Home > Abusive relationships, bullying, humor, Marriage, Social Commentary > 10 Warning Signs You’re Dating or Married to a Female Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

10 Warning Signs You’re Dating or Married to a Female Mahmoud Ahmadinejad


mahmoud_ahmadinejad_in_drag-1Many people can’t fathom what’s taking place in Iran. However, men who are married to women with Narcissistic Personality Disorder or traits experience the same control techniques as the Iranian citizens on a daily basis. Instead of being machined gunned to death in the streets of Tehran, they suffer death by a thousand cuts in their 3BR, 2BA homes behind closed doors.

Are you dating or married to the female equivalent of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? Are you subjected to regular “mah-mood” swings in which you must go along with her whims and demands? Here are 10 warning signs that you’re with a controlling, abusive, narcissistic, delusional lunatic, much like the Supreme Leader.

1. Puts the “dic[k]” in dictator. Is it her way or the highway? Do you have to capitulate or else?

2. If you oppose me or challenge me in anyway, I can’t guarantee your safety. Do you have a secret hiding place you hole up in like Mousavi when things get really bad? The den? The basement? A panic room? Curling up in the fetal position under your desk?

3. The revolution will NOT be televised. Does she pre-empt or try to squash any attempt at self-care or independence you make? Does she undermine you at every turn? Deny reality, the facts and events? Does she threaten you, implicitly or explicitly, not to tell anyone what goes on between the two of you?

4. No contact with the outside world. No friends allowed. No family allowed. No third parties with dissenting opinions are tolerated. She effectively cuts you off from friends and family who would come to your aid.

5. La, la, la, la. I can’t hear you. Do your protests for humane treatment, basic kindness and fairness fall on deaf ears? Does she conveniently forget or deny the times you’ve actually expressed your hurt feelings and twist it around on you?

6. Mind over matter. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, she rigidly and dogmatically insists on her distorted view, denying reality. It doesn’t matter if you have physical evidence to say otherwise—video and audio tapes, eye witnesses—she still asserts her version of reality is the accurate one.

7. Gets others to do her dirty work for her. Ahmadinejad isn’t out there clubbing people in the streets; he has his ninjas out there doing it for him because, like most narcissistic bullies, Mahmoud is a coward. Likewise, if you stand up for yourself or finally try to assert your independence by breaking up with or divorcing her, she will enlist others to rally around her and destroy you. For example, attorneys, court evaluators, the police (i.e., make false abuse allegations) friends and family. She’ll try to “defeat” you through deprivation of money and other resources and begins a smear campaign to undermine your credibility.

8. Brainwashes the young to create loyal followers. She systematically turns your children against you, portraying herself as the benevolent and wronged parental figure who’s the one that “really” loves them and is the only one who will take care of them. Although, when they become teenagers and young adults and follow the natural impulse to rebel, her response will be as swift and merciless as it was to you.

9. Speaking in fundamentalist tongue that no one understands but her. No matter how hard you try to make sense of her behaviors, the things she says and her accusations and rationalizations; you can’t. It’s all emotional gibberish based on her warped fear of losing control and exposure of her crazy behaviors. If you scratch just below the surface of her “facts,” they fall apart.

10. The Supreme Leader is infallible. Enough said. She’s right. She’s always right. End of story.

by Dr Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD

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Photo credit:

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in drag on FreeFrankWarner.

  1. Maureen
    April 6, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    I’m going through the same thing with my 19 year old son. Before they were engaged, I thought she was the sweetest thing! Since he proposed( due to her nagging), she has isolated him from his entire family! The ones that really love him! No one, not his family OR friends, are supportive of this marriage, but he’s going ahead with it, regardless . There’s nothing left to do, except be there for him when it doesn’t work out. I love him and wish him the best of luck, I don’t want to see him fail, but,I’m afraid it’s inevitable!

