Home > Abusive relationships, Borderline Personality Disorder, bullying, divorce, Marriage, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Psychology, relationships > 10 Reasons You Can’t Communicate with a Narcissistic or Borderline Woman

10 Reasons You Can’t Communicate with a Narcissistic or Borderline Woman

Foaming-at-the-mouthEmotionally abusive narcissistic and/or borderline women are masters of spin control and pile driving their “reality” home through brute verbal force and emotional reasoning. If you’re involved with a NPD and/or BPD woman, you know these invective communication strategies firsthand.

This kind of woman clings to her belief system no matter how many times she’s confronted with incontrovertible evidence to the contrary. In fact, the more wrong she is, the greater the outrage and histrionics she displays.

The next time you challenge your BPD/NPD partner’s points of view, lies, distortions, unilateral pronouncements or unfounded accusations, notice how she responds. Your discussion probably turns into a one-sided argument replete with vitriolic theatrics and threats very quickly.

Here are some common communication control tactics of emotionally abusive narcissistic and/or borderline woman:

1. The Big Bamboozle. Here’s how it works: Emotionally abusive woman  begin a conversation/attack with one topic. When you present facts that contradict her beliefs, she bamboozles you by going on off-topic tangents, changing the subject or making a brand new accusation. While you’re still defending your original point and why it’s valid, she blows you off (because you’re making sense) and distracts you by jumping to another topic that’s completely out of left field.

mouth_tape2. SHUT UP! When you try to explain your feelings or point of view, this kind of woman may explicitly tell you to, “Shut up!” Narcissists, borderlines and bullies not only “can’t handle the truth,” they go to great lengths to deny and obliterate it.

Your wife or girlfriend probably uses other tactics when you challenge her like walking out of the room, giving you the silent treatment or simply refusing to listen to you. In both cases, this is the adult control freak’s version of, “La, la, la, la, la, I can’t hear you! I can’t hear you!” They believe if they ignore or stop you from speaking the truth that it doesn’t exist like a small child who closes their eyes to “make you go away.”

3. Name-Calling. This is the last resort of bullies, such as NPD/BPD women. Because they can’t intelligently defend their position or their behaviors, they resort to emotionally-based personal attacks. It’s another distraction technique that sidetracks you from the original point of contention by disorienting you and putting you on the defensive.

Calling your boyfriend or husband names doesn’t prove your point; it’s merely an ad hominem attack. Here’s the logic: “Okay! Fine! Maybe the world is round, but you’re a bleeping, bleepity, bleep bleep! So there! That’s why I don’t have to listen to you. The world is flat!” You have two choices when presented with this kind of “logic;” sink to their level or walk away with dignity and sanity.

4. Projection. NPD/BPD women accuse their targets of things that they themselves are actually guilty of. This is a primitive defense mechanism. It’s the grown up version of the maddening childhood taunt, “I know you are, but what am I?” “But you’re the one who just…” “I know you are, but what am I?

5. Splitting. This is another very primitive defense mechanism. NPD/BPD women see people and the world in all-or-nothing, good vs. evil, black-and-white terms. They have no capacity for context or nuance. Either you see things her way or you must be crushed into the ground. You can’t respectfully agree to disagree with this kind of woman. Any criticism, difference of opinion or challenge to her “authority” is seen as a threat and will be treated as such in that you will be devalued and demonized.

6. Smear Campaigns. First, they split, then they smear. It’s not enough for NPD/BPD women to disagree with and despise you. Everyone else is the world, including your own family and friends, must hate you and see how wrong you are, too. These women go after you by attacking your ethics, integrity, sexuality and manufacture the most ridiculous nonsense in order to destroy your reputation. Unfortunately, the bigger the lie, the more gullible people tend to believe it.

7. Gaslighting. Women with these issues both deny things they’ve said and done and accuse you of the very same transgressions they committed. They also twist a grain of truth into a huge distortion until you begin to doubt your own sanity and look like the crazy person when you try to defend yourself.

8. Increasing the Volume; Not the Logic. The more wrong an emotionally abusive NPD/BPD woman is, the louder and/or more resolute she gets. Her level of fake outrage, vindictiveness or emotional withdrawal is in direct proportion to how accurate you are. She will either talk over and shout at you, repeating the same simplistic, emotionally-charged statements over and over until she drowns out all reason or give you the silent treatment until you submit and apologize for your “offense.”

9. Blame and Shame. NPD/BPD women blame others for everything that is wrong and never consider how they contribute to and often cause the issues and their own unhappiness. They shift responsibility to make you seem bad and crazy in an effort to shame you into submission.

10. Playing the Victim. When NPD/BPD women are called out for their bad behaviors and dishonesty, they then play the victