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How Do I Get My Crazy, Abusive Girlfriend Out of My House and My Life?


I received this email from a woman involved in a lesbian relationship. This site is for men involved with abusive women. I am publishing this variation on abusive women for two reasons: 1) to illustrate that abusive women’s behavior isn’t exclusive to men. Abusers are abusers; it’s not you. They target their nearest and dearest no matter your sex and; 2) to debunk the claims by the trolls who periodically visit this site that women aren’t really abusive and that men are always to blame. Acknowledging same sex (woman-on-woman) violence (psychological or physical) is a dirty “little” secret that’s often swept under the rug by feminists and our society.

Dear Dr Tara,

I hope you can help me. I am a woman. A gay woman. A gay woman in the middle of trying to lose her extremely disturbed girlfriend.

We were together for 7 years. It is only in the last few weeks that I’ve realized she’s “not on the planet.” Until I get out of this situation, I am terrified of becoming emotionally paralyzed by how blind and stupid I have been.

When we met, she was married with three children and four grandchildren. She fell in love with me. She left her husband and children. I got hooked. I now realize it wasn’t love. Nevertheless, we bought a house together and she quit her job to go to college full-time. I supported her for five years. The fighting, rage and abuse was always present. Initially, I questioned and blamed myself. Was I not sensitive enough? Was I communicating badly? Did I really not understand the pressure she was under? The abusiveness really escalated 3 years ago when I wanted to start a family by artificial insemination.

At the beginning of our relationship, she thought a child was a great idea, but when it came down to doing it, it was a very different story. I was an “airy fairy” if I thought I could bring up a child. How was [I] going to support a child when she claimed that [I] couldn’t even take care of [her.] When I pointed out that I managed to buy our home and support the both of us comfortably while she worked on her degree, she called me a “whore” and an “unsupportive c****.” Every time I asked her to discuss our relationship and how to improve it she would launch into a tirade within seconds.

I was on the receiving end of the following diatribes: ‘You always spoil things’ – ‘Why can’t you just let things go?’ – ‘You think your God, but your not’ – ‘You can’t control me.’ I stupidly persisted and insisted we go to counseling. Well, that backfired. She told the counselor I made her life hell and that if I would just change, we would have a wonderful relationship. My physical and mental health declined rapidly. The emotional pressure (i.e., tirades about what a “useless martyr” I am into the early hours of the morning after which I would have to go to work while she went to sleep off her rage buzz) was tremendous. My financial pressure was extreme.

This culminated in her standing outside my place of work screaming that I was a “disgusting whore” and should do the world a favor and kill [myself]. Even that didn’t stop me trying to “fix” myself to make her happy. I stopped jumping through hoops and began to detach from the relationship the night she told me she had more love, respect and loyalty to her ex-husband than she did for me. Her timing was beautiful. She had just completed her Masters exams, which I emotionally and financially supported her through. Over the past year, I have very slowly distanced myself from her.

But her rages continued. A few weeks ago, I stepped back and said to her, “If everyone else in my life thinks so highly of me, why am I listening and believing this?” She has been unemployed for the last year (I’m still paying the bills) and she is still telling me this crap. That’s when her attacks became physical.

I fought her off me. It lasted two hours. She got up the next morning, showed me her bruises and told me I needed help. How could someone as small as she was defend herself? I was in absolute shock. She attacked me and sustained bruises when I pushed her off of me. After this episode, I knew I need to get her out of my life.

I got a solicitor to try to remove her from my house. He sent two letters requesting that she vacate the premises. She ignored the first two letters until my solicitor sent a third one stating that he was going to petition the courts. She responded claiming she had been very busy on her Masters exams and that is why she ignored the letters. This was a lie as she had completed her program a year ago. She requested that all legal matters be halted so she could have ‘space and time’ to acquire my interest in the house.’ She then strutted her stuff around the house as if to say, ‘I’m not going anywhere – screw you’ and engaged the neighbours in what was going on.

My solicitor then responded by telling her she has 1 week to come to an agreement and that if she does not not that [I] will cancel the electricity, house insurance, life insurance, waste management and remove fittings, furnishings and appliances from the premises. She received this document 2 days ago. I know because of her behavior.

For the last 48 hours, she has been slamming doors, sitting in front of me, humming, getting up at all hours to take over the bathroom to cause me to be late for work and playing loud music to prevent me sleeping. Prior to this, there had only been one rage outburst in the last three months. I think purely because I have not engaged on any level with he. I have a huge sense of foreboding, which I can’t shake. I used to be really good at assessing people, but all I seem to think about is getting rid of her and what her next move is going to be?

Can you advise me in anyway at all?

Thank you for your site. It is enlightening and comforting to know I’m not losing my mind.

