Home > Abusive relationships, Borderline Personality Disorder > 13 Signs Your Wife or Girlfriend is a Borderline or a Narcissist

13 Signs Your Wife or Girlfriend is a Borderline or a Narcissist

BPD-1My girlfriend / wife doesn’t have a personality disorder. She’s just emotional. Maybe, maybe not. Borderline Personality Disorder isn’t as mainstream in public awareness as other psychiatric diagnoses, but it’s a very real problem that affects many individuals and the people who are in ongoing relationships with them or trying to end relationships with them.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a kissing cousin of BPD. There is usually some overlap between the two. Most people think being a narcissist means that you’re conceited or vain–there’s a lot more to it.

Men are typically accused of being insensitive and out of touch with their feelings. We rarely talk about women who emotionally abuse the men they claim to love. There are different reasons why this is a silent epidemic:

a) Society and psychology hold a reverse sexist attitude regarding the perpetrators and recipients of emotional abuse.

b) Men have been brainwashed into believing that “she’s just expressing her feelings” when she’s being abusive and that “he’s insensitive and doesn’t understand.” Unfortunately, many mental health professionals perpetuate this phenomenon through their own gender biases. Should these men enter into couples treatment, they often get tag teamed by their girlfriend/wife and the therapist into believing they’re the problem. Should this couple actually find a shrink worth his/her salt that tries to hold the Borderline/Narcissist accountable, said shrink is duly fired and vilified by the BPD/NPD.

c) Men are too embarrassed to talk about the hurt, pain and confusion they experience as a result of the way these women mistreat them.

Warning: Being involved with an abusive Borderline or Narcissist May Be Hazardous to Your Mental Health

Here are some common side effects of being in an abusive relationship, whether the abusive individual has a personality disorder or not:

1) Censoring your thoughts and feelings. You edit it yourself because you’re afraid of her reactions. Swallowing the lump in your throat and your hurt and anger is easier than dealing with another fight or hurt feelings. In fact, you may have stuffed your own emotions for so long that you no longer know what you think or feel.

2) Everything is your fault. You’re blamed for everything that goes wrong in the relationship and in general, even if it has no basis in reality.

3) Constant criticism. She criticizes nearly everything you do and nothing is ever good enough. No matter how hard you try, there’s no pleasing her or, if you do, it’s few and far between.

4) Control freak. She engages in manipulative behaviors, even lying, in an effort to control you.

3186177287_1423ed4f22_o5) Dr Jekyll and Ms Hyde. One moment she’s kind and loving; the next she’s flipping out on you. She becomes so vicious, you wonder if she’s the same person. The first time it happens, you write it off. Now, it’s a regular pattern of behavior that induces feelings of depression, anxiety, helplessness and/or despair within you.

6) Your feelings don’t count. Your needs and feelings, if you’re brave enough to express them, are ignored, ridiculed, minimized and/or dismissed. You’re told that you’re too demanding, that there’s something wrong with you and that you need to be in therapy. You’re denied the right to your feelings.

7) Questioning your own sanity. You’ve begun to wonder if you’re crazy because she puts down your point of view and/or denies things she says or does. If you actually confide these things to a friend or family member, they don’t believe you because she usually behaves herself around other people.

8) Say what? “But I didn’t say that. I didn’t do that.” Sure you did. Well, you did in her highly distorted version of reality. Her accusations run the gamut from infidelity to cruelty to being un-supportive (even when you’re the one paying all the bills) to repressing her and holding her back. It’s usually baseless, which leaves you feeling defensive and misunderstood.

9) Isolating yourself from friends and family. You distance yourself from your loved ones and colleagues because of her erratic behavior, moodiness and instability. You make excuses for her inexcusable behaviors to others in an effort to convince yourself that it’s normal.

10) Walking on landmines. One misstep and you could set her off. Some people refer to this as “walking on eggshells,” but eggs emit only a dull crunch when you step on them. Setting off a landmine is a far more descriptive simile.

11) What goes up, must come down. She places you on a pedestal only to knock it out from under your feet. You’re the greatest thing since sliced bread one minute and the next minute, you’re the devil incarnate.

12) Un-level playing field. Borderlines and Narcissists make the rules; they break the rules and they change the rules at will. Just when you think you’ve figured out how to give her what she wants, she changes her expectations and demands without warning. This sets you up for failure in no-win situations, leaving you feeling helpless and trapped.

13) You’re a loser, but don’t leave me. “You’re a jerk. You’re a creep. You’re a bastard. I love you. Don’t leave me.” When you finally reach the point where you just can’t take it anymore, the tears, bargaining and threats begin. She insists she really does love you. She can’t live without you. She promises to change. She promises it will get better, but things never change and they never get better.

When that doesn’t work, she blames you and anything and anyone else she can think of, never once taking responsibility for her own behaviors. She may even resort to threats. She threatens that you’ll never see the kids again. Or she threatens to bad mouth you to your friends and family.

Tomorrow, I’ll post a follow-up blog in which I explain why this emotional abuse and what you can do about it.


Dr Tara J Palmatier_Shrink4Men_02Counseling, Consulting and Coaching with Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD

Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD helps individuals work through their relationship and codependency issues via telephone or Skype. She specializes in helping men and women trying to break free of an abusive relationship, cope with the stress of an abusive relationship or heal from an abusive relationship. She combines practical advice, emotional support and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for professional inquiries.

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Related posts:

Photo credits:

BPD-1 byPushkia on flickr.

Spin-the-mood-wheel by MashGet on flickr.

  1. JR
    October 29, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    Just don’t put a ring on her finger. And if you ever find yourself wondering why you are fighting so much, don’t be a sucker and think things will get better. They won’t and then you will be like me, looking back over 18 years of misery.

    • StillRecovering
      November 9, 2009 at 12:56 pm

      I made the mistake of putting a ring on her finger. We were engaged and lived together for a year and a half, and during that time the facade of the loving woman vanished and her true self emerged. I thought that it was due to the stresses of wedding planning, moving, and starting my business, but the problems continued to get worse after the wedding. I was accused of being cruel, hateful, “not a man”, cheap, unsatisfactory in bed, etc. All of this despite the fact that I supported her financially, tried my best to give her everything she wanted, cared for her when she was sick (she was ALWAYS sick. It literally never ended). I admit, there were problems with physical intimacy, but it didn’t help matters at at all that I was completely blamed for them and punished with withholding of affection as a result.

      Before we married, she convinced me that I needed help for my “uncontrollable rage” and we went to counseling. I never once yelled at her or went into a rage as she claimed, but I went along because I realized something was wrong with the relationship. As long as the counselor was focusing on me, all was fine, but as soon as she became the focus, she would immediately target me once again. During one session, the counselor told my ex that she seemed to have issues dealing with anxiety and possibly depression, and that she needed to deal with those issues. She refused to go back, because she said the counselor offended her. Five months into the marriage I was told that we needed to go to couples’ counseling again because my “rages” had gotten worse (complete BS), or she was going to leave. So, we go, and once again, when the focus was on her, she couldn’t deal with it. We agreed to individual sessions with the counselor, although she didn’t go to many. After we split, this same counselor was the one that first mentioned the possibility of my ex being NPD/BPD, which brought me to this site.

      It’s been almost 6 months since we’ve split, and the divorce is final, but I’m still dealing with the aftermath of crushed self esteem and self doubt. Little by little it’s getting better, but I still can’t believe that I am in this situation. I’ve gotten occasional updates on her status from a few of my family members (she was addicted to the bridal website thenest.com which she continues to post updates on her amazing life without me), and it’s frustrating and sickening to hear that she is able to act like I never existed and act as if she is so happy and complete with someone else. I’ve asked my family not to update me any more, because it does me no good and only prolongs the healing process. Bottom line (after a long post. It was a rough weekend), if these 13 signs are familiar, run, run, run, run, RUN!. And listen to family and friends. If more than one of them tells you something is wrong with your girlfriend/wife, it’s probably pretty accurate.

      • Andy
        July 1, 2010 at 1:50 pm

        How did you know the exact story of my marriage? I can’t believe it is almost word for word what I would have written. The only thing is I’m just now starting the divorce.

        • jay
          November 14, 2013 at 9:45 am

          ditto ditto ditto. exact replica of StillRecover. I got 11 out of the 13 signs. we got married in aug after 3 yrs together. the last 3 months we have spent arguing even more than usual and many many times have come to the point of calling it quits. the wedding day was ‘so upsetting’ she would rather not remember it.

          yet after the storm i’m always told she loves me. just that i’m apparently bi-polar. i was told by my family to run run run and don’t turn back but couldn’t. well i tried a few times but you know how that goes. life is a nightmare for 3 weeks of the month, with 1 good week that reminds me why we are together and encourages me to stick it out another month. but every week i think about the relief i would have if i was on my own again. now my 17yr old son is living with us too and i’m worried about the effects on him

          my current plan is to try and let it all go over my head. not react, not get upset, not question whether my motives for doing something really were that off-track or whether my emotions really are that screwed up. we’re reaching the end of the good week tho so i’m probably more upbeat than normal and i’m sure that when the shit hits the fan again next week i’ll be thinking those suicidial thoughts once again, thinking of running, thinking of what life could be like in a positive constructive relationship.

          this is the first time i’ve seen this site or http://livingonaprayerwithpmdd.blogspot.co.uk
          and i’m just so pleased to see i’m not alone

          thank you guys for sharing

          • Lawrence
            April 25, 2014 at 3:20 am

            I’m at a total loss with regards to what to do in my situation. I’ve been married for 12 years to a woman that has 11/13 symptoms mentioned above. Our pattern has been as follows – we have a discussion, I say something that differs from her opinion or she takes the wrong way and gets upset or shuts down. I then mistakenly inquire as to what I’ve done wrong and it escalates from there. It’s as if she’s luring me into a trap. When I’ve told her how her rejection to my ideas/thoughts/feelings hinder communication, she tells me that this is something I’ve randomly come up with and that I’m the problem. I’ve told her this for 12 years and she reacts the same way. As a result, I usually try to avoid substantial communication with her. When I’ve made the mistake to meaningfully engage her, it has almost always ended badly.

            This woman has had me convinced for 12 years that I’m crazy – I’d gotten to the point that I doubted myself, doubted how arguments started, and made excuses for her. The problem is, that no matter what I did, it didn’t help. I made a decision to become hyper aware of our interactions and for 18 months, made it a point not to get lured into her trap. It didn’t help. I was still the bad guy. I was still blamed for all of her unhappiness.

            I recently started Googling some of her symptoms and came across BPD – it sounds dead-on, but even now, I doubt myself and actually wonder if I’m the one with a disorder.

            She now says she wants a divorce – she’s been threatening me with divorce for the last 7-8 years. It’s weird how this happens. She threatens divorce and things always get better a short time later – when they get bad again and she threatens divorce, I ask about the good time that just ended and she states that her feelings never changed about the divorce. I never buy this as I find it hard to believe that someone can continually fake it like that. It’s as if love and hate are turned on/off at the drop of a hat.

            As I mentioned, she now wants a divorce and I’m torn. We have 2 young kids and I can see the effects of our relationship on them. My preference would be to get full custody of them, but I have my doubts that I could accomplish this. So, because she says she’s amenable to a situation where we have 50/50 custody and has agreed to financial terms, I feel that this is the best route to take – with the fear that I may try to get full custody and not even get 50/50.

            After reading some other posts, I have my doubts that she will continue to honor our agreement as we get closer to divorce – perhaps it could get ugly – and have my doubts that she will sign the paperwork once complete.

            I continue to hold out hope that something will change, but this is a person that refuses to take blame or apologize.

            • Dino
              July 6, 2014 at 8:38 pm

              SOunds much like my marriage. Its a real depressing life but I have absolutely nothing to fall back on; no friends left, no job, a strange country side with no jobopportunities that she dragged us to, against my will and advice, regarding where to look for a job. ALways does the opposite as if she thinks I am controlling; one of her illusions which has nothing on it, and she started accusing me such things early on in our relationship. BUt she got me to fall deeply in love with her because she was so charming and sexy the first months and she fell a lot in love with me onto the point where she became psycotic and hysterious from fear of loosing me again or if I should die. After those events with her crying and me confomrting, it’s like she suddenly became pure evil and turned on a coin/around and even said she had now closed her heart to me (earlier she said I was the only one to ever have gotten through to her heart. I got left 5 months ago with her taking our little 5 year old boy with her. AFter some months, probably due to the cost, she filed for divorce and so I was abandoned for the 11th time 5 months ago. THis time due to drinking and freaking out which I know is due to some Post Traumatic Stress SYndrome I have from all the times she left me and which changed me and got me into drinking from shock and trauma by being dumped again and again then to be suddenly “loved” again when her hate had faded. WOw I have much more to tell but this would take an entire book. I am heart broken and feel traumatized, confused and completely worthless and without selfesteem. I get easily sad and feel people are evil to me and partwise its because I feel unloved from what has happened for 9 years. WHen I try to speak with someone I get always blamed and hated or backstabbed and people always believe it must be me who is the problem due to me talking so much about it because it has affected me so much and I wished someone could understand me but no, she managed to get my boy taken away from me and accused by these or these who don’t even know me. SHe is really convincing and learned to seem so stabile and she always was so selfconfident and nothing can ever change her mind if she is set on some opinion except if she thinks some man might give her some attention. Depends on the strategy. I feel humiliated, wrongly accused, unloved etc etc. THought about death many days though I always was a very positive guy and popular and well liked. Now I seem and feel an outsider and worthless and who would want me now?

              • Jake
                July 14, 2014 at 8:22 am

                “so I was abandoned for the 11th time 5 months ago. THis time due to drinking and freaking out which I know is due to some Post Traumatic Stress SYndrome I have from all the times she left me and which changed me and got me into drinking from shock and trauma by being dumped again and again then to be suddenly “loved” again when her hate had faded. WOw I have much more to tell but this would take an entire book. I am heart broken and feel traumatized, confused and completely worthless and without selfesteem. ”

                Exactly my story. Dont you just wish had left her the first time. This NPD personality waits until their victim has fallen in love with them and shows that loving side about 25% of the time.

                • Dino
                  July 14, 2014 at 9:12 am

                  Well I understand your question but the answer is very non-linear since many factors are coinciding as is the world, everything is interconnected. First due to loving our son more than anything, I can not think to change the past because that would mean not accepting him.

                  Secondly I don’t know if it is so easy to quit the woman when you have been programmed to think it is your fault (plus I already learned to take all guilt upon me as a child due to my parents constant struggle, hate, shouting, adultery, violence and accusing me of it all in order to stay together. I heard my father command my mother to not love me or be sweet to me when I was little. Probably jealous from not getting enough attention himself.)

                  Already after 2 months I felt: “This is the love of my life, I want to marry her”. I did not have the worlds biggest self esteem to begin with due to my childhood (which kind of stays with you on a very basic and subconscious level despite of a long education and shit), but I felt it increased immensely from the love (I believe in love as the basis of everything, just as says the Bible), which however she was not loyal to continue and which she transformed into hate instead, due to her problematics regarding – and fear from loving: Loving me deeply and intensely made my woman at some point turn around to feel inferior and fear “loosing” love once again. Like a protection, hating instead of loving.

