Posts Tagged ‘breaking up’

Female Stalkers, Part 1: Are You Being Stalked by your Girlfriend, Wife or Ex?

February 8, 2011 2 comments

There’s a new article on Many men don’t realize that their exes, girlfriends and wives engage in what can legally be described as stalking and harassment, which is are criminal offenses in most states. This article answers the questions what is stalking and can men be stalked by women. It discusses which gender engages in stalking behaviors more, what constitutes stalking, who is more likely to stalk, and why it is important for men to be able to identify these behaviors.

Here’s the link:

Stalking, Part I: What is Stalking and Can Men Be Stalked by Women?

Kind Regards,

Dr Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD

Letter from an Adult Child of Cluster B Personality Disorder Parents: The Damage Done

July 26, 2010 63 comments

I received the following letter from a woman who has been following the Shrink4Men blog for sometime now. She sent the note below to share with those of you who are struggling with the choice to stay in your relationship with your abusive, Cluster B (Borderline Personality Disorder, Histrionic Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder) wife or girlfriend because of your shared children.

This letter confirms what I have long suspected. Under no circumstances is it healthy to subject a child to an abusive parent. Even if you remain in the home to protect your child(ren), they will still be adversely affected by the abuse they witness perpetrated against you. Furthermore, even if your child isn’t being directly attacked, it is a form of abuse to witness their father being abused.

Dear Dr T,

I read your website often.  Many men say they stay with their BPD wives for balance for their children or don’t know if they should stay.  I would like to write and tell them this.  I am a woman who had a father with BPD and the rest of the Cluster B disorders. He had a milder PD of Paranoid Personality Disorder and, in later life, developed some Schizotypal traits.

I am very certain that I am not alone. I made it out with minor problems.  According to some psychologists, all children of BPD’s have some aspect of their disorder.  I am a healthy adult, however, that does not mean that I had a totally normal childhood and in no way did I need or want my father’s psychodrama. It was terrifying at times. I myself can’t figure out why children of any Cluster A or B and some C’s have a problem resolving their feelings.  The answer is not that difficult to resolve.  You have got to decide that you do not deserve or ever asked for their behavior.  All their good qualities are transient. Period. They will alternate with abuse again. Many, and I mean many, years could pass and then some type of abuse will pop up.

Narcissism is the root of all PD’s.  Therefore most people with BPD have NPD as well. They really aren’t like kissing cousins. BPD is just another variation of Narcissism.

If they do apologize, it is important to remember that BPD’s have psychopathy as well. They don’t learn very easily and mean what they’re saying only in that moment. They will quickly twist or decide that you were wrong and blame you when it wasn’t your fault or when you have done something wrong just to abuse you again the same way. They will not look at themselves and have to do this in order to deflect their own self-hate or pain. The BPD activists talk about this aspect of these individuals as if they were discussing a minor matter and expect the victim to just bear with their so-called recovery. This is frightening because their attacks are usually from left field and can open old wounds. You have to leave the relationship in order to totally heal.

I do not love my deceased father.  I am grateful that he taught me right from wrong as some psychopaths do. I am grateful for the good times because I would be splitting if I did not admit the above and it would be wrong. However, what he did to us is unacceptable and just because he was my father does not mean I owe him or have to love him. He chose that behavior and earned the consequence of it.

It is a cultural myth that we owe love to our parents or abusive people. It is actually quite naive to believe that love is a cure-all because BPDs/NPDs had a bad childhood. If we learn to accept abuse from others and give ourselves less than we deserve, then we get into abusive or lousy relationships.  I truly love myself and will not accept an ounce of shit from anybody and have zero tolerance for narcissistic behaviors.  I don’t deserve it and never did. I had to teach myself to stand up for myself and stand my own ground because my parents never did. I never took the victim approach because I wouldn’t let myself be pathetic and become like them. Therefore, to have any sympathy or empathy for a BPD’s crap is simply crazy. It is pathological.  I had to extensively, and I mean extensively, study manipulation both covert and overt as well as PD’s to protect myself so that I could spot and avoid them.

Love does not cure BPD. Pills do not cure BPD. Only the BPD can do it. That will happen when pigs fly. I have studied and followed many BPD’s for years who were treated with all different kinds of therapies. They may lose some aspect of their problem, but there is always a serious part of it that remains and requires still more treatment. I know many that are told they have biochemical illnesses and take pills.  They help some, but not a lot. It is just another way for some psychologist or psychiatrist to buy into their own biochemical delusion and for the BPD to avoid responsibility for themselves and blame it on their biochemistry. Some are made worse by meds.

Get your kids out ASAP. Ask Dr. T for a personalized plan in conjunction with legal help.  She is a trustworthy psychologist. Trust me when I say that I don’t  like many psychologists or psychiatrists because they are largely incompetent, crazy or have serious problems themselves and practice pop or junk science.  Heed her warnings. She is 100 percent right when it comes to these woman. Your children do not deserve what I was put through.

My siblings had serious problems brought out. My sister developed BPD and developed Schizophrenia from the constant stress and chaos. My brother’s Schizophrenia surfaced partly because of the psychological assaults, as did my sister’s. I did not develop Schizophrenia and am now 51. I was just damn lucky. This is how serious BPD Cluster B behavior is. Do not twist my example around and say, “Veronica turned out okay, so my kids will.

You do not know what these crazy people will do or the level of psychopathy they have over a span of time or what new PD they will develop. I have seen that happen many times and most shrinks don’t even mention that. Most shrinks don’t know BPD that well because they don’t work with them, yet they talk about them like they do.  You don’t know what new vice they will pick up or who they will have sex with. In no way do I condone your choice to stay with any PD, yet alone a BPD Cluster B who usually has Paranoid PD as well. It is a very serious form of child abuse and abuse to yourself.

Dr. T is right when she said they go after gifted people who are good. They want to take everything that is good in you and your children. They try to take the good from you because they aren’t capable of it and don’t have it within themselves. They try to destroy what’s good in others in an effort to destroy their own projected self-hate.

The only retaliation is to live well when you meet these people and when they hurt you. Just hope they get what they deserve and go on living well. Don’t stoop to their level or become like them. They hate it because they can’t do that and that is a huge part of their problem with inferiority. They are inferior because they do horrible things and deserve to feel that way. In the end, they set themselves up with their own pathology anyway and get what they deserve. They will do it to themselves and don’t need an enemy because they are their own worst enemy. That I can guarantee you.

Every time you let one get to you somehow you give them your power. That is what they really want—to have you feel and be as bad as them, feel as shitty or as antisocial as they do. If you allow this to happen, then they don’t feel so bad about themselves. They thrive that way. You enable them to continue when you allow them to affect you in anyway or give them anything. Strictly adhere to this until you totally exceed. It may be difficult for some, but it can be done. The reward is that you will have your own mental health back and they will mean nothing to you.  Be careful out there, these disorders are running rampant.

Thanks Again,


This story may not apply to all individuals with abusive, Cluster B parents, but the children of these individuals are impacted by them no matter how much of a buffer you provide.

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.


If you find the information I provide free of charge helpful and valuable here on Shrink4Men, please consider making a donation via PayPal to help me maintain the site.

Extreme No Contact: Delete Your Ex from the Internet!

July 19, 2010 7 comments

One of my clients sent me the following link for a web plugin for Firefox and Chrome browsers (sorry Explorer, Safari and Netscape users!) that allows you to “delete” your ex from your life—at least your online life. Here’s the link:

It’s called the “Ex-Blocker,” and it’s rather like the web/non-brain damage version of the memory eraser depicted in one of my favorite films, The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

According to the article on, the Ex-Blocker plugin “filters your ex out of the internet for you. Simply feed it their first and last names, their Twitter username, their Facebook profile info and their blog URL, and it takes care of the rest. Sure, photos can slip through the cracks, I’m sure. And you’ll have to set up an email filter yourself if you want to cut off contact completely.”

If you’ve made the decision to go No Contact, but are still getting Facebook, MySpace and Tweet updates from the ex-Twit about how “amazing” her new boyfriend is, how she’s “never been happier” and that she regrets dating all of her “ex-jerk loser boyfriends,” this plugin might just bring you that last bit of peace of mind you seek.

To download the plugin, visit:

While this plugin will keep your ex from popping up on the Internet, it’s up to you to install rock solid boundaries to prevent her from popping up in your offline life. If only there was a plugin download for that!

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.


If you find the information I provide free of charge helpful and valuable here on Shrink4Men, please consider making a donation via PayPal to help me maintain the site.

Do Narcissists Feel Remorse? Bernie Madoff says, “F— My Victims”

June 7, 2010 97 comments

New York Magazine is running an article on Bernie Madoff’s life in prison. The piece reports that Madoff unrepentantly declared to fellow inmates, “F— my victims. I carried them for twenty years, and now I’m doing 150 years.” In an excerpt from the NYM piece, one inmate recalls a conversation in which he and Madoff discussed how he took advantage of old ladies:

Pollard thought that taking advantage of old ladies was “kind of fucked up.”

“Well, that’s what I did,” Madoff said matter-of-factly.

“You are going to pay with God,” Pollard warned.

Madoff was unmoved. He was past apologizing. In prison, he crafted his own version of events. From MCC, Madoff explained the trap he was in. “People just kept throwing money at me,” Madoff related to a prison consultant who advised him on how to endure prison life. “Some guy wanted to invest, and if I said no, the guy said, ‘What, I’m not good enough?’ ” One day, Shannon Hay, a drug dealer who lived in the same unit in Butner as Madoff, asked about his crimes. “He told me his side. He took money off of people who were rich and greedy and wanted more,” says Hay, who was released in December. People, in other words, who deserved it.”

My jaw dropped when I read these statements because they so perfectly illustrate what I have long believed: Narcissists/sociopaths do not feel remorse for their hurtful and/or criminal actions and believe that their targets deserve to be screwed. According to Madoff, his clients deserved to be fleeced by him and should be grateful that he “carried them” for 20 years (carried them into bankruptcy and out of retirement, that is). Madoff’s statements also illustrate how narcissists and other scam artist/predators rewrite history in order to be able to live with themselves.

Are You Married to Madoff?

If you are married to a woman with similar traits, she may never explicitly articulate, “Fuck my victim(s)” (a.k.a, you and your children), but this is the fundamental attitude from which she operates. Not only does she not feel bad for her bad behaviors, but she also believes you should be grateful that she makes the time to abuse you.

Narcissists, borderlines and other predatory sociopaths—even if the ones who portray themselves as victimized, fragile “waifs”—view people, including you, as need gratification objects. You aren’t seen as an individual human being with needs, feelings and rights. You are an object to be used at her discretion just like a pair of shoes or a car or a nail file or a punching bag. Inanimate objects don’t complain, which is why your complaints, requests for kindness and affection or your basic expressions of emotions are met with alternating bewilderment and impatience. A shoe doesn’t complain when she wears it too roughly, so it’s unthinkable that you would complain if she treats you too roughly. In fact, who do you think you are to complain about anything she does? You live to serve. Period.

You can’t fix a relationship with someone who doesn’t view you as a human being. You also can’t use reason or the facts to resolve these issues. Just like Madoff, these women are better historical revisionists than the Texas Department of Education. If you can’t even agree on the same reality there’s no fixing the relationship or her. Just like Madoff’s clients, you will rarely see a return on your emotional and financial investments with this kind of woman. They will eventually leave you broke, brokenhearted and just plain broken.

Postscript: I had to Google “prison consultants.” Please follow the link above if you haven’t already. Who knew? A booming business serving white collar criminals. You really can learn something new everyday. Here’s another link from wikiHow on How to Survive in Federal Prison. I’m thinking of doing an adaptation for Shrink4Men.

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.


If you find the information I provide free of charge helpful and valuable here on Shrink4Men, please consider making a donation via PayPal to help me maintain the site.

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

May 4, 2010 58 comments

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.


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.


If you find the information I provide free of charge helpful and valuable here on Shrink4Men, please consider making a donation via PayPal to help me maintain the site.


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