Ruth

Dear Ruth,

By your description, this woman sounds like a total nightmare and probably has one of the Cluster B personality disorders. Cluster B personalities rarely see themselves and their abusive, destructive behavior as the problem; it’s usually someone else’s fault. Additionally, Cluster B individuals refuse to hold themselves accountable for their behavior most of the time and have zero to little capacity for empathy, which seems to apply to your girlfriend.

Don’t beat yourself up for staying in a relationship with this woman. Your girlfriend is beating you up emotionally and physically enough for the both of you. Now is the time for you to get very clear, attend to the business at hand, protect yourself, your reputation and your property and focus on how great your future will be without this woman.

When you try to end your relationship with this type of person she will typically escalate the craziness and abuse and can become physically violent. Rejection is a grave blow to this kind of woman’s ego. In her mind, she’s perfect and you’re the one with the problems. How dare you leave her? Who do you think you are? She’ll show you, by god. Even if she’s the one who initiates the break-up—it doesn’t matter. These women often approach divorce and break-ups with a “winner takes all” mentality.

Ending a relationship with a woman like your girlfriend also represents a loss of control—over you, the relationship and her distorted view of reality. It challenges her world view and self view. These women react by amping up the craziness in a frenzied effort to get you back under their control. When she realizes she can no longer control you, she will then set out to try and destroy you.

She will try to take all your money, all your possessions, your relationships and your reputation. The goal is to have you walking around wearing nothing but suspenders and a barrel and to be shunned as an object of ridicule. It’s the equivalent of a General publically ripping the stripes off of a soldier for insubordination. Some targets of abuse cave at this point and try to appease the beast—many of these women can be truly terrifying when backed into a corner and/or if they feel like they’re about to lose control and/or be abandoned.

The menacing behavior you describe in regard to your girlfriend playing loud music so you can’t sleep at night, etc., reminds me of what the FBI did to the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas back in the 1990s. She’s trying to scare you and/or make being in your home so unpleasant as to drive you out of it.

Talking trash to your neighbors and shaming you at your place of work are classic smear campaign tactics and is common behavior for women like your girlfriend. These women will often tell the most outrageous lies and make up abuse allegations to anyone who will listen—your family, friends, boss, colleagues and authorities. Your best defense is a good offense. Tell the people in your life what’s going on. Tell them you were embarrassed to admit that you were in an abusive relationship and didn’t want to involve anyone else. There’s no shame in this.

Abusive women like your girlfriend maintain their power by keeping their abusive behavior hidden from the outside world. Exposing these women for who and what they are diminishes their control. Oftentimes the best antidote for abuse is to shine a light on it. Some people will believe her lies. However, the people who know and care about you will be supportive and want to help.

My advice is: Don’t cave. It will only reinforce her bad behavior. Stand your ground. Don’t engage in the content of her accusations and insults. Calmly observe her as you would an out of control 5-year old child. Protect yourself and strengthen your resolve. It’s the beginning of the end of your life with her and the beginning of a much better life without her. Metaphorically, it’s like slaying the dragon to attain the treasure. The treasure, in this case, is getting your life and your sanity back.

If you haven’t already, I’d invest in a small digital recorder to document her abuse. Conceal it on your person and don’t let her know you’re recording her. You might also want to consider hiding a video camera to record her antics. Then, when she engages in her truly abusive behavior again (the physical abuse and the loud music playing into the night) call the police, show them your evidence and have them remove her from your home.

The recordings may not be admissible in court, but you need physical evidence to prove her behavior. I’m not a lawyer, so consult with your solicitor about this. Don’t feel guilty about surreptitiously recording her abusive behavior. Women like your girlfriend don’t play fair, so you have to protect yourself while not breaking the law.

Is the house is in your name? If so, I don’t understand why you just can’t have her forcibly removed from the premises—especially if she’s not paying rent and doesn’t have a lease. Change the locks while she’s out and give the local police a head’s up that they can expect a call and some high drama. The fact that you supported her through school could gain you some leverage. Even if she isn’t working right now, you could threaten her with a claim on her future earnings. I’m sure you don’t want support money from her, but you could use the threat as leverage to get her out of the house and your life.

You may also want to consider inviting a friend or family member to stay with you until you get her out of the house. These types will often behave themselves in front of witnesses. Meanwhile, if you have any treasured keepsakes or other valuables, I’d quietly remove them from the house so that she can’t destroy them or steal them. I encourage you to also discuss these matters with your solicitor. Hope this helps.

Shrink4Men Coaching and Consultation Services:

Dr Tara J. Palmatier provides confidential, fee-for-service, consultation/coaching services to help both men and women work through their relationship issues via telephone and/or Skype chat. Her practice combines practical advice, support, reality testing and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Shrink4Men Services page for professional inquiries.

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  1. May 14, 2010 at 11:42 am

    @ Mill

    I’ll try… I’m actually mainly over at the False Rape Society, because I was accused of rape by an BPD ex as part of a divorce and child custody battle, well, all of it really, take that away and there was nothing left…

    My point was that there is a tendency for the non BPD to try to analyse the problem from their perspective, hang on, THIS doesn’t make sense because of THIS.