                  I tried to teach her true love (which has no fear and doesn’t control but gives) and I hate that I had to take upon me that role but, well in the Bible we have to be the head as Jesus Christ is the head of us. BUt being the head in a peaceful calm way, is really impossible to any human being in a relationship like that, full of provocations, getting ignored, frozen out, hated, abandoned, backstabbed, made into an abuser when you are not, made an outsider due to her victim fantasies and involving others including police and all kinds of people and her “friends”, loosing friends, loosing your jobs from despair and self destruction such as drinking and not least loosing the sense of self and acceptance of yourself, which you had initially.

                  But things make sense anyway and we are who we are and I was loyal to her because I loved her and tried to cure her with love. I later have been loyal to her because we have a lovely son and no children are well without both of their parents. These women are manipulative and use the social system, including that of divorcing and dividing the child, as if it were their own home street. As if that system exists as an obvious excuse for harassing us men. Well my opinion/experience.

                  • Dino
                    July 14, 2014 at 9:27 am

                    My final advice bolied down: 1) Love Your heavenly father, of all thy heart and all your strength 2) Love others as if they are you, which basically they are since they are living due to GOd’s power and life sustaining force. 3) Be completely independent from other humans and depend ONLY on the only truely dependable, God, to whom we rightfully give all the honour and who will support us in everything when we turn to GOd in faith. GOd wants us back into his stable because we were lost. THis means recognising and loving our father and Jesus Christ and in return “CHrist”, Gods’ holy spirit, will aid us in everything. See in this way you will never fall even if you should fall in love with the worst sociopath, because you will personally not depend on her to be happy but on our heavenly father who through our ancestors granded us life. SHe did not give us life or endless possibilities so why let her lack limiting and complicated mind, probably atheistic as well, determine our faith and limit our earthly endeavours, and followingly our later endeavours. But GOd loves that we do not judge aince why should we deserve forgiveness if we judge one of his lost souls. In the Bible it says something like: If you give your enemy a chance to improve, you will be saved, even if that one will not follow the advice and be lost. If you do not give your enemy a chance to improve you will be lost yourself.

                    • Dino
                      August 22, 2014 at 9:40 am

                      I am not really religious and I don’t trust missionaries and religious people to be objective and truely searching enuogh. ALways with some egoic motive involved which makes me think they can’t hold the truth. But I have looked for answers and being abused and unloved by close humans made me turn to God/search for God and a deepser sense. Trying to get the bird perspective on the misery easen the pain. I have had days considering to just get an atheist in protest of that painful life. On the other hand I think perhaps I am njust a lurk warm believer who changes and destroys it for myself due to un unstable faith and hope and unstable loyalty to the best self loving actions and thereby to the future well being of my boy, despite it really is because I some days feel a victim and hopeless because so many evil forces are against me and making me unhappy and hopeleses and loose the life spark. I have nothing and even a bleeding ulcer haunting me due to stress syndromes. It’s hard to create something from nothing when yuor whole identity has been circling around the attention seeking woman to whom you dedicated your life and allowed to determine your destiny and happiness, while in fact just torturing me and along with the NPD/BPD traits has got clear sociopatic trais meaning she deliberately has done so many things to hurt and harm me and very cynically planned and carried out. Not just spontanous headless actions or decisions which she also does.

                • Kimberley
                  November 21, 2015 at 6:25 pm

                  I wish my brother would listen. In a years time it will be him telling this story

              • Don
                November 23, 2015 at 6:25 pm

                Dino, sounds much like my marriage. I was deeply in love, for a long time. But the past couple of years I started to doubt my relation. Besides the humiliations of me and my family she was very demanding. Never anything I did was good enough. When I was cooking she was too impatient to wait and started snacking, when I was cleaning the house instead of cooking she accused me of having too much spare time. My opinions never mattered, she was always right cuz she read it in some kind of book. If I had a different opinion regarding personal issues she got mad at me for not supporting her (I always supported her both in good as in bad times while I didnt feel supported by her). Withholding intimacy to the point that I started to doubt if I was flithy. My toothbrush couldnt even stand beside hers because bacteria could jump over…. I could never invite friends or family cuz she was busy with her work and that would distract her (from important things…..).
                Pinpointing my negative characteristics until I started to doubt my own sanity. We went into couples counselling on my initiative. And of course she is always without emotions and very rational and I am the one who has a problem. I was “hypervigilant” and too sensitive. Her emotional pressure made me freak out and I am not proud of that. And yes I got more vulnerable and suffer from chronic stress, insomnia. I told her I want to divorce and as soon as I told her, she wanted sex after I don’t know how many months. I still love her but I got to get rid of my feelings for her and listen to my head instead of my heart. Still I doubt if all the fights were my own fault or that I could have de-escalate the situation. I feel like I have stockholm syndrome. I am in love with someone that I don’t feel loved and who hurts me and from whom I feel controlled in my behavior, I lost myself.
                And I don’t know if I ever can give so much to another woman. I don’t wanna get hurt again.

                • Andy
                  November 24, 2015 at 2:58 am

                  Don, Only you know what you need to do. However, when I read “And I don’t know if I ever can give so much to another woman. I don’t wanna get hurt again” I had to write.
                  I am 53 now and I started my escape four years ago after 25 years of marriage. Most of those years were good – though there were signs early-on that my twenty something self wasn’t smart enough to understand yet. However, like you and a lot of men on this board, when you are finally on fire you’ll be smart enough to jump out of the house, so to speak.

                  I am still slightly damaged but I have met a NICE woman – and I can give more to her than I could to my ex because I am once again a fairly whole man, And my life isn’t a crazy stress-fest. Towards the end the ex would ring a bell for breakfast in bed and it was my fault if anything wasn’t hot or cold enough and I took too long! There were a thousand things like that. For heaven’s sake man, get out! There are nice women out there. You are likely dying inside now. I have my kids, too… They don’t choose to see mom any more (kids are teens)

        • stephen
          January 24, 2014 at 12:39 am

          Refusing to see her own problems. Yep, the ex fired our therapist for even looking in her direction.

        • June 25, 2014 at 8:07 am

          What is written above is exactly the same as my last seven years of misery. Can never discuss anything ..well can discuss it from her side and what she thinks and should i dare to disagree or add in other thoughts it quickly dissolves into a swearing, door slamming and a personal critic about how useless i am, how stingy i am, how everyone at my office hates me and on and on … the latest now is i am boring and everything to do with me is boring
          I feel sorry for my son as he is only six trapped in the cycle of over-whelming affection and being treated like he has a terminal contagious disease. I am leaving to work in another country in 12 days .. maybe not the most direct way with dealing with the issue but the thought of waking up and not being told what i have done wrong all my life is just so …..

          • July 3, 2014 at 3:27 pm

            Also consider the damage it’s doing to the child. This is going to be their understanding of how a relationship works. They will either treat someone like that or, allow themselves to be treated like that because that’s their norm. I was in this relationship for 17 years and with kids I still have to deal with her. I was the provider and the nurturer but I thought I could fix it. I thought it would change. It only got worse. So maybe think about divorce. It’s okay to divorce and it may be in the best interest of the child but with her type of personality you should really plan it out to best protect you and your child.

        • montysalmon45612
          May 7, 2016 at 6:10 am

          I can totally understand this. One thing my current partner does is to goad or torment me – she seems to enjoy it and then when I get angry she criticizes me for doing so. May be that what she was doing to you – BPD’s are the ultimate agent provocateurs!

        • Charlie
          January 4, 2017 at 2:01 am

          I’m just starting the devorce process. Any suggestions?

          • January 17, 2017 at 9:04 pm

            There are lots of videos to watch on you tube, hours of them, definitely worth looking into, all your conversations, texts, email’s and interactions, will hit you like a ton of bricks,, Many for me almost came back almost word for word ! its scary similar.

            Also check online info by real professionals.
            You will be shocked by how much you find out in hind-sight! its still on going for me.

            Its been recent for me; Dec 2016-Jan 2017. Been seeing a psychologist to debug myself and get a full understanding of this disorder. its not me ! this helps immensely. I was shocked.
            EX Girlfriend has had slurry of bad past relationships… Its amazing looking back now how all the pieces really fell into place.

            You have to remember its not you , its them. they have the issue..

            Its absurd that they put so much negative effort into the relationship rather than other way round, positives to build each other up, but in their minds they do not think in this manner or like normal loving persons with empathy or compassion for others.

            Their past life and childhood traumas rule their present day life. They have had abuse, no love or otherwise in their childhood, therefore in the present day the only way they can feel worthy, is by being controlling, judgmental, blame-twisting-shifting, mean and hurtful, nothing is their fault, its you and others. They feed off of this, and often comes the

            ”silent treatment”

            as discussions do not go their way or you dare to challenge them. This could last for days. Then when you call back, they blame you for being not caring !!!! you can never win !!!! they will barely admit to being mean, sorry or apologize for their actions, and if they ever do it will be short lived, then it will be reversed soon after as ”well it was really you fault ”. They only want to hear what they want to hear period ! if you step out of line, wham! so very sad, but at least you are on your way, we all are. They start out as amazing people, but it fades unfortunately. I just wish her good traits would shine all the time…but …..

            Regards, MP

            • James
              August 24, 2017 at 3:58 pm

              Sounds just like my ex… was she Russian by any chance …

      • Will
        June 21, 2014 at 1:34 pm

        You summed up my last relationship word for word. Thankfully we didn’t marry, but the moment I met her I thought I wanted to marry her and raise a family with her. Looking back now I thank God I didn’t. I realise that the ‘closeness’ I thought we felt was completely manipulative bs, I realised pretty soon it was conditional love, that if I didn’t behave a certain way that love would be withdrawn. We lived 100miles apart, I would drive down to see her every weekend but there was never any question of her coming up to visit me, we didn’t take it in turns. There were not turns. Any time I mentioned this should fly into a rage. There was always an excuse, she was ALWAYS SICK, a cacophony of odd an mysterious ailments, allergies, auto-immune conditions, fibromyalgia, there was a lot of things to prevented her from doing, well, anything she didn’t want to. I was told I had ‘anger issues’ (my friends all laugh at that one, they know me as the most passive meek person), that I ‘acted like an abuser’ that I was ‘depressed’ and needed counselling. She was into cod-psychology and diagnosed me several times from things she’d read online. Alarm bells rang when she gave me the key to her apartment one day in a sweet and seemingly spontaneous moment. But it was a fish hook. Every time I did something that pissed her off (which was every 4 hours) she demand I give her the key back. Many times she rummaged through my pockets and snatched it back. It was a metaphor for her ‘love’ in my mind. Behave or it will be withdrawn.
        Finally the relationship ended once it got violent. She flew into a rage and hit me repeatedly, screaming, I just sat there and let her then left calmly. I made the mistake of going back weeks later to smooth things over, huge error. She was sleeping around with an ex, she was pof.com looking to date women, I asked her why she was doing this and I was told that I had no right to ask her “since I had walked out”.

        What can I say, this was over 3 months ago and it still hurts like hell. I was besotted with her, and though I know this was part of her BPD, to draw me in with one hand, and stab me with the other, it doesn’t make it easier. In fact in makes it harder, because the love I felt for her was real, sacrificial, unconditional. She felt nothing for me, I was just a plaything or distraction to her fevered ego. I know in my heart one day I’ll find true love, but this is a hard time. Thank you for sharing your stories, it’s helped me realised what a bad situation I have avoided.

        • June 17, 2017 at 5:49 am

          I have been punched, hit, smacked, spat upon, kicked, pushed, threatened, my children’s lives threatened, never to see them again, divorced, ” I have friends in SPEC OPS that can destroy you”…I WILL destroy you kids go with me, never see them again and all the rest that go along with it…for TEN-FU#*ING YEARS!

      • John
        November 27, 2015 at 6:16 am

        Pretty much describes my marriage. I supported her and loved her unconditionally. Financially, I supported her completely – even buying a business and car for her. In return, I was continually belittled, abused and blamed for EVERYTHING. I believed the abuse and tried to become a ‘better’ person for her while putting up with her vile abuse, non-existent personal hygiene (she has a habit of throwing her sanitary pads all over the house and leaving skid marks and urine stains all over the toilet and showering at best twice a week) and her constant lies. As a result I became a psychological mess and became estranged from my family. The final straw came when she came home late one night and when she put down her handbag and a picture of her and another man in a kissing booth fell out. When I confronted her with the picture, she smiled and told me she no longer loved me and she wanted a ‘real man’ and that I didn’t know how to make love or make her happy. The she walked off without any guilt and yelled “f**k you” at me.

        She is now out of the house but I am left with the humiliation, heartbreak and sadness of having spent six years putting up with such a vile and nasty woman. The only positive out of this relationship is our beautiful child. I am now working hard to rebuild my relationship with my family and reconnecting with the friends I lost contact with during this marriage.

      • Rob
        November 26, 2019 at 11:30 am

        Man this rings so true. On every level. It’s good to know that, at least, I’m not alone in this.

    • HarryUSA
      September 6, 2015 at 10:15 am

      My new doctor asked about my sex life and I said it was virtually non-existent and I had been dealing with that in my marriage for over a decade; he suggested I may have been dealing with it too well and suggested I see a therapist. I did, and within 3 sessions this man opened my eyes to several aspects of my wife’s behavior that quickly had me reading and watching everything I could about narcissism. Everything I read, including here, is a variation on the way my wife behaves so I’m not going to recount all of her selfish, blame-laden behavior. I will tell you that since therapy has made me write down all of the things that upset me in the relationship over the years, I am more immune to her abuse/ambivalence/inconsiderate behavior. What this has done is it has allowed me to show her that I can justify my recent ambivalence and be a bit self-righteous too, which has gotten her to treat me better as I believe she is only now believing I might actually leave. My psychologist also discusses the difference in the male and female brain and how men can move from deep abstractions in the left brain to the right brain reality very quickly and readily, and as a consequence normal men more readily have an “Inner objective observer” that lets us know when there isn’t fair-play in our relationship, while women’s ability in abstract thinking is more evenly disbursed in their brain and these are reasons men are usually much more emotional about marriage difficulties especially cheating and a sexless relationship than women are; as a consequence, women are much more difficult to treat for personality disorders because their behavior “permeates their being” and men can be “trained” by their wife’s behavior to change or put up with craziness. But don’t think our sessions are all about her, he has shown me how my early family life set me up to be attracted to her and that is crucial to understanding how to avoid new relationships like this in the future and in keeping my interaction with her as rational as possible. If you allow it, you do become a “doormat” to someone with NPD; you are an object of utility which feeds a certain purpose in their life and a good therapist can move you into an objective view of your relationship and therefore take much of the emotion out of your dealings with that person.

  2. Brian Boltmann
    October 29, 2009 at 8:13 am

    I have fallen very deeply in love with a woman that is (acording to your markers) is definately a bpd and ? . I am wondering, my question is…….is there ever a circumstance where you would say it was likely for the womans recovery ? any certain set of criteria tha woould be beneficial and almost ensure recovery to the point of being a viable spouse, life mate ? some degree of sanity and serenity ? I really don’t want to quit on her. I DO love her. What would be my best shot ? Thank you very much for your time and contribution, I for one, am very glad to have this option. Thank You, Brian

    • Mr. E
      October 29, 2009 at 3:42 pm

      My understanding is that folks with personality disorders don’t really RECOVER, so much as learn to behave a little better. And it takes years. This is assuming she’s willing to do a LOT of hard work and admit she has a problem. That’s pretty unlikely. She’d rather just pick YOU apart and feel better.

      Love is a powerful emotion, but do you REALLY want to spend the rest of your life being treated like dirt?

      • Glen Capra
        November 16, 2016 at 7:06 am

        Well put indeed…

    • Jeff
      October 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm

      Brian.. I am/was very in love with my wife.. We had it all the “So Call American Dream”.. But I couldn’t take it any longer she was 12 of the 13 signs here.. I tried everything and I did everything, but nothing worked.. After SIX LONG MISERABLE YEARS I only had ONE solution that worked…. RUNNNNNNNN as fast as you can.. You deserve better and you will find it… RUNNNNNNN!!!!!!!

    • Mike91163
      October 29, 2009 at 4:55 pm


      As Mr. E mentioned, BPDs do not “recover”; rather, such techniques as DBT, CBT, transference, and mentalization are aimed at helping the BPD to “reign in” their emotional outbursts; in other words, to put their behavior in a state of remission. BUT, just as with physical illnesses like cancer, they can (and do) sometimes re-emerge.

      Worse yet, consider this information:

      Very large and careful research studies have examined the course of borderline personality disorder. These studies have found that 88% of people with BPD achieve remission (e.g., no longer meet criteria for a BPD diagnosis) over ten years. In addition, about one-third of people with BPD achieve remission within two years! This means that only a very small subset of people with BPD (about 12%) continue to have the disorder for more than 10 years.

      (Zanarini MC, Frankenburg FR, Hennen J, Reich DB, Silk KR. “Prediction of the 10-Year Course of Borderline Personality Disorder.” American Journal of Psychiatry. 163:827-832, 2006.)

      Now, consider the statistics provided, and look at them from the opposite viewpoint…FIRST, the studies ASSUME that the BPD individual actually ADMITS to having a problem (next to impossible!), and then enters intensive therapy. So, in TWO years, fully 66% are still not “controlled”. And, 12% are not in remission after a full DECADE of therapy…

      Here’s my question for you, and only you can answer it: Are you willing to give up 2 years of your life for this woman, IF she happens to be in that “one-third” category? Worse yet, what if she’s one of the 12% folks? Are you willing to stick it out and lose a DECADE of your life for naught? AND, how about the fact that during this entire time, YOU will probably need therapy for yourself to cope?

      I see it this way: If you were to ask any of us guys here, we would most likely tell you that we also were deeply in love with our wives early on…but over time, the emotional, mental, and sometimes physical beat-downs destroy your entire being…and you will find that this destruction also affects your relationships with EVERYONE around you–your family, your friends (what few you may have left!), your co-workers, even casual acquaintances and complete strangers. People will begin to describe you as mean, sullen, withdrawn, sad, unhappy, “not yourself”…these are all the effects of living with a BPD/NPD for years.

      • Dino
        July 6, 2014 at 9:45 pm

        Hi Mike. If you read what I posted above as a sub supply, see the devastating effect on me and it’s hard to get over after 9 years of very close encounter interupted by about 2½ years of being left and I will SAY REALLY WITHOUT REASON, other than following some illusion of hers that she had tried to fit me into from the start, but which I used all my energy to deny, to the point of starting to believe everything was my fault, and willingly doing so just to please her.

        If we talk about 1/3 who will recover, this requires them to really be willing to take the treatment as you wrote yourself. I’d comment that my wife has after 9 years still not taken any responsibility upon her and never said sorry for all the sadistic things she did to me, including to try to jail me on false tesimonies, just to revenge for me refusing her after she had done bad things to me like breaking up without reason, which she often treathened with. I have lived in constant fear and with threats and feeling unloved, then succumbing to the titty like a baby and dreaming things would be fine.

        So in reality the results of recovery would depend really much on the woman being talked into having this illness. I can understand why especially one with this illusions and stubborn ego is reluctant to get a diagnose. As I have observed my wife it seems she creates those illusions and hate as a compensation for some lacks, partwise wrong subjective illusions made in childhood, in her case very much aided/caused by her mother who seems to be Histrionic or perhaps BPD/NPD, (her doctor also suggested she was sick, saying this to my wife though). Especially at the beginning of our marriage I tried to convince her to avoid contact with her mother too often, since it was every day and got her into a very stressed mood.

        In this case taking the characteristics of the BPD disease, leaving a boyfriend would be more likely I think, than to admit her own faults and some diagnose. As far as I know it is IMPOSSIBLE to get a BPD to accept some reaponsibility and my wife never apologised as said and never felt the slightest guilty or quickly found some arguments to eliminate such feelings, something she is extremely apt at. I never saw any with such skills of avoiding the truth.

      • A duck with kevlar.
        August 12, 2015 at 11:30 pm

        That’s a good way to look at it. When they’re cornered they’ll feed you bread crumbs to hold you at bay….. then easy back in to the frenzy. A bunch of, anxiety ridden, insecure, manipulative, unhappy weasels unable to cope with life begging for help and blaming the helpers for their failure when things don’t work out.

    • shrink4men
      October 29, 2009 at 5:44 pm

      What do you mean you “don’t want to quit on her?” Why is this woman’s well-being and happiness your job? Her happiness and well-being are her responsibility, not yours. Don’t let her put this on you. This is how many men get sucked in.

      What exactly are you getting out of this relationship? Perhaps she’s sweet on occasion, but so what? If she truly has all the markers as you say, do the occasional normal moments make up for the abuse and the hurt?

      You got along without this woman before you knew her and will do so again after parting ways. No one can make this decision, but you. My advice is to read through this site and familiarize yourself with the stories of men who doubled down and stayed in their relationship. If you still want to hang in there after reading everything on this site, I strongly encourage you to;

      1. Retain control over all of your finances.
      2. Do not marry this woman or start a family with her, no matter how much she tortures you on this. When you marry a woman like this you basically give her and the courts the ability to destroy you and it’s all legal.
      3. Get yourself one helluva support system and do not let this woman isolate you from your friends and family.
      4. Do not give her money, pay off her credit card debt, pay for new projectss or other fanciful ideas, etc.
      5. Maintain separate residences.

      You haven’t provided much information, but if you really suspect your gf has these issues, please, please do not take it lightly, do your research, educate yourself about the disorders and talk to men and women who have already gone through this kind of relationship before you make any binding commitment to your girlfriend.

      Believe it or not there are healthier fish in the sea.

      Dr Tara

      • Brian Gard
        January 4, 2010 at 8:42 am

        This is Brian Gard replying about Brian Boltman case. I just read the advice outlined by Tara and the five points she
        mentioned. The advice Brian is getting
        is sound and what is predicted for him
        and what happened to me 14 years ago
        is the same. I married her out of
        guilt and pressure and that was the
        beginning of the end of my relationship
        to her and the end of my finances, it
        was a nightmare. I too was extroverted,
        had confidence, and health and vigor,
        after 8 years I felt like I was going
        to die, three years after divorcing
        her I felt like I did before I meet
        her, I had friends, confidence, strength,
        lots of hope and dreams again. I
        started my life over, but at the end
        of the marriage it all seemed impossible.
        The best revenge is a life well lived
        it is said. In the end I mourned the
        loss of 8 years I had with her and eventually had to conclude that she
        did not love me and never had loved
        me and had no capacity for love. Again
        Brian Boltman is getting sound advice
        and would be wise to take heed and get
        her out of your life, she will be upset
        mostly about all the pain and misery
        she is inflicting on you coming to and
        end, not that she is going to really
        miss you at all. She and everything
        about her is all an illusion…..

        • Underdog
          December 8, 2011 at 9:35 am

          This is absolutely right on the money!! Could not agree more. What you miss is the illusion you built in your mind – and it hurts like hell to let it go….but it was never real in the first place.

          • bman
            June 28, 2013 at 1:16 pm

            The illusion is what kept me around for 21 years. It’s crazy, but I still love the woman that she was from over 15 years ago. It breaks my heart to think that she never really loved me, that it was all an act. I can see patterns in her behavior now. If someone has something that she wants, she will be very nice and flattering to them. Once she gets what she wants, she casts them aside.

        • Dino
          July 12, 2014 at 12:44 pm

          Could be me speaking here. I also noticed everything is about illusions/the ego which has been forced in this particular way by externals and the woman now believes that distorted and obsessed view is the truth and stubbornly insists on maintaining it by resisting new info and by acting out the rage springing from the past and as a way to compensate for some lacks that gives suffering. But the Ego is a false self caused by identifying oneself with the mind as E.TOlle says. Read him and combine with the Bible. That will work out wonders and miracles. You need inner peace to think clearly and overcome what is holding you guys back. This applies to everyone here no matter which grade or shape of disorder you are dealing with. I don’t like putting women into boxes but on the other hand that is what they have been doing to us so….at least this box is meant for a purpose and healing. But I understand the resistance to getting diagnosed because I believe we need to understand that those women underneath are just fragile humans who desperately attempt to keep their reality alive from fear of loosing it all and going back to where the pain originally was created. It is tough because we who love them are the objects of their fear/hate/control.

      • Sal O
        March 7, 2014 at 8:05 am

        I would like to speak to you about my relationship with my g.friend I’ve been dating for 7 years.

        • shrink4men
          March 12, 2014 at 1:57 am

          Hi Sal,

          If you would like to work with me, please email me at shrink4men@gmail.com.

          Kind Regards,
          Dr Tara

    • jham123
      October 29, 2009 at 5:55 pm

      Brain, I’m going to be direct with you…..out of compassion

      It’s not going to be different because it’s you…..you aren’t smarter than the rest of the men on this blog. You are just at the cusp whereas we are at the end……listen to what is being said to you ….we were all strong and extroverted “way back when”. That is what attracts these types to us.

      Then when all the doors are closed and it is just you and her…..She says “Don’t you think things would be better if you just [insert criticism of choice here]…..it starts as just a little suggestion.

      The words of criticism ring in my ears from 1992 era….they never go away and for a while I thought there was some validity to them.

      take heed.

      • Kev
        October 29, 2009 at 6:07 pm


        also add:

        “It’s rather selfish of you to always want to [insert interest of yours here]…”

        “Why must you always ______?”

        “Why are you always talking to [friend/co-worker/relative]? You’re sleeping with them, aren’t you?”

        “If you loved me, you’d ________”

        and so on, and so on.

        As jham123 says, we were all strong and extroverted “way back when.” Now a year out, I’m still trying to exorcise the demon that I internalized, and put my life back together. I can’t really say that continuous self-doubt mixed with ptsd, panic/anxiety attacks, and suicidal thoughts (based on practically no sense of self-worth, not based on “pining” for her) are worth the love I thought I was receiving from her, nor the sex that upon reflection simply wasn’t worth it.

        I think one of the reasons we feel we are “quitting on her” if we walk away is that we want to be compassionate, and caring. The problem is, by staying, it sucks all of your compassion dry, leaving none for you. We don’t want to be viewed as selfish, or as a jerk, or as a deadbeat, or as one of hundred other terms we are consistently labeled with in this society. We are taught that we’re supposed to PROVIDE.

        It’s b.s.

        I’m not sacrificing myself on that altar ever again.

        • shrink4men
          October 29, 2009 at 6:20 pm

          Hi Kev,

          Your last paragraph says it all. This kind of woman immediately sucks people in with a misplaced sense of obligation. You “owe” them.

          The reality is that you owe it to yourself not to allow yourself to be taken advantage of and abused. Women want you to believe that you’re an asshole if you don’t let them torture you and don’t make them the center of their universe.

          Normal people do not behave like this. This is not love. It’s control and abuse. Too many people are conditioned to believe the things Kev describes without ever once considering their validity.

          Think about this relationship with your intellect; not your feelings. These women confuse, control and destroy with distorted emotions. Don’t listen to your heart in this instance; listen to your head.

          • Jeff
            October 29, 2009 at 7:10 pm

            I would also like to say that I believe its common for us men (on this website) to feel bad when you walk away from this type of woman. I believe this comes from us being caregivers, wanting us to take attempt to protect them etc etc. Pretty much, the same things that attracted us to them in the first place. I even feel bad for leaving her, but I have realized that her problems and demons are not mine to deal with. I am finally learning to find myself again and love myself again… Its like these individuals totally, totally destroy who you are and everything you have ever believed in.. You second guess everything you have ever said and done.. Thats their goals.. Lucky us..

          • Dino
            July 6, 2014 at 10:04 pm

            I read about personality disorders for 8½ years out of 9 being with my exwife (still I feel pain from saying ex). It is horrific how the stories above and your last comment is exactly what I have observed while almost dying in the attempt to make her realize reality and JUST LOVE ME like I am instead of seeing me as some creation of her illusions and leaving me, or mistreating me or being cold, for no reason and not doing anything to GIVE LOVE. It is heartbreaking for me to be in such a relationship. I have needed someone taking a little care of me for all those years while I slowly/quickly got destructed and had to use all my resources to get up again, while being completely isolated and kind of addicted mentally to just think about her. Really unhealthy and I could not bring anything fresh into the relationship since I felt lonely without her and my son. Made me drink from stress and especially like a proper alcoholic in the periods of being left since I was heartbroken and in shock. I always had the best intentions, did everything I could, tried to open her eyes and often with saying what she did to me in an attempt to make her not believe I was always the guilty. SHe has been simply immune. COuld I also talk with you?

        • 20yearsin
          October 25, 2013 at 7:26 am

          Good view Kev,
          Maybe somewhere in our heads we know they are sick and as such we want to protect them, out of humanity, altruism and Love. I’m about to quit myself( or maybe to be quitted upon), because I am empty and they don’t care. You could die in a ditch on the side of the road under the sun in July they will not give YOU a drink of water. They are looking after the next victim before you even begin to think about it! Let the doctors and therapists express professional compassion and care for them because that is not your job, and it is NOT reciprocal. your job in the relationship is to be a victim. So you have to decide right now: “DO I feel lucky”? I repeat: it is not reciprocal. it is not Love, it is being used. Hard to believe that some people can be like that. it’s like greed, the scrooge, it’s abominable. Well, with them crazies, it’s the scrooge times 20. They don’t want just your money, they want your friends, your family, your career, your reputation, you criminal history making you look bad, your submission( think Hitler), your health and your soul. they live a vicarious life through you and the only thing they give is sorrow( not fully, but the crumbs you’ll get are just there to keep you in the game).
          Run, run, run. There is honor in that action. If you don’t everybody will look at you saying why didn’t you run?. you must be “codependent”. Being codependent is really being screwed and keep on getting screwed, knowingly, yet hoping for better. You got to decide where you will stop, and it can go pretty far. I believe it can actually go to you kill yourself ( which would justify them as you must be weak to do that). Blood offers are welcome.
          NO Brian, they are sick in the head and you are powerless to help them. “maybe” a therapist can if they are willing to change, and with the big ego that doesn’t want to change, well, change is difficult at best.

