrimonious endind or clear cut?

      • jham123
        September 22, 2009 at 6:17 pm | #47

        @ Paul

        Really really insightful….I guess coming from a Psych expert it all makes sense.

        I need to adopt your tactics for sure from this point on, and to my credit I HAVE started somewhat doing what you have done. (All of which came from the this website I found only 5 days ago).

        A common theme to the past few post are this “Need to be Fed” that these women exhibit…..Mine also runs to the Local neighborhood “Zagnuts” (These lady “friends” of hers are all relationship and emotional train wrecks themselves) and Vents….She of course likes to hear their woes and feels important when she thinks she is “helping” them in return.

        Why buddy up with a trainwreck when we have fantastically interesting neighbors that are centered in long term successful marriages??? ( I know the answer)

        When I questioned her as to why these certain friends are the ones that she chooses to share our details with (Professional Victim anyone??) She stated openly that she “Carefully selects who she shares info with……….My thoughts were “yeah, the local Zagnut ladies in the neighborhood or the Associate pastors at the church who have a pension for trying to “save” her

    • Jim
      September 7, 2009 at 3:01 pm | #48

      Oh by the way, are you still with this woman? or, if not, do you still speak to her or see her?

      Also you really hit an important point that, for some reason, I always forgot/forget about. I eventually became highly embarrassed by my ex’s interactions when I was with her in public. I’m not even exactly sure how to describe it but I would have a physical reaction to how it made me feel – like she was being totally fake to other people even while I was with her. The thing is, people either saw it right away because they didn’t have any connection to her OR (and this usually happened if it was some guy who was attracted to her) I could see that they would be manipulated by her like I was. Being around her in public made me more aware of other people’s boundaries and awareness.

      • Paul
        September 7, 2009 at 4:31 pm | #49

        Hi Jim.
        Thanks for the post.
        I had an acute awareness right at the start. I am no expert in NPD but I do have a higher degree in psychology and my work involves a lot of human interaction with a wide variety of personalities and i have to be able to get along with people.

        However the main two reasons I got involved with her were that I was instantly very physically attracted to her to the point where I would say I was more instantly attracted to her than any other woman I had met before . It was a very base driven attraction. Shallow I know but there we go. She also had a child like air to her even though she was 31. (I am 42) which I and a lotr of men find appealling. Wrong yes I know!

        Secondly she very early on told me about being sexually abused as a child and mentally abused by men throughout her life. So all of the behavious I knew to be indicative of a personality disorder I minimised and justified with abusive past. I thought with my care, patience, understanding that she would change.
        She never did. Grandiose, lack of emotion, zero empathy, delusional, totally self absorbed are all traites she had to the max. We never ever did any of the normal reltionship things because she couldnt stand normal intearction where she wasn’t the princess (she calls herself that on her blogs on networking sites she uses…big clue lol!) She sought adulation and craved any form of external attention even when it was clear it was false attention or just said to gratify her. She had no real ‘normal friends. Her family and friends were were a mix of personality probs too (alcoholics/personality disorders etc) but she was close to them, it was like she was comfortable in that company, she could recognise their problems and say she wanted to help them!!

        I like to think i am a very caring helpful guy and that maybe with my influence she would ‘learn’ normal emotion/behaviour. But no. She really was/is an emotional vacuum.

        In answer to your question, yes I still see her . I went through every possible emotion, anger/self doubt/craziness a man could when in the mist, split up back together spit up back to gether until i knew I had to get her out of my system another way. Hence around 5 months ago i decided to take this course of action, very gradually to break away emotionally, to start to see her from a third persons perspective, not looking at her physical appearence the way i did when we met etc etc. I became aware of the ‘triggers’ and made a pact to avoid my usual response when she pressed the buttons. I wasn’t aloof or cold at all, I just slowly began to stop trying to fix her or be a sounding board to all her problems.

        She does not contact me ofen now. She knows I wont yield to her wants or feed her ego all the time. When she does it is always for a favour. In truth though even if I did I know she would still need that feeding from lots of other sources. Hence her addiction to social network sites and creating a false (to everyone but her) persona on them of who she really is. She has no real personality so uses lot od dreamy language on them (spiritual, deep, heavenly/soulful/true to name but a few!) to attract more attention which she needs.

        I could not just cut her off when still ‘in there’ so to speak. I knew I would have got back into the old cycle of destuction and mental torture. This way has been difficult but my mind is slowly evaporating the pain and craziness she put in there ( My fault though I allowed her too!)

        Paul.

  20. Jim R
    September 7, 2009 at 2:59 am | #50

    Dr T., I just found your blog in my search for information about divorcing my BPD wife We have been married 26 years and I only stayed with her due to my three wonderful sons who I had hoped to protect from her verbal abuse. They are now grown and well adjusted in spite of all the family stress. One is a micro biologist, one a medical student and the youngest a university junior in micro biology. Over the years three psychologists and two attorneys have urged me to divorce as the stress was killing me – they have been close to right as I tried to kill myself twice and have severe physical ailments related to stress. Now at 68, she is 55, I am finally pulling the plug on the marriage and the prospect gives me tremendous relief. I will experience some guilt as she has definite emotional illness and our sons will probably have to provide some assistance to her. I am going to move from the West Coast to the East Coast to get as far away as possible. If the finances become a problem I will move out of the US as I have worked third world countries for over 20 years and can adapt. As for the closure many writers mention, I believed I have come to terms with it. I just wonder what my life would have been like if I had divorced her many years ago. To compensate for that unknown I have the joy that my kids are successful and appear well adjusted. All three are highly alert to the dangers of BPD and/or NPD women and hopefully will avoid getting into the same situation as their dad.

    • shrink4men
      September 17, 2009 at 10:15 pm | #51

      Hi Jim R,

      I wish you all the best in your new life. You’re never too old to take a chance on happiness.

      Kind Regards,
      Dr Tara

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  1. November 17, 2010 at 2:50 pm | #1
  2. February 12, 2011 at 6:24 am | #2
  3. February 8, 2013 at 6:12 pm | #3

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