    What I have learned is that if you take that approach, you miss 90% of what is going on, and thus you miss 90% of the ammunition that you COULD have given to your legal team.

    As soon as you start to think outside your own personal space, for example, pretend you are a dedicated police detective who is no constrained by hours or budgets or other cases, just dissecting every last detail, building a picture of the WHOLE, but doing this AFTER you have thrown out your own personal perspective, then you start to find the other 90%.

    If you are really lucky, this tactic is made available to you BEFORE the shit hits the fan.

    Every single “gotcha” that I found in the affidavits of my BPD ex, I found AFTER ditching my own personal perspective and memories, and AFTER I started adopting the emotionless and detached clinical analysis.

    The data was all there before, but until I was able to detach from it and view it from a third person perspective, I just did not see the wood for the trees.

    HTH etc

  2. Mill
    May 14, 2010 at 11:30 am

    @AfOR
    Could you please elaborate on that?

  3. manofhonour
    May 12, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Tracy:

    So true. I like your description, I just love it. You are dead right about these kinds. And worse, when you ignore them they’ll keep asking you repetitive questions like 5 year olds and the more you ignore them the higher the tirades. All these acts are just a way to provoke you to say or do something that will send you on a guilt trip later and to compensate for their lack of logic. For them it doesn’t matter how stupid their acts are (and they’re not even capable to notice).

    I am not sure why these people are allowed to destroy lives the way they do. I mean the devastation they cause should be either criminal or insane in that case they should be confined to mental health institutions. If we can quantify and put figures to the financial (divorce, etc) and psychological (Kids, future partners that must pick up the pieces, strings of victims) impact of this lot – its way too much.

    For Ruth, good luck. Plan well and you’ll be out of it at the end. We are all pulling for you.

  4. bizo
    May 11, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    Good morning Dr. Tara. Just wanted to thank you for the site and its informative articles. I am a woman who recently escaped an abusive relationship with what you describe as a narcissistic man with many addictions, issues, dishonesty, and demons that he was unwilling to face. Living with him was a living hell. Your site goes to show that regardless of sex, the abusers we face operate in very similar ways.

    • Lighthouse
      May 11, 2010 at 8:16 pm

      bizo:

      [Jokingly] As you alluded to, abuse is more indicative of what you have between your ears than between your legs. Oh, and thanks for ‘leaving the toilet seat up’ by not protesting the predominently female pronouns on possibly the finest site in support of emotionally abused males on the web.

      [Seriously] We all let someone take us to ‘that ugly dark place’. While we may all find different routes back and get there in our own time, we’ll all get there nonetheless. You are no longer alone.

      Good luck on your journey,

      Lighthouse

  5. Tracy
    May 10, 2010 at 3:20 am

    Dear Ruth,

    As others have said, you need to document everything. A recorder is a good idea (most mp3 players have voice recording)~ whether legal or not~ as it will, at the very least, show proof to your solicitor & anyone else you seek council with out of court that you’re not exaggerating & are being truthful. I also advise that you keep a diary- every day jot down the date & actions/conversations (& keep it hidden)- I can’t tell you how important this is. Anyone can make blanket claims like “she does this every day”- a dated journal is much more compelling.

    Do not “tip your hand”, as has been stated. So many times, I wanted to say to my ex (also a lesbian relationship), “what do you think your friends/family/work would think if they each got copies of our recorded conversations & proof of your raging abuse?”…Oh how I wanted to say that!

    In my case, I had threats of deportation being used as a form of power-play. Eventually we (my kids & I) were granted residency- but it all ended up based on my documentation. Had I not done that, I shudder to think what might have become of us. Ironically, I had documented in hopes of bringing that to joint-counseling, knowing she’d deny to the therapist all that had transpired. Instead, it freed us from her power & abuse.

    To those here trying to explain or to make sense of these emotional vampires- forget it. They lack any empathy & everything they are is an act. They have no feelings- what they think is “feelings” is a learned reaction based on observations of others, & without affect for them.

    Familiarize yourself with the concept of “projection”. In the personality disordered, this is their way of shifting blame & responsibility. They dump their own weakness onto you & then attack you for it. It’s truly brutal & will ultimately drive you bonkers trying to understand it. There is no understanding because it is not logical thought. It is the only way they can survive having the magnifying glass turned towards them, you see? Additionally, since their motives are always based on their paranoia, they assume everyone else’s is, as well. So, when you’re nice to them (trying to appease), they see it as a calculated move on your part (& a show of weakness)…because they assume you’re up to something (no one is nice for real, it must be a trick). As they say, the liar believes everyone else is a liar, too. If you’re strong, you’re a threat, if you’re appeasing, you’re weak & attacked for it. Lose/lose for you, win/win, for them. It’s sick.

