Home > Abusive relationships, Borderline Personality Disorder, Marriage, relationships > 10 Signs Your Girlfriend or Wife is an Emotional Bully

10 Signs Your Girlfriend or Wife is an Emotional Bully

mood-swingsDoes your girlfriend or wife yell, scream, and swear at you? Do you feel like you can’t talk to anyone about your relationship because they just wouldn’t understand? Is your relationship making you feel like you’re slowly going crazy?

If so, you’re probably involved with a woman who is an emotionally abusive bully. Most men don’t want to admit that they’re in an abusive relationship. They describe the relationship and their girlfriend/wife using other terms like crazy, emotional, controlling, bossy, domineering, constant conflict, or volatile. If you use words like this to describe your relationship, odds are you’re being emotionally abused.

Do you recognize any of the following behaviors?

1) Bullying. If she doesn’t get her way, there’s hell to pay. She wants to control you and resorts to emotional intimidation to do it. She uses verbal assaults and threats in order to get you to do what she wants. It makes her feel powerful to make you feel bad. People with a Narcissistic personality are often bullies.

Result: You lose your self-respect and feel outnumbered, sad, and alone. You develop a case of Stockholm Syndrome, in which you identify with the aggressor and actually defend her behavior to others.

2) Unreasonable expectations. No matter how hard you try and how much you give, it’s never enough. She expects you to drop whatever you’re doing and attend to her needs. No matter the inconvenience, she comes first. She has an endless list of demands that no one mere mortal could ever fulfill.

Common complaints include: You’re not romantic enough, you don’t spend enough time with me, you’re not sensitive enough, you’re not smart enough to figure out my needs, you’re not making enough money, you’re not FILL IN THE BLANK enough. Basically, you’re not enough, because there’s no pleasing this woman. No one will ever be enough for her, so don’t take it to heart.

Result: You’re constantly criticized because you’re not able to meet her needs and experience a sense of learned helplessness. You feel powerless and defeated because she puts you in no-win situations.

3) Verbal attacks.This is self-explanatory. She employs schoolyard name calling, pathologizing (e.g., armed with a superficial knowledge of psychology she uses diagnostic terms like labile, paranoid, narcissistic, etc. for a 50-cent version of name calling), criticizing, threatening, screaming, yelling, swearing, sarcasm, humiliation, exaggerating your flaws, and making fun of you in front of others, including your children and other people she’s not intimidated by. Verbal assault is another form of bullying, and bullies only act like this in front of those whom they don’t fear or people who let them get away with their bad behavior.

Result: Your self-confidence and sense of self-worth all but disappear. You may even begin to believe the horrible things she says to you.

4) Gaslighting. “I didn’t do that. I didn’t say that. I don’t know what you’re talking about. It wasn’t that bad. You’re imagining things. Stop making things up.” If the woman you’re involved with is prone to Borderline or Narcissistic rage episodes, in which she spirals into outer orbit, she may very well not remember things she’s said and done. However, don’t doubt your perception and memory of events. They happened and they are that bad.

Result: Her gaslighting behavior may cause you to doubt your own sanity. It’s crazy-making behavior that leaves you feeling confused, bewildered, and helpless.

5) Unpredictable responses. Round and round and round she goes. Where she’ll stop, nobody knows. She reacts differently to you on different days or at different times. For example, on Monday, it’s ok for you to Blackberry work email in front of her. On Wednesday, the same behavior is “disrespectful, insensitive, you don’t love me, you’re a self-important jerk, you’re a workaholic.” By Friday, it could be okay for you to Blackberry again.

Telling you one day that something’s alright and the next day that it’s not is emotionally abusive behavior. It’s like walking through a landmine in which the mines shift location.

Result: You’re constantly on edge, walking on eggshells, and waiting for the other shoe to drop. This is a trauma response. You’re being traumatized by her behavior. Because you can’t predict her responses, you become hypervigilant to any change in her mood or potential outburst, which leaves you in a perpetual state of anxiety and possibly fear. It’s a healthy sign to be afraid of this behavior. It’s scary. Don’t feel ashamed to admit it.

