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Will My Emotionally Abusive Girlfriend or Wife Be Different With the New Guy?

jealousy_munchWill my emotionally abusive girlfriend or wife be sweet, normal and wonderful with the next guy? The answer to this question is no, No and NO. Many men torture themselves with this highly unlikely possibility when they contemplate ending the relationship, after they’ve ended the relationship or when their on-again-off-again exes are treating them like a cat toying with a half-dead mouse.

What’s the Origin of this Irrational Fear?

This fear and faulty belief can be traced directly back to the source of all irrational distortions, insecurities and lies—your ex. This kind of woman explicitly or implicitly conveys that she’s always been a sweet, kind and loving person until she met you and that you bring out the worst in her. The implication is that there’s something wrong with you, which is why she treats you the way she does. Malarkey.

This is yet another example of how these women refuse to take responsibility for their behaviors and blame the victim instead. If it were possible for you to interview her past and future boyfriends/spouses you would hear eerily similar tales of the same relationship atrocities you experienced with her.

Unlike reasonably healthy people who change and grow across a lifetime; these women remain disappointingly the same. We grow and learn by acknowledging our mistakes and through loving and being loved. These women never acknowledge their myriad mistakes and don’t know the first thing about love. She won’t be different in a new relationship. A woman like this replays the same misery over and over again. The only things she learns from her relationships are how to control, manipulate and hurt others more effectively.

Lies that Feed the Fear

The following lies are control devices that undermine your confidence, fuel your insecurities and cement your emotional dependency upon your NPD and/or BPD girlfriend or wife. Some of these women deliver these messages loud and clear; while others imply or insinuate them so subtly that you don’t even realize what’s happening until it’s too late.

No one else would want you. This is nonsense. There are 6.7 billion people on this planet. Roughly half of them are female. Surely there’s at least one other woman who will find you attractive. Your wife/girlfriend/ex wants you to believe this because you’re less likely to fly the coop and she retains control.

No one else will ever love you like I love you. Let’s hope not. If by “love” she means, “no one else will ever treat you like crap the way I treat you like crap” then it’s a translation problem from crazy-speak to English rather than a lie.

I don’t know what’s wrong with you. You bring out the worst in me. Why do you make me act like this?! You don’t bring out the worst in her. Anyone who tries to get close to her and seeks intimacy and kindness from her brings out the worst in her. Therefore, all of her “love” relationships will bring out the worst in her.

How Can She Move onto a New Guy So Quickly After our Break-Up?

Just because your ex instantly lands in a new relationship doesn’t mean she’s healthy and moving on with her life. This kind of woman unravels  when she’s not in a relationship and receiving attention. She doesn’t have a core identity. The only time she comes close to feeling like a whole person is when she’s in a relationship because it provides her with the illusion of normalcy.

Being wanted validates her existence. If she’s not receiving attention from someone—it doesn’t matter if it’s negative or positive—then she might actually have to look at herself and her behavior and she can’t handle that. She needs to have someone tell her she’s wonderful and someone to blame for the train wreck that is her life.

This is also a clear example of how these women don’t relate to others as individual people with whom you have a connection, but as objects with which to abuse and amuse themselves. These women usually discard you and move onto the next shiny object when:

  • You stop playing by her rules and she notices that you’re becoming immune to her tricks and manipulations. She senses she’s about to be confronted with the truth of her behavior and pulls the rip cord.
  • She finds someone with more money, more status and more time to devote to her never-ending needs.
  • She senses you’re about to end the relationship, so she abandons you before you abandon her.
  • She craves more attention and orchestrates a competition or rivalry for her “affections.”

Why Does She Flaunt Her New Relationship(s) in My Face?

She does this for several reasons, including:

  • To hurt you
  • To let you know “what you’re missing out on”
  • To see if you still care
  • To see if she can still jerk your chain and push your buttons
  • To make you feel bad and jealous about all of the alleged men who are “madly in love” with her
  • To rub your nose in the illusion that she’s moving on in her life and is doing “great” and is happy without you
  • To see if you’re still available (i.e., not dating). A BPD and/or NPD woman likes to keep her exes in a cupboard for a “rainy day,” so she can seek attention when she’s feeling alone and abandoned by the most recent guy she’s scared off
  • To test the waters to see if she can lure you back into a relationship with her.

