Home > Abusive relationships, Borderline Personality Disorder, bullying, divorce, Marriage, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Psychology, relationships > Video: Breaking Up with an Emotionally Abusive Woman and Suicide Threats

Video: Breaking Up with an Emotionally Abusive Woman and Suicide Threats

shackled handsNarcissistic Personality Disorder/Borderline Personality Disorder women rarely make it easy to end a relationship with them. Once you finally decide you can no longer take the emotional abuse, the threats, accusations, outrageous demands, bullying, projection, projective identification and gaslighting, you probably feel a sense of relief. Then the maw of hell opens and the BPD/NPD woman ratchets her nasty behaviors a thousandfold.

Typical behaviors include: distortion/smear campaigns (lying to your friends, family and anyone who’ll listen in order to turn them against you); parental alienation (turning your children against you by badmouthing you, lying about you and putting you into no-win situations); and projection (blaming you for the rotten abusive acts that she is committing—for example, she engages in parental alienation and then accuses you of taking your anger out on the children).

Facing these threatening behaviors can be terrifying, which makes it all the more difficult to end the relationship. These women become unpredictable, wild animals when they sense they’re losing control. They don’t care about the collateral damage they inflict. They’ll bring the house down right on top of themselves if they think it will punish you.

I received an email request for advice from one of my readers, “Mike,” about breaking up with his BPD/NPD ex, “Susan.” He shared a rather lengthy email exchange between them, which I condensed into an Xtranormal video (with Mike’s permission). Here’s an excerpt from his email:

I guess my question is, “Where do I go from here?” I posted some of my experiences (under the name, fromCOtoAZ) previously on your blog. Your advice was very helpful and completely correct. Unfortunately, I didn’t adhere to your advice and got sucked back in. My ex promised she was seeing a therapist and that things would change. She finally admitted her words are hurtful and cause a lot of damage. I gave her one more chance to see if things really would change or if it was just window dressing.

Things were fine the first month, then they shot straight back to what they were by the second month. She has no problem throwing anyone under the bus if you try to hold her accountable. She blames others for her problems, even her kids. While we were together, I offered to buy her a car since she totaled her previous one in an accident. Even though I can’t afford it, I was willing to do it for her and her kids. Long story short, she blows up at me. Most girls would say, “thank you, what a guy.” Not her.  She HAS to find something wrong with the offer, some reason to be offended,  some reason to be completely negative and angry.

The profanity comes in waves, degrading words spew like bile, and it happens every time. It’s always someone else’s fault. So I finally had enough – again – and broke up with her. Now she’s playing the victim and it’s all my fault in her eyes. Here’s the dialog we had tonight. It’s a great example of how our “discussions” (my attempt) turn into fights (her attempt).

So here is my question to you: My nephew got into a fight with his girlfriend and hung himself when he was 21. I also made a very poor decision earlier in my life and considered suicide. Trust me. She knows suicide is very personal to me. I’m not asking you to have a crystal ball, but I’m scared that she’s serious. Then again, and I don’t mean to sound like a callous jerk, she could simply be playing that card because she knows it’s the ONE thing that will get my attention over anything else. So where do I go from here?

I can’t stay with her just because she threatens to kill herself. She’ll never stop being abusive and demoralizing and yet I don’t want to have that on my conscience if she does it. When I had ny own brush with suicide years ago, it was my decision, poor as it was, and I accept full responsibility. She would never see it as her choice. It would all be my fault. What should I do? This girl (“girl” -she’s actually a 43-year old woman with 3 children!) scares me in so many ways, but this is the scariest.

Hi Mike,

My head felt like it was going to explode while reading your email exchange with Susan. Where to begin, where to begin, where to begin…

1. Your first mistake was going back into the rabid lioness’ den (i.e., reuniting). It happens though. You wanted to give it one more college try. I understand. You stuck your hand into the fire again and got burned. This is a valuable lesson. Remember it.

2. Your second mistake was offering to remain friends with this woman. You cannot, not, NOT remain “friends” with these women. If you don’t share a child, the healthiest thing is a clean break (or as clean as you can get with a woman like this), which means no contact.

First, this woman is not your friend. A friend doesn’t abuse you. Second, as one of my other readers so eloquently stated, “As adult as you may think you are being by developing a “friendship”, this is not a normal adult relationship and you need to end the behavior patterns in order to move on. If children are involved, communicate by email with very direct, but not curt communications. Do not initiate or engage in any dramatic episodes even on email – Kind, Direct, Simple, the end.”

3. You’re using too many words with her (Mike’s email responses to Susan were very long). These women don’t process dialog/conversation like the rest of us. Crafting long, factual explanations–especially ones that don’t fit with their distorted version of events–are completely lost on them. Even if it seems like she’s reading or listening, she’s just scanning for specific hot-button code words that she can twist around, distort, and blow completely out of proportion in order to use your words against you. These women should become professional taffy pullers. Their ability to distort facts so that they fall in line with their distorted emotional reasoning is unparalleled.

4. Never agree with these women’s insults and name-calling. Appeasing these women by agreeing with them in order to get them to stop the verbal abuse (i.e., shut up) is usually a bad idea. They take it as a green light to keep going and that their behavior is acceptable. You can’t humor these women. It only amps them up.

5. When they invoke the authority of a therapist, attorney or some other professional it means they’re getting desperate. It’s like saying, “I told mommy/daddy/teacher on you and boy are you in trouble now!” It’s a control/manipulation/shame/fear tactic. No competent therapist would encourage a patient to emotionally blackmail a spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, ex or family member by threatening suicide.

In fact, Psychologists adhere to the Tarasoff vs. the Regents of the University of California ruling, which means they have a duty to protect their patients from harming themselves or others. This includes breaking confidentiality by contacting the authorities or having them voluntarily/involuntarily hospitalized if the Psychologist decides the patient has intent, the means and a plan to kill herself.

I highly doubt she even showed your emails to her therapist. Then again, perhaps she did and that’s why Bonnie is recommending inpatient treatment. Furthermore, just like NPD/BPD women twist around things that you say and do; they also twist what their therapists say if it helps them to control and abuse others. Additionally, if Bonnie criticized you it’s probably because your ex has given her a highly distorted account of your relationship.

6. You are NOT responsible if this woman takes her life. Period. This is classic emotional blackmail. Don’t bite on it. If you’re really worried about her, call or email her therapist and let her decide if Susan needs to be pink papered. Forward Susan’s emails to her therapist. State you understand she can’t discuss or even acknowledge that she’s treating Susan, but you’re worried that she may harm herself and her children by exposing them to her parasuicidal threats and possible gestures. Mention your experience with your nephew and that’s why you feel obligated to notify her. And truly, Mike, that’s all you’re obligated to do.

I apologize if my feedback comes across as harsh, but for goodness sake, I feel violated reading her attacks on you secondhand. Do you have a therapist or someone who can help you set and maintain your boundaries and figure out what attracted you to Susan and what makes you susceptible to women like her? If not, I strongly encourage you to focus on that instead of being friends with Susan or having anything else to do with her.

Counseling, 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 or send an email to shrink4men@gmail.com.

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  1. NoSeRider
    October 14, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    Personally, I think this is a perfect example of narcissistic rage, but in our society this is considered a mind opening experience. I think that’s utter BS. I think this is just some guy getting his jollies off of his students, and not doing his job, teaching. This is at a so called prestigious 125k tuition art school.

    I’m showing this because NPD and BPD traits are not just limited to women or loving relationships. I think people get so focused on their rage that they don’t realize how addictive it is to them. They become perpetually like this.

    I’ve also noticed how brainwashing and ‘black and white’ it is too.

    • NoSeRider
      October 14, 2009 at 5:37 pm

      I should note the teacher got kicked out of the school for sexual harassment. He’s in his 70’s, so he’ll retire pretty soon. There’s always somebody that wants to defend this kind of behavior.

      • NoSeRider
        October 14, 2009 at 5:42 pm

        I’m trying to figure out if Jerry Rubin was more bipolar then narcissistic….a lot of times behaviors are co-morbid.

  2. Jelly
    October 13, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    Did the woman in question not have any family members Mike could speak to in confidence about her mental health issues?

    • shrink4men
      October 13, 2009 at 7:46 pm

      Hi Jelly,

      Mike has comments all over the site that explain more details of his former relationship. If memory serves, his ex has virtually estranged herself from her family. I believe one or more of her children live with the biological father. Her ex-husband wants nothing to do with her (probably because of the same crazy behaviors). Mike has also explained elsewhere that she has no friends because of her erratic and abusive behavior as well.

      “Mike,” if I confused any of this, please correct me.

      Kind Regards,
      Dr Tara

  3. Recovering
    October 13, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    My God, it seems as though you have branded these people as evil, raging, and disgusting human beings that should be killed. These people you once loved do have a heart and soul. My God you men won’t give your loved ones a chance in hell. Hopefully they move on to find some people in their lives who will show them an ounce of concern and they will want to get help. They continue to receive the message that they are evil and where do you go from there? My God these poor people…they have a mental disorder. Would you take someone with diabetes and shit on them too? So sad…yes, go find yourself another woman…so easy for you men to do that…it’s easier.

    • shrink4men
      October 13, 2009 at 5:28 pm

      Hi Recovering,

      “Recovering” is an interesting choice of username considering you just lashed out at every man who has been through hell and back with their personality disordered girlfriends and wives. Your words don’t speak very well of your “recovery.”

      A person with diabetes does not lash out and attack those they claim to love, unlike individuals with BPD and/or NPD. A more apt comparison would be to a drug addict or alcoholic. Having a personality disorder does not give you a free pass to abuse others. For the sake of every male reader here, I hope their girlfriends/wives/exes do move on and give these men a chance to heal from the BPD/NPD abuse and a real opportunity to find happiness with a healthy non.

      As for this statement: it seems as though you have branded these people as evil, raging, and disgusting human beings that should be killed. No where on my site do I state this. This is your distortion. Do not project it onto me.
      Dr Tara

    • Mike91163
      October 13, 2009 at 6:52 pm


      NO, Doctor T. has not “branded these people” as evil, raging, and disgusting human beings…

      HOWEVER, she describes their BEHAVIOR as evil, raging, and disgusting…a VERY important distinction.

      And, don’t even THINK about going there with your “…find some people in their lives who will show them an ounce of concern…” line of crap! READ OUR STORIES…an “ounce” of concern??? Try this: Most of us have given TONS and TONS of concern, compassion, and sympathy for years and years and years…we have been beaten down emotionally (and, in some cases, PHYSICALLY) and just can’t do it anymore…

      Again, as the good doctor mentions, you always project your bad feelings on everyone else…and as always, no or very little acknowledgement of the wreckage you’ve left behind…

    • Hayden
      October 13, 2009 at 8:01 pm

      Recovering’s post sickened and angered me. However, I went through a mindless savior phase with my ex-NPD also, and I hope that is all that is happening with Recovering. There was a time in my life when my ex-NPD could have casually asked me for my heart and lungs and I would have wordlessly gotten on the table and personally drawn the incision lines on my chest. That is its own kind sickness developed in trying to live up to her constantly moving, arbitrary and capricious standards and desires, but I tried anyway, until I had nothing left to give her. At that point, she found another narcissitic supply source, and there was no use for me anymore. I was left devalued, discarded and shaking my head, and everyday I would learn from someone else of a unknown betrayal she had committed while we were together. I paid for trying to “help/love” her by throwing away a successful career and all of my dignity, self-confidence, self-esteem and financial resources.

      For you to submit your unwarranted guilting and shaming post, makes me suspect that you are either one of these Cluster B monsters (yes I said monster) or a person still living in a false reality that one has created for you to serve in. As I cannot do it for you, please smack your head as hard as you can against a concrete or metal surface and wake the heck up.

    • Freedom
      October 14, 2009 at 1:03 am

      there’s an old saying that goes “before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes”. i’m sure that there are some guys who just come on here and women bash and/or give a one-sided account of events. but IF you’d take the time – as Mike suggested – to read thru the posts, you’d see that at least 95% of the men on here are/were hurting badly due to the transgressions of the woman they love, or loved. no offense, but women don’t have a monopoly on pain, on emotions, or on being abused. the whole “sugar and spice and everything nice” thing that we were told as kids doesn’t always hold up to the real world. there’s good and bad in both genders, on an individual basis. this website is for us men. but there’s PLENTY to be learned from a woman’s perspective in how to identify these traits in men as well, and how to protect yourself from them.

      there’s another old saying that goes “if you really want to learn something, the first thing you should do is close your mouth and open your eyes”. i’m not trying to be a weenie here, but seriously, back off and understand that you’re on OUR site.

      there are aspects of every person that makes them a good or bad choice for another person. for me, i don’t want anyone who has addiction issues, booze issues, and abusive issues. these are MY choices, and they are gleaned from YEARS of dating the wrong kind of girl, and getting burned every single time. and i am absolutely sure you have some sort of list as well. no one, man or woman, should have to go thru life being verbally, emotionally, mentally, or physically abused. it leaves scars that no one can see, yet it affects every aspect of one’s life until it is dealt with and overcome. may i ask… what exactly are you Recovering from?

      i told my ex once, “just because you are mean and bad to yourself does not give you the right to be mean and bad to me or anyone else”. she didn’t get it. and that, Recovering, is why all of us guys are on this site trying to get help or to impart knowledge and help to others. sometimes it’s a guy thing too.

    • Rebuilding - but still in pain
      October 30, 2009 at 12:18 am


      I don’t know that you are talking to me, but my story has dominated a large part of this thread, so forgive me the personal response. I believe my position is far from unique and many men in these situations feel the same.

      “These people you once loved do have a heart and soul.”

      I still love my wife and this breaks my heart.

      “My God you men won’t give your loved ones a chance in hell.”

      Our 22nd wedding anniversary just passed this month. We actually met for a coffee. Even this ended in an argument. I would have her back tomorrow if I believed there was a chance that it would be different.

      “Hopefully they move on to find some people in their lives who will show them an ounce of concern and they will want to get help.”

      I have deep concern for her, but cannot be her emotional punch bag. I believe that she will only learn by facing the consequences of her own behaviour.

      “My God these poor people…they have a mental disorder. Would you take someone with diabetes and shit on them too?”

      Yes, she does and as a result it feels like she is ‘shitting’ on me. She popped the pills. She ran off to Austrailia. She returned to another house. NPD/BPD disorders behave in damaging and ultimately self-distructive ways. Not so diabetes.

      Leaving is not easy.

      Best wishes,

  4. Rebuilding - but still in pain
    September 17, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    Thanks Dr T., Freedom, Mr E, and all,

    Freedom – I have said before that you reflect my thoughts and pains so closely, but I aint getting no tattoo!! ;)
    (Each to thier own! Lol) You didn’t say if the tattoo was related to “freedom,” or “new love.” Or just a personal treat ’cause you want to and can. I appreciate the poem, maybe I will find my muse and express my pain. That would be therapeutic.

    Found this on google books;

    “While in BPD suicidal acts follow events that are experienced as abandonment, in NPD suicidal acts follow event that decrease self-esteem and precipitate narcissistic injuries and feelings of shame (Ronningstam, 2005). When a NPD patient is preoccupied with suicide, this preoccupation often helps to attain feelings of control, superiority, and revenge (Ronningstam 2005). However, in BPD patients, suicide preoccupation gives a sense of companionship (e.g. suicide preoccupation as an imaginary companion)”

    Suicide in psychiatric disorders
    By Roberto Tatarelli, Maurizio Pompili, Paolo Girardi. Page 348,

    I know that I don’t need to label the ‘crazy’ behaviour to call the crazy behaviour when I see it. However, it matters to me to know what exactly is going on in my wife’s head when she acts…

    It matters to me, as part of the closure that I will never receive directly, to know this, and maybe I will never know for sure.

    I loved her. While my love for her may have been subject to my human limitations and personal flaws. I loved her. Did she love me?

    Perhaps in her own, ‘hopelessly flawed,’ way she thought she loved me, and adopted her maladapted behaviours to control and hold me, because she thinks this is what love is.

    More likely, it seems, she never loved me at all and knew it, but projected a simulacrum for me to respond to, playing me like a stupid hand puppet.

    The irony is that she often described her sister’s estranged husband as a socio-path, knowing full well what this means, yet seems devoid of empathy herself.

    I used to tell her that she can’t run away to her family and ‘run me down’ when she has an argument. The damage to relationships she did was irreversible, I imagined it was a naive attempt for reassurance in response to her hurt and anger. Now my relationship with her family is fubar. I now think this is what she wanted all along!!

    Since my family have been informed of our split, I have been told many stories where she has (stupidly) attempted to slander me, while I NAIVELY tried to protect her by keeping our frequent disagreements private.

    While ‘scales have fallen from my eyes’ and it matters not, empirically, what form of poison she was offering – for in the end it was just poison.

    I would like to have spent 21+ years loving the pathetic, maladapted, frightened insecure soul offering toxic love. However the more I reflect on the facts I seem to have given my heart to the sociopathic, manipulating, abusing vampire offering a poisoned simulacrum of love.

    • Freedom
      October 14, 2009 at 12:26 am

      one of the many things i’ve learned thru my trials and tribulations in this world is that everyone has a different definition of many things: love, happiness, success, healthy, God, country, honesty, integrity, joy, forever, and the list goes on to infinity.

      when i think of my ex, here is what i know: that i loved the woman very deeply, and to the best of my ability. and i honestly believe that she loved me as much. however, and this is the important part, we had two extremely different definitions of love. and just because i love someone doesn’t mean i have to like everything they do. i learned a long time ago that love doesn’t conquer all. there are countless people whose marriage has ended in divorce, and yet they still love each other. love doesn’t automatically make things work. her version of love came at too high of a price. we are not compatible because of that cost. as you know, i’ve already posted enough proof of the abuse i went thru, so i won’t repeat it. but her version of love and mine were not even remotely the same.

      and i’ve come to the conclusion that the answers of “why was/is she that way” are not going to come, or, if they do, that i will not be able to understand them, because i don’t think the answers are there. and now that i’ve moved on, found a girl that i’m absolutely compatible with, deeply in love with, that makes my heart go pitter-patter at just the thought of her, and is in it based on what we can accomplish together as lovers and partners, that it doesn’t matter what the answers are concerning my ex. i wish my ex all the love, happiness and peace that this world can bring her. i wish her the man of her dreams. i was – obviously – not that guy. and, as you know, i certainly didn’t “fail” due to lack of effort, or support, or love. but i wish her well because i loved her… and because i am not at war with her. she is at war with herself.

      • Mike91163
        October 14, 2009 at 12:48 am


        Extremely well said, and your last paragraph is exactly how I want to feel when the time comes to part ways.

      • Freedom
        October 14, 2009 at 1:19 am

        and i for got to mention… the tattoo is just for me, for no other reason than i wanted it and because i could. it came out great!!! it’s a beautiful black tribal dragon that goes from the top of my shoulder, straight down, and wraps around to my triceps. it’s a treat just for me, because i deserve it.

        • Rebuilding - but still in pain
          October 29, 2009 at 11:43 pm

          Thanks freedom. Very well put again.

          I am not a tattoo type of guy, but even I admit that it does sound pretty cool. Lol.

  5. shrink4men
    September 16, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    Thanks for sharing your poem, Freedom. It’s very evocative of the NPD relationship.

  6. Freedom
    September 16, 2009 at 3:00 pm


    i wrote this in a poem about abuse a long time ago. but i present it to you, cuz i think it’s pertinent to what you’ve been thru.

    Hidden intentions to starve and deprave
    Assaulting the will to devour the slave
    Precision attacks to crumble the walls
    Punish eternal when defenses dissolve…

    it doesn’t have to be eternal. it gets better, i swear. stay strong and believe. and yes, you must not weaken… see poem above…

  7. Rebuilding - but still in pain.
    September 15, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    Blamefest. Eventually I left the meeting when she started gaslighting. This really starts to nag at the back of my head – “What she said, didn’t happen! … Did it?”

    She said flatly that she wanted a divorce and was only here to discuss finances. Then nearer the end of the night she said…”Do you know what? Maybe I won’t give you a divorce. Why should I? It would cost too much.”

    Then she switched to attack. When the gaslighting started, I just said “Gaslighting” and left.

    So it’s gonna be hard. One year if she is agreeable. Two years if she doesn’t ‘give me’ a divorce. I’ll need to watch myself, ’cause I still love her. If she had turned on the charm I might have weakend. When I first saw her, she looked good, but very unhappy. I experienced a flood of warmth towards her. Fortunately she reminded me exactly why I MUST NOT WEAKEN. Gonna write 10 reasons not to go back. On a positive note she said she is getting counselling and will raise the npd. I hope it helps her find a better way in life.

    BTW. Dr T.,

    I had pretty much convinced myself that she was NPD; Hypervigilant, Narcisstic injury/rage. Blaming. Projection. Never apologising. However, I read that Narcissist don’t dabble with suicide. (Sam Vanknin) Is this a BPD trait? Could you clarify?

    • Mr. E
      September 16, 2009 at 3:17 pm

      Rebuilding – I think writing down 10 reasons not to go back is a good idea. I’d post that by the phone and keep a copy in my wallet.

      Concerning the NPD/BPD thing, as mentioned elsewhere on the site, the disorders are on a spectrum, so it’s likely they’ll display traits from all the disorders at different times. These folks want control, and if threatening suicide will give them control , they’ll do it.

      For me personally, I’ve found attempting to diagnose NPD/BPD to be a distracting mental exercise. It ultimately doesn’t matter. The bottom line is that folks with these disorders are bullies. It doesn’t matter what the bully’s problem is. The end result for the target is the same: suffering.

    • shrink4men
      September 16, 2009 at 4:35 pm

      Hi Rebuilding,

      Mr E’s explanation is spot on. From what you’ve described, your wife seems to have a mix of BPD and NPD traits. My hunch is when she’s feeling “stable” (stable for her) and in firmly control, she’s more on the NPD end of the spectrum. When she senses she’s losing control (you were distancing yourself prior to the parasuicidal gesture and not letting her push your button) she amped up the crazy and decompensated toward the BPD end of the spectrum.

      As for Sam Vankin, I’ve tried reading his material and I think he’s stark raving mad. There’s something really creepy about him, then again, he’s an admitted full-blown NPD, so there you go. Additionally, I also find his writing difficult to read. There’s too much jargon and grandiosity for me.

      Also, the 10 reasons list is a good idea. Make several copies and tuck them away for emergencies.

      Dr T

  8. Rebuilding - but still in pain
    September 12, 2009 at 8:29 am

    Hi Dr T., Freedom, and any other subscribers.

    Note my name change! (formerly JustAnotherSorryGuy) Sorry Dr. T, I don’t yet feel that I’ve got my life back yet. That’s about a year away. I feel more like I am in Limbo.

    There is SO MUCH that I could say here that would be informative to your readers, that I don’t know where to begin.

    One of the surprising things to me, even now, is that I did not think our relationship was all that bad!! “Sure we had a lot of arguments – but don’t all couples?” “OK, she almost never apologises and it is infuriating – a major flaw, but sometimes she is right. I have flaws. They evidently infuriate her.”

    Yet there was always deeply disturbing signs that worried me;

    * In particular my inability to ‘connect’ during an argument. (I now recognise that this was narcissistic rage.)

    *Her projection of her flaws on to me. This may sound self serving, but I swear that in one of my last attempts to sort things out I was frustrated by the following; in the calm after the storm, discussing the issue, ‘oh, so carefully’, I would list my error and failing in the matter and apologiise. When I challenged her on any shortcoming she would only accept it if

    a) I admitted that I was the same
    b) realised that it was actually my fault she was this way.

    *In short BLAME always had to lie with me. ALWAYS.

    Yet I didn’t (want to?) see it.

    In spite of being ‘not that bad’ I seem to have a story that has taken over this thread. It all unravelled in a few weeks when I realised what was happening and decided not to validate her rage attacks or respond to her button pushing.

    Back to the present:

    I confess that it was my wife and her family that arranged the split. I suspect that my wife has lost control of the situation – so much the better. I am at home with my son – she is elsewhere with my daughter. It is bizarre. It is like she is an escaped domestic abuse victim.

    I have been checking up on Scottish divorce law. One years separation is all we need if both parties agree. I spoke to her on the phone yesterday. I mentioned divorce and she responded “T—–, I haven’t even looked at that yet!” Can, you believe it? She ‘tries’ suicide, announces ‘it’s over’, runs off to Austrailia for four weeks, returns to a ‘safe house,’ blames me for sucking the happiness out of her life, breaks the family and she hasn’t yet looked into Scottish divorce law. She hasn’t taken a penny from the bank. My daughter told me she is spending her inheritance from her mother (not dead yet).

    I am to meet her, in a public place, on Monday night. She returned Wednesday and has kept me dangling ’til Monday. I just want information and to make arrangements to sell the house. I don’t know her agenda, hopefully the same.

    I have kept all her emails and texts. NOT ONCE has she spoke about any other person’s hurt. The family are hurting. I feel like I have had my heart ripped from my chest. Lying in bed at night thinking things over, I caught myself saying out loud, ‘I need out of this relationship. I need out of this relationship. I need out of this relationship….’

    Still it’s not that bad. She can be so sweet and caring at times. Sweetest girl in the world. ;)

    • Freedom
      September 13, 2009 at 5:02 am

      Rebuilding (much better name),
      she’s gonna meet you in a public place? is this a hostage situation, or is it for your protection in case she flips out and goes bonkers?

      i was looking back at my email folder from my ex. there are 115 emails. all negative, all blaming, all destructive. that doesn’t include the previous 100 or so that i deleted!!! i’m keeping them as proof legally in case i need them. and i’ve printed them all out for safe keeping. but other than that, i don’t read them. i did during the break-up as a reminder of why i was leaving – again – why it was for good this time. as you know, i wish my ex the absolute BEST that life can offer her. and i mean it with all my heart. however… to use Dr. T’s mantra… i didn’t cause it, i can’t change it, it’s who she is and probably will never change.

      so i’ve moved on, i’ve been keeping myself VERY busy, my love life is taking a turn for the better, i got a new tattoo, i’m working out 5 days a week… whatever it is that i can do to treat myself well and keep the train moving right along. your train is just leaving the station. it’s gonna work, my friend. and the scenery is wonderful once you get moving. trust me on this… keep the faith, stay true to yourself, talk to a professional to help stop her incessant voice rattling in your head… and know that things WILL get better.

      all my best…

    • shrink4men
      September 16, 2009 at 4:26 pm

      Hi Rebuilding,

      Who cares who arranged the split? Run with it. If you reconcile after the huge disruption her parasuicidal gesture caused she will have total control and power over both you and your children. The inmate will be running the asylum.

      Don’t think of her as being in a “safe house” because she needs to be protected from you. Think of her as being in exile, banished from the family because of her destructive choices and behaviors. You and your kids need the safe house.

      When a woman like your wife’s behavior escalates to a parasuicidal gesture; trust me, it is that bad.

      Change is scary—even positive change. This has been your life for a long time now. You’re at a critical juncture. You can re-enlist for more of the same (if not worse) or you can opt for a better future and a chance at happiness and a healthy, loving mutual relationship.

      Kind Regards,
      Dr Tara

  9. JustAnotherSorryGuy
    September 10, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    Ooops! Pressed submit by accident. Anyway the future lies ahead scary but exciting.

    Thanks all,

    • shrink4men
      September 10, 2009 at 7:28 pm

      P.S. I think it’s time to change your name from “JustAnotherSorryGuy” to “JustGotMyLifeBackGuy!”

    • Freedom
      September 11, 2009 at 3:58 pm

      good to see you back on here. i was hoping you’d give us an update. well… the more things change, the more they stay the same as far as your ex, huh? the thing is, she will not, mentally is completely incapable of, taking any responsibility for her words, deeds, actions. as you knew before she left for her hiatus, it was everone’s fault but hers. nothing is gonna change in that regard. but, my friend, you’re on a different path from where you were. you’re getting a brand new life, so please make it a great one. sometimes it’s really gonna suck to go thru all of this, but keep your eyes on the prize, which is your health and your – dare i say it – freedom.

      please know that we’re all pulling for you.

  10. JustAnotherSorryGuy
    September 10, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    Last update;

    Well she’s back, but not home! We have separated. I am just writing to state the positives and negatives of this part of the process. First, it hurts like hell. Wish I could say otherwise, but it does. However, I feel that this is ‘the boil being lanced’ and it is as close to as painful as it gets, but with time the wound will heal. I can’t stop thinking about it and at times feel waves of anger. However, I have learned not to act in anger, I’ll only regret it.

    My son is staying with me. My daughter is staying with my wife. This is an arrangement I agreed with our ‘kids,’ but I did caution my daughter that her mum will be ‘difficult’ she accepted this but decided not to isolate her.

    On a positive note it is absolutely true that my son and daughter see me in a whole new light. It’s almost as if I am finally able to be myself.

    The home is peaceful – not a single raised voice all month, even though there was disagreements.

    In her last email to me, which was full of blame, I was staggered at some of the statements.

    “You told ##### that your not ready for counselling and therefore you don’t, in my opinion, seem to want to make any effort to deal with the emotional out busts you have and their effects on me.”

    I near fell of my chair at this. Does she really believe this? Has she forgotten the hysteria of her parasuicide?

    “… but just now my happiness is being sucked out of me and you I’m afraid are responsible.” Referring to her decision to go to Australia. Well I have no intention of sucking any more of her happiness.

    • shrink4men
      September 10, 2009 at 7:26 pm

      Hi just another sorry guy,

      Woo hoo! I know it might seem strange to congratulate you on your separation, but it really is like getting a boil lanced in your case. You are freeing yourself from additional years of abuse, unhappiness and stress. As for your soon-to-be-ex’s most recent blame-ridden accusations, well, that’s just par for the course, isn’t it?

      She’s not going to take any responsibility for the demise of your relationships or her own behaviors. No surprise there. However, I’m very pleased to read about the change in dynamics between you and your children. That’s wonderful. It would be better for your daughter’s sake if she could maintain some distance, but this is a good start.

      No matter how bad your relationship became, it’s normal to feel hurt and sadness. Even abusive relationships require a mourning period when they come to an end. Soon, relief and a wonderful sense of peace and stability will replace the pain. Just keep looking forward and please keep me posted.

      Dr T

  11. JustAnotherSorryGuy
    August 11, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    Thanks Dr. T. and Freedom,

    The frankness of the last messages was like a welcome slap in the face. The tears shed were for the loss of an illusion. I will allow myself them ’cause trying to love this woman has hurt.

    I went back to my daughter, and talked about the ‘elephant in the room.’ She opened up and I was reassured that she understands the situation very well. My daughter also indicated that she is glad for a little calm for the next few weeks.

    My son was away at the time, but when informed he just shrugged his shoulders and “Well that was major stupid.” and also indicated that “mum’s family have always been crazy.”

    Tears done, I have booked an appointment with a local lawyer. We both work and earn pretty much exactly the same so 50/50 will suit me fine.

    I will close there ’cause it has become “SorryGuy’s sorry saga.” Thank you both for your understanding support and advice.


    BTW – it is peaceful.

    • Freedom
      August 12, 2009 at 5:53 am

      let me try it this way…

      hold your head up high knowing that you’re a good man with a good heart. all of us know that this world certainly can use more good hearts. so take some solice that you are doing your share – trivial as it may seem sometimes. but it’s not trivial.

      in my situation… here is what i know…. i am a really good guy. i’m very honest, sincere, direct, very much a gentleman, kinda old-school when it comes to treating a woman right. i try hard to please, am a man of integrity, and very willing to give my heart and soul to the right woman all over again and willing to risk what it takes in order to achieve the prize of a loving, lasting relationship. i’m not down on women, i’m not down on life, and i’m not down on love. of these things i am certain. and i think that is a healthy mindset. the rest will take care of itself in time.

      i bring all of that up because i truly believe it’s important to take personal inventory after all of this, and perhaps more than once. you’re gonna find out mistakes that you made, and things you could have done differently. but hopefully you’re also gonna find out and rediscover all of the positive qualities about you, and what you have to offer the right girl. it ain’t gonna happen today, and it ain’t gonna happen tomorrow. but it will happen. it’s a marathon, not a sprint. and it’s a new journey that’s gonna be scary at times. but it’s a journey worth taking. and it’s a journey worth enjoying.

      now that i’ve sounded like a total Hallmark card… just know that you’re in my thoughts and prayers. and yet… also keep Dr. T’s advice in mind. don’t dillydally on your afffairs. gitterdun…

      all my best… keep me informed…

      • JustAnotherSorryGuy
        August 12, 2009 at 10:31 am

        Thanks Freedom. I do want to disengage (at least on this forum) because I don’t think this is the arena for an extended counselling session. My concern is for my ‘kids’ they are very nearly independent and I want the best for them.

        Talking to them about the ‘invisible elephant’ was hugely reassuring. They both absolutely get it! Although they have been through the ringer also – of course they must.

        If I ever need to question “Who is the abuser?” in our relationship, I only need to re read this thread over and consider the facts. It may seem bizarre to some that I should but these women screw you up. You are trying to ‘work through problems’ trying to really communicate. Reflect on your own behaviour and improve the relationship. She is trying to set out her battle plan, establish a stronghold, seek allies, identify weaknesses and ultimately seize power and hold it. I feel like a fool.

        This is only the last drama in 21+ years. Granted it is the worst I can recall, but my reading on this site has polarised behaviours. I have behaved better. Though admittedly less forgiving. I have not fallen for her traps and button pushing. I also explained to her about the need to be positive in our relationship. Any REAL women would respond by behaving better! Deaf ears – she has behaved worse…a whole new level of crazy worse, that I never imagined was possible.

        I feel I need the love of a good woman. Is this weak? Yet, I am now terrified that I will jump into another relationship with another woman with similar problems. If my self esteem is intact, my level of trust and ability to commit are severely damaged.

        So much of the way you talk resonates with me. I guess you are in the states? You are not in the uk?

        Thanks again,

  12. Freedom
    August 11, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    Dr. T is absolutely spot on about this. your wife freaks out (again), takes everybody on a ride that they most certainly did not sign up for, which i seriously doubt she can remotely comprehend the absolute devastation an actual suicide can cause to loved ones (cuz it’s not about her), then takes NO responsibility for her actions, doesn’t even acknowledge the worry and stress she caused to others, then gets whisked away, leaving you holding the bag – again.

    and if – or when – the divorce proceedings start… she WILL leave you holding the bag again. actually, she’ll probably try to take your bag as well, leaving you nothing. this is how they “win”. and you’ve already acknowledged that it has been a win at all costs mentality with her. that ain’t gonna change now that the stakes are this high. she might be down there “getting better” in other people’s eyes. more likely she’s also down there with her mind spinning thinking of stuff that’s gonna happen when she returns. especially if she’s around family who will but into her BS, cuz then she can gain info on how to really get at you.

    cry a thousand tears when she leaves. yell and scream with joy, with anger, get it out of your system. it certainly seems like you’ve earned the right to shed it all. if you can go to a gym, the physical release will do you wonders mentally and physically. but understand that no amount of tears you cry are gonna save you if she decides to get nasty. like Dr. T said, get your affairs in order. right now you might feel emotionally bankrupt. but understand that it can still get much worse if you’re not prepared, especially if she feels entitled or that you owe her. you’d rather have it and not need it then need it and not have it.

    the thing i keep reminding myself is that “it is what it is”. i’ve tried looking at it a million different ways. i can’t change her, no matter what i do, because nothing will ever be good enough, she will never be satisfied with the man i am. but the key thing for me is – – i am satisfied with the man i am. you put in a lot of years with your girl. sometimes it might seem a damn shame to turn away from all the effort, etc. but would you rather put in 20 years and get what little you’ve gotten, or 30 years? it’s not unlike a person with an additcion. you can get clean – or free – now, or you can waste that much more time, money, effort into something that really is little more than a bottomless pit designed to swallow you whole.

  13. JustAnotherSorryGuy
    August 11, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    Thanks Freedom,

    I had to stop reading your response half way through because I was sobbing deeply and couldn’t read through the tears. Your response relates almost exactly to where I am. I want her to be happy. I want her to love and be loved. I need to love and be loved. However, I have been chasing a fantasy. How can she love/accept my love when she describes me as her abuser. Yet if we split then the pain will be great, and I abandon her to her hopeless situation.

    However, I cannot save her. I can not really communicate with her. Trying to resolve problems is impossible. It is so simple to me. Discuss the issue. Accept one’s personal failings/shortcomings. Apologise. Accept apologies offered. Forgive. Identify the way forward.

    With my wife it is blame, blame. Any attempt to defend myself results. rage, random abuse then Blame again.

    My wife has very often said that she ‘doesn’t know’ how to resolve problems’. Will she really suffer if we split? At times any pain present seems so hidden by rage that it is hard to imagine she is hurting at all.

    It is hard to read that I have spent over 20 years loving a projection, but that makes sense now. It is very telling that I am here searching my soul and she is flying away across the world probably pushing any pain deep down.

    How to split? Our finances are almost completely shared in joint accountsThey are not too healthy (credit crunch bites) I have resolved to separate finances. Sell the house, then seperate and file for divorce, but sorting the finances may tak time. Am I fooling myself? Should one go straight to a lawyer once decided?

    • shrink4men
      August 11, 2009 at 5:25 pm

      Hi JustAnotherSorryGuy,

      Stop worrying about your wife and start worrying about yourself. It’s natural (if you’re a decent human being) to worry about others’ well-being and to not want to think of yourself as a “bad guy” who’s abandoning his wife, but you need to dis-abuse yourself of this mindset. I’d like to make the following reality testing points.

      1. You’re wife is not helpless. Hopelessly flawed, yes; helpless, NO. She makes a parasuicidal gesture, scares her daughter, spends public health care money on her emotional blackmail BS and what happens? Is she being required to seek treatment for her crazy behavior? No. Her family is sending her on a free holiday to Australia for 4 weeks in which she gets to leave you twisting in the wind worrying about the fate of your relationship. Last time I checked, when someone makes a suicidal gesture, they get treatment and go on suicide watch. They don’t go halfway around the globe to knock back Mai-Ti’s and let the person who’s done nothing to “think about what’s he’s done” and what an “abuser” he is. PLEASE.

      2. Your wife will not suffer when you split. She will experience it as a narcissistic injury and subject everyone in her path to narcissistic rage episodes, but who really suffers when she has a rage attack? You suffer; not her. Your wife’s recent, meaningless suicide “attempt” and subsequent all-expenses holiday is ample proof that she’s highly capable of not suffering the consequences of her actions. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Other people end up suffering because of her actions.

      3. NPD/BPD women are predators. As such, they’re highly skilled at manipulating people and situations to their advantage based on the power of emotional reasoning and zero facts to back them up. They’re especially adept at doing so in the court system. Just as your wife has played the victim and twisted things in your 20 year marriage, she will do the same thing during the divorce process. Therefore, I urge you again to stop worrying about your wife and start worrying about yourself.

      4. This 4-week holiday will probably end up being the greatest gift your wife has ever given you. Take this time to find yourself a GOOD lawyer and get your ducks in a row. Start copying all of your financial records. Go through them all with a fine tooth comb. Pay close attention to any strange withdrawal slips and deposits made into accounts you don’t recognize. Open your own checking account and transfer some money into it. Take this time to develop a plan. You don’t have to act on it, but gather as much information as you can from appropriate professionals in order to make the most informed decisions possible.

      5. Shared finances are complicated, but not impossible to figure out. Considering the length of your marriage and that you’re currently out of work, you should be able to split the assets and debt 50/50. These are the things you need to talk to an experienced attorney about. I encourage you to schedule some consultations with multiple attorneys in your area for the day she gets on the plane.

      Dr T

  14. Freedom
    August 10, 2009 at 3:29 am

    Well if anything, it’ll give you a much needed break from the chaos. ahhhh… quiet time.

    • JustAnotherSorryGuy
      August 10, 2009 at 9:37 pm

      Thanks freedom, and Dr T.,

      In spite of the fact that I expect 4 weeks argument free. It still hurts to see her go. I just desperately want her to ‘get it.’ It is all crazy self destructive behaviour. However, I think that I will see how the next month goes without her. I have started to fantisize about being free and divorced, and maybe meeting a real woman.

      BTW excuse the numerous typos, spelling and punctuation errors – I should review my text more closely.

      • Freedom
        August 11, 2009 at 1:18 pm

        Let me see if i can put these words correctly, SorryGuy, and hopefully they’ll come out sensibly. i have run the gauntlet of emotions since my break-up. of course there’s been anger, a lot of sadness, and total confusion. i’ve done the “woulda, coulda, shoulda” over and over again. i’ve questioned so much about what i believe, what i stand for, and who i am as a person because of this. and yet… after putting myself thru the ringer, and taking a very close look at all of this… i still stand behind everything i’ve done, and the choices i’ve made to leave, and why. i am certain that it was the correct decision to leave, and the reasons for leaving are for the right reasons, rather than staying in for the wrong ones. and yet… even after all of that… there is a part of me that wishes things were different, and that i didn’t feel this way. and while i’m also certain that this is part of the healing process, that doesn’t make it any fun to go thru.

        but none of that means that i don’t want the girl to be happy and successful, especially in love. like you, i want her to get it, i want that lightbulb moment to happen for her, where she realizes that the way she’s going on about life and love is destructive and counter-productive, and will make the changes to bring true love into her heart and warm her soul. because we all see that happiness comes from within. it breaks my heart to know that she is hurting, and also to know that i have caused her pain from leaving. i’m a good man, a good soul, and i really don’t like to hurt people, especially those that i love. but the not-so-simple truth is that happiness comes from within. there’s very little i could do for her that would bring that happiness to her, other than stay in a let her continue to pummel me into the ground. and i came to realize that i just couldn’t do that anymore. when she wanted to be sweet she was the sweetest girl i ever met. she was kind and loving and gentle and amazing. but, as you have read, the bad side is more than i am capable of taking. i can’t be with someone who is gonna take the greatest gift that i have to give – myself and my love – and spit on it, use it, harness it and control it like a beast of burden. therefore, again, i am certain that i made the right choice in leaving.

        but that doesn’t mean it like it. beacuse the biggest emotion that has stuck with me is disappointment. because the romantic side of me says it never should have to be this way. and yet, the logical side knows that there’s nothing i can do but leave. i can’t save her.

  15. JustAnotherSorryGuy
    August 9, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    Thanks freedom. Well, we didn’t talk about the parasuicide. I offered, but warned that I could not, and would not, validate her behaviour. I suggested that discussion would almost certainly lead to an argument. She decided not to talk about it. My daughter didn’t want to talk about it. So it is a bizarre non-event. The suicide note, was for my daughter, not for me. I found it sitting on full view in the trash as I took it out. I copied it with my phone camera and saved the photo securely away.

    Today My wife stated flatly that “it’s over!” She wants a divorce! However, she has said this often before as an excuse not to try to resolve things. However, this might bring the impetus required to trigger divorce proceedings.

    Of course she clearly tried to blame me.

    I am sitting here, head realing from the events.

    Her family are funding a break for her with her twin in Australia – 4 weeks. She sprung this on me. She leaves on Tuesday. This may provide a welcome break though, for us both.

    So she has learned nothing. What do you expect. Her spell in australia may not be as happy as she imagines… Her sister is a worse narcissist than her. The last time she staid with us – all hell broke. When two N clash … Ugly, Each berating and blaiming the other and escalating rage, nobody checking or moderating. 12000 miles might just be enough. T

    • shrink4men
      August 10, 2009 at 5:50 pm

      Hi JustAnotherSorryGuy,

      That’s not so unusual. Women like your wife go from one thermonuclear meltdown to the next and rarely if ever reflect on what happened. If they do, it’s to assign blame to someone else—typically you. Unfortunately, many children in families like this grow up conditioned not to acknowledge the giant elephant in the room lest the elephant get riled and stampede.

      Abusive personalities and parents demand quiet collusion. You don’t challenge them and you don’t talk about their outbursts. After awhile, kids believe this is normal, which creates a lot of damage and really dysfunctional beliefs about adult relationships. Many of these children become “parentified” and end up being the grown up to their out of control parent.

      For the other dads out there, I encourage you to talk to your kids about what it’s like for them when “mom gets mad.” Don’t put words in their mouths, but find out what they think and feel about it. Ask them if they think that’s how all mommies and daddies are. If they do, you need to consider what you’re letting your kid be exposed to and how it will impact their ability to have relationships in the future.

      Enjoy the break when your wife goes on her holiday. Hopefully, you can get “out from under” while she’s “down under.”

      Dr T

  16. JustAnotherSorryGuy
    August 8, 2009 at 10:53 am


    Thanks. I have read your posts, so I know that you understand where I am coming from.

    I should make it clear that my daughter is 20 and not a minor. I am afraid that I have not spoken to my daughter yet. The opportunity has not arisen, but she is here now alone with me as I type – so I will talk presently.

    That my wife is well (physically) is no surprise! It was immediately obvious to me that this was a parasuicide. (New word for me! Thanks Dr. T! I didn’t expect to learn a word like this in response to a direct personal experience, but I have learned so much from this website that relates directly to my own life.)

    What is a shock is realising how sick my wife really is! She left a suicide note, and frankly I am embarrassed for her. The reasoning for her parasuicide are so shallow and ‘reek’ of control. We are over 20 years of bumpy marraige, I am amazed now that I have come this far with my self esteem intact with a woman who is clearly so disturbed as a “soul mate.”

    Where to go from here. Reading this website has clarified my head and changed the dynamics of our relationship, permanently. Now a split seems inevitable, but timing is important, I have suffered 21+yrs. Our kids will soon fly the nest – so it might be easier in a couple of years. However, now that the dynamics have changed now and it may become intolerable. If it was ever tolerable at all.

    The one consolation in all of this is that my daughter, who previously bought my wife’s spousal abuse claims witnessed the best part of the narc attack which then escalated into the bizarre. She must now see a better picture of the facts. (I posted about this previously, but changed my name ’cause I don’t want to be too easily identified.)

    • Freedom
      August 9, 2009 at 2:20 am

      so has she mentioned ANY responsibility for any of this? or is this all your fault? or everyone else’s fault? it IS good news that your wife is physically ok. like Dr. T said, there are things that can go wrong with parasuicidal gestures too. but maybe, just maybe, for leaving that note for all to see is a blessing in disguise…? on one hand, now you have proof that she is not an emotionally balanced individual. that may be a HUGE blessing for you cuz now you can actually show people what you are going thru. and second, perhaps with that proof it may force her to finally come to grips with the person she is and the life she is leading – – – and therefore involving the rest of you. i’m just afraid she’s gonna spin it and make everyone else out to be the bad guy(s). but you have my support. stay strong and stay true to yourself.

  17. JustAnotherSorryGuy
    August 6, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    Thanks Dr T.

    Update. Well, both my daughter and wife returned at 3 am. The hospital obviously didn’t take her suicidal attempts seriously. They monitored her then sent her home. I hoped they’d keep her for a couple of days.

    She actually tried to talk about it…something like “Can you see how upset I am?” or “Do you see what you’ve drove me to?” I can’t recall exactly, ’cause I wasn’t listening – I refused to talk about it. I understand it all better than she does and talking about it is a TOTAL WASTE OF TIME.

    Next day I got up and came downstairs. She was red eyed. I greeted her “Good morning!” and offered her a coffee. She accepted. Her tone was genuinely broken – funny how in these relationships one becomes finely tuned to the nuances of tone in a few words that start the day! I made her a coffee. When I handed her the coffee SHE ACTUALLY APOLOGISED!!! I have indicated in previous posts that this is something she virtually never does. I had always resolved that whenever she does I would reward such a gesture in order to reinforce such positive behaviour with say a hug, a mutual apology of my own or some form of reassurance. However, I couldn’t in this situation it wasn’t ‘okay’ it was a crazy act! I don’t rule out her using this later in her next narc attack.

    I have moved from denial to acceptance of the need to split. If parasuicide didn’t work what will she dream up next?

    • Freedom
      August 7, 2009 at 11:55 pm

      wow… what to say? it’s very good news that your wife is physically ok. on that level it has to be some sort of relief. but on so many levels you gotta be running a flood of emotions. how is your daughter taking all of this? it’s gotta be very difficult on her. but another question is… where do you go from here? i’ll leave that up to Dr. T and the pros… just wanted to send my well wishes.

    • shrink4men
      August 10, 2009 at 4:39 pm

      Hi JustAnotherSorryGuy,

      Perhaps your wife was testing the waters with her apology. Sometimes these women are able to realize that their behaviors are way out in far orbit, that they may have gone too far. They seem almost contrite, sheepish and “vulnerable,” then they become agitated and overbearing again.

      The parasuicidal gesture definitely kicks the crazy up a notch. Considering you didn’t give her the reaction she was seeking—who knows exactly what she was hoping for, but these gestures always have an agenda like keeping you in the relationship, getting you to apologize, beg for her forgiveness and submit—she may revert back to her usual patterns, become withdrawn and sullen (because the tactic didn’t work) or up the ante.

      Hang in there,
      Dr T

      • JustAnotherSorryGuy
        August 11, 2009 at 2:01 am

        ‘They seem almost contrite, sheepish and “vulnerable,” then they become agitated and overbearing again.’

        Dr T, that’s exactly how it was/is. It’s like, for just a fleeting moment the narcissists ‘true self’ was exposed. Try as she might she couldn’t blame anyone for the crazyness of her act and she saw herself clearly.

        It is tempting to imagine that if I had been more magnanimous and reassured her and hugged her etc. I might have actually ‘connected’ with her. However, these moments have occured in the past – oh, so few times. It is easy to love and forgive the vulnerable, woonded individual. It provoks my protective instincts. Responding positively makes things a lot better, but doesn’t ‘cure’ her lack of trust. Possibly would if they occured more often, but they just don’t.

        Also, it is an opportunity for maximum damage – which is what the narcissist fears most. I wonder if in her past this has been exploited and so generated the N behaviour. I seldom witness ‘hurt’ in my wife, it so often manifests itself as anger.

        Anyway, it is gone… ” and they become overbearing and agitated again.” Pretty much how it is. I don’t know what my wife told her family that they decided to fund her a free holiday to Austrailia. Doubtless, I am a b*****d, but they’ve been told that before. Great reinforcement and reward for the narcisstic behaviour! What also hurts is that she is staying with her brother tonight and being taken to the airport by her friend tomorrow. I was THE LAST to know the details. It’s all like she’s some kind of victim of domestic abuse, and all I did was refuse to validate her rage. Pass me the crazy pills please.

  18. JustAnotherSorryGuy
    August 5, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    OMG. I have been telling myself that my wife was not as bad as many women here. ” She has NPD, but it’s a spectrum. Now that her button pressing doesn’t work,” I thought, “her abuse doesn’t get to me. ” However, sensing her loss of control she only took it to a whole new level.

    What happened? Well the Narc trigger was my neice doing well in exams and our son’s result disappointing. I firmly refused to validate her rage. She pressed all the usual buttons – insults round my family and me. Didn’t get to me, and she knew it. When my daughter came home she was sucked in to the argument. Anyway, I left the home to cool down. Came back, and she was fuming quietly upstairs, I resolved to let her calm down and approach her later.

    My daughter and I sat and camly watched TV. After about half an hour, she called my daughter upstairs. I ignored the ‘distress’ I heard upstairs. Just the usual, I thought.

    However, I thought I heard distress in my daughter’s voice and she was phoning somone.

    So I went upstairs. On seeing me, my wife went hysterical – more abuse and blame. My daughter was visibly distressed and had called NHS24 (uk health advice line).

    My wife had only gone and taken pills!!!!!

    However, she seemed to have left more on the bed, than she’d taken. She was hysterical. Eventually my daughter took her into hospital. I didn’t go. She screamed if I came near. I await further news. She will be fine, she hardly took any, (if she took any at all.)

    All hell opens up! I never imagined she was this crazy!!

    • shrink4men
      August 5, 2009 at 11:44 pm

      Hi JustAnotherSorryGuy,

      The parasuicidal gesture is nothing more than a desperate attempt to regain control. BPD groups will tell you to take suicidal gestures very seriously, but I just can’t. They’re emotional blackmail/control techniques. Granted, it’s one of the most extreme forms, but that’s all it is. When they do actually die from an attempt, it’s usually a mistake (miscalculated the dose, etc.) or the person who was supposed to arrive to “rescue them” arrives too late. Treating their parasuicidal gestures seriously only reinforces their maladaptive behaviors.

      Your wife no doubt noticed her usual control tactics and guilt trips weren’t working and she was most definitely upping the ante. I hope the NHS is keeping her locked up for at least a week for observation and if they are, I’d consider NOT visiting her. To do that while your child is in the house is truly monstrous, not pitiable.

      Kind Regards,
      Dr Tara

  19. fromCOtoAZ
    July 17, 2009 at 2:22 am

    nope… not offended. everything you said is right on the money. i got to thinking after we talked and the conclusions i came up with are that i seriously doubt she ever showed her therapist anything, or gave her a scathingly one-sided depostion of her distorted reality. in truth, i can’t tell you if she’s even seen a therapist at all. i’ve bowed out of what goes on between her and her therapist long ago, out of respect for her, and because i don’t want to get involved or taint any possible progress in her therapy. the only problem now is, even after all of her ranting about how i’m not worthy of being her friend and what a disgusting excuse for a man i am… she can’t seem to grasp why i don’t want to come back to her or even talk to her. she won’t leave me alone. i told ya… she’s the emotional Terminator. but the good news is that i haven’t answered any of her emails for the last few days. no narcissistic supply from me. but i KNOW another blow-up is coming soon. i’m trying to just ignore her. hopefully she’ll get bored and go haunt some other fool. if not, then looks like i’m gonna have to go the extra mile – again – and change pretty much all of my contacts and block emails, etc. UGH!!! is there an NPD Protection Program out there where i can just change my identity? maybe wear one of those thick rimmed black glasses with the overgrown nose and short mustache.

    • shrink4men
      July 23, 2009 at 2:48 pm

      Hi “Mike” (fromCotoAZ),

      What a pain in the arse. Sorry to read she’s still haunting you. It’s amazing that these women, once they’ve driven you running and screaming into the night, don’t understand why you don’t want to be in a relationship with them.

      This is evidence, I think, that they have screwy wiring upstairs. How do they not understand that verbally abusing your ex, calling him every name in the book is NOT how you woo him back. Sometimes they understand that and lie, saying things will be different, but of course they never are. The abuse starts again, you end it and they still don’t understand why. Absolutely no learning curve in this respect.

      Good luck with this one. Looks like you need it!

      Dr Tara

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  1. July 15, 2009 at 6:53 pm

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