    Tell others you trust what has been happening. Make a plan & stick to it. You will be fine but don’t forget that this is her personality & so it is effortless for her to be manipulative & charming. Just get the h*ll out & document every bit of it.

    Keep us posted, eh? We’ll be pulling for you,

    T

  6. ron
    May 7, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    I have myriad examples of the me first, me-win mindset of my XNPDW. But, a light bulb moment for me was the time when I wrote her a letter expressing my concerns over her nightly absences and neglect of our kids(I charted her nights out past 1 in the morning for a 6 month period. She was gone 112 out of 180 nights(( I later learned via reading her journal that she was “having sex with strangers. But, I digress)) )
    In response to ebing shown these stats, she did not dispute them. But, she had a look of incredulity that I had an objection to this lopsided arrangemnt , where I worked full time and took care of the kids and house almost exclusively, while she partied.
    It was not a case of lack of intellect on her part. She had graduated law school magna cum . But, She simpley said to me ” Of course I am gointo get more time out than you. You have no friends(not true, although some stopped asking me to get together, as I had all the kid care duites and could never meet((Isolation??). I need and am entitled to more free time than you.”
    See, I got it , then. I finally figured out that you cannot reason with someone whose basic view of the world and right and wrong/fairplay was completely out of whack. She did not try to argue the factual basis of my objection. She acknowledged it, and was mystified as to what I could possibly see as being wrong.
    I knew then that she viewed me, and others, as inferior to her, people put on this planet to , rightfully, serve her. She just believed she was entitled to more than others and no thought anyone that found that wrong was out of touch with the natural order of things.
    Once this sunk in for me, stopped fighting it and got out, as her family and my friends and family were recommending I do.

  7. May 7, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    The BEST ADVICE I CAN POSSIBLY GIVE anyone personally involved in legal “issues” (which can be anything from divorce to child custody to accusations of violence or rape, or all of the above) is this.

    The biggest mistake you can make is to replay the VHS in your head of your own memory, and base your assumptions upon that.

    This sort of “memory tape” will serve for dealing with normal people, it will even deal with odd situations where for example I can sell you a used car, and can genuinely believe I sold you a good car, and you can genuinely believe you got ripped off.

    This sort of “memory tape” will serve as your ENEMY when dealing the mental types like these, because you will end up constantly on the back foot, reacting to stuff that comes “out of the blue”, and most importantly of all, not dissecting and analysing their versions of events as a whole, because you are obsessed with your memory tape, which is basically one version of the truth.

    EVERY SINGLE “GOTCHA” outright contradiction or mutually exclusive statement made by the ex that I have found in the various statements and affidavits that I have found, I have found ONLY AFTER DUMPING MY OWN MEMORY TAPE…

    I cannot stress this point enough.

    I have a *great* legal team, but they don’t have ANY memory tapes, and while they may carry big guns and be expert marksmen, they don’t come with any ammo.

    YOU have to supply the ammo, and as long as you are comparing everything to YOUR memory tape, you will make a piss poor job of it.

    Dr Tara can no doubt comment professionally on this syndrome and explain it far better than me.

    HTH etc

  8. Ace
    May 7, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Hi rhythm28

    You’re forgetting the classic ‘Will she be better with the next guy’ rule ! Eh no she won’t, not in the least. He will experience everything that you have, the only difference him having more money will make, is higher expectations from her, and a bigger hit for him.

    Bless him, he’s still oblivious to what’s coming, just remember all the put downs and guilt tripping, it’s all ahead of him, you’re free, onwards & upwards man :-)

  9. rhythm28
    May 7, 2010 at 3:23 am

    Today, I was devalued and discarded for the last time! I hope.

    My ex that had been running me down for the last 4 years came to my job today. She was there hanging out with her friend that set us up. Finally, she purposely walked by my area so that I could see her ( and so that she could see me) Out of the corner of my eye, I could see them approaching, but I offered no direct eye contact. You could say I blew her off. First time we’ve been in the same room in 4 and a half years.

    Later on, her friend walked by really happily and in a good mood. I’m guessing this is what happened: My ex saw me, saw that I wasn’t as attractive as I was in the past and still had the same ol’ job. Her new guy is the boss there and makes more money. In my defense, our uniforms aren’t all that flattering and I was up late the night before.

    The two of them must have decided that I wasn’t worth pursuing or enquiring about me anymore. I know it sounds like I’m putting myself down but I believe I am the same person with a few more accomplishments than I was 4 years ago. I know I could do better and even if I was the boss and making more money, I know it STILL wouldn’t be enough for her somewhere down the road. I felt a little bad in thinking that she had “woken up” from her borderline/narcissist disorder. She sure looked like it today. Made me feel like the reason it didn’t work out for us is because I didn’t make enough money and perhaps lost just of my good looks.