  2. randy
    November 8, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    hey every one look for my new relationship Radio Show on blogTAlkradIo:
    ; Rocket Radio code 3 alert
    I owe it all (well at least a big chunk.) to dr. T.( lOver her.)life saver woman, great advice changed my life and opened my eyes. i have a great relationship now, all is good.

    Dr.T have your people call our people and lets get you on the show!

  3. September 20, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    You know, I’ve lived through this scenario myself – not as a husband, but as the child in point (8). In many ways I’m still recovering from my 18-year tenure under my mother’s abuse, and I still have many years to go.

    Thankfully I’m still only 20.

    I didn’t know there was a named psychological condition for this – I always assumed it was just a highly twisted personality. I guess people’s tendencies to label things won out yet again ;)

    Probably the single most important piece of advice I can offer: forgive. If you don’t forgive her, then every time she shows up, it’ll trigger anger and resentment in you – and she knows exactly how to use it.

    By forgiving her, making yourself emotionally neutral, her grip on your life vanishes.

    I see this in polar opposites in my house. I live about 1000mi away from my mother, in a house with my father. I’m fulltime employed, cover the rent, with my dad picking up the other expenses. It’s a 1.5h commute to my place of work, but I don’t mind – acceptable tradeoff for getting to live with one’s father in a peaceful suburban town ;)

    My mother calls occasionally, and when she’s calling me, it’s almost as if the last 18 years never happened. She’s just this strange woman who knows my name and not much else – despite novels’ worth of psychological abuse on her part.

    When she contacts my dad, however, you can see it twisting on every emotional cord he has. He panics, becomes irrational, as if he’s reliving the marriage (they divorced nearly 10 years ago).

    It’s obvious that he hasn’t forgiven her, let go of what she’s done (and continues to do) to him. The only issue between them at all is supposed to be the custody of my sister, who’ll graduate highschool in about 5 years (and probably get kicked out at the slightest sign of independence, hehe). Along with that go all the statutory maintenance fees and everything, and it’s [financially] nothing my dad can’t handle.

    It *is* a clear-cut scenario, but because he continually fails to forgive her, she just keeps hammering away at him, and he never comes to the defense.

    Of course, forgiveness is probably one of the hardest things to do, but the benefits here are endless.

  4. jack
    September 7, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    “How do I get past this??”
    Now there is a question. I believe that there is something about being abused by your lover that causes some of us to be affected even deeper with the “lovesick blues.” I spent three years in a relationship with a NPD woman. I was in so deep, and so determined to make it work….in retrospect I cannot believe what I put up with. I was still struggling until I discovered this website and Dr. Tara’s wonderful insight into these people. The wisdom offered here helped me a lot. I have had a great two months now with no contact. However, lately I have had feelings of longing return. So once again I am visiting these pages and refreshing my resolve to move on.

    But back to the tough question…”How to get past this?” When you hurt, it seems that is all you know. The trick is to find a hole in that veil of pain and push yourself to do the work. Yes….it takes work to get over someone. There are definite techniques that help speed up the healing process. It is easy to be lazy and wallow in the pain. I once rationalized that I chose thinking about my lost lover….rather than get over her, because I think my “lizard” brain found comfort in the memories. (lizard brain is the subconsious part that dominates).

    I once read a book, “Letting Go.” I suggest read it and apply the techniques. Things like hard exercise help balance the brain. Also, if the depression is really bad, consider medication. And of course…therapy. There are many other tips in the book, that if applied, really can help. But here is the thing you must believe…and believe me it is true. Once you have healed you will ask your self why? “Why did I ever love her?” Once your brain is healed your rational thoughts will once again surface. Regret will vanish. The longing will be gone. And believe it or not….you will be glad that your relationship with this person is over.

    Best of luck and to reiterate…”do the work.” You will be glad you did.

  5. randy
    August 21, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    Thank you, Dr T, I have mornings thatbi cry likeba baby. I have tried so long and worked so hard to “make things better” basically about 3 years. I began having difficulty remembering the good “first 2 years”..in fact they were (looking back) problebly TOO good. She was so charming and moved so quickly I couldn’t help my self. Now it seems worse everyday were I mis the “house of mirrors” fantasy/denial relationbship. I am hoping this will get easier with time. Thanks again

    • Kev
      August 21, 2009 at 10:20 pm

      Hey Randy,

      It *does* get easier with time. I know it won’t seem like that right now, but I wouldn’t have believed that 10 months ago, myself.

      You’ve got a long road ahead of you, but you have the strength to do it. You will have good days, and the number of them will increase. You will stumble backwards at times. But overall, the momentum is forward.

      Now is the time to reach out to anyone you may have had to shut out because of her, and to start doing the things that you used to enjoy that she made you stop doing.

      What haven’t you done, and who haven’t you spoken to in a long time? Those things and people are waiting for you.

      Good luck…

      (and for the record, I’m still working on it, myself)

      • randy
        August 27, 2009 at 4:03 pm

        Hey Kev.
        Thanks for the encouragement, I would like very much to develop an online friendship with someone like you ( someone ahead of my current recovery curve)
        randyallengregg@gmail.com

        Randy

  6. Sammy
    August 1, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    A very clever and helpful article!

    • shrink4men
      August 3, 2009 at 11:24 pm

      Thanks, Sammy!

  7. R.J.
    July 26, 2009 at 2:52 am

    Hello Dr. Tara,

    I am finalizing a divorce from a BPD and am concerned about how to protect my two children from her BPD manipulation and control. I don’t want them to end up like her, or to have their lives be miserable because of her.

    I know this is a complex topic, but any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    R.J.

  8. jack
    July 14, 2009 at 2:36 am

    I have been dating a woman off and on for three years. She is 59 and I am 55. Seven break ups total. I have always thought she was bipolar and researched that disorder. Today I discovered websites and threads on NPD. Wow! This is her exactly. I have read for hours today on NPD and your advice is right on target. It is directed for us guys who are trapped by our hearts with these women. I am going to try to keep reading and re-reading on a daily basis because my hope is that it helps me to think with my rational brain and to not give into her again. It sounds like I have to give up on the idea of her ever getting better. I happen to be right in the middle of another reunion. Thanks so much for your knowledge and insight.

    • shrink4men
      July 22, 2009 at 5:20 pm

      Hi Jack,

      Thanks for the positive feedback. I’m glad you find the information on my site helpful, but am sorry you’re in such a painful relationship. Unfortunately, even when these women can acknowledge there’s a problem, it takes many years and an incredible amount of effort for them to make any meaningful changes.

      Kind Regards,
      Dr Tara

      • jack
        July 29, 2009 at 12:52 am

        Thanks Dr. Tara:

        Its been two weeks now since I have had contact with my NPD girlfriend. She always expects me to cave first and I usually do. However, it seems this time, with the education offered on your website, I am better equipped to continue without her. If I can offer any advice to others, the pain of breaking up does eventually fade, it really does. It is painful breaking up and the immediate relief from that pain is another reunion. I know my connection with this women is embedded in the addictive part of my brain. But I am doing better. I think the break through for me is my new awareness…..learned here….that this woman will not ever change. I always held onto hope that she would eventually see the beauty of our love and embrace it. My vision is becoming more clear every day and I can see that this will not happen with her…..ever.

        And for those who still are holding on like I did for so long….once complete healing has happened, she will no longer appear so beautiful. And once again other women will appear attractive. There are many nice, balanced people out there. Hopefully I won’t get drawn in by a crazy one again.

        • shrink4men
          July 30, 2009 at 10:18 pm

          Hi Jack,

          I’m happy to read you’re continuing to hold strong to your resolve. Time, distance and a good sense of humor are the best antidote. I sincerely wish you the best. Please check back and let me know how you’re doing.

          Kind Regards,
          Dr Tara

          • jack
            July 30, 2009 at 11:01 pm

            I just received an email from my NPD girlfriend this morning. This was our first contact since our breakup 16 days ago. Her excuse for writing was about $50 I owe her for a used dishwasher I took off her hands. ($50 is insignificant to either of us.) I emailed back and told her I would be glad to send her the money. But I added that since she informed me at our last dinner out that she didn’t want to date me anymore, then our last dinner should be considered a “dutch treat” and not a date per se. Since it was a $115 dollar tab…she actually owes me $7.50. (Half of the tab minus the $50) I offered this “tounge in cheek” mostly to get her reaction. And you are correct, humor is helpful. Her response was invaluable.

            She said she was shocked, but that I revealed to her my true character, of which she always knew. And then she threatened small claims court. But here is the best part and why I share this. For the first time in three years I feel empowered with this woman. Before I would have been cringing at her threats and crawling for her approval and forgiveness. Her reaction is exactly as described within these webpages. I am finally not blinded by love and can clearly see her disorder. I know her request for the $50 was only a ruse to try and initiate contact again. But this time I have no desire to respond to her last email or to see her again. I wish I could convey how significant this is for me. It is as if I finally have my life back. I am thinking of sending her the $50 check, for the sake of my own conscience, …but with absolutely no words. On the other hand, I think small claims court would be fun…but that would never happen. Somehow I think my “no contact” treatment is getting to her. But also I think I don’t have to worry. Her narcism does not allow her the slightest humilty in reconciling.

            Thanks again Dr. Tara

            • shrink4men
              July 31, 2009 at 12:17 am

              Hi Jack,

              You get a full “woo-hoo!” Good for you for not biting on her fishing expedition, which is exactly what it was. These women are priceless. Even though she was trying to see if you were still on the hook, her reach out was to say, “You owe me.” Loved, loved, loved your Dutch treat response.

              I think I understand how significant this for you and I’m elated by your new sense of empowerment. Remember how great you feel in this moment. She’ll probably surface a few more times. Her lack of humility also won’t allow her to concede the possibility that you actually don’t want anything to do with her anymore. For some reason I have that old Elton John song, “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” playing in my head right now.

              Once again, I’m very happy to read about the corner you just turned.

              Kind Regards,
              Dr Tara

              • jack
                July 31, 2009 at 5:58 pm

                Thanks Dr. Tara:

                The “someone” who saved my life tonight was you. When a person is alone with their own thoughts, and the longing and desire become overwhelming, we do not make rational choices. By reading the wisdom you offer here, I was able to shift my thinking patterns. I am finally able to see this woman as others do.

                I have fundamentally resisted the idea to psychologically “pigeon hole” people, and I have tried to nurture hope and tolerance when dealing with problem people. I had an inclination that someone like yourself should also express a tolerance. But now I am thinking that in your line of work, you see people with this disorder over and over. You know that there is little to no hope in these people changing, and I can see that clearly now in my ex-girlfriend. We need to learn to embrace the wisdom of people who know their trade well. When I finally got off of the bipolar analysis of my girlfriend and found the Narcistic Personality Disorder descriptions, it fit like a glove. That single discovery has allowed my breakthrough. Education is a wonderful thing. I wish I had discovered your services two years ago.

                Thanks again,
                Jack

                • shrink4men
                  July 31, 2009 at 6:10 pm

                  Hi Jack,

                  I may have provided the information, but you’re the one who’s making the choice to utilize it.

                  I try not to pigeon hole people either. There are exceptions to every rule. I believe that some women with these issues/disorders can and do change, but they’re definitely the exceptions to the rule. Plus, it’s generally a very, very long road.

                  I’m a generally forgiving and tolerant person. However, I have a zero tolerance policy for any form of abuse. Once you make allowances for and/or excuse abusive behaviors, you open the floodgates for more of the same. I have a lot of empathy for people who had abusive childhoods, but not when they perpetuate and perpetrate abusive behaviors as adults. I especially have no tolerance for the double standard around it–i.e., men are jerks when they active this way and women deserve “understanding and acceptance.”

                  Thanks again for sharing your experiences here, Jack, and the positive feedback.

                  Kind Regards,
                  Dr Tara

      • randy
        August 21, 2009 at 9:34 pm

        I had to write you and tell that I found your site and a realize that my wife is narc and abusive. This got me very liberated and the next time she spoke to me as thou I am lowerb than a dog I finally spoke upb and said that she didn’t need to talk to me like that..long story short-she flew into a rage and I wouldn’t back down, she began to hit me..she has since left me and taken her son,our dog and her belongings and left the country (she is in the army) she says our marriage “cannot be saved,right now.”I have been heart broken. I love her very much..I idolize her, which I now recgnize..now I am just coping and trying to move on. I now understand just how abusive she has been all along. I can’t walk on eggshells anymore..I am really hurting but I am now awake..Randy

        • shrink4men
          August 21, 2009 at 9:47 pm

          Hi Randy,

          If your wife or girlfriend flies into a rage just because you ask for her to treat you with respect, it’s a strong indicator that you’re dealing with an abusive personality. I’m very sorry to read what you’re going through. I strongly encourage you to get some support for yourself and legal guidance regarding your rights to your son.

          Waking up from the spell these women subdue you with can be jarring, but once you wake up there’s no going back. I know how painful it is right now, but a life free of abuse is so much better. Please reach out to your friends and the other people who care about you. They will help you get through this.

          Kind Regards,
          Dr Tara

          • randy
            September 7, 2009 at 9:01 pm

            Hello Dr.T,
            Its me Randy, just a news update. My narc wife has moved away and yesterday despite many attempts to get her to reconsider she is wanting a divorce. Even thou I know what she is I sitill “love” her.
            It saddens me to no end. She has made me into the “defection throw away junk” guy. Everything I did and do isn’t good enough. She really lays it on. I try to be reconciliatory but in the end she says divorce, I am just letting you know that the ww3 fightb we had turned into the end. How long until I am happy about this? Why does it feel so bad and hurt even thou she is such a narc jerk most of the time? When I just “feel” it, she seems so wonderful and my regret is very high. Why the conflict? How do I get past this? Broken hearted,

            • Kev
              September 8, 2009 at 12:42 am

              Hey Randy,

              You ask about how long until you’re happy about this.

              At this point, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, it may seem like “never.” This is normal, and a part of the grieving process. And you are grieving, and you must grieve. The only way out is “through.”

              You’re going to have some rough times ahead. But, the good news is, those rough times will eventually dissipate, and you’ll start to rediscover your soul again.

              You and your soul have taken quite a beating here. You said that nothing you did is or was good enough. It isn’t, and it wasn’t. But that is not -I repeat NOT- your failure. You got caught up in a game. It’s the same game I got caught up in, and the same game we all got caught up in. It’s the same game her next partner will fail at, and the next, and the next. The game isn’t designed for anyone but her to win, and even in her victory, she will ultimately lose.

              She lost someone who genuinely cared about her, and loved her – YOU.

              One day she may realize that, but chances are, she won’t. Again, that is NOT YOUR FAILING. It is HER inability to understand, HER inability to appreciate, HER inability to accept love from others.

              You now get to go through a divorce, and this, alas, is where her true colors will shine. You think you were the bad guy before? Think again.

              And this is where (sooner, rather than later) you need to ask yourself are you REALLY the villain she perceives you to be? I don’t even know you, but I’ve been where you are. The answer to this question (and you know it deep down) is that you are NOT the villain. You didn’t fail. You didn’t lose. If anything, you’re gaining.

              You’re REgaining.

              You say she’s a jerk most of the time.

              When you’re going to feel happy about the divorce, is when you find yourself in the space where you are no longer being treated like shit. When you can breathe, and realize that not everything you do is wrong (heads up – everything you do ISN’T wrong).