          • Dino
            August 22, 2014 at 3:46 pm

            Very eloquently described in all its horrifying truth.It’s sick but true. My ex wife has been a terrible but clear example of that and it lead to me drinking from saddness and be close to dying several times because I just lived as a traumaticed person holding the facade and pretending to be happy and appreciate the crumbs that were actually just my own illusions and unfulfilled hopes.

    • Ted
      April 12, 2014 at 10:39 pm

      Brother RUN and never look back.. Believe me!!! You will cry for the rest of your life if you think you are the one who can help her… I spent 15yrs in such a marriage only to walk out on everything I had with her … and 3 kids… because i could not take it anymore, I was turning into a monster… Run Bro .. its not worth it.

    • 26 years of misery
      October 24, 2014 at 7:28 pm

      I had 26 years, 3 children with my now ex wife. You cannot help someone who thinks that their way of thinking is the only way. MISERY is the best way to put it!!! She will not get better. And getting a divorce from one that has this disorder is A LIVING HELL!

      • Glen Capra
        November 16, 2016 at 7:15 am

        26 years?! Bravo. I did 22. Leaving nearly killed me but it was the best thing I ever did.

    • montysalmon45612
      May 7, 2016 at 6:19 am

      I’ve spent 7 years with my BPD partner and the first 6months was good and since then my life has been hell. I honestly believe people with BPD or NPD CANNOT RECOVER. Why? Because a key part of these disorders is the need to blame someone else for their behavior! Their entire lives are melodramas and you’ll never get to know who they really are and of course neither will they. Also you will never establish a deep and loving relationship with them because to love someone requires making yourself vulnerable and that is something they always oppose. My advice is NEVER get involved with a BPD or NPD if you’re looking for a deep and meaningful relationship – they’re just not capable of it!

  3. October 28, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    8) Say What?

    “Her accusations run the gamut from infidelity to cruelty to being un-supportive (even when you’re the one paying all the bills) to repressing her and holding her back. It’s usually bull, which leaves you feeling defensive and misunderstood.”

    While all the red flags listed are on point and valid. Number 8 gave me confirmation as to what I did in fact experience with my ex NPD/BPD for 17 years. I only wish I could describe what this will do to a person albeit male or female over a long period of time. What I can say is how it destroyed me from the inside out. Being successful in most of my personal endeavors but time after time losing in this area (relationship) with my ex. So please allow me to say if you are indeed involve with anyone that does number 8 to you please get out asap. If you both have children together then it (in my opinion) is even more important to get out so that you can heal and help your children understand this persona and allow them time to grow and come to their own decision in how they will relate to Mom. Remember if she is doing this to you she will also do it to your child.

    • TheGirlInside2018
      November 26, 2019 at 4:56 pm

      Yes, Yes, Yes on all points! When you stay in an abusive relationship “for the children,” what you are doing is TEACHING them that (1) being abused is okay and (2) abusing others is okay. They will suffer for it.

  4. JR
    October 28, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    I would also like to make it perfectly clear, I am not looking to the internet to give me the green light to divorce my wife. I’m simply looking for experiences and insight to help me make a very big, well thought out, drastic change in my life.

    • Taras
      November 9, 2009 at 4:17 pm

      If there is anyone giving you the green light to divorce your wife, it’s your wife. I’ve been married to a woman who was worse than narcissistic, and when I realized the situation was going to end badly no matter what I did, I divorced her. This is a decision not to be made lightly, but I would start getting my ducks in a row now. For what it’s worth, you’re not alone in your situation and good luck to you.


    • August 21, 2010 at 2:46 am

      JR ~ Just my 2 cents worth: You are the one asking, “Is it me?” That’s a sign right there, that it’s probably not (entirely). Just like when old adage that if you question whether you might be crazy, you’re probably not.

      In an emotionally healthy relationship, each person can and should only accept 50% of the responsibility for either it’s success (not necessarily based solely on number of years together) or demise.
      In an abusive one, the scales tip heavily to the abuser’s side, as while they are doing everything they can (knowingly or not) to destroy the relationship, while taking none (or very little / feigned) responsibility for working on it / fixing it.

      In my experience, the more I exposed my vulnerability to my AXH, the worse he got. If I said, “I’d like you to stop doing ____” he would make damn good and sure to do that. If I said, “I would like you to do ________ more,” He would make damn good an sure to NOT do it. I eventually just stopped opening up to him altogether (who wouldn’t?)

      You can’t have a rational conversation with someone who will not or can not be rational. Therefore, emotional intimacy is impossible.

  5. JR
    October 28, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    Oh yes, she has mentioned many times that our problems are because of my depression and drinking and that I need to see a doc. So I say, what is it about my drinking that is causing so many problems(knowing that when I quit nothing changed). Because I don’t drink around her or my daughter. As soon as I ask this, you can see the voltage draw as she fires up the database search engine. There was that one time, and then there was that other time. It is not, “every night your passed out on the couch” It is five things that happened in the last 5 years. Yes, I admit, drinking fixes nothing and that is my weakness.
    This morning, I reluctantly read to her the 13 signs of narcissism and as I was reading she was yelling back, I know, I know, I know I have all the signs. But she followed it up with “I told a friend that you think I’m a narcissist and she laughed” And then the conversation spiraled into a mess. And I told her, that the article would say your friends would laugh, and it would cause more problems to read the signs to a narcissist, which they did. But I am no doctor and I have misdiagnosed many things in the past, that the vet or the family doctor corrected right away. So, does this matter belong in the hands of a therapist, and I’m pretty sure the answer is yes. Or just save your money and execute a clean exit strategy. Because I haven’t read an article yet that suggests sticking it out with a narcissist. And if I haven’t mentioned it, it turns my stomach that there is a sweet little girl caught up in this ridiculous tragedy. Which makes me all the more bitter to her mother.

    • shrink4men
      October 29, 2009 at 5:29 pm


      JR, if you’re seriously contemplating divorce YOU NEED TO GET YOUR GAME ON.

      When you make the gravest of sins and actually leave one of these women, they turn into feral animals who will use anything and everything they can against you, which means you have to be beyond reproach.

      If you can easily stop drinking, do it. Find a healthier coping mechanism. Your wife will surely use this against you if she decides to battle you on custody. It doesn’t matter if you don’t drink around her or your daughter. You mustn’t give this woman any more ammunition against you then she already has.

      Furthermore, you need to be as clear-headed as possible throughout the divorce process. Make no mistake; if you’re wife truly has NPD, you’re in for a battle. They don’t compromise. They’re not amicable. They seek to punish and destroy. They don’t care about collateral damage and they’ll bring the house down on themselves in order to hurt you.

      As for getting her diagnosed by a mental health professional—sure, that’d be great, but it’s unlikely to happen. Most therapists are unwilling to officially diagnose personality disorders while many more are easily duped by these skilled natural actors and actresses.

      Ultimately, you’re the one who’s lived with her and been exposed to her hurtful behaviors, so who knows what she’s like better than you?

      As for your daughter, you need to stop feeling sorry for yourself, quit succumbing to feelings of learned helpless and impotent rage and get it together for her. She is most certainly being damaged by your wife’s behavior. She deserves at least one strong and healthy parent and that’s YOU.

      There’s another man on this site who tried to make it work for years. This last summer his NPD/BPD wife made a parasuicidal gesture and their 18-year old daughter found her and the suicide note (blaming the husband/father, of course). The young woman was profoundly scared and scarred by what happened and father and daughter finally had a talk about “mum” in which the daughter admitted to knowing something was very wrong with her mother. And what happened to the selfish woman who exposed her family to this manipulative empty gesture? Her family sent her off to Australia all expenses paid for a month while her husband, daughter and son were left to deal with the aftermath. Do you want something like this to happen to your daughter?

      There’s a time for commiseration and then there’s a time to take action and do something. I don’t mean to cause offense. Consider this my version of “tough love.”

      Kind Regards,
      Dr Tara

  6. jham123
    October 28, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    JR :
    So I did a bunch of reading on Narcissism and the more I read the more confused I get. I am thinking, if she is oblivious to her behavior, could it be that it is really me that is oblivious to my behavior and she is the real victim and I’m the real problem. She has many symptoms but isn’t a perfect match. Does her behavior and our problems belong on this forum? Talk to me guys. so far, this has been very therapeutic, and has me already planning an exit strategy. However, the expensive lawyer part is a very very very hard cliff to jump off of.

    Yes, The are very crafty about convincing you that it is all your fault. That is the “talent” that these women possess. The only thing you have yet to mention is the next step in the series……which is how they try to convince you to seek counseling for “Your” anger issues. Or to get into Couples counseling so that her and some therapist can beat up on you…..Look it up…..it’s on page 78 paragraph 2 of the NPD playbook (ok that is sarcasm).

    This confusion is because you do something that proves it is not you YOU (unlike her) are willing to listen to another persons criticism and give it some thought and consideration……The BPD will NEVER consider that they may have a problem. If you point it out to them they will deny any and all Culpability and never admit that they have a single issue…….

    ……this is the “X” factor that you are overlooking.

    • jham123
      October 28, 2009 at 6:08 pm

      And allow me to add one more question…..Has she spent a single minute trying to research what could be wrong in your relationship like you have?? Has she read anything about BPD?? Most likely no……and you know why?? Because “it is all your fault” No need to go any further in her mind. One that is able to consider all things possible (normal people) look for info to fix the situation. She has no interest in anything other than control of you.

  7. JR
    October 28, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    So the other night I let her have it. I told her she was a great woman to the rest of the world but not to me. I told her that I don’t want to be married to, love on, spend time with etc etc the mean version of my wife, but I would happily do that for the version the rest of the world gets.. Yes she is classic, if someone of perceived power is in the room, she is the nicest, happiest person in the world. When she is around me , I get “you want me to respect you but your not a man, if you would just be a man, maybe you would get some respect” I say, what is your definition of a man. She spews out this list of things that amount to money, money and more money, used for her benefit. I work at Intel R&D headquarters on a compressed work week, so I put in many hours when I work, but I get lots of days off. Apparently, if I was a man I would get a second job or go to school on my days off. She didn’t like it when I asked her if she would like it if I told her that I might be able to love her is she would suck it up and get a second job or go to night school.
    So now I’ve laid it out there in the wide open and tell her change, or I’m gone. She clams up for a couple days and all of the sudden she tells me she is done trying. She will be sleeping in our guest room and is officially shutting me out. She wants time to concentrate on herself and since she can’t have everything her way, that I am solely in charge of everything.

    Ok now, these things I have shared with you are just examples from one week. I laughed the other day when a song came on the radio. I remember buying the first album Staid released, 10 years ago. I came home, parked in the driveway and polished off a six pack and listened to the CD, all the while thinking about how much I hate my wife. Five years before that, I remember walking down Cocoa beach seeking advice from my dad on how to deal with the wife.

    So I did a bunch of reading on Narcissism and the more I read the more confused I get. I am thinking, if she is oblivious to her behavior, could it be that it is really me that is oblivious to my behavior and she is the real victim and I’m the real problem. She has many symptoms but isn’t a perfect match. Does her behavior and our problems belong on this forum? Talk to me guys. so far, this has been very therapeutic, and has me already planning an exit strategy. However, the expensive lawyer part is a very very very hard cliff to jump off of.

    • snoopy
      November 7, 2011 at 8:53 pm

      OMG. You married MY wife. I mean this is her to a “t”. Is she chinese and named christine? Power plus money, that’s what she was all about. Plus, you sound like me, wondering if I was the problem and woefully self unaware. Nah, just by asking that question, tends to show your concern for others and your self awareness.

      • hope
        December 28, 2011 at 2:03 pm

        Crikey….. all this is my wife and my life:-( my wife is every single one of those 13 examples, every single one! (tonight she even admitted it) I admit I am too weak to leave, she manipulated me with suicide if I left her and sent her back to china, now we are married over 3 years and have a beautiful 2 year old girl,(who my wife uses against me in every argument when me leaving her has been mentioned…the you will never see her again trick, she will go to china and take our daughter and disappear trick and also the scary violent threats(these ones do scare me because I believe in one of her psycho moments she is cable of anything) my wife is from china, power and money, power and money, power and money. Money is the most important thing in this world she openly admits, I believe love is. although i know she wouldn’t part with our daughter for any imaginary large amount of cash). But she craves power, at home its all about her and her million and 1 rules that she can justify, bossing me, criticizing me, her constant tone and anger, negativity etc everything from each of those 13 steps so I wont go into details as I am sure you all know what I am talking about. I never come home angry, never start on her for anything, i let her do what she wants when she wants how she wants, but she still finds many ways to attack me, I am becoming numb, emotionless to her, I don’t care about her problems anymore, I don’t care about what happened in her day anymore, I don’t like being this way but I think this may be a coping mechanism. In order to raise an angel(my daughter) I have to be married to the devil(wife). she won’t leave me, I’ve begged, I’m to weak to walk away from her, for fear of what she may do. I do love her, but I know I cant be happy living with her. I don’t know how to leave, I know this is the only way for me to have any chance of living a happier life. sorry for going on and on. I wish you all the best..

        • amit
          August 25, 2014 at 8:40 am

          Hi! Read your post & agree to all posts made by my brothers & sisters above.Have been married to my (narcissist) wife for the last 8 years.she qualifies 12 out of the 13 traits mentioned above & am happy(sic) to know that I am not alone in this world. our marriage was simple affair but good if not grand, was working for a multinational company in sales for the last 20 years. Things got off smoothly for a year or so & then suddenly my nightmare started & getting worse day by day.I had to quit my job telling people I need a break & would like to do something of my own & nearly after 7 years still hoping to start something.Am staying with my old parents & quietly and unashamedly bearing my wife’s torture till they are there for me.Have done all possible things to satisfy her ego,even selling off my old house & settling down in a place of her choice which is a posh town and doing everything to make her happy but of no avail.She blames me, shouts at me & my parents on top of her voice always in a fit of rage,compares me with all the successful people around & talks about only money,money & more money which she thinks I do not have & regrets of marrying me she wants me to spend lavishly on whatever she likes either it is in malls,restaurants,showrooms etc & wants me by her side everyday frequenting these places & leave my parents alone all by themselves.She is the most beautiful woman in this world having the best manners,having done nothing wrong in her life, being the most truthful loving and caring person & if she shouts or screams or gets in a fit of rage it is because of me.She swears that she loves me & cannot live without me but humilates me in the same breath.I am an Indian living in Dehradun, a town close to New Delhi,India. My love & regards to all.Thank you for allowing me to express my feelings.