6) Constant Chaos. She’s addicted to conflict. She gets a charge from the adrenaline and drama. She may deliberately start arguments and conflict as a way to avoid intimacy, to avoid being called on her bullshit, to avoid feeling inferior or, bewilderingly, as an attempt to avoid being abandoned. She may also pick fights to keep you engaged or as a way to get you to react to her with hostility, so that she can accuse you of being abusive and she can play the victim. This maneuver is a defense mechanism called projective identification.

Result: You become emotionally punch drunk. You’re left feeling dazed and confused, not knowing which end is up. This is highly stressful because it also requires you to be hypervigilant and in a constant state of defense for incoming attacks.

7) Emotional Blackmail. She threatens to abandon you, to end the relationship, or give you the cold shoulder if you don’t play by her rules. She plays on your fears, vulnerabilities, weaknesses, shame, values, sympathy, compassion, and other “buttons” to control you and get what she wants.

Result: You feel manipulated, used, and controlled.

8 Rejection. She ignores you, won’t look at you when you’re in the same room, gives you the cold shoulder, withholds affection, withholds sex, declines or puts down your ideas, invitations, suggestions, and pushes you away when you try to be close. After she pushes you as hard and as far away as she can, she’ll try to be affectionate with you. You’re still hurting from her previous rebuff or attack and don’t respond. Then she accuses you of being cold and rejecting, which she’ll use as an excuse to push you away again in the future.

Result: You feel undesirable, unwanted, and unlovable. You believe no one else would want you and cling to this abusive woman, grateful for whatever scraps of infrequent affection she shows you.

9) Withholding affection and sex. This is another form of rejection and emotional blackmail. It’s not just about sex, it’s about withholding physical, psychological, and emotional nurturing. It includes a lack of interest in what’s important to you–your job, family, friends, hobbies, activities–and being uninvolved, emotionally detached or shut down with you.

Result: You have a transactional relationship in which you have to perform tasks, buy her things, “be nice to her,” or give into her demands in order to receive love and affection from her. You don’t feel loved and appreciated for who you are, but for what you do for her or buy her.

10) Isolating. She demands or acts in ways that cause you to distance yourself from your family, friends, or anyone that would be concerned for your well-being or a source of support. This typically involves verbally trashing your friends and family, being overtly hostile to your family and friends, or acting out and starting arguments in front of others to make it as unpleasant as possible for them to be around the two of you.

Result: This makes you completely dependent upon her. She takes away your outside sources of support and/or controls the amount of interaction you have with them. You’re left feeling trapped and alone, afraid to tell anyone what really goes on in your relationship because you don’t think they’ll believe you.

You don’t have to accept emotional abuse in your relationship. You can get help or you can end it. Most emotionally abusive women don’t want help. They don’t think they need it. They are the professional victims, bullies, narcissists, and borderlines. They’re abusive personality types and don’t know any other way to act in relationships.

Life is too short to spend one more second in this kind of relationship. If your partner won’t admit she has a problem and agree to get help, real help, then it’s in your best interest to get support, get out, and stay out.


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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Photo credits: Mood swings on ccmbuzz.

  1. Not Proud
    December 22, 2019 at 4:27 am

    As a veteran of these pages, I once spilled out my sorry state of lifeless being – living with a wife who checked 8 out of 10 of the symptoms. My self-imposed life was almost lost, I was on depression medications, had lost my spark, and never thought I would get out.

    Today, I will soon celebrate divorce from my narcissistic wife for two years now. I am not bragging, but to this very day, when I shut off the lights at bedtime, I thank God I am no longer sleeping with a child in an adult’s body. Not only was I criticized during my waking hours but also criticized for “breathing” while I sleep. Not snoring, but breathing. It was so bad she would criticize me when I slept too……

    Every night now, I relish the beauty of peace – it truly is beautiful.

    There is light at the end of the tunnel for you too, and I have achieved it – after thinking there was no hope.

    Two years post-divorce (with NO contact either) – I am running into several wonderful women, beautiful women, and nice women. My question is – how do I trust them? I swear, my guard is up, and I am very distrusting that every woman who is nice to me. I wonder if they are possibly gaslighting me. Obviously, this is not fair to them, so how do I get past this distrust?