    The new guy offers endless supply and will put up with her BS. Me, on the other hand, only gave her what she needed, not what she felt she deserved. I also put my foot down when I felt I was being emotionally and mentally abused.

    This time I would REALLY be surprised if I heard from her in the future. I don’t expect it like I did in the past. Looks like she’s sold on the new guy and out with the old guy (me) :) Still, it feels like a relief that this part of my life is over. I’m glad I never married her and had kids with her. Hope the new guy wakes up before it’s too late.

  10. joesixpack
    May 6, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    Ruth, I’m so glad that you’ve started to get this woman out of your life. I know this is a very scary time for you. While I was breaking up with my NPD ex, I was terrified that I would never be rid of her, and that she would ultimately destroy me. But in the end, I was still standing, and you will be too.

    I discovered two things over the course of my divorce. The first was that I have a lot more strength than I realized. Standing up for myself got easier to do every time I did it. The second thing I discovered was that I had a lot of very good friends who stood by me and helped me through the whole thing. I had been so brainwashed and isolated by my abuser that I thought I was the one with all the problems and that I was going to be totally alone. But it was clear to everyone that my ex was the problem, and people stood by me and have been (and still are) very supportive.

    Good luck, It will likely get worse before it gets better, but it will get better. A whole lot better, believe me.

  11. Freedom
    May 6, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    Kev,
    as you know, those types of people try to destroy the very fabric that makes you YOU. my ex would say stuff like “you’re nothing but a selfish, heartless jerk”. of course that would make me pause and consider her words. then i got to thinking, well… everyone else that knows me all say that i’m all heart. not one person before her, including the girls i’ve dated, has ever said i’m selfish. if anything, they’ve said that i have a tendency to give too much. so then i would break it down even further. in this instance was i selfish? well if stating your wants and/or needs makes one selfish in her yes, then that is her opinion, but that doesn’t automatically make it so. a differing of opinion or stating my wants/needs/desires does make anything about the relationship “all about me” (which is another line i consistently got). my integrity would get called into question, and yet everyone else who knows me (including exes where the break-up was not good) says that is my biggest strength and what they admire about me. nobody questioned my integrity but her, nobody questioned my heart and my intentions but her, nobody questioned whether anything in this world is “all about me” but her. and as time went on the list would grow. things people really liked about me she would question. but as these kept growing it didn’t make me question myself, it made me question her and they way she sees the world. and when i would give her prime examples of how incorrect she was about any accusation, it didn’t matter because the accusation was already made in her eyes and therefore it must be true. so instead of breaking me down, it built me up because i realized that in her mind, she held all the facts and it didn’t matter whether they were true or not, or whether the accusations had any merit. so instead of it breaking me down, i considered the source and came to the conclusion that it was the source that was the problem and not me. the harder she tried to break me by cutting me down, the more i saw it for what it was. i would tell her that she needed to stop the name calling and her response would be something like “i’m not calling you names, you’re just nothing but a (fill in the blank with something rotten and profanity filled)”. so in the first part of her sentence she would immediately discount my claim of name calling and verbal abuse, then in the second half of her sentence she would immediately back it up with exactly what i was telling her. and she couldn’t see it. that is when i knew it wasn’t me, and the verbal grenades were all about her temper and how she saw the world, which was very different to the world i know to be true. and after that… it had very little effect.

    • Verbal
      May 6, 2010 at 6:14 pm

      Well said, Freedom. I could have written your piece verbatim. It is almost as if Cluster B’s have their very own subculture, with distinct rituals, customs, beliefs and traditions.

      • chester
        May 7, 2010 at 3:09 am

        Me too, word for word.

    • Kev.
      May 6, 2010 at 10:57 pm

      Freedom-

      Thanks for the perspective. I wish I’d had it while I was in the thick of things. I’d become so isolated, that the only version of reality I had left at the time was hers, and it was far from stable and consistent, as we all know.

      This latest incident, upon examination, is a gross misrepresentation of facts, based on someone else’s fears. I’ve run it by a few other people, and they all agree I did nothing wrong.

      I’m saddened, and disappointed, as this came from someone I care deeply about.

      The incident has made me question my motivations, and my version of events. This is okay. What I have not done this time, is accept it over my own truth and intentions. If nothing else, this is progress.

      And that is good.

  12. manofhonour
    May 6, 2010 at 11:34 am

    Ruth, we do feel for you and thanks to Dr T for publishing this email. I must say, I always remember what DR T had to say about the hurt that these women will just carry on inflicting to others…it could be funny if it was not so damaging to the ACTUAL victims. The thing is that , when you first go out with these women you almost cannot tell the kind of monsters they hide inside and you go and open the door to them (obviously, not knowing what we all know now about NPD/BPDs). I’ve actually tried to look at how my ex is like now (6 months after breakup & No Contact but with child) and the sweet charming angel I met 10 years ago…the contrast, OMG! In the same way, I then reflect on myself to see if I have and how much have I changed, of course, I’ve changed (actually more significantly than her)..I’ve lost a great deal of my sanity. To prove this, now all I wish for is for her to get a new victim (soon) so she can get off my back. Its crazy!