    • Underdog
      December 8, 2011 at 9:10 am

      Wow – I can’t tell you how familiar this sounds!!!! It is a slow insidious process. Your/my significant other has an isatiable need that we will never be able to fulfill – more status, more things, feeling entitiled to a certain lifestyle – and belittling you/me for not providing it. OMG! I can only imagine the conversations that left you feeling bewildered, anxious, and confused…because I have had many of them. The price you pay for those conversations is your identity and self esteem – far too high a tarif for what you are getting in return.

      I bought my GF a very special diamond ring. Spent months researching it and using a good friend to get a very special and unique stone. Rare in that it was a ” Hearts and Arrows” stone and they are very hard to find. It was all I could scrape together – in fact more than I could afford. She never wore it, It was only 1 carat – when we had one of our fights she told me that she was pissed because she took it to a jewelry store to sell it and they quoted a price that she felt was low – it may not have been the ring of her dreams but it was everything I had…how often does someone offer everything they have…Good God and somehow it was my fault she could not get more money for it!!! Somehow I was less of a man for not being able to give her a bigger diamond!!??

      The sad thing is – I started to believe her……

      Run don’t walk

      • jbc8808
        July 9, 2014 at 12:57 am

        She always wanted the bigger diamond, the nicer home, she loved trashing the house and my clothes. My secret life was to blame. Police visits to the home were used to manipulate me. Comments like “you think you’re so so good now with your new job”. From the moment you are married it is suspicion and distrust. And it all creates resentment and hatred in you. And after a few years you hate everything about her and you become that person she says you always were. The last straw was when she kicked me out at a rest stop when I told her I was going to visit my mother and I was left begging the locals for a ride back to a major city. No apologies of course. My sister gave me the best advice. Grow some – you know what- and get a divorce. I did.

        • Dino
          July 10, 2014 at 7:48 pm

          I tried exactly the same, except for the money thing, though that might have been some hidden discontent as well. SHe usually complained about being a victim in anything and with such negativity and lack of supporting or loving me made it hard to get motivated since love ought to be the underlying sure thing right. You also don’t tell your kids: “I will only love you if you do this or that very well every time I need it” right? Love ought to be unconditional, except when someone like a BPD/NPD/Sociopath makes your life so difficult and hopeless, wasting all your energy on basic issues that you are not able to express your love properly, but neither hate the other. You are just emptied of energy and emotionally destroyed. Such constant environment that my ex wife made me live in, and I promise I never was even the slightest hypochondriac, could be phrased in one sentence I used: “Please do not torture and mistreat me, I don’t ask anything other than that”. “I am not controling and I never asked you to do anything but you decided you wanted to do that and I do other things so would you rather like to do them and I do yours?” etc. etc. THis was my humble try to make her stop abusing me, but she never stopped. It never crossed her mind I actually was suffering like hell and in pain and as a man simply just would not allow myself to cry in front of her. SO what the F*** does it take. I have done overearthly things to cure her and I think that one needs to be at an enlightened state in the proximity of that of Jesus in order to avoid just slapping a woman like that and say go to hell bi****. One truely starts to feel like a crazy after some years or even months depending on the amount of self esteem one had when meeting the messed up woman. I managed to keep it up for 9 years and it sort of became my main occupation. SHe has totally screwed me up and I did everything to remain calm though I was always the only one to do an effort to keep together the family since she would NEVER take responsibility, never listen to my guidance and advice, since I was paying the price always.

          I actually managed to make her try improve after a lot of fights. I improved my drinking when she got pregnant, and stopped escaping to bars when I felt hurt by threats and break ups, coldness and being mean. I did not go to bars to drink or smoke but to escape and since we had moved some times and she controlled my life I had no more friends, also since I had been depleted of self esteem, always desperately fighting to make her understand me and just get one drop of the feeling of being loved by her which she had shown me intensively during the first months. It has been the most terrible feelings, feeling often abandoned, including left physically when she suddenly dissapeared for months without a trace and for no reason really, other than the hatery she had build up inside of her and being tired of me trying to communicate in order to have peace instead of war hate and evil backstabbing and using others under here POLICE, social services including the hospital if having a red mark from me holding her hands to protect me when she attacked me like a crazy, neighbours and family to turn them against me in order to give her some sort of satisfaction.

          I noticed how she often seemed to feel pleasure when she saw me down, drinking for days and then just enjoying her life and leaving me heartbroken and without any gram of dignity, but just hopelessly trying to escape from that hell and wait for her to have mercy on me again so I could sudden get back to normal and alwasy feeling as if I had been traumaticed. Mostly of course I felt traumaticed from suddenly being left for months and desperately trying to write her messages which she never answered or simply deleted. I felt it very hard to reestablish my trust in her and had serious doubts about her loyalty sexual and I have seen episodes even with my best friends where she used all her charm and flirted in a very sexual way and this just hurt like crazy. She was very jealous herself and did it to revenge as she thought in her mind. Freaked out on my job just because I talked with a woman from some course and then she attacked me when I came home. She also checked my emails and suddenly attacked me because a religious friend had written that he liked me and I am not gay :-). SHe could attack me when speaking with a friend on the phone and this is one of the reasons I started to isolate myself within months after having started to live with her, including fear of her taking revenge on me if I met friends or got a hobby, by suddenly feeling she could flirt with men or go to the gym and meet other men and be friends with them. SInce in the country where she came from in the south of Europe they drink in a different way then she could say: “Its better you go with another woman than drink, I’d prefer that”. DOes that mean she would do that. I got so confused over her strange ways of reasoning, unfolding a complete bizarre view on relationships and living as a couple. SHe meant she should live alone even if having children, just like her mother. I really have tried to open her eyes but she has this stubbornness springing from the twisted EGO as shaped in her childhood and by her single mother who I believe to have the Histrionic Personality disorder. Txs and GOodnight pheew

          • sfahr@shaw.ca
            July 10, 2014 at 8:17 pm

            I can relate with so many stories on here, it gives me comfort but does nothing to change my current circumstance. When I met my ex five years ago, I owned my own home, had plenty of friends, travelled and was always busy socially. When we first met she was falling all over me, giving me compliments, being playful, sexually exciting and often, just an all around head over heels love experience. We got married within a year, her insistence, and I sold my home to buy our fixer upper in the best neighborhood in town. It was close to the best beach and schools. We had our first child, within sixteen months and from that point on things went downhill. She flatly told me I was a useless husband and Father to his children. I don’t drink, do drugs, nor abusive in any way. In fact I was transforming our fixer upper into a beautiful cozy home by completely renovating the inside and out. I put her new attitude up to being a new mom and tried to move on with my new family. We had a second child within twelve months and things got worse. She treated me horribly, constantly putting me down and criticizing my job and friends. Their was a campaign going on behind my back because her family suddenly started treating me like I was mentally ill. Blaming me for any problems we had in the marriage. Here’s one expample of how crazy things became. I was away at a business meeting across the country for a week. We were planning on going to Mexico with the kids the day after we got back. When I got home she accused me of not doing anything to get ready for our trip? I was at work across the country? This didn’t matter to her at all. Our sex life became non existent to the point where it would happen once every six months if I was lucky. God forbid if I inquired about it, for then I would be accused of being aggressive. The lack of interest, ignoring went on for a year. I am a tall attractive man with a full head of hair and I work out in our pool regularly. Do you think she would ever say a nice thing or reassure me of love. Never! Then a woman notices me and sends me an email. My ex finds the email and immediately asks for a divorce. She threw away everything for an email from a woman that just said I think you’re pretty wonderful. I lost everything, the wife, the kids, the house, the future, the everything. Within six months she was on the internet looking for a man and now she in a relationship. All within a year. My four year old is very confused, well, no more than me. I pay her half my income now and she smirks in my face whenever she can sense I am in pain. I truly believe she likes to see me in pain, gives her power and pleasure. I am a mess. I find it hard to work. Find it hard to accept the fallout. My son tells me the other day, Mommy’s boyfriend took me into the deep end of the pool. This kills me to think another man has now stepped into my life, so easily and so quickly. I just want to make it through till the divorce is final. That way she would not benefit from my demise, if that were to occur. If it happened before we were divorced she would stand to get about $3000 a month from my pension. This is not acceptable.
            Sent wirelessly from my BlackBerry device on the Bell network.
            Envoyé sans fil par mon terminal mobile BlackBerry sur le réseau de Bell.

            • jbc8808
              July 10, 2014 at 10:34 pm

              I got kids too and I’m just starting this whole divorce process. Yeah it won’t be easy but what she did to you I imagine she’ll do exactly the same to that guy and he won’t last either. Eventually the kids will see us as the more stable, rational parent. And anything is better than living in rage. Especially in front of them.

            • Dino
              August 14, 2014 at 3:55 pm

              Hi sfahr@shaw.ca. It seems our exwifes have a high degree of sociopathy/Narcisism/(borderline) because they seem to act in sadistic ways. Definately no emphathy or compassion. Seem to be con-women, charlatans, with a superficial idea about love which means some sexual attraction until the point you KNOW too much about them. THeir egos don’t like to be discovered. THey want to be worshipped but are not capable of loving. THis is what I got from 9 years in hell. My only happiness, and I AM EXTREMELY EASY TO PLEASE AND MAKE HAPPY, I REQUIRE SO LITTLE, was my illusion and need to imagine things were ok, to appreciate my family and every day like a miracle. SOmething which is impossible to hem because it depends only on how much attention they get: Their false sense of happiness and accomplishment. I feel fooled though I am smart as hell. REally smart. But love for me is the most imoprotant in life, not superficial illusions of superiority. She stole my boy away from me for the sexcond time. THis time for good. So I feel with you. Its a sick heartbreaking story and I live with this pain every day. I still see him once in a while but fear the final meeting with the authorities. SHe is well prepared unlike me. I have actually given up. Become passive. She managed to persuay any instance of authority and the kindergarten to hate me and write complaints to the community and now the state is dealing with it. I got humiliated in every way though I just sought to take care of my son and to be with him. SHe got me looking like the guilty mental, alcoholic irresponsible man and father and sat there coldhearted and fired at me, with a bunch of papers on the table waiting to show some not so lucky sms or email I sent from pain from loosing my family and wanting her to open her eyes. I had nothing with me. I don’t have that way of thinking. HOwever some months ago a counselor and expert in family issues and personality disorders, offered to give me her free evaluation of my case to help me have a chance in hell of maintaining my role as a parent, which I already have legally. I feel used, chewed on then spit out. Terrible feeling as a father who loves his child/children and is disempowered and bestolen of his God given right and happiness and dignity as a father.

              • TheGirlInside2018
                November 26, 2019 at 5:17 pm

                Please, don’t EVER give up on your child(ren)! If all you can do is write letters that don’t get sent, then write letters that don’t get sent. There is a chance that they will never give you a chance, but if you continue to approach them in love and express interest in their lives, try to think ahead, to when they are in their 20s or 30s, and maybe have gained some insight or are sick of being an abused ADULT child, and have had an awakening. Think of them reading through all your attempts at communicating with them, and how you have prepared for an eventual reunion, and what a great relief that will be.
                Of course, it is a risk. But what’s life without risk? Keep seeking them, even if it hurts you. I know this has to be heart-shattering, as my SO just said to me, “I feel like I’ve already lost them” (his older children). Never give up.

    • george
      June 19, 2012 at 10:26 pm

      How did it turn out?

    • bman
      June 28, 2013 at 2:58 am

      When I said to my wife that I would like to spend more time with her she replied, “money is what matters.”
      My wife also lightens up a room and is all smiles and fun. When she is alone with me she just criticizes me, unless she wants something or knows that I have a bonus coming.
      She uses people. I don’t know if others can see through her game or not. I think once they figure it out she is off shaking down a new victim.
      Our marriage is reaching its end. Self-medicating with alcohol, work, and spending quality time with the kids kept me going all of these (21) years.
      I have since quit drinking and realize I should have quit it years ago. I probably would have had the sense to leave earlier.

    • bifff
      July 12, 2015 at 12:40 pm

      Lawyer up…trust me…there is no reason in their mind, that is why the law exists.

    • montysalmon45612
      May 7, 2016 at 6:35 am

      Yes – my partner to a T also. All she’s interested in is money and status. An the point you made about being charming to people other than you is what BPD’s do. You only really discover their true colors when you don’t meet their needs for money or status then look out!

      They value all people by money and status and are very scathing about lesser mortals which to a BPD is everyone – at least from time to time because one minute they think someone is great and then that same person is great to hate!

      I have tried for the past 7 years to come to terms with her crazy behavior consoling myself by thinking well she has a mental illness and can’t help it but eventually it gets too much for you and you start to hate her like you’ve never hated anyone before. I should have known better when she told me her first husband committed suicide and her second became an alcoholic. By her own admission she had furious arguments with both of thembut of course thy were mentally unstable – at least according to her. Of course the more plausible explanation is she drove them in desperation to their fates!

  8. jham123
    October 28, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    JR :
    A). She keeps me on constant edge with thoughts that if I just lost a little weight and did a little more around the house she would be attracted to me. I am good looking and one of the more fit guys in the gym. I do dishes, laundry, spend quality time with our daughter, volunteer at school, fix the car, house etc, bring home the bacon, cook her fancy candle light dinners, run marathons, do what ever she asks when she asks

    B). and don’t want to fix our marriage.

    C). I would be so happy if she came home and told me she met someone and she was moving out.

    D). My daughter is having trouble at school because of what mom has demonstrated/taught her.

    Amazing….it’s like a broken record that just keeps playing the same thing over and over again, yet it is not….It is men from all over the Free world experiencing the same issues and feeling exactly the same way yet never meeting each other.

    A). It is never enough is it?? You do all these things to better yourself for her yet the bar is always just a bit higher once you get to a level huh?

    B). You just get to that point and there is no return.

    C). That is my plan now…..just wait for her to find “new shiny object” and move on. No, I don’t want to deal with the wrath if I leave….

    D). Funny ain’t it?? Stay at home mom…you’d think my kids would be doing great…no….I have to tutor them to get them above a “C” level in grades while my Stay at home wife does….????