    • drk
      December 22, 2019 at 4:53 am

      Hey Brother, I am working to the position you are at right now. I will file the papers in Jan 2020. After 27 years of the same treatment everyone on this blog has said; I am finally done. Had to stay this long for my kids. But, my last kid is 15 and I think she is old enough to handle the situation. I will savor the same peace and freedom soon. Actually, my spirits are up because I know the time is finally here.

      • Not Proud
        December 22, 2019 at 4:15 pm

        Thanks for your note and congratulations on having the courage to take care of yourself. Believe me when I say, come on in, the water is fine. I am surprised to find so many nice women out there who are single and looking for kindness. Congratulations again on your courage – and welcome to your new life!

  2. Jaco
    November 24, 2019 at 9:09 pm

    I was thinking today…wondering today…if it’s a common tactic for milder narcissists to “exit” in a certain manner. Say you’re not living together. They try to convince you it was you that began not showing “interest”? Or was what happened that finally you became so weary of arguments that other things/interests became more inviting. After tons of arguments over the phone over the years (not always, but added up a ton) the thought of all of them became a clear reminder…all while you were doing something interesting you knew would not yield the horror that sometimes happened after you made that call. Dumb me, if she had ever been the way she was in the beginning (in the good moments), I would have resumed the almost-scheduled calls. I did resume them in this way as a matter of fact, for years. Anyway, I sometimes get the idea she would rather have me end it. But that wouldn’t be good enough. She has to try to convince me that I’m the one whose love has diminished over time, and that she’s too kind and caring to end it. I must be convinced of this. Maybe my feelings have diminished a bit, but I still feel intensely about the loss of contact. It’s a cause of depression. I sort of conclude I feel the loss more intensely on an almost constant basis, whereas her sense of loss is more sporadic. To me it seems like the small decrease in my feelings isn’t half of those feelings of hers that flew out the window the first time she got offended over nothing, which was YEARS ago. Now I realize that becoming again as she was “in the beginning” shouldn’t be a basis to resume. She would have to begin asking herself seriously if all the isolation she claims to feel now over months and months might be equal to what I once felt concentrated in a few seconds after one of her distancing reactions….years and years ago (after which I always erased any trace of a grudge…well, I always did that I guess up until I cut down the calls, though then and now it was/is more a matter of protection than a grudge). Though she might not be capable of looking squarely at how she distanced, nevertheless it’s only fair that she do so. If she does and changes, that’s one thing; but if she doesn’t and I stay with her my life ends up wrecked.

    Back to grudges. On her part I feel there are grudges against me. They don’t disappear. She won’t let them go, as with a normal mutual forgiving. It’s not screaming. It’s just some narrative. Just some argument. Just some bogus perspective. We are pretty old, but time left to fill up with grudges must seem to her like it’ll never run out. This score against me seems in a way to designate me as an enemy (yet these people with this problem can’t see they’re filling their allotted time up making enemies!). She makes me that; I never wanted to be that, and still don’t. This status bestowed is probably a cue to the only way forward (nothing violent, her way or my way).

    • Jaco
      December 9, 2019 at 12:28 am

      Yes, after one of those distancing reactions. Can she look back and see what happened? Whether right or wrong, I still believe those reactions of hers were indicative of a problem. It’s the getting too offended thing I’ve read about in a few places. Most days I feel she’s accepting of a peaceful distance now, not one she resents so much. Not one I’m torn up about as much either. But I’m still torn up. I could end up like my mother I guess, not willing to try again with another. Mom did try, but my mother tried a lot of things, and succeeded way better with many things…than with finding another partner. She couldn’t try as much in that department I guess is a way to put it.