              And each day, as she becomes increasingly more absent from your daily life, and you start to remember who you are, you’re going to go through the whole range of emotions – sadness, anger, regret, fear, and, dare I say it – happiness and relief. Each day you will become stronger. Each day you will realize that this wasn’t a relationship of equals, and she did you horrible wrong.

              And you’re worth more than that.

              Remember the good times you had with her, but remember, too, that they weren’t real, no matter how real they felt. But what you can do, is help create a genuine version of those good times with your next partner.

              Know deep down that you deserve a genuine version of those good times, of that love. And know that she deceived you, and will never (no matter what you do) ever provide you with the real thing.

              You’re better than her. She knows it.

              Stop reconciling, and stop trying to reconcile.

              Walk away.

              Therein lies the ultimate path to your future happiness.

              Good luck, brother. I’ve been there. I’m still walking, and each day, the urge to look back becomes less and less, and the view forward gets better and better.

              It will for you, too.

              It’s gonna take a while.

              But it will.

              I promise.

  9. Anonymous
    July 9, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    I don’t think your comparison/satirical allegory to dictatorship is all that off-base. Considering that women have left me literally shaking in the fetal position in my lifetime as an adult, and that I was literally tortured as a child, I find that yes, at times I have felt like I was captured by psychotics.

    • shrink4men
      July 9, 2009 at 9:35 pm

      Sorry to read about your horrible experience, Anon-.

      Kind Regards,
      Dr Tara

  10. K
    June 23, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    Hmm..this wouldn’t be such a fun joke if you were in Iran. Yes, i’m not either, but it sounds a little insulting to compare the situation of those people desperately fighting for their rights with some so-called emotional problem. Even if it’s meant as a satirical article.
    How would it be if somebody wrote an article to make a parallel between a diarrhea access, or some other insignificant illness, and the 9/11 attacks? I bet you Americans would be angry.
    Anyway, i have the feeling that psychology is only partially a science, the rest is disguised mysticism and a constant effort to invent categories and simplistic cause/effect explanations for unsubstantial concepts. I prefer Jung, at least he admitted this openly..

    • shrink4men
      June 23, 2009 at 11:37 pm

      Actually, my background is in Jungian psychology and I agree with your opinion to a certain degree. Aside from the satirical aspects, which I use to make a point, I see parallels between the two; except that Ahmadinejad and his regime are attacking many people rather than one person or a handful of people. Unlike the conflict and psychological and physical violence playing out in Iran on a worldwide stage, men in emotionally abusive relationships are subjected to an invisible form of psychological violence that isn’t acknowledged by mainstream media, which makes it difficult for others to reach out and help them.

      The psychological and physical aggression directed at an individual is never “insignificant.” Dismissing verbal, physical and psychological aggression toward one individual as “insignificant” makes it possible for what’s going on in Iran and other areas in the world.

  11. Olga
    June 23, 2009 at 11:19 am

    Hello, I know this blog is not about helping the disorder women (sorry my english is bad, because I’m french woman). But I think , well I know I’m a disorder woman, I have a very erratic behavior and a lot of anger and even if I ‘m conscious of that, I can’t help it. You try to help the victims of those women, and that’s great but what about the help you can give to disorder women ? People are very afraid by my violence and I am afraid too and feel very gulty (my mother was exaclty the same so I know how it feels to be attacked and scorned by someone you trusted and loved). I feel trapped by my own feelings and don’t ask me to see a shrink because it’s already done -I have already had several therapist during a long time and it seems there ‘s nothing they can do about it. So what can we do ? former victim and actual torturer for the rest of our life ?

    • shrink4men
      June 23, 2009 at 4:50 pm

      Hi Olga,

      The only advice I can offer to to find a good cognitive behavioral therapist who can teach you how to control your impulses to lash out and hurt others. This requires a lot of self-awareness and self-control. You will probably have to work at it for the rest of your life. There’s a specific kind of cognitive-behavioral treatment called Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. I don’t know if it’s available in France, but you might want to look into it.

  1. December 17, 2010 at 6:31 pm
  2. June 21, 2009 at 3:32 am

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