    One thing I appreciate though is the supply of evidence that these women provide. If you are going through a divorce or legal issues with them, just keep your mobile and recorder handy (plus a video in Ruth’s case) and boy! will you collect evidence – as written elsewhere here, the crazy moment or TEXT message is just waiting around the corner.

    Last night she called me, spewing vernom on the phone until I just left it there without hanging up, then I had 13 missed calls in just over 5 minutes. Later when I went to bed I thought she’d given up and bam!! a text message came through – insulting and with all the incriminating vile you can imagine.

    IMO, the intitlement that these women have goes further than we normally imagine. For them, you become her object of control together with all you have. When you divorce her, you actually threaten all that is hers. So now she must take all, you included (your soul atleast and she’ll just leave the resisting shadow of yourself) I do think though that patience is critical while dealing with those crazy moments and to focus on the goal at hand – to detach and get as far from them as humanly possible. It is easy to fall for the trap and end up wanting to defend yourself (which is vital but only in a logical manner) or even fighting back.

  13. Blair MacDonald
    May 6, 2010 at 12:58 am

    “If everyone else in my life thinks so highly of me, why am I listening and believing this?”

    This is a sign of strength that you thought this. This is the strength that they ( people like her ) want and know they cant have and cant handle the light it shines on them and therefore work to extinguish it . It is by definition EVIL .

    I have been out of an abusive relationship over 8 months and was raised by a women comparable to this . Their ability to make you feel like shit and question your own worth is almost supernatural. These people bring a very well crafted and destructive lie in to your life . I see my ex GF at work and still some times I feel like some one who needs to hide when it is, if people knew of her actions towards others and myself ,her who should hide in utter shame .

    It is then I summon the same strength you found to discern this lie and look at how I have treated others . How I fit in at work and the effort to make that happen, how I contribute to my community and the heart behind it and it is then I fill up with disgust at this LIE !

    To read about this just makes me so G**D**ed mad.

    • Kev.
      May 6, 2010 at 4:46 am

      Hey Blair,

      thanks for this. it’s well timed. Unfortunately, I internalized that lie moreso than I’ve wanted to believe (18 months out, and still struggling to regain a lot of myself). You’re right. it is almost supernatural.

      Had a really bad trigger today, and, unfortunately, it’s been bringing it all back. My ex’s particular flavor of The Lie went something along the lines of “you only do nice things for people to get them to sleep with you, Kev. You don’t REALLY mean it. And if they knew your REAL motivations, they wouldn’t like you at all. You don’t know how to GENUINELY interact with other people.”

      Total BS, I know (intellectually). Yet I can’t even respond to the trigger (which was an unfortunately worded suggestion reminiscent of The Lie), without feeling like I’m back in the double-bind.

      So, yeah. Just wanted to thank you for a little perspective.

  14. steyraug96
    May 5, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    I hope this won’t get lost, as there’s a crucial item I need to ask about: Is her name on the deed to the house?
    The woman I’m dealing with isn’t quite as messed in the head, though she follows similar patterns IMO. But – her name is on the deed.

    I’ve been reading her for how to get out from under her control. After 4 years, I’m tired of taking care of her. Her friends can only take her in limited doses, why should I be a martyr?

    But with her name on the mortgage/deed, not sure how to correct things. I’m thinking I change the necessary utilities to a different address, maybe a PO Box I get, I split my phone lines off her bill, forward the mortgage to the PO Box, and change my direct deposit. I can handle most of it in an afternoon, probably while she’s scrapbooking with her girlfriends – and I’m at home to do chores.

    Not gonna be a loss… But I’m worried about that deed. Need to consult a lawyer.

    • sm
      May 5, 2010 at 10:15 pm

      Deed is in both names…

  15. Henry
    May 5, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    I know this is not directly on the topic of the article, but I was wondering how typical it is for cluster b’s to change sexual orientation (or if they even have what non-disordered people would consider an orientation).

    I ask because the only adultery (that I am aware of) my soon to be ex committed was with another woman.

    • Henry
      May 5, 2010 at 4:08 pm

      I forgot to mention, that my STBX was not hesitant about describing her male gay co-worker as living an “immoral lifestyle” while she was committing adultery with a woman. Oh, the irony.

      • D
        May 5, 2010 at 5:26 pm

        Henry – wow.

      • Chris
        May 5, 2010 at 7:15 pm

        Typical Cluster B. When someone else does it they are immoral. When they do it it’s ok because of such and such or because you forced them to be that way or because that’s just the way they are. Their hypocracy knows no bounds.