If your ex directly tells you or broadcasts her dating escapades in such a way that you’re guaranteed to learn of them, she has not “moved on” nor is she happy. First, if you’ve really moved on after a relationship, you’re not preoccupied with your ex to the point that you parade your new relationships in front of him or her. In fact, you maintain a healthy distance and just go about your life. If you’ve moved on, you don’t invest time and energy trying to “get at” your ex. This behavior is indicative of not having moved on, being unhappy and trying to maintain some kind of connection, albeit a sick and hurtful one.

Second, when has your wife/girlfriend/ex ever been honest to goodness happy?

The closest she gets to experiencing happiness is when she’s controlling and hurting you, but this isn’t true happiness. It’s about making you so miserbale that she seems happy by comparison. If she’d truly moved on and was having a grand old time dating other men, trust me, you wouldn’t be hearing from her.

Some of these women are capable of “flipping a switch” and totally cutting an ex out of their lives. Finding a new boyfriend/husband/emotional punching bag is the equivalent of the “geographic cure” described in Alcoholics Anonymous—it’s their attempt to get a fresh start with a new partner. However, like the AA saying states, “Wherever you go, there you are.” In others words, they’ll continue to take the same problems, behaviors and craziness into each new relationship because they are the primary source of their relationship problems, not their most recent ex.

If your girlfriend or wife is this variety of NPD and/or BPD, consider yourself fortunate. She won’t be back for round 2 or round 1001. It may seem more cruel, but it’s for the best. It hurts because you’re not able to get closure, but you can’t get closure from these women whether they’re the “cut off” variety or the boomerang variety (i.e., she keeps coming back after every break-up).

Why Do I Care that She’s Dating Already?

The fear of her miraculously changing her personality (disorder) and being great with the next guy is completely irrational, which many men know intellectually. It’s like when children hate going to bed because they’re afraid they’ll miss something — like their parents bring out the best toys after they’re asleep.

You probably still care about her being with other men because you’re not quite over her yet. Trust me, she’s not going to be great and normal with the new guy. If he doesn’t snap to his senses soon, he’s in for the same nightmare ride she took you on. These women lie and distort everything. Remember how she would twist the truth and reality when she was with you? Then why would you believe this new man makes her happier than she’s ever been?

Here’s the deal:

1. When a woman like your ex tells you other men are pursuing her, it’s oftentimes confabulation, exaggeration or an out and out lie. She does this to make herself feel desirable and appear like an irresistible siren to others.

I had an acquaintance in college who used to go on and on about guys who were “so in love with [her].” By chance, I met one of these men at a lecture. We were introduced and I said, “I feel like I know you already, Frank. Dorothy’s told me a lot about you.” He looked confused and I then explained who Dorothy was. Turns out, she sat near him in an accounting class and he let her borrow a pen once. He wasn’t “madly in love with her,” he barely remembered her.

2. “My ex(es) won’t leave me alone/my co-worker won’t stop flirting with me/dozens of men on Facebook want to date me” is a control tactic she uses to destabilize you, make you feel insecure and get you to psychologically invest in fighting to keep her from being “snatched” away by would-be suitors. She’s trying to control you with the threat of loss of the relationship.

The message is: “If you don’t do as I say, put up with my crap and treat me like a Queen, Joe is waiting in the wings to take me away, so don’t you forget it.” If you’re not afraid to lose her, this (usually) empty ploy falls flat.

3. Oftentimes there really is another man or men waiting in the wings. Never underestimate the number of people who are willing to take a number and wait in line for their share of abuse. And, let’s face it, many of these women are incredibly attractive and can be very charming when they’re trying to suck you in. However, you know firsthand the monster that lies beneath the surface and how quickly her charms fade.

I recommend that you retire from active duty and let the new enlistee have at her. You’ll probably find him knocking around this site in 6 months to a year because he, too, will eventually be right where you are now. And so the cycle begins again and again and again.

by Dr Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD

Private Consultation and Coaching

I provide confidential, fee-for-service, consultation/coaching services to help both men and women work through their relationship issues via telephone and/or Skype chat. My practice combines practical advice, support, reality testing and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit Services and Products for professional inquiries.


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Photo credit:

Jealousy by Edvard Munch.

  1. shattapaul
    August 4, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    Dr. T

    Some months ago I was floundering the pain of a BPD break up as well as sinking in the rabbit hole as you had described. I was horribly preoccupied with what this girl was doing with the new guy and how awful I was to let her go etc.

    Needless to say I took your advice, went into holistic healing therapy and ever since have been building my life all over again. I have revisited my belief systems and have begun strengthening my self esteem and self- love.

    Through it all I learned one key message: if you do not love yourself how on earth can you possibly love another? After all, how can we share what we do not possess?

    Be encouraged my dear friends and thank you for this forum Dr. T.

  2. Zeke
    July 6, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    Thanks OG; I think its the habit of just seeing a face; I actually moved out and left my job and now beggining to start over…I dont miss her, her. And also like you there was no communication any more, especially since I became immune to her actions.

  3. July 6, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    “also, is it normal to feel lonely sometimes?”


    But, are you just “lonely” or “lonely” for her?

    If the latter, may be more a matter of “habit” than anything else.

    My experience has been that no matter how unpleasant the relationship has been, you still end up with the “I’ve grown accustomed to her face” type thing.

    Which comes back more to the unconscious level than the conscious.

    There’s just something about changes to our daily routine that make humans feel uncomfortable … like something is “wrong”.

    My wife moved out a couple of weeks ago and although I have consciously wanted to be apart fro her and had very few positive interactions with her for many years, during which we mostly spent time in different rooms of the house … with her generally ignoring me when I tried to have a conversation and berating me whenever she felt I wasn’t spending time with her or being “affectionate”, which she never was … I still find myself “missing her”.

    Has nothing to do with me consciously wanting her around … just being used to her being there and feeling some discomfort because things have change.

    For me, it’s like other commenters have stated … kind of like the feeling of discomfort you get when changing any other habit, e.g., smoking.

    Not the nicotine addiction part … just the “I always had a smoke after dinner” part … and if this changes my mind signals for the first while that something is “wrong”.

  4. Zeke
    July 6, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    also, is it normal to feel lonely sometimes?

  5. Zeke
    July 6, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    How long does it take to really move on; I was married to an NPD for 5 years; and began she began divorce proceedings; for about a month now; I get better every day, but then there are moments when…? and also I maintain the No contact policy and she has dine the same.

  6. nigel28
    July 1, 2010 at 7:51 am

    Yesterday, this article proved to that every word is so true!!!!
    I did something yesterday that may count in being a total jerk (we always play it when we get dumped) but somehow, it helped and assured me that I’m really was better off without her.
    I searched this guy she is going out with (her officemate), after only a week of our breakup (6 yrs relationship). My ex is really a flirt and it’s not the first time she had a fling before during our relationship (i always take her back, I don’t know why). So anyhow, I created another FB account and pretended to be a woman (temporarily, borrowing the pics of my cousin, she is a model). I added him up as a friend, and just after 5 minutes, he accepted the invite! And started chatting with me!
    So I went through the charade, pressing for information about his current relationship.
    And what a revelation!!! He told me, he is going out with this girl, but he is not serious with her because he thinks she is sick in the head (his exact words!). He thinks she is a real flirt and shouldn’t be taken seriously and he is just going out to enjoy since there are certain “benefits.” He keeps a safe distance, just in case she wants to be serious.
    I felt a wave of anger (a few seconds only), but I just realized, it is indeed true! For those who has been dumped and found out their ex is with another one, don’t think too much how they are enjoying their time. Most likely, their new “guy” or “girl” don’t really take them seriously and they are being treated worst.
    I felt pity for my ex. I can’t imagine how low this guy thinks about her. But she deserves that. And now, I’m more assured of going on with my life and not wasting a single minute grieving about her anymore. She deserved what she is going through right now. I remembered the saying in AA, “wherever you go, there you are.” She will never have a real commitment unless she change and do the whole process of re evaluating her past.
    The thought of knowing what really is happening to her right now, gives some sort of bitter satisfaction. I’m more than ready to move on.

  7. nigel28
    June 23, 2010 at 9:42 am

    Hi Guys. The moment I discovered this site, I was hooked already. It gave me tremendous insights and courage to move forward. Thanks Dr.T!

    I’m short of 3 weeks in getting out from a very abusive 6 years relationship. It made me realized all the things she has been doing from day 1 is manipulating me to become the person she wanted me to be. And it took me years to finally realize that! I admit I also have some disorders in my part (caregiver personality, people pleaser), but she totally switched off the moment she realized I’m seeing through her. She broke off with me, probably to be ahead of the game. Presently, I learned she is with another man…and after 6 years with her, its still kinda painful to know, you can easily be replaced.
    But after reading this, and knowing how her brain operates, it somehow gives a sort of consolation from the fact that I’m indeed blessed to be left alone by her as she moved on to her prey.
    One thing that really made me angry was the fact that until the last day, she admits of “loving me” and saying that her heart will always belong to me. It’s her last effort to still manipulate me in believing her. This is how abusive she can be. And for some reason it does works!!!! I still miss her, fantasize and long for her. I’m hoping my 3 weeks of NC will contribute to my healing and moving on.