      As some peace comes between me and my S.O., I still feel bad the truth can’t be shared between us. So few of our questions in life are answered with rock solid truths. I like to think there’s a my tribe out there that realizes meaningful truths. But, in any way at all truths are grasped, they’re hard enough to run into. And then to put them in words…well, that’s the other problem aspect about it. The thing seems to be time. I want to share truths with others, but there’s so little PRECIOUS time to find others who resonate with ones own truths…ones own truths in Dept A, in Dept B, in Dept C, etc. When you start out in life a mission is conceived to push thus and such dogma. At least when you get older, you realize you can let go the dogmas and let the process osmos into your soul more profound truths. The dogmas were just the shadows of things you were to see at the end (or, if you had waited more patiently, would have seen farther along but yes earlier). You see that the Giver of life has to be beyond everything we see in front of us here. Beyond it, and in it in some way too. She/He gave life to the other as well; so, whatever their problems, if our pleading and arguing didn’t help them deal with their problems…they were valuable enough souls to relinquish in order that they might find real help somewhere else.

  3. Natalia
    October 22, 2019 at 10:29 pm

    Hello. I need your help. I am a woman and for the last 4 years I am involved with a man who is married to a possibly NPD woman (10 out of the 10 signs of the article are happening in this marriage). He was my best friend for 10 years before we started the relationship. I knew that he was unhappy in his marriage, but I only realized the pathology when he began confessing to me about the abuse. In a few words: 1) Constant daily verbal abuse, yelling at him about everything, accusing him of everything. 3) Constant gaslighting, she has convinced him that he is a psychopath and a sociopath. 4) She has alienated him from his family and friends over the years. 5) She is constantly bargaining and threatening him. 6) He has tried to harm himself 3 times, by hitting his head on the wall, by trying to swallow broken glass and by throwing himself out of the car while she was yelling at him, which resulted in him being hospitalized for a week. 7) No sexual life since the second year of the marriage, she is accusing him of being a pervert because he likes sex, which ended in him having a sexual dysfunction. 8) She requires him to pee by sitting on the toilet. 9) He is paying for everything because she withholds her salary. She also got high bank loans in her name and she requires him to pay for them now. She is telling him that she will let him leave when the loans are paid, because she doesn’t trust him. He is working 3 jobs, he gives her money for the loan and then he finds out that the money is gone and he need to give her more. 10) She has convinced him that he is responsible for her misery because she never got pregnant and that was his fault, so now he must spend the rest of his life there to serve her. 11) She is criticizing him and humiliating him all the time, she tells him that he likes to be f@cked, that she is sure that when he was a child he was being raped. 12) She has threatened him that she will cut his penis one night in his sleep. 13) She is constantly controlling him, searching his phone and emails, she is fetching him from work everyday, listening to his calls, calling his colleagues or clients asking everything. He can’t even go to get some coffee alone. 14) She has convinced him that he is the one who has victimized her. These are just the highlights. I don’t know where to start. There are many more. The thing is that, every time he asks for a divorce, she takes all her rage on him and she threatens him that, if he leave, she will commit suicide. He is afraid of her doing so and for the last 4 years he is supposedly trying to leave with her consent, or elsewhere she will commit suicide and he will not be able to live with the remorse. She is constantly saying to him that “if you do this, I will let you leave in 2 months” etc. Every time he says “this is the end, I am leaving”, she falls on the floor screaming and crying and calling him names, he is heartbroken and eventually he stays. He then comes to me and asks me for more time and understanding, he says “she promised that in 2 months she will let me leave”. I give him what he wants but after two months something new comes up, some fake illness or more financial problems, and he says “now she told me that when I do this, she will let me leave”. She is 18 years older than him and there are no children. He refuses to talk to anyone else but me. I have tried to tell him that he should visit a psychologist or a psychiatrist, since I can’t help him obviously, even if I have given him everything. He never does. Recently he told me that he told HER he is going to see a psychologist, and she said to him that she will go with him to explain the situation, because if he goes alone, he will lie to the doctor! He is constantly suffering from remorse for things he is not responsible for. I love him with all my heart, he was my best friend and now something more, but I am heartbroken. I am very miserable too. Is there any chance for him to realize what is going on? I have sent him articles about NPD, we have talked for hours, he seems to understand, he has some moments of sanity when we are together, but after a few days he defends her, he says that he destroyed her life because he was not the husband that she wanted him to be and how can he leave now, with her being 60 years old, how is she going to live alone etc. Can I do anything to help him? I feel so bad, my desires and needs have been put aside for 4 years, I feel sometimes like he is abusing me and taking advantage of my love and feelings. He has made me the only witness of he situation. Everyone else believes that they are just another married couple. He is beginning to transform to a man without any feeling, empathy, desire, thoughts, free will, nothing at all, no humanity at all. Lately he told me to separate, because between the two of us, she needs him more than I do, while I can find another man any other day. Then he asked for some more time. How is this possible? How can an adult believe that he should ask for permission to leave? To ask for permission to do anything? I feel desperate, I feel as a victim too. If you have any advice, I will be grateful.