  9. Jeff
    October 28, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    Wow.. It sounds like we are twin brothers.. I am 36 years old and I also did everything you stated that you do for wife (house work, cook dinner, etc etc). I also bought a house and purchased nice things for our home.. We got two dogs (that we treat like our children),I thought I had the perfect life.. I was denial with the reality though.. Reality was that my soon to be x-wife has several traits of bpd. She would curse me, control me and become extremely jealous.. If one of my male friends texted me, I would have to read the message to her and my response. If someone called me she would ask me who it was, what the conversation about etc. etc. While I was working she would call and see where are you, who are you with and how long you been there.. I can go on further but I’m sure you have the idea. She has severe trust issues with me.. By the way I have never done anything to make her feel that way about me. I told myself and told her at times, “If it wasn’t for the house or dogs, I would leave and divorce you”. Her response was, “leave then, now”. My life became so miserable that at one point I had to look at myself in the mirror and ask myself, “This is your life NOW and if you stay with her this will be you life forever. Can you live like this the rest of your life? Do you have any self respect left in you as a man to leave and start over?” At that moment I decided that this was it I need to leave.. I found me a new place to live, packed up my little belongings and left. It has been 3 1/2 months since I have done this. I’m not going to lie and say that it’s not hard, ITS VERY HARD, but I know that the pain I feel now will past, but if I would’ve stayed it would’ve have been the REST of my life. I wish you the best of luck buddy and the only I would say you should do is what Dr. Tara said and to read this website CONSTANTLY. Tha is what I have been doing and it really has made me realize that I did not have a choice.. Good luck

  10. JR
    October 28, 2009 at 5:04 am

    Married for going on 18 years. My wife has many of the symptoms listed. I have just realized through the reactions of many of my friends that I’m a great big push-over. Recently a friend observed a situation where my wife reacted to an unfavorable parent teacher conference with “I want a different husband” in front of my daughter, friend and his wife. I told her there are lots of them out there, just pick a rich one. My friend in reaction to what my wife said, said to me, “what a horrible thing to say” and I thought, yes your right, and I am so accustomed to it that I let it go. This is just one of thousands examples of her behavior towards me. The outside world will tell you what a great woman she is, and I agree, she is a great woman on many levels. However, the way she treats me is a different story. I am at the end of my rope. I have dealt with this for many years with exercise and alcohol. I am now having anxiety attacks every time she exercises her narcissism. She keeps me on constant edge with thoughts that if I just lost a little weight and did a little more around the house she would be attracted to me. I am good looking and one of the more fit guys in the gym. I do dishes, laundry, spend quality time with our daughter, volunteer at school, fix the car, house etc, bring home the bacon, cook her fancy candle light dinners, run marathons, do what ever she asks when she asks (except stop drinking, but i did do that 2X and the only difference was that she couldn’t blame the problems on me drinking.) Now, I am very troubled with the fact that for me to get away from her, I have to loose everything that I have built and start all over. So I’m wondering if there is any hope. Should I just stay with her and bury my head in a bottle until I have a heart attack at 45 (I’m 37). Or bite the bullet, get a divorce and start over. I’m very depressed and hopeless right now, and don’t want to fix our marriage. I have dreadful feelings towards her. None I want to repeat here due to legal ramifications. I wouldn’t ever do them, but I can’t deny the thoughts cross my mind. I would be so happy if she came home and told me she met someone and she was moving out. My daughter is having trouble at school because of what mom has demonstrated/taught her. Please help me find clarity in this situation. And if I left out too much symptons/details. I will gladly fill you in.

    • shrink4men
      October 28, 2009 at 2:42 pm

      Hi JR,

      If the options are “bury your head in a bottle until you have a heart attack” or get a divorce, start over and have a chance at happiness, I’d choose the latter if I were you.

      Pay attention to how you describe your choices. I don’t think there’s much of a choice to make. Resigning yourself to this woman and drinking yourself to death is an example of learned helplessness. You’re not helpless. You have options, they may not be easy and you’ll probably make some waves, but you have options. If things are as miserable with your wife as you describe, what’s stopping you from finding the best attorney you can find and getting out?

      Yes, you will take a financial hit (these women are bloodsuckers) and she will no doubt make it difficult for your daughter to see you. On the other hand, do you want your daughter to see you as you are now? Suffering, abused, terribly unhappy and wishing for an early death? If you go the divorce route, make sure you prepare as if you were about to invade the beaches of Normandy. Get copies of all your financial records, start recording the abusive things your wife says and does, write down as many past episodes as you can think of and then prepare some more.

      Kind Regards,
      Dr Tara

    • Doug
      March 1, 2010 at 9:18 pm

      Hey JR
      Firstly you should attempt to steer her into treatment.
      Before leaving my marriage of 22 years, I made an unsuccessful attempt to steer my now ex into an anger management diagnosis. She just got really angry at me for saying that and accused me of being the problem….. so I left.
      She went thru 5 different lawyers during the divorce. We had a chance to settle early on terms more favorable to her than what she got in the end. Of course she refused because she “enjoyed” the fighting. During the divorce proceedings she attempted suicide and her viper lawyer convinced the illiterate judge later it was my fault for leaving her. She received alimony based on how “bad” I was.
      After 22 years receiving mental abuse, I was punished for trying to preserve my dignity.
      If your wife gets angry at you for trying to help her, run, walk, paddle as fast as you can. I have a normal, calm, respectful and empathetic life now. So can you if your wife won’t accept she has an anger management problem.
      PS…My ex is still pummelling our daughter with hurtful insults when she has the opportunity.
      PPS…in the meantime, before you leave just don’t feed the fight. My ex got so angry she foamed in the corners of her mouth while I was on the receiving end. The next day she couldn’t even remember what she had been angry about.

    • todds
      August 1, 2011 at 7:41 am

      JR – you just told my story (2.5 years ago) – I am presently in this exact situation and would prefer to save my liver – thanks

      • todds
        August 1, 2011 at 7:54 am

        In a related story she had a weird episode and announced in couples therapy she was getting herself assessed for BPD etc – apparently she has been checking out my postings and became aware her erratic behavior could relfect badly on her in a custody case – so best to get a “clean mental assessment” (and its gonna cost you)
        Strange I have yet to hear the results of the assessment and this was > 2 months ago!

    • Scott
      March 21, 2012 at 10:20 am

      JR I have experieinced much of the same thing. Yes I drink to numb the pain. But because of this fact my wife is convinced that all the problems stem from my drinking. Hence in order to “save the marriage” I started to attend AA meetings which of course did not work. But in AA you are told that everything is your fault anyway – or better said that you are “diseased” – so that has just fed the cycle of my confusion. So my wife joins Al-Anon and that only further convices her that I am “diseased”. This has all led to her continual denial of any responsibility. I am so damn frustrated over this. We have two kids that she just cannot handle so leaving them is not in the cards.

      • fletch00
        March 23, 2012 at 8:07 am

        Scott – you have just (re)told my BPD story – this is the ultimate crazy making – let us help eachother

        • Frank Bustoz
          December 13, 2012 at 3:36 am

          I am in the exact same boat as you two…scott and fletch00….except mine is worse…we are now separated…with a 2yr old and she is withholding him…using the courts to screw me out of my one and only son!! I haven’t seen him in 5 months!!!!

      • RJ
        October 25, 2012 at 6:21 pm

        scott- I drink to numb the pain. My situation is a little different though. I just turned 50. My wife is 52. When I first met her 6 yrs ago she was married and I had a girlfriend. We met at an American Legion. My girlfriend was good looking but the downfall was she drank too much and became violent. My wife on the other had was gorgeous to me and represented herself with all kinds of class (a mask I later find out). One night they were having a ‘newly wed’ game to raise money for charity. My girlfriend and I participated and so did my future wife and her husband. My gf and I did very well in score but they didn’t. I find out later that is when my future wife noticed me for the first time (she told me this later). I also found out from a mutual friend just recently that 3 years ago she told a mutual friend that she knew my gf was on her way out and when that happened that I was going to be all hers. I knew bach then that she wasn’t in a good marriage (her BPD). So I break up with the gf and a month later my future wife files for divorce and throws her x out of the house (my wife makes a very good living and can pay her own way easily. I make apprx. 20g less than she does due to pay cuts etc.) Next thing I know 3 years ago she starts coming in and sitting next to me. We’d chat etc. She would come in more often then.. we then started emailing, etc. Next thing you know we are dating 3 months later. A year later we marry. What a mistake. i was so taken by this woman I overlooked every the cruel talk, the constant infidelity. We tried counseling. All I got out of that is that she has cheated on every person she has been with. She has 4 kids from 3 different guys. Cheated on one of her husbands with his cousin. Cheated on me more times than I can count with her last x and who knows who else. Yes I drink. Last December she demanded an upgrade on her wedding ring.. I had to charge it and with that and other charges for trips etc. maxed my card. She splits the bills with me and her money is her money.. I pay for all extras because that is the expectation. She has moved out on my 6,7 times in the 3 years. We end up back together because I wasn’t aware of BPD/NPD. I am now thanks to this site. I wish I would have known 3 yrs ago what I was up against. 1 month into dating she told me that people from her work had rented a mansion in Mexico and were going for a week. She wanted me to go but I hadn’t planned for it and told her I couldn’t. That was my first ultimatum. Either go, or we are through.. I wish I knew. She finally backed of when I talked to her about being unreasonable.. i thought it was just a quirk, not a disease. That was the first of many, many ultimatums. A new ring or she isn’t going to wear one, if I don’t do this she is moving out, etc. She hired movers and moved out weeks ago (I didn’t know anything until I got home from work.) All her stuff is gone, all the bills are with me… she blocked me from calling her cell and won’t answer my calls at her work or emails. She vanished. I know I need to deal with it. But I am hugely dug into the ‘denial’ stage right now…

  11. NoSeRider
    October 10, 2009 at 11:43 am

    I have a habit of doubting myself and playing devil’s advocate, that’s probably why I get taken advantage of. But, here’s some videos that seem amusing, in a juxtapoz kinda way, if you view both of them…..not necessarily at the same time.

    First video talks about how guys feel manipulated, and second video talks about how to manipulate guys to see how they feel. I’m just wondering if this is real life convoluted thinking?

    • jham123
      October 11, 2009 at 4:03 pm

      That is a crack up, they use the same video!!!

    • Kev
      October 11, 2009 at 4:34 pm

      thanks for this. you totally made my morning.

      • shrink4men
        October 11, 2009 at 5:49 pm

        I like the role reversal between the two videos. It’s like going through the looking glass. Although, it’s interesting to see how the Psycho-gf views her behaviors as normal in the second video.

    • Dino
      July 16, 2014 at 5:19 pm

      Brilliant.This is exactly what it is all about, no matter what the second video intends to convey. THe problem is the NPD/BPD/APD is controling and uses fantasies about being a victim, as an argument to mistreat her man. This is spot on. It is impossible to communicate with a woman like that and get emotional relief. SHe keeps on going with hate and fantasies and victim roles while she is abusing you in the most evil ways, completely blind to any responsibility or to your sufferance, hurt and despair. Everything gets interpret according to her fixed and sickly stubborn views. Nothing can touch her views or even make her reconsider. SHe completely lacks to be introspective. LAcks compassion, lacks the ability to love and accept the other and look for the good things which are all over the place. If she has set her mind on hatery she will never defer from that course but DESTROY YOU. My exwife according to most counselours I have been talking to, says she is overly Antisocial/dyssocial/Sociopathic/Psycopathic. But again as far as some told there are similarities with Borderline such as the inability to feel remorse, empathy, guilt, responsibility. It is like a defect of the brain or perhaps rather a learnt defect rather than physical. More like a habitual obsessed way of thinking. Correct me if I am wrong Dr. Tara.

  12. dc
    October 9, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    How about the trap? or as i like to call it the spiders web. They will act like they care and are all nice with a statement like ‘i was just thinking of you” (but depends on what they were thinking) and then it slowly trickles down to your an asshole for XYZ . I noticed this during the process of the break up I am going through. She would send me a message something as simplitsic as like ” hey” . then it would turn into “I hate my life.” Then it would turn into ‘ I can never trust you again this is all your fault.” WTF??? ok ..bye bye DC

    • Kev
      October 9, 2009 at 11:46 pm

      The breakup process seems to accelerate the craziness. I noticed something similar as my own foray into this territory was coming to an end last year around this time.

      Don’t let it get to you. You know you’re mere steps away from freedom, from fresh air, from liberation.

      That’s not to say things will be instantly better for you. You’ve got a long road ahead, and there will be setbacks. But with time, and distance, you’ll see just how crazy it all was, and how lucky you were to get out, and how proud of yourself you should be for finally saying “ENOUGH” and leaving.

      Good luck…


    • edgar
      October 14, 2009 at 2:44 pm

      Reminds me of the time,after a two month break, my ex npd bpd texted me R U Over me. I was doing ok but missed her a bit. I thought hey, she needs/wants me…so i texted-no not really. She fired back…I didn’t think so. What a whacko! Just trying to yank my chain. And yes, I was off on another cycle of abuse which culminated in another one of her rage episodes, and me sitting on the curb with that WTF look on my face. Holy CRAP!

    • Kris
      March 16, 2010 at 2:07 am

      Hi dc. My gf is exactly the same way. I am in the midst of breaking up w her and she does the same thing to me. At the end of the conversation or text as she does, you don’t know your ass from a whole in the wall. Like a tornado just entered the room. Ugh. and I am a woman by the way.

  13. John
    August 15, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    Dr. T

    I see a lot of the above in the relationship with my wife. As I’ve been going through the divorce process I’ve been talking to a relative (Aunt) who has a masters in clinical psychology. Pretty much only about things my soon-to-be-ex would do to me, as well as strategies to deal with her in the short term, and some parenting advice for our two daughters. She has said several times “sounds like S_____ is a narcissist.”

    Not only was I censoring my thoughts and feelings, I’ve been censoring my facial expressions, tone of voice, mannerisms, and the like. I’ve essentially had to behave like a “non-defense provoking, emotionless corporate personality type” at home just to keep the peace. That just ain’t easy to do! If I were an obnoxious, rude, foul-mouthed, abusive jackass – sure some censoring would be appropriate. I’ve been in a situation where I can’t show even non-verbally that I don’t approve or like something she has been doing, without catching some repercussion – usually sulking, pouting, withdrawal of affection, and the occaisional tongue lashing. It has been hell – but she is out of the house, and life is getting better, despite going through the divorce process.

    My Aunt (the therapist) told me that when S____ was berating or making comments about my tone of voice/facial expressions/or the like, to hold out my hand, arm-straight, look her in the eye briefly, and walk away – essentially saying “stop, I’m not going to take this bs off you.” Well I did that. She started to talk to me about something, I was obviously in a defensive posture, and out come the words “well thats a defensive stance, look, blah blah blah.” Out comes my arm, look her in the eye and walk away. What does she do? She follows me in the bathroom still trying to engage and talk to me. Later that night she was upstairs crying. I didn’t fall for it that time, or any time since. No more rushing upstairs with the apologies, etc. . . . .

    Yes, I felt ridiculous to a certain extent, like I was some little effeminate twirp.
    But hey, the trick worked and S____ left me alone. She also seemed to grasp real quick that I wasn’t going to put up with her bs anymore. She was out of the house within two weeks and down at her mothers.

  14. Scott H.
    August 7, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    Thanks for your information. I am almost finished with my divorce from my BPD/NPD wife.
    Every time I go to your website it makes me breakdown and wonder to myself how I did it all of these years.
    Married for 15 years. I consider myself one of the toughest humans on the planet. I always convinced myself, to just get through the night. I did this night after night, year after year. The stories I could tell about her behavior would have everybody shaking their heads.
    Everyone on the outside thought we were the greatest family ever. I never complained, except to my therapists, who I went to see because everything was “my fault”. I ended up seeing three of them over the years, and each one said the same thing “get out” I never listened until now.
    Thanks for the website, it is unbelievable!! Everything on here is absolutely right on.