        • sm
          May 5, 2010 at 8:45 pm

          Hypocracy=Double standards. My STBX has rules for her, rules for me and rules for everyone else. But everyone has to abide to her rules and their own rules and she only has to play by her own rules. What’s maddening is she doesn’t even realize it. Try to confront her about it and be prepared to pay the price…Hurricane STBX blows in and she’ll tell me..see I cant talk to you..will never acknowledge any part of it…it so frustrating…

          • Freedom
            May 6, 2010 at 2:32 pm

            What NPDs and BPDs demand is more, More, MORE… and what they offer in return is more of the same.

      • May 13, 2010 at 11:24 am

        This one caught my eye. I say Dr. Tara, we “on the other side of the fence” can relate so strongly to your blog. I am a lesbian recently out of a twelve year relationship with the woman you describe in every post! Wow. I chime in here to say in our community, we often find the lesbian BPD moving in on the straight woman who is curious. Forgive my metaphor but I assume they are easy “prey”. My ex is marrying her straight best friend, they’re engaged already and my ex took up with her less than four weeks after I moved out. (Sooner I suspect…)

    • Mellaril
      May 5, 2010 at 11:52 pm

      I’ve read in some literature that it happens. I think my exgf might have changed her orientation. I don’t know for sure but the dots kind of point that way.

      1) She had what appears to be a deep distrust of men. Betrayal was a central theme with her. She got pregnant at 19 by a married man. Two significant relationships prior to my meeting her ended when the guys allegedly cheated on her. Her father was in a long running affair that everybody in the family knew about. The guy that came immediately after me cheated on her. Her marriage lasted about 3 years before ending in divorce. I don’t know if her ex-husband cheated on her. From what she told me about the guy that followed me, she seemed to seek out bad apples and engineer events to the (un)desired outcome. With her it wasn’t if they were going to cheat on her, it was only a question of when. She was a “professional martyr” when it came to that.

      2) She made some cryptic comment about having an experience on an airliner such that she’d “never look at gay people the same way again.” I didn’t ask what she meant by that.

      3) She’s been living with another woman in the house she got in the divorce settlement.

      I’d love to know but that’s one I’ll just have to live without.

  16. D
    May 5, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    This is only partially related to this article, but can almost be related to any article here, very interesting report available at Science Daily (find here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080807144305.htm). Basically put people with BPD under and MRI while they worked out a transaction-game that required successful moral reasoning (i.e.: do unto others) in order for the game players to prosper. People without BPD “got it”, those with BPD only seemed to understand the “you taking away from me” part of a transaction and just couldn’t seem to get a handle on reciprocity, which led to mutual distrust and failures.

    This just had me thinking b/c I’ve been trying to negotiate with my stbx to close things out. I notice her new thing now is to seek out or directly ask for (or often accuse) me of wanting this or that thing out of an agreement, and she’s totally shameless about immediately declaring that she won’t give me whatever it is that she thinks I want.

    One thing about it that would be funny if it weren’t so sad, is that she isn’t very good at figuring out what I want, so she punishes me for the wrong thing, while not at all hiding her naked intention to punish.

    But what’s most interesting to me is the incapacity to understand that transactions can be: win/win, win/lose, or lose/lose. It’s as if the only possibility she’s capable of imagining is “win/lose”, there’s nothing else she can think of.

    Worse still though is that the effect of actions of a person who tries to cause everything to be win/lose is that the person on the other side will defend him/herself, which typically means denying profit to the transactor who is acting in bad faith, which means taking a lose/lose, rather than rewarding a win/lose.

    Bottom line: but totally failing to understand the moral calculus, the BPD personality makes almost every transaction a “lose”. Textbook self-fulfilling prophecy.

    • Verbal
      May 5, 2010 at 5:54 pm

      Excellent points, D. My NPDw lives in a zero-sum world. In it, if I am somehow gaining something, then she believes she is losing something of equal value. She can not recognize synergies at all. Her prevailing ethos is tit-for-tat, even-steven, fairsy-squaresy.

      • sam
        May 5, 2010 at 7:46 pm

        Huh, I remember having conversations where me being a good parent made her feel bad about herself as a parent (her solution was for me to do less things with the kids). There was no way for us to both be “good”, one had to be bad for the other to be good. Interesting.

        • Kev.
          May 6, 2010 at 3:20 am

          THAT sounds familiar. Not about parenting, though (we never had kids, thankfully), but certainly about other things.

        • June 27, 2010 at 4:05 pm

          Yikes! That sounds so familiar – felt like by AXH saw us as being on a teeter-totter: if I was ‘up’ that meant he was ‘down’ so he had to bring me ‘down’ so the he could be ‘up’ – nothing was every even, or equal, and I always felt like he was competing with me…absolutely no partnership, more like adversaries…crazy!