    • Jaco
      November 21, 2019 at 3:48 pm

      For what reasons I don’t know, but yesterday I was drawn to your post and Joshua’s post of a year ago. But thanks to everyone else having posted here since Oct ’18! Other stories since that time I have jumped into a little. I feel I have needed to pour my heart out here in the past, but probably haven’t listened enough.

      Simply the effort to state things the way they are (as I believe you have done) gives me hope for humans. Really I have no right to give advice, but objectively it seems that the important thing is that your significant other [“SO”] get out of his state, regardless of what happens between the two of you. You were strong enough to write this above, so perhaps you are more likely to emotionally revive than he can. Could he do such a thing…write an account? Maybe you could convince him to, or at least to read here. To not-be-objective, though, I will tell you of a sort of sad thing that is nevertheless for me a consolation. I may be unusual but I can remember well the good side of my SO…without wanting to go back. Whether some go to purgatory or not, fact is it was the hell concept that I was exposed to (among other takes, but there was enough of the hell take). It could be that my biggest fear is about where this person I loved so much is headed. When I remember her wonderful side, today I am thankful I knew a person well with a wonderful side. Maybe I knew her too well in these last valuable years, and didn’t partake of the good in others enough. But at least I shared in these years her amazing side. Maybe these memories (if I can relinquish the obsession to go back) help me worry less about where she’s headed. Just knowing there is something in her to build on. This may sound like a curve ball from Kookville, but I was reading something from Kierkegaard recently.

      Paraphrased – A person may come to ones Higher Power via winning a love, OR by losing her (or him).

    • Robert M Murphy
      November 21, 2019 at 4:46 pm

      Only read half of this and can only say to your friend” run for yor life from this sociopathic narcissistic maddening monster”. If your friend has even just a tiny bit of self respect left, tell him to take that and with your help separate immediately from this dimented convoluted poor excuse of an actual woman. It never works with these people they are incapable of doing good and they’re monsters! If he doesn’t do as I suggested, good chance he will end up with penis cut off or end up in a mental institution while she embarks on a new life with yet another sucker.
      All the best.RM

      • Jaco
        November 24, 2019 at 7:57 pm

        Sounds about right, Robert. Such narcissists must be very miserable people. I wonder if they’re more miserable than those they project on. It seems like it couldn’t be. Some days, though, I think any-level-narcissist at least brings the misery/anxiety level of their companions almost up to their own level.