    • shrink4men
      August 10, 2009 at 5:22 pm

      Hi Scott,

      You’re welcome. I’m sorry to read you went through 15! years of it. You are incredibly strong. You’d have to be to stay in a relationship like that and not lose your mind completely. But just because you’re “strong” and “can take it” doesn’t mean you should. If you’re strong enough to endure the abuses of this kind of woman, you’re also strong enough to get out of the relationship.

      My best wishes to you on moving forward.

      Kind Regards,
      Dr Tara

    • Goodman
      June 23, 2011 at 3:44 pm

      !5 years is where I am at. I agree with al l13 and I am confused. 3 kids. Want a divorce. Too scared to do it. Need help.

    • Liveyourlife
      September 19, 2011 at 4:11 am

      I am getting a divorce right now. Lawyers meet this week. I have been with her since 1998 and for 2 years before that. What is written in this blog is exactly what I’ve experienced. I have 2 kids and she is using them against me and trying to brainwash them into saying that our divorce is my fault. It sucks. If I don’t leave I will go crazy or have a heart attack from the stress. Scott H., I have lived near exactly what youre describing here. I’m so sorry. The crazy thing is, I questioned my own sanity, fell into deep depression, and physical apathy. I fear it will take me some time to overcome what she;s put me through, but I’m getting better slowly. Good luck buddy?

      • Liz
        September 20, 2011 at 2:24 pm

        My friend is getting a divorce. His wife is a total narcissist. He has moved out because he was losing his mind. I helped that day 8mo ago, and he face looked like a man about to have a mental breakdown. 1 lovey child involved (19mo). He says if he didnt have a child he would have divorced her long ago. But since there it a childs involved it is more difficult. He is still hoping she will change. I don’t know how or what to say that will make him believe that she will never change. Any ideas?

        • Irishgirl
          September 20, 2011 at 5:39 pm

          Give him the link to this site so that he can read about it himself.

        • ron
          May 29, 2015 at 3:47 am

          Who got the child?

  15. Jillian
    June 13, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    Can I add a 14th one? Probably both BPD/NPD:

    He convinces himself that you’re up to no good and may have you followed, record your phone calls, search your computer, and question friends, family or your children about your activities. When he can’t find any “evidence” he won’t believe you’re innocent because that would make him wrong. His invasion of your privacy will never end in search of proof to support his “truth.”

    • Tanyali
      October 26, 2009 at 6:26 pm

      I’m in with this addition. Except they don’t see it as an invasion, in fact, they don’t believe you should have privacy so it can’t be an invasion. If you assert that everyone should have some privacy, that there should be bounderies they consider it proof that you’ve done something you shouldn’t and the assault on your privacy increases.

    • jham123
      October 26, 2009 at 7:18 pm

      how ’bout I offer another reality, maybe the fact that a woman has grown so cold and distant could be that she has found another. That would be with a normal couple, I understand that a BPD woman could be just using “Withdrawing” as a form of control, however, from the other half’s point of view it is interpreted as having another lover.

      What else would explain how a woman with such a vibrant and passionate love life all the sudden growing cold as fish be explained….that is unless you’ve stumbled across this website……

    • Dave
      December 31, 2010 at 5:27 pm

      How about this. Your wife reads your email, opens your letter mail and pretty much keeps tabs on your every move, limits your access to money and questions me at every chance. Accusing me of cheating when I’m 15 minutes late home from work or taking an hour to grocery shop. She starts acting a little weird, like never leaving her cell phone out of reach, going out every day for many hours, rushing to her computer as soon as we get in, etc, etc. I don’t do any of that to her but I put a key-logger on the computer to see what she’s up to, but then she finds out about and freaks claiming she feels betrayed. I explain why I did it and why I was suspicious but I’m still put in the dog house permanently. That was over 3 years ago and she still brings it up.

      • gord
        January 12, 2011 at 8:53 pm

        Dave, I was in EXACTLY the same situation. It turns out she was cheating, just like I thought. Keep your eyes open.

      • Josh
        July 10, 2011 at 1:31 am


        She is definitely cheating on you. I’ve cheated on a couple girlfriends in my life and it always made me suspicious of them. I had similar behavior as your wife in those situations. Prove it and then leave her. She’ll respect you more if you have the balls to tell her to get lost.

      • Dino
        July 17, 2014 at 10:20 am

        Isn’t there some telephone software to track the whereabouts of the other. I think I heard about that in Italy maybe because everybody cheats there. GOod market.

  16. Alex
    June 6, 2009 at 11:42 am

    I once met a woman at a cafe who had on many previous occasions seemed to have her eye on me. She was a bit overweight, and she was also in her early 30s, and it showed. Well, she seemed not to be the sort of gal I’d be into either physically or, from what I could see, mentally. After about a week or two she finally baited me into a brief conversation with her in which she asked me some personal information, and the discussion became rather strange. She then began to assert (project) a rather dismissive attitude all of a sudden (as a compensation for her perceiving me to not desire her?), and somewhat curtly said “see you later” in an out of turn way. It was sort of Narscissistic in her being manipulative for attention and yet improper in her behavior so as to seem to be dismissive of what she herself sought. I was at the counter and not at her table, so I remained where I stood and began conversing with the barista who I knew, and sort of neutralized her attack, but still, an attack it was, and a very underhanded sort of one. Not that she had anything going for her in doing so. She was not attractive in body or personality, and she was doing her hobby in public: what could be more unladylike? Still, it was her intention that caught me off guard, and it is a dangerous intention, and one which could coexist with very desirable qualities. You have to be a little careful with whom you get close too, and that’s with anyone, man or woman.

  17. fromCOtoAZ
    May 8, 2009 at 5:06 am

    Do these people ever have moments of absolute clarity? moments of personal revelation, a moment where the lightbulb flicks on and they actually realize all that they have put someone thru? and if so, how does this affect them? i would think that it would be so hard on someone if they actually realized all the destruction that they caused. maybe, in that regard, is that why they still keep playing the victim because it’s too hard to take responsibility for that much damage. and, perhaps, even harder to try to make amends for that destruction. kinda like an addict who has that moment of clarity, the moment of rock bottom, where they look around and see that their life is in shambles, but rather than climb their way back out and try to fix that which is broken, they’re so overcome by the realization of that destruction that they just stay in, feeling helpless and hopeless.

    • Anonymous fashion lover
      December 10, 2009 at 4:36 am


      I have been doing some research on this subject. I am a woman who has been abusing my husband for two years, I have had this moment of clarity you have wondered about in this post…and haven’t mentioned it to my husband yet, but I am beginning to sort myself out. I don’t want to put him through these awful things anymore. I am so insecure and constantly at odds with myself. I have been horrible, truly horrible. This led him to almost having an affair…which led to the cycle of abuse beginning all over again. After getting all of this help online I have checkpointed my traits against checklists and my god, I am everything beign described. I would hate to be with the old me.
      This week I began a whole new journey, inner peace and contentment. I hope I can keep it up, for every bad thought that creeps into my head I now turn to these sights in a bid to wake myself up before things spiral out of control.
      Thank you so much for everyone and their comments.
      You have a reader for life now!
      Take care

      • Steve Hawking
        April 9, 2010 at 8:14 pm

        Anonymous fashion lover – I have a female friend who I suspect has NPD. I’d love to talk with you to see how you’re doing, and learn how you came to the conclusion that you were an abuser. I just signed up at the forum here as kick_the_cactus – still waiting approval – If you’re still here, I’d love to hear from you.

  18. Andrew
    March 29, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    It would be so awesome if I could show this to my BPD NPD “girlfriend”… but of course, it would be a “no-win” situation that would probably dig me in deeper; probably best to keep it to myself and utilize it appropriately without getting caught, lol.

    • shrink4men
      March 30, 2009 at 3:03 pm

      Hi Andrew,

      The only advice I have regarding relationships with NPDs/BPDs is to get out and stay out. End all contact. Figure out what attracts you to abusive women and then break the pattern.

      Dr T

      • Vitaly
        August 18, 2009 at 3:24 am

        But what will be with taht person (girlfriend) who have NPD and BPD. As i understood evrybody will be breaking and NPD/BPD person will be living all life in cycle of breaking up! I need real advice how fix that, cause i don’t want to leave my GF on a side of the road, even if my relationship will be over, how can i help to change that so she wont be doing that to others and another relationship will be working out with her. I just dont want to leave the person alone with her problem, cause she needs help. I will sacrifice myself or whatever it needs just to help her so she can be normal and live happy.

        And if somebody know free(dont have lot of money) hotline where i can call and talk about this so they can give me advise what to do and where to go, cause it should be some therapy or something. Cause she is a good person, I belive in that, i dont want to see her destroying her life, cause it’s realy destructive for her also.

        • CK in Philly
          December 8, 2009 at 1:24 pm

          Hey, buddy. I had to respond because I feel your pain. I think that all my wife wants in life is a husband, a house, and a family. She has all three now, but she’s crazy and she has really had a big hand in destroying our marriage and me as a person. But I still feel guilty taking that all away from her. Because I think it’s genuinely what she wants. She just doesn’t know how to hold on to it and nurture it.

          You have to live life for you, man. While it’s noble, you can’t sacrifice yourself for somebody else in the HOPE that they change. The chances are slim, man… and you’ll just be a miserable human being.

          Take care, brother.

          • Hiding
            June 26, 2013 at 7:44 pm

            I give both of you gentlemen credit because i am at the point that my feelings are numb. I wish no ill will towards my wife but my focus is on my son not on her. My wife suffors from this because she chose too, if and when I leave this relationship I will not look back, period.

        • Dave
          March 4, 2010 at 7:27 pm

          I’ve been there and done that for all of my Marriage. 5 Years later and with her having more affairs than I can count on all of my fingers, it’s still my fault, and I’m to blame for it. I’ve received no domestic support at home, she won’t work or get a job after we had a child who’s now old enough to attend day care and is.

          Over time this person will slowly start showing you that they have no concept of what boundaries are. And as soon as you start acting like a sane person they will make you feel guilty for hurting them.

          I’ve been hit, punched, had drinking glasses thrown at me, and ended up going to Domestic Violence classes because I was upset, snapped and broke my own phone.

          After that the stigma created was used as ammo to make me feel like I was a crazy abuser. She began telling everyone she knew about all her problems and painted me to be really bad.

          They aren’t sociopaths, it isn’t like she goes to her little evil psycho lab and makes these plans, but these issues are maladaptive coping mechanisms that turn someone’s psyche into an endless twist of dark,scary and winding halls.

          If you walk down there long enough you start to turn into the thing you are trying to help. You can’t help her, SHE has to help her. She has to get brutally honest with herself and face her demons. The stink of it is, if she’s like my wife, self-awareness is not her strong point, rather defensiveness, and blaming all her actions on everything else around her is.

        • gio
          June 29, 2011 at 4:48 pm

          Just stay away. I tried to do the samething with my ex-girfriend. Big mistake I tried everything but it didn’t work. Just walk away otherwise you are going to feel miserable with her.

      • A7
        May 17, 2011 at 1:13 pm

        How do you stay out? And especially how do you recognize NPDs/BPDs early enough before getting emotionally attached ?

      • frank
        October 3, 2011 at 2:02 am

        Yes but Dr T….Whats Happens as in my scenario, she is my wife and we have a child who is 11 months old, and I stand to lose my only son, who means the world to me….I have her agreeing to counseling, but she has all the character traits listed here…and says the counseling is for me to change or “fix it”…not about her….oh boy……

        • danno
          October 3, 2011 at 2:25 pm

          I hate to be the bearer of bad news, Frank, but be prepared to lose your only son. It happened to me, too. I endured eight years of “marital bliss” (i.e., psychological torture and physical attacks) before I passed my limit and initiated divorce. I tried to retain custody of my son, on the grounds that my wife physically and verbally abused him. At first I was winning, but then my wife took my son to the psychologist of the Catholic school that she insisted that he go to. I am not Catholic, and I was teaching my son to think independently and skeptically, so they didn’t want me to have custody of him. In his conversations with the psychologist, my son revealed that I had spoken with him honestly about sex and death. I also warned him about sexual abusers, and I told him never to be alone with a Catholic priest. That was unacceptable and deemed to be damaging to my son. My wife’s abuse of him was not even mentioned in the report. The judges were aware of it from other court documents, but I guess child abuse is okay if it’s perpetrated by a woman. The family court judges accepted this psychologist’s opinion and gave custody to my wife. Police invaded my home to remove my son and his belongings, and my wife moved with him to a faraway city. In the last three months, she permitted me to speak with him on the phone once, on his birthday. That is the only contact I’ve had with him. Maybe she’ll let me talk to him on Christmas, too. I hope so.

          • Joe
            October 12, 2011 at 1:24 am

            I am divorced too with a 3 year old daughter. I’m the non custodial parent ( surprise surprise ). I’m so sorry brother, I can’t imagine how this must be for you. No BS, I actually teared up a little bc I hear these stories all too often. Keep fighting. You have a right to see your child. This has to stop. The courts are way too biased. I thought they weren’t even allowed to move a certain distance.

          • Dino
            July 17, 2014 at 10:49 am

            Exactly, she likely thinks she is a saint to even allow you to speak with him on his birthday. THe hippocrazy is endless. GOod luck, though you wrote 3 years ago. Hope things got better or that you have more contact with your daughter. I myself am in the same situation. AM going to have another talk with the authorities about my allowance to be with my son. I was on probation (tested) for 3 months to see if I were able to be with my son. Can you believe this. THe system reinforces the psycopatic controling mentality of those women. That’s sick. We are like slaves in the society, being castrated by all those sick feminists with a rage and vengeange, (vengeance for what?????). For having been born???

      • Matt
        June 23, 2012 at 6:19 pm

        What do you do when you try to convince them to split up and they blackmail, i.e I will create a domestic violence situation and then blame it one you, try to stop you from seeing your child, physically hurt you etc?

        • shrink4men
          June 24, 2012 at 3:58 pm

          You capture her making the threats on your phone or a concealed digital recorder and you take it to the police, then you leave and block her from all contact.

  19. shrink4men
    February 7, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    Hiya Bryce,

    Sometimes it’s difficult to tease out exactly what’s going on, diagnostically speaking. The cluster B disorders lie on a continuum. Depending upon the individual’s level of functioning and emotional age, sometimes the BPD behaviors are more dominant than the NPD behaviors.

    However, people with BPD tend to present as more fragile and vulnerable than people with NPD. It’s a little easier to feel more sympathetic toward a person with BPD because they’re just swimming in so much internal chaos, until inevitably that chaos spills over and bites you on the backside. NPDs rarely show vulnerability, unless they want something or are trying to control you, but it always comes back to bite you in the end.

    Thanks for reading and commenting. I’m always happy to hear from you.

    Dr T

    • Dino
      July 17, 2014 at 10:58 am

      Hi Dr. Tara, saw your site recently and it was like stumbling upon gold since thats the niche I needed to not feel guilty about everything though I have become rather brainwashed from 9 years close encounter. One question: Is the sociopath part implicit in the NPD or BPD or is that an added disorder? SOmeone told me BPD has similar traits with SOciopathy in the way those don’t take responsibility neither sense empathy or compassion. But isn’t it rather NPD, the unprincipled charlatan type which is more similar to sociopathy or has that as an implicit trait?

  20. Bryce
    February 7, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    Borderline? Check

    Narcissist? Check

    Psychopath? Maybe

    She was very scary

    • helloquestion
      September 28, 2009 at 11:49 pm

      is it possible some of these characteristics described in this blog could be from the loss of trust due to an incident of infedility? The fear of being hurt again? Or the possiblity that the man is like this too? I feel that I have and know lots of women that behave this way but usually its after something to the effect of the other person cheating or lying etc.

      You have written a lot about how to point out these traits etc. But what if your the woman and you act like this but you want to stop and you know that its not a good habit. Is there away to deal with anxiety? What if you dont want to control you want to be relaxed and let your man be himself. Can you give advice for this?

      I have read alot of your blogs and you do have points but not every woman who has these problems wants to be this way and they truly do love their boyfriend/husband. Can you help the woman that feel this way?

      • jham123
        September 29, 2009 at 5:34 am

        lemme ask, you are the way you are as a woman (and an abuser) because He did something to you first??

        Exhibit A:

        • Alex
          July 7, 2011 at 1:24 pm

          I think you ignored her post. It’s not about her feeling justified in acting the way she does. Rather, it’s about her acting the way she does because she thinks that her partners motivations are similar to hers. In other words, she’s talking about herself, not her partner.

          • Johnny
            December 18, 2011 at 10:09 am

            And I think you are ignoring the apparent fact that everyone chooses to act or behave in certain ways. Text book abusive reaction to begin mentally/emotionally abusing because “someone forced them into the behavior by their behavior”.

            She is justifying the behavior by saying that someone caused mistrust and insecurities. Mistrust and insecurity can very well be caused, but the reactive behavior to the mistrust and insecurity is not something that has been forced. If you are with someone you cannot trust it does not constitute abusive behavior and tactics.

            I fully understand what you are saying because I have been there myself, extremely so. The solution is not found by using abusive tactics in turn.

            • Thatcher
              May 13, 2012 at 9:01 am

              Johnny is so correct. Abusive people always justify their behavior because of something someone else did.

        • KarH
          May 1, 2012 at 2:20 pm

          I dont think Narcissistic borderline personality just comes over night….it is a constant complete way of life. I dont think their is a starting point that anyone can just pick out bc of of a certain problem that came up in their lives. It you are a person with this disease and you are aware of it…freaking change it. Trying to change it will also become a good habit.
          Also if you have this problem, you will notice you lose friends, family..nobody wants to be around a person like this…they are
          totally impossible to communicate with bc they lie and are always always right in their own minds. They are inappropriate all of the time, they lie to make themeselves look greater than they were in their past or even present. Keep your distance from a person like this…..they can do more harm mentally than any other disease I have ever seen bc they can be so mean and ugly and not even care one bit bc they had a “reason” to act
          so badly.

          • Thatcher
            May 13, 2012 at 9:04 am

            These folks are incapable of introspection. They don’t examine themselves. They don’t look at themselves. They don’t acknowledge anything about themselves… the requisite for change. They are fine. It’s your fault.

      • shrink4men
        September 30, 2009 at 12:10 am

        Hi helloquestion,

        If a husband/boyfriend screws up once, does that make it okay to torture him for the rest of his life? Do you equate love with controlling someone? If you can’t trust your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend, whether it’s for good reason (i.e., you’ve caught him or her red-handed) or because you have some vague obsessive suspicion, and find yourself lashing out at him or her, ask yourself why you’re in the relationship.

        If you don’t trust your partner, end the relationship. It’s not okay to abuse someone even if he or she has violated your trust. If you or anyone else can’t control your behaviors—e.g., “you act like this but want to stop”—find a therapist and prepare to do some honest, hard and painful work. You deal with anxiety by facing your fears and dealing with them; not by taking it out on someone else.

        Kind Regards,
        Dr Tara

      • Mike91163
        October 6, 2009 at 11:20 pm

        Helloquestion (and Dr. T):

        Dr. T’s quote: “If a husband/boyfriend screws up once, does that make it okay to torture him for the rest of his life?” is DEAD on the money…and from my standpoint, the “screw up” has NOTHING to do with fidelity.

        The term “walking on eggshells” (or landmines, as the good Doctor more properly describes) applies 24/7/365, REGARDLESS of the perceived transgression, no matter how miniscule it might be. Example? I was taken to task and excoriated by my wife because I spent $40 on a kitchen drainboard, simply because it was $10 more than the one SHE would have bought. True story…

        Because BPD/NPD women have such “splitting” issues, and lack any kind of perspective, us husbands/BFs have resorted to saying nothing…which, to these women, is just as bad, if not worse, than telling a big fat lie.

        “Loss of trust…” yeah, that’s a good one…I’ve heard that many times. But, the problem is, I could tell one little meaningless fib to avoid a massive eruption over something impossibly minor, then spend the next 6 months “rebuilding” (snort) said “trust”, and then if I don’t tell her something about an unrelated issue, BOOM!–6 months of “good behavior” go right out the window…again, simply because they have no sense of perspective.

        Now, lather, rinse, and repeat this over a long period of time (in my case, 20yrs), and you can see why us guys tend to “clam up” and say very little…

        You also say “and they truly do love their boyfriend/husband.” I honestly believe that my wife loves me. HOWEVER, as Dr. Tara said, “Do you equate love with controlling someone?” If so, that is NOT a relationship based on love; rather, it’s a “master / subordinate” transactional relationship, much like you and your boss at work. And, I did not get married to become someone’s slave, particularly when there’s ZERO reciprocity in ANY format.

        It’s reassuring to hear you ask for advice; but, keep in mind that many BPD/NPD women simply cannot acknowledge that THEY have a problem. This aspect is why, as Dr. T addresses in her “Couples Counseling” blog post, counseling does NOT work.

        • WiButterfly
          February 8, 2012 at 9:06 pm

          First, thank you Doc for this blog!! Mike..i feel for you! my boyfriends exwife is exactly who the doctor is describing. i watch him go through exactly as she said and what you have said. its so scarey to read because it hits so close to home!! they are in the middle of a nasty divorce. i have witnessed and read many cinversations and email and text messages.his ex is a mix of bpd/npd and a sociopath. i fear for him. she is manipulating the whole system. EVERYTHING Ive read is so fitting for her. it is so sad to watch. They have 3 kids going through this divorce and she does the same things to them.i feel theyre being VERY mentally and emotionally abused. and mom is so blind to it. so. Awe have bpd/npd/sociopath and shes parental alienating him. i have told my boyfriend about everything ive been reading . And I hope he can get her some help. I have a few questions regarding this… first I call it the tail between the puppies hind legs syndrome(before I read anything about this) but she gets him like this. I also say “in her bubble” and I have to pop the bubble and bring him back to reality. She knocks him down so badly. He does “swallow that lump” . She has manipulated us to the point of putting our dog to sleep because she is brainwashing the kids. How can I help my boyfriend stay out of her bubble? I do not see myself being the kind of person we speak of but how can I be sure that I’m not manipulating his thoughts while I’m helping him. I just point out what I see from outside looking in. His parents have thanked me for helping him be him again. I have seen a big change in him. I love him so much and I know he is sensitive and his mind is mush and so obviously at risk of manipulating…I do not want to harm him anymore than he is. How do I talk to him without changing his thoughts on anything? Ya know..at one point I could tell he was not over her..he had that moment when he wanted to try to work things out with her…so I stepped aside and let him try. She totally knocked him down once again. She was doing the charming thing..let him think things could be ok to get him where she wanted him. To get him to sign divorce papers to what she wanted. During this time tho he had told her he was sorry for demanding the things he had been asking for(his childhood memorabelia his business computer and 50% custody) and that he did so because his girlfriend(me) and his lawyer told hih to do so. I don’t know.. help!! Feedback please?

        • August 27, 2012 at 10:31 pm

          I think you just described my mom except her victims were her mom and myself. Probably because I act quite a bit like my grandmother and my mom resented this. She’s passed away and I still have echos of family members telling me oh let it go, she was your mom and you should love her regardless…. right… just like one should love a dog who bites for no reason because it’s just a dog… She never acted crazy to anyone else until she was too sick to tell who she was abusing and now some family members who have heard the entire story keep asking me why I didn’t go to them… well lets see… every time I brought it up one of you ‘tattled’ to her and caused a BIGGER problem than had I just kept quiet. That might be why.

          • sksm
            September 2, 2012 at 5:21 am

            jedigertert, I am so sorry for what you went through – people who have not lived with someone with bpd can hardly imagine the pain, the fright, the suffering caused to family members. My daughter suffers from this. She is estranged from all the family – even her 5 children. I have gone to NAMI meetings for the last few yrs and have learned so much about mental illness. For the sake of my grandchildren, I hope and pray they will be freed from the chains of bitterness someday by being able to forgive. But the only way for that to happen would be for them to understand the brain is an organ subject to disease like the kidney or heart, etc. except this disease is much more complex and affects everyone around horribly. Her father was also like this, so pretty much my whole adult life I have dealt with it. I pray you will find peace- you have suffered enough.

            • September 3, 2012 at 4:54 pm

              Thank you, I hope they do too. I took a 2 year sabbatical of not speaking to my mom to sort myself out and regain my own identity separate from the person she kept trying to stomp me into (a mirror of herself only will-less and lifeless as my life should revolve around er needs and desires while I denied any of my own). In a lot of ways, it’s very much like dealing with an alcoholic in the family, perhaps Alanon might be the answer for them?

              • sksm
                September 3, 2012 at 6:53 pm

                Perhaps your suggestion would be the right thing for them. Of course finding some way to get them to go would be difficult, but I believe nothing is impossible with God. So I pray for them and others affected by people suffering from this disease. I pray for those living personally with these mental illnesses too. I think your recognition of what your Mother tried to do to you is a huge step in recovery. You can and will have a great life of your own. Plus you have a gift of understanding to share with others dealing with mental illness in their families. I will look into Alanon and appreciate your suggestion very much. (bye the way, your word ‘stomp’ really rang a bell with me – I understand)

        • Hiding
          June 26, 2013 at 7:37 pm

          I am dealing with this ATM. I could list a boat load of examples of how i get into trouble all of the time when i had done nothing wrong, for instance wanting to help my parents repaint their house, after helping them for a measly few hours i was in trouble for being a moma’s boy and for caring more about them then i do her. How she came to this conclusion is beyond me since i have remodeled 90% of our house in the past 3 years but anyway. Another example is that a friend of mine is going through a seperation, now i am not allowed to talk to him because as she puts it “birds of a feather flock together” again just another way to control. My wife has put a huge shim between me and my family and friends. All of them have been great in dealing with it but i know it is hard on them as well. I am not sure what to do, i know I need to leave her but with a young one i am having a hard time doing so. I know that she will take me through the ringers financially and bad mouth me to everyone (has told me so) but i cant live like this the rest of my life. More importantly i worry about my son being in this type of envirement, i dont want him to pick up any of her habits nor do i want him to pick up any of mine (push over, spineless etc). Reading these posts is theraputic and it is nice to see (unfortunatly for anyone of those that have) that i am not alone.


          • Juggler
            June 26, 2013 at 11:47 pm

            Hello Hiding,
            What you tell about your life wtih your significant other would be a 100% representation of own experience. My advice is start setting boundaries. Take her off the pedestal. And start caring for yourself for a change. BPDs are fully capable of taking care of themselves, it´s just easier when their is a fellow that flips backwards at your every desire.

      • November 15, 2009 at 12:09 am

        My feelings are that if you really want to get control of your emotions and vicious pavlovian responses to kindness ? To love ? and make something of yourself and the relationship ? You will and you’ll leave you sick but comfortable position, and quit being a victim who has turned volunteer and be responsible for your actions. If you ultimately love him and yourself ? you will do it. You will go to any means to acomplish it. You will be a stayer and not a player. Own your own shit first and work on you rather than defocusing on him. How honest are you ?????? do you really want this to change or are you just lip sinking ?

        • JPJ
          April 7, 2011 at 4:36 pm

          Even after 2 years,the problems still stay the same.I did something wrong about 4 months ago…and still hearing about it once a week.
          This is borderline harrasment.

      • CK in Philly
        December 8, 2009 at 1:09 pm


        I found this site today and it was like a gut-punch. THIS IS MY LIFE.

        Interestingly, I was caught with another woman. I cheated one time. Once. But let me tell you – I cheated BECAUSE my wife has treated me horribly for a long long time. We have a child together, and in my mind, it was easier to try to find some comfort and peace outside of my marriage, while still getting to see my kid every day. Big mistake.

        First of all, I went against everything I stand for when I did it. Secondly, my life has been a miserable nightmare ever since, no matter what I do to make amends.

        Yes. My wifes NPD/BPD has been greatly magnified since the incident. But it’s always been who she is. It’s what led me to go astray in the first place.

        • bman
          June 28, 2013 at 2:23 am

          CK, the same thing happened to me. I spent 15 years of my marriage being yelled at, criticized, and sexually refused. I had a woman through herself at me like I hadn’t seen since dating my wife. I resisted her for years while telling the wife of her behavior. My wife insisted on keeping her coming around. I eventually fell to the temptation and have been paying the price for 3 long years. Meanwhile, my wife has bashed me to all of our acquaintances. I see people that I have known for years and they refuse to speak to me.

          I suggested counselling and my wife refused.
          I tried to talk about the situation with her and she gave me the silent treatment.
          I can’t win.

          • BIGFOOT
            August 14, 2014 at 2:05 pm

            Traps, guys, traps. Borderline like trapping their Spouses. I suspected by wife was moving around, and I for a moment thought of hiring a private eye. The more I thought of it, the more stupid it appeared. But guess what, she has laid traps for me. Not once. And sometimes I suspect a GREAT disappointment whenever the trap shuts empty. She get sick, and and immediately she complains of headache. The Intensity of anticipation boomerangs on her. I have often wondered, why all this excitement?

            These women like exaggerating their spouses errors, and they never take responsibility for their own. Once they catch, its like the Devil himself got you. They never forgive, and you will always be paying and it will never be enough.

      • Nick
        April 9, 2012 at 11:03 pm

        i just want to point out that wile you feel you may be this way, at the same time your blaming it on him….. which is what someone with bpd or npd is known to do. but kudos for wanting to stop, i found this site because my wife has most if not all of these traits. btw if you want to stop, its rather simple…. think before you speak.

    • Luis Joel Pacheco
      August 6, 2011 at 1:19 am

      At least she was, I married mine…
      Thumbs up for you for ridding yourself of that relationship…

    • Bischoff
      June 27, 2013 at 10:36 pm

      Ah! I see you know my ex-wife too! :)

    • Zach
      July 5, 2013 at 1:02 am

      this is every day for me… Im to the point where i dont know what i hate more: her behavior or myself for allowing it. It has gotten even worse since she found out she has bpd, because the search is over. She now has an answer to any bad decisions. Even if this does work out it can only be a Cadmean victory at best.

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