  17. D
    May 5, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    Thank you Dr. T for sharing this. It was a male psychiatrist friend of mine who enlightened me to the BPD of my stbx, but ever since then when I’ve confided with people about all of the insanity that happens behind closed doors, it’s been three women who’ve most readily recognized what I was talking about from their own personal experience with mothers, sisters or female co-workers. The personality disorders are an equal-opportunity tyranny so while it’s understandable that men caught in these relationships are speaking up, it can feed the chauvanism/bias-backlash if we don’t make it clear that it isn’t just men who are victimized by this.

    The attention paid to these problems as they relate to intimate male/female relationships on this site has been a lifesaver for me, but I think there’s little doubt that there are all kinds of other relationship configurations where this comes into play that remain fertile ground for exposure.

  18. Scott Stokes
    May 5, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    My sympathies to you for your painful situation. You will have a hard time getting people to believe you since it’s a woman who’s abusing you. Not being believed by my family and friends remains the most painful part of the spousal abuse by my wife of 27 years. Abusers are masters at keeping their cruel behavior secret. I’ve healed up over the last 5 years (with a heartfelt thanks to Dr. T ) and now recognize the flaws in my character that allowed me to be abused for so long. Lucky you don’t have kids that can be used a weapons against you to extract every last bit of pain possible. You’re also lucky your not a male or you’d have been arrested and lost your home. Police and the courts will be more receptive to you because of your gender.

  19. Freedom
    May 5, 2010 at 5:25 am

    Yowzers!!! holy moly your stbx seems like a real handful. the only additional advice i’d like to give is – even tho you should not back down – is to keep your wits about you, and most definitely keep your calm. i have little doubt that the woman will try everything in her power to egg you on, to get you to snap and do something foolish. that way, she levels the playing field by saying “see, you did it too”. and if she has proof of you snapping, trust me she will use it against you. do NOT take the bait. under any circumstances, stay as calm and monotone as you possibly can. she will look for any weakness, and try whatever comes to her mind to exploit that weakness.

    also, if she has escalated into physical abuse, she may also try damaging your property. here in the States we have something called a “civil stand-by” which is when the police show up to make sure the party that is moving out doesn’t try anything stupid, or that tempers don’t escalate. but once the police are long gone, she may try exacting her “pound of flesh” on your house or other property. as Dr. T said, please keep the police informed. it may instill some peace of mind in you, and it also keeps a trail for the police. always talk to them before anything should happen just to get a sense of what to do legally and also simply for your safety and to protect your property.

    the best of luck to you. get this girl OUT and long gone. she sounds like something out of a horror movie!!!

  20. Kev.
    May 4, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    Ruth-

    My heartfelt condolences that you are going through this. What you’ve described is more or less identical to my own story, and that of many other here. My situation lasted one year (but felt like seven). I’m almost 2 years out, and I’m still recovering. I have panic attacks. I have anxiety attacks. I have PTSD. I suffer from depression.

    I tell you these things not to scare you into inaction, but rather to prepare you for what is ahead WHEN (there is no “if”) you get out. And you will get out, and you must, because all of these things I am going through are still INFINITELY BETTER than where I would be if I had remained (either through capitulation, or a misguided effort to think things might be “fixed”).

    By your use of the term “solicitor,” I’m guessing you’re in the UK. I don’t know what the laws are there, about these sorts of thing, but it sounds like your solicitor is on the ball. If I can only reaffirm one piece of the advice that Dr. T provided above, it would be DO NOT BACK DOWN. She will continue to escalate. Be prepared for that. There will (continue to) be a smear campaign. Be prepared for that.

    You are strong. You can get through this. And soon, you will be ejecting this foul beast out of an airlock. If the residence is in your name, I wonder if it might be possible to have her forcibly removed for trespassing? Something to look into.

    Her comment about respecting her ex husband more than you is, in a way, a compliment. She “respects” him because she probably did this to him, as well, and he backed down. You are not backing down. She can’t handle that.

    Where I would differ from Dr. T, is in her statement that you are dealing with a 5 year old. I would say you are dealing with a 2 year old.

    If you cave, you are granting her permission to continue this behavior. And she WILL be worse, because she’ll know she can.

    Best of luck to you, and I look forward to hearing about what happens when she is gone.

    In the meantime, if you are sleeping in separate bedrooms, lock the door at night. If you aren’t sleeping in separate bedrooms, commence doing so immediately. And lock the door.

    Hang in there. You’re in the home stretch.

    My thoughts are with you.

    • shrink4men
      May 4, 2010 at 10:13 pm

      Hi Kev,

      Thanks for leaving such a kind and thoughtful reply. You’re right; I’m wrong. Her stbxgf is probably more like an out-of-control 2-year old.

      Good advice re: sleeping in separate bedrooms and locking the door. It’s always good to hear from you and I hope you’re having a wonderful Spring.

      Cheers,
      Dr T

Comment pages
  1. October 17, 2011 at 10:00 pm
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