  4. Mike
    September 20, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    Hello all, ive been reading your comments for a few weeks now and i felt like i should tell my story. a little over a month ago my ex left me for what must of been the 100th time. she has always came back but i think she left for good this time. i am 24 with a good job, good looking and treat women with respect, compassion, kindness and empathy. i truly loved this girl. she is 3 years older with 2 children who want me to be their dad. (their actual dad lives near them and sees them from time to time). we started off being FWB but after a while we fell in love and started seeing each other. we live just over an hour away from each other. during this time of dating her, we have had awesome and fun times together, the sex was amazing, she is beautiful, we have gone many places with her and her kids. But then she started almost picking fights with me. she would take things the wrong way even if i tried to explain what i really meant by it. she would accuse me of lying and cheating on her when i was doing no such thing. i admit i am not perfect, i always apologize when i am in the wrong, but she barely apologizes for anything she does wrong. she only apologizes when she leaves me and comes back. if she doesnt feel shes in the wrong or sorry, she wont say she is sorry. she has told me to leave numerous times from her apartment due to things no normal person would kick someone they “love” out for. example: she got very upset at her son for dipping the wrong paint brush in the wrong paint. that was it, he never got paint anywhere or on the walls, nothing, she was pissed and yelled at him. he started to cry and told her he was sorry, she told him to go wash off his face and for me to help him. as i went in the bathroom with him he was still crying. i hugged him and told him its ok, its not a big deal, she heard and came over and told me leave, even her son asked why does Mike have to leave? i left hurt and angry. thats just one example, there are many others such as not agreeing on a political discussion (i’m not huge into politics). there was a few times i told her if you keep treating me without respect i will not be here, she told me to leave. the most recent thing that happened was we were in an argument about me not telling her things, such as my first ex girlfriend send me a friend request, i ignored/deleted the request but told her weeks later. she got upset telling me i dont tell her anything. i do tell her things though. it ended up with me getting my stuff and putting it outside her apartment and once i stepped out of her apartment she slammed the door and locked it behind me. that has happened so many times i lost my temper and shouldered the door in (deadbolt when through the door frame) once that happened i immediately apologized and told her i will fix and pay for it while i was on my knees with my hands up. she screamed and yelled like ive never seen before. i kept telling her i will not hurt her (i didnt) and that i am sorry while being on the ground with my hands up. she kept screaming and crying as i kept trying to calm her down, she grabbed a knife and held it in her hand. i was petrified. i backed away slowly and she held the knife in her hand while i kept telling her i was not going to hurt her. eventually she put the knife away and told me to go before she called the cops. she said either i am leaving or you are leaving, so i left. we previously spent the last 2 nights together and planned on going to a party later that day. we were together for just about 3 years with the occasion of her leaving every month or every few months for some ridiculous reason. after that she sent the most hateful messages to me telling me i violated her and her kids safety (her kids werent there when i broke through the door). Keep in mind, that was the first time i ever broke someones door. i was just angry and had no patience left for being kicked out, told to leave, every time we had a problem and all i wanted was respect.

    a year previously, she left me for another man and came back a month later telling me she is sorry and that i love you and i dont want to keep hurting you. i took her back every time she left me and came back, but somehow she would blame me for her leaving me. i dont understand, i gave this woman everything, all my time, money, love, everything. i fought for us every time she left, i begged to work out our issues, i begged to go to counseling with her, she never wanted to because we “werent married”. i realize she has been emotionally abusing me for 3 years. the good times are amazing but the bad times are horrible. its like she is a different person when she is mad vs when she is happy. there were times where she was amazing and great and did things because i thought she truly loved me.

    will she come back this time? this is the “first” big mistake i have made, even though i apologized for almost anything wrong with our relationship just to keep her. she always blamed me for our problems, eventually i started fighting back (not physically). she would say the most hurtful things to me when she was mad, for example, “95% of the time i never wanted to have sex with you” “your a piece of shit” “i never loved you” etc.

    i dont know what to do, ive tried to contact her a few times since i broke her door, but she is cold, mean, and hurtful still no matter how many times i apologize. she told me she will never get back with me and/or work out our issues. she met someone days after this and rubbed all the things he does in my face via email. i did a lot for her too in our 3 years together. apparetnly she told me she slept with someone else 5 days after i broke her door just so we wouldnt get back together ever again. she has said this before but then later told me she lied about it to get me to “move on”. she is very controlling and projects all the stuff she does onto me.

    i love her to death and would of never left her, i know she isnt good for me, but i love her and her kids, someone please give me some insight into this whole thing. please…

  5. Jaco
    May 25, 2019 at 6:10 pm

    David and Michael, I’m sorry you guys are going through these very blue blues after time spans which are, more or less, roughly equivalent to one I can relate to myself.

    My mother at an important time in my life told me I’d overcome a lot. But most of the “sense” I obtained came from her, a woman. Of course, she couldn’t live in me and make my decisions for me. I must have made some that were good for her to have said this, as she was an exemplary person…kind, truthful, intelligent. It’s the way she said it. It was better than any diploma (I have some).

    But I’m convinced many, many men…despite accomplishments…can make bad decisions when misfortune (or some “loss”) interupts life from the outside. Apparently I was one such man (and didn’t realize fully enough I’d reached some kind of equilibrium prior). As the intro at this site says, the “signs” are there you’re making a mistake. Apparently I conjured false hopes in spite of the signs, just as false as those conjured by folks in regard to promises politicians make.

    I consider myself “fortunate” that during a big period in my life I stepped outside my life [no, not gonna say it was “divine election”]. I got outside it by approaching (to be as inoffensive as possible regarding terms) my Higher Power (I wasn’t an alcoholic then, and am not one now). Despite what my mother told me I don’t feel any more “accomplished” when I make these approaches now than I felt when I made them 49 years ago. I step outside a “ball of confusion” now just as I did then. If I don’t step “outside” things (things which I cannot handle), it seems I don’t keep any of youth’s faith, optimism, and energy. The ball of confusion still seems like some invisible foe with an invisible weapon, and when I’m “outside” it I’m also in a realm where I barely know anything. I could never assume I knew much about either realm, and so maybe a lack of rigid generalizations has enabled me to keep going the way I do go…at this age.

    When these types we’ve encountered are one person one minute and another in another minute, the most common/frequent explanation in the literature [and elsewhere], I’ve come to think, must be true. They lacked some kind of mooring early on in their lives, a kind of mooring we at least got more of. There is no fathoming from our end how they see things…how they experience things. On the kind end, maybe some. But, in the middle of the switch and in the second after, we can’t fathom it. The caring parent either survives in a crazy time; or a crazy time (with its uncertainty, distractions, and/or oppressions) can succeed in beating down the caring character in a parent. Unless a parent came of age during/under an extremely authoritarian movement/religion/zeitgeist, there don’t IMO seem to be many “general” conditions under which one can predict s/he could likely end up uncaring. I mean to say when an epidemic of the thing’ll pop up. I left out…distracting AND authoritarian at the same time. If it’s a distracting age/place and the future parent’s nevertheless in an authoritarian setting at the same time…maybe it happens a lot then (later having an impact on his/her child). But, otherwise, when and why it happens seems to result from a river of complex individual TRAITS (of MANY individuals) acting on one another…wherever they reside and collide…in too complicated a fashion for any social or psychological science to say…here they’ll end up this way, or there they’ll end up that way. I would say, though, that if philosophies become too puffed-up in predicting tradtional vocations must change at X speed, and that they alone can dictate when, where, and how…there might be something there. But I’ll leave that issue for now, as people are adaptive and can reconfigure (re-imagine) a distorted context as the norm.

  6. David
    May 16, 2019 at 8:44 pm

    I’m a 59 YO guy, easy going and get along with just about anyone…except my girlfriend of 7 years. she is much younger, I can check all of the boxes in the article. I am in a deep hole with her, without giving all of the details, lets just say, “all of the above” will suffice. When we have a big fight and I leave I become sad, guilty and get the feeling that I am making a mistake. She always will call or text a couple of hours after the explosion and act as if nothing happened. By this time I’m tired and really just ready to go home and relax….sweep it under the rug. She knows I always come home. I have read extensively about this behavior, I’m no saint, but I don’t deserve to be treated and talked to like a 10 year old or a dog. I’m glad I came across this sight, others are dealing with this, I don’t want to deal with this the rest of my life, most on here say run, she won’t/can’t change. Advise is welcomed. Thanks

  7. Michael
    April 22, 2019 at 10:06 pm

    I’m being punished and emotionally abused for my infidelity 11 years ago this has gone on for 10 years now ,, we sleep in separate rooms , she rejects all my attempts of physical intimacy even holding hands , She constantly smoking and says it’s my fault , she withholds all her salary and I pay for everything,, she make notes to herself that I Narcissist and that I forgotten to take my wallet on purpose so I don’t have to pay ,, yet I’ve just loaned our daughter 70K and I pay an additional £1300 towards her mortgage as well as paying all ours and all ours and cost of living plus my wife’s car loan ,,

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