  8. rhythm28
    June 6, 2010 at 2:13 am

    Sooooo the ex came into work today to “wait” for her new guy to get off work. Weird because she was just there a month ago!

    She came in knowing I would be there. Guys told me but I didn’t really care. Doesn’t phase me anymore. But why come in there and walk in front of me so that I can see her?

    I understand she’s with the new guy and I’m not interfering with that even though I get uncomfortable looks from him. She’s from out of state so it’s not like she can drop in there whenever. Whether she’s visiting or staying for good is beyond me.

    If I was her and knew my ex was in the same building, why disrespect the new guy if you have really “moved on”? Wait for him outside. No need to come in especially if you were just there a month ago! I’m not saying she was there to talk to me but she definitely wanted me to know she was there.

  9. Mellaril
    April 18, 2010 at 2:07 am

    This is the kind of crap that will drive you crazy. Even when you think your free, they find a way to mess with your head. My guess would be she will try and contact you. It’s better for her to control how you meet the BF than for you to get to him alone. If she’s truly a Cluster B, she’ll be assesing you as to your worth or threat. You could become a tool she can use to leverage against her current BF, she could perceive you as a threat and take steps to eliminate the threat, she could make a play for you again, or she might just leave you alone. My bet is it will be the first or second. She’ll probably try to meet you alone first to make the assessment. Once she has an idea of where you are, she’ll set up the meeting.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if he knows quite a bit about you. Cluster Bs love to invoke their Exs. The “Bad Ex” can be trotted out to gain sympathy while the “Good Ex” can be pulled out at will to assist in pointing out inadequacies and shortcomings in the current relationship.

    If you’re truly concerned about your job, you should take care to be above reproach. Don’t ignore the obvious, Keep any questionable emails and texts and avoid being alone with her. If you go on business trips, keep them secret from her if you can.

    • rhythm28
      April 18, 2010 at 4:36 am

      Thanks Mellaril. I already know the guy. We don’t go out for beers or anything like that and when we do talk, it’s work-related, small talk. He’s a really nice guy who’s already been through alot in his life. Don’t know if he can handle what this woman is about to put him through should he decide to marry and have kids with her.

      I don’t know if he knows about me. He might. I’m guessing he doesn’t because she may think that it’ll turn him off from dating her. Who wants to look at the guy who used to sleep with your girlfriend all week? OR maybe she did tell him about me along the lines of, “Hey I dated that guy and he went crazy on me so I dumped him. Be careful. Don’t believe anything he tells you about me.”

      Her best friend set the two of them up. The same one that set my ex and me up initially. Did she not think there might be some weird situation being that he and I work in the same department? Some women are like that I guess. My ex has to know that I’m going to find out about them sooner or later.

      I’m guessing they’ll just show up to work one day and say, “Hey, we’re dating! Yay for us!” Or someone will tell one of my buds knowing that it will get back to me. That’s OK. I ain’t mad. I’ll understand though. I never chased her and maybe she’s doing it to piss me off for not crawling back to her.

      In the normal world, people break up, go there seperate ways, and if one person decides to date an acquaintance of the ex, there’s usually some communication between the broken up parties so that no one feels weird. That’s what you’re implying might happen but knowing her and her friend, I don’t see that happening.

      I’m not doing or saying anything that involves their relationship. Why? None of my business and more importantly, I wanna keep my job. They can do whatever they want. I’ll stay out of the drama.

      • Mellaril
        April 18, 2010 at 12:52 pm

        Don’t read more into it than there is at this point. This is one of the insidious things about Cluster Bs. Look at how much time you’re spending thinking about this. She’s still influencing you. It’s great you want to help the guy and it’s great you’re ready. Now let it go and see what happens.

        I speak from experience. It’s been 22 years since I last saw my ex-gf and I’m spending a ton of time on this site looking for the closure I never got from her. The good news is it seems to be working.

  10. rhythm28
    April 17, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    I’m very glad for sites like this. This is my second go-round with disordered women. After the first one, I read all I could online and understood it was not me and was able to get past it.

    An ex of mine is coming back into town in a few weeks. She’s already landed another guy and has him under her spell. Ordinarily, I would just stand back and watch the train wreck but the new guy is one of the nicest people out there and he certainly doesn’t deserve what he’s about to go through.

    I have gone back and forth about telling him in order to preserve his sanity but in the end, I decided to keep my mouth shut. Wouldn’t matter. If I said something to him he could either think I still want her or that I’m bad-mouthing the “love of his life”. It’s like I can’t win and from other posts I’ve read on here, you guys couldn’t/wouldn’t have listened anyway.

    I know she poked around on Facebook when I posted something on a friend’s wall. She did it so I could “see” that she had been there. We haven’t spoken in years and I am not gonna go crawling back to anybody. A week or so later, she invites the new guy to spend the weekend with her! I’m sure he doesn’t know about me because she could be afraid that I’d “out” her and she’d have start looking for another source of supply.

    I’ve ignored her for a long time but now she’s gonna work at the same place where we met. She’s coming back to her old job. I guess my only question is, will she still try and contact me even though she’s with the new guy AND he works there? I don’t need anything crazy to happen there. It’s my job and I need to keep it.

  11. Ace
    April 8, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    A lady friend of mine said to me, Take soles in the fact you’re free and that some other poor unsuspecting sole is wandering around enjoying his last moments of freedom completely oblivious to the fact that he’s her next victim :-) Her humour is much like yours Dr T

    • Mellaril
      April 8, 2010 at 2:24 pm

      It may sound odd but the guy I really feel sorry for is her ex-husband. I was aware of two relationships she had after we broke up. The first guy I don’t have much sympathy for, she picked a divorced guy with kids that had given his wife an STD. He ended up cheating on her after she had pretty much put him in a crappy position. I figured they both got what they deserved. I heard from mutual acquaintences that she pursued her husband, brought him back across the country and ended up divorcing him a few years later. I was told he was totally in shock and didn’t know what hit him. We never lived together and she turned me down whan I asked her to marry me. I can only imagine what she might of been like if she thought she could control him. His life could have been a lving hell. I wouldn’t want to wish that on anybody.

  12. Portia
    April 5, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    Brad :
    Very insightful, Portia. I remember there were times when my ex would say or do nasty and angry things to me, then as we were laying in bed a few hours later (about to go to sleep – sex was almost nonexistant) she’d ask for a massage. Stupid me would say ok. Once I finally started putting my foot down she’d have nothing of it, and it made her angrier – possibly due to her loss of control. We were together 15 months – I look back now at people who told me I should have left at month two. But boundaries are totally necessary, and if she won’t respect that, make sure the door doesn’t hit her on the a**.
    Since I started setting boundaries, I’ve also quit killing myself to help other people. I became so disrespected and taken advantage of that people were literally telling me (instead of asking) to “handle” something for them, telling me it won’t take long, etc, dropping it on my plate and walking off. I have a life, I have other things to do, and I am a human being. I deserve respect, and if people cannot understand that, they can sit and spin on it.

    I was absolutely happy to read what you wrote Brad! Good for you! Good for you!…

    This applies just generally in one’s life with anyone. Not just a bpd/npd woman or any woman.

    One doesn’t have to mean or go over the top about it. One just needs to respect oneself and what it would take to do that for yourself. Once you know that you can put your boundaries in place. Once someone crosses that boundary it is great because by setting it in advance you know it has been crossed. You can say to yourself and the other…. ‘I can see this has crossed my boundary and I don’t accept that. I know I cannot respect myself and feel good in life if I allow this for one second more to continue in this vein’.

    Boundaries make life so simple.

    They also give you back control over your life and give you a higher self-esteem.

  13. Portia
    April 5, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Brad :
    Portia, I understand what you mean about that part, but what I’m more confused by is why your ex’s exes keep falling for it. Say I leave a girl who’s a total “B”, and it’s obvious she’s been that way to previous guys she’s dated. Well, after I leave her and she calls them up, why don’t THEY say “Oh, hell no – you’re one crazy B”? I wouldn’t want to fall into the same relationship with that person twice! Why would they?

    Hi Brad, I know what you mean. I wouldn’t and haven’t EVER in my life either. Thank God!

    Sometimes it’s a mixture of self-esteem on the back-up’s part and ‘gift of the gab’ (I don’t know if you are familiar with that expression which we use in the UK?) and VERY persuasive chat on the bpd/npd woman. Never underestimate their capacity to convince by charm, sexuality and by playing the victim.

    They can NEVER take responsibility for what they did, what they will do is blame the world and his dog and say they were conspiring against her at the time she was trying to have a relationship with you and that is why she acted in that crazy way. She would never in her life act like that NOW, she is a different person NOW, she realises what a fantastic guy you are (massage your EGO! And if your self-esteem and confidence is low you will lap it up!), she never stopped thinking about you, she still loves you, you are the best person for her, perfect, you are her rock, she doesn’t know what she would do without you in her life, ya di ya, ya di ya……. She will be at her most charming, funniest, alluring, etc. and you will remember exactly what you were initially attracted to and you want to believe she is genuine and true. You want to believe that was then and this is NOW. She ‘presents’ on the outside very well (inside is damaged and you can’t see that immediately). She is high-functioning but damaged nevertheless.

    When people go back for round 3,4,5,6,7,8,9, ad infinitum despite OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE of who she is staring them CLEARLY in the face irrespective of any intense and passionate words coming from the bpd/npd woman, that highlights to all and sundry their issues. It moves away from the bpd/npd woman and it becomes solely about your OWN issues that allow this to continue.

    • Mellaril
      April 5, 2010 at 12:52 pm

      Like the song says, “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now.”

      I got the how wonderful I was and how she felt like she was cheating on me when she was with someone else followed almost immediately by her telling me she was going to meet the guy who cheated on her for a weekend tryst. Luckily, I had met a very charming woman a few weeks earler and my self-esteem and confidence were strong enough to resist the scam. I

      One of the few bright spots, if you can call it that, was I was able to watch her self destruct two relationships after we broke up.

      • Joe
        April 5, 2010 at 1:12 pm

        Oh, yes…the self-destruction. Right after I left my ex, I suggested she re-enter therapy, and for HERSELF, not me. Two weeks later she sends me an e-mail saying basically: “I’ve been trying but I get put on waiting lists and it’s a dollar a minute, so I’m going to work on my life and if you want to give it a try, I’m more than willing.”

        About a month after that she fell for a married man (an ex of hers), moved across the country to be with him a few months later, and now she’s getting married to him, less than a year after his divorce. I only know all of this through a mutual friend, and to all of us it’s just like a train wreck. You can’t help but watch.

  14. Brad
    April 4, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    Very insightful, Portia. I remember there were times when my ex would say or do nasty and angry things to me, then as we were laying in bed a few hours later (about to go to sleep – sex was almost nonexistant) she’d ask for a massage. Stupid me would say ok. Once I finally started putting my foot down she’d have nothing of it, and it made her angrier – possibly due to her loss of control. We were together 15 months – I look back now at people who told me I should have left at month two. But boundaries are totally necessary, and if she won’t respect that, make sure the door doesn’t hit her on the a**.

    Since I started setting boundaries, I’ve also quit killing myself to help other people. I became so disrespected and taken advantage of that people were literally telling me (instead of asking) to “handle” something for them, telling me it won’t take long, etc, dropping it on my plate and walking off. I have a life, I have other things to do, and I am a human being. I deserve respect, and if people cannot understand that, they can sit and spin on it.

  15. Brad
    April 4, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    Portia, I understand what you mean about that part, but what I’m more confused by is why your ex’s exes keep falling for it. Say I leave a girl who’s a total “B”, and it’s obvious she’s been that way to previous guys she’s dated. Well, after I leave her and she calls them up, why don’t THEY say “Oh, hell no – you’re one crazy B”? I wouldn’t want to fall into the same relationship with that person twice! Why would they?

  16. Portia
    April 4, 2010 at 11:03 am

    ‘(My brothers. THEY MUST ALWAYS KNOW that you’ll walk out on the BS. Be a respectful gentleman, have empathy with integrity at the core of all your actions but HAVE A SPINE. They’re free to leave anytime and you’ll help them work the doorknob if they don’t know how. It keeps the good ones around and weeds out the bad ones pretty quick. You don’t buy your dog flowers after he takes a dump on the carpet, do ya? Don’t reward her bad behavior either. Be a good man, not a nice guy. YOU ARE A MAN, not one of her girlfriends with a penis).’


    Hi Guys!

    From the (lone?) voice of a woman who sympathises and empathises with what you men have all been/are going through. I came to this site via another where someone was kind enough to post a link for other men as well as us women too (just change he to she).

    I read the posts with alot of interest but with no real surprise at the ‘horrific’ stories in some cases of the consequences of having encountered a bpd/npd woman.

    I came from the site http://www.bpdfamily.com. the only difference is it is for men and women (and specificially supports different ‘levels’ of emotional states eg those wanting to stay with their bpd but wanting to know how to cope, those wanting to disengage and leave/left and want to vent, those with bpd relatives, those going through divorce from their bpd with legal, financial and family issues). Aside from that it was interesting to read on here, a ‘purely’ a man’s perspective. Usually us women bring a little perspective to things, that Dr. Tara does well here.

    I had to quote Race121 for what he said because it is so TRUE. I wanted to scream at the computer screen when I read what some of you wrote. A person with bpd/npd or otherwise can only get away with what you LET THEM get away with, bottomline. It is all about BOUNDARIES, BOUNDARIES, BOUNDARIES….

    Also, bpd/npd women or otherwise thrive on someone whose self-esteem is not as strong as it should be. They will exploit that mercilessly until you pull the reigns on it. Some pretty, sometimes young, vivicacious woman comes into your life and you can’t believe your luck!…. you are going ga ga over her (understandably!). A bpd/npd woman thrives on that attention. She has learnt how men can be manipulated on that level. She’s seen it, tried it and it has worked! She will play the charm and sexual card for what it is worth!

    When anyone ‘STARTS’ to take advantage of your kindness that is where the LEVEL of your self-esteem reveals itself. You either put the brakes on it or you go into the passive ‘justifying zone’ in order to maintain the status quo, which is governed by the fear of losing this person and not being able to get someone else as good. If it wasn’t governed by these factors… any ‘self-respecting’, healthy, confident man would have said ‘No-matter what this relationship was initially, it is not that NOW! I want better than this, I am better than this, I deserve more, I don’t ‘need’ to put up with this. Why??? When there is a whole world full of other lovely women out there? Is she the only one? NO. Just as I met her, I can meet someone else….’

    Someone with esteem issues doesn’t self-talk like that, they will say the opposite to themselves and that is what makes them ‘put up with’ an abusive woman. Even if they do say it, deep down the don’t believe it. That is the key… believing it

    It is better to listen to your gut and get out if something is not ‘feeling’ right. The worse thing you can do is be with an abusive person for an extended period of time. As you know she will use all her tactics to tear away at your self-esteem and if you were a ‘softy and a rescuer type’ she will grind you emotionally into the ground and wring you out like a wet rag without any compassion. Bpd/npd women will even blame you for what she has done!

    Steve from NZ (will be visiting there for the 1st time this year from the UK! Fancy a drink Steve? :-) ) was lovely enough to share his story and it played itself out predictably. Steve, as you know, you had some issues of your own to deal with. If you hadn’t had those issues you would have ran that woman from your life from the get go when you saw she had major issues. Like you said…I dread to think how much pain you would have gone through had you been intimate! We thank the UNIVERSE and beyond that you weren’t. We all know how intimacy can make us hold on to things longer….

    I suppose I want to say Guys that there is a point where you can highlight the negative effect and part the bpd/npd played on your emotional and mental stability, however you have to OWN your part to play in enabling her behaviour to a lesser or greater degree.

    One thing I learnt from my experience with a bpd man was where my own strengths and weaknesses lay. Today, I am a better person for it. My xbpd tried to make me own his stuff but I recognised it was HIS, I didn’t doubt myself for one second. My xbpd wanted to make subtle remarks to erode my self-esteem but my self-esteem was very much intact and instead I laughed and understood it was about HIS insecurities and let him know I knew his game. However it hurt to see that he was trying so hard to do this. I erecognised where he was and where I was and where I wanted to be. It wasn’t in that place with him in a power struggle. My xbpd wanted to control and he couldn’t get that hence the struggle. So I ended the relationship. We were together only 10 months but it should have ended at least 6 months earlier. My boundaries were not tight enough but I learnt :-)

    Race121 was absolutely 100% spot on. You Guys are all men with good hearts and you don’t have to stop being so. You can be GOOD men without being TOO understanding, TOO forgiving, TOO ready to put another’s needs before your own welfare, TOO passive, TOO afraid…. Othewise it becomes ‘masochistic’….and you will have found the ‘sadist’ in your bpd/npd woman! And the next woman after her…. Just like she will find her next victim that she will be ‘allowed’ to walk all over, after you….

    Be good to yourself Guys and keep healing!

    Dr Tara you are doing a FANTASTIC job! I loved this site and found it just as informative as the men. Thank you!


  17. Adam
    March 30, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    Joe, this amazes me too. The most ironic aspect of these women is that their clinginess and demand to maintain contact with their exes stands in direct contrast to how great they purport to be. If they really were as great as they consider themselves, they’d never look back.

    I can take comfort in the knowledge that my narcissistic ex, due to an unrealistic fear of abandonment, requires the upper hand and control over all the men in her life – meaning that she’s forced to settle for the types of guys she can control (“settle” being the operative word there). She needs to control a relationship with a guy who’s naive enough to allow her to control him in order for her to get away with all of her nonsense, because she knows that the great ones won’t stand for it. It’s kind of comforting to know that she was forced to ditch a great man like me (before I ditched her) because she feared I’d wise up and leave and simply couldn’t handle that rejection, and had to settle for someone who was less scrutinizing and much more accepting to walk all over.

    • Portia
      April 4, 2010 at 6:15 pm

      Adam and Joe, don’t you realise why they cling on to their ex-boyfriends? It is so that if things aren’t working out with you at any given moment she can ressurect the full attention of her back-up guy/guys….

      These people can’t be alone because to be alone forces them to look at themselves, face up to the realisation that they’ve had yet ANOTHER train wreck relationship that has ended the same way as the others…badly! When they are on their own they have no-one to ‘blame’ and project their misery on to, they are forced to own it and also they don’t get the human benefits that all of us want ie companionship and intimacy, someone that makes us feel good. They ‘need’ that more than most because they are lacking a sense of real and full ‘self’ they can’t find/be that on their own.

      That is what it is all about by keeping the fall back guy in the background.

      For some of you on here you may have been the fall-back guy way back when, knowingly or unknowingly, to some poor victim of the time.

  18. Joe
    March 29, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    One thing I have trouble understanding is the notion that these types of women keep their exes in a cupboard for a rainy day. Not disputing it, I left an emotionally abusive woman (though I can’t say for sure if she was BPD/NPD), and not only did she have numerous exes’ phone numbers on hand and communicate with one of them (sometimes without my knowledge) while we were together, but she also wound up jumping back to one of them about a month after I left her. I guess what I want to know is: WHY do these exes go back to girls like this? Don’t they remember what a loser the girl is?

  19. mike
    March 17, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    hello people,

    Just been reading and reading and reading this site religiously…and its helping
    me stay and keep away. But One thing I’ve noticed I’ve been stuck on also like most here is the whole “I still love her”, within myself and to others. Which probably most friends and family have gotten tired of, so my leaning on you lol.

    Though I’ve been reading it said over and over again that “SHe did not and does not
    love you and was most likely a figment of my own imaginings, that she did not EXIST”, finally hit me. Although I don’t deny I felt what I felt and maybe still do
    for her, but these statements I’m going to keep and keep referring to as I have done.

    So, someone mentioned to do what you enjoy and maybe pick up some intense hobby and what not…well, I ran into this article regarding ‘kettlebells’…man talk
    about a great work out!!!

    So anyway, I feel better, and getting in shape and starting to notice chicks checking me out (hopefully not one of them!), and it feels good and definitely
    helps my tortured confidence that I’m dearly trying to gain back.

    I’m finding it very difficult to open up to women, or anyone for that matter as I used to be before I met this chick. I’ll really to feel shell shocked or whatever
    with all the descriptions you give regarding combat vets and ptsd and what not. I’m a typical guy and I never gave these things much thought but now that I’m
    educating myself on all this I’m noticing it in action and how all this has effected me.

    So, basically I take it I should keep busy and don’t smoke weed, which I haven’t, work, work out, read, stay around positive people and what not?

    A question I do have is I’ve noticed friends and family just want the best for me, to move on and rebuilt my confidence and move forward and its all great BUt they really dont wanna hear anymore about “how I feel” lol (its been three months since I’ve ‘disappear’from her)…is that typical experience to most. And to be honest, I don’t blame them. They saw her for the koo koo she was and held back all this time cause of me, cause they thought maybe I was happy but when I finally collapsed, they stood by my side.

    Anyway, kettlebells great work out…next to punching bags or wrestling someone down, kettlebells the next best things.

    peace and thanks for listening


    • Mellaril
      March 17, 2010 at 2:26 pm

      I think it’s entirely natural for your friends and family to get bunrned out listening. They’re your friends and family not your therapist. Talking and working through things is a natural part of the healing process but too much can put a strain on even the closest relationsips. After all, it’s your issue, not theirs. Sometimes, you get what you pay for. Does your employer have a confidential Employee Assistance Plan?

      One of the last things you want to do is alienate the people who truly do care about you. If you haven’t read it yet, check out, Dr. T’s, “Divorce and Break-Ups: There Is No Closure with a Narcissistic or Borderline Woman.”

    • Nick
      March 17, 2010 at 3:42 pm


      I think Kettelballs may be symbolic…or a metaphor-for what you have reclaimed. Way to go!

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  1. March 14, 2010 at 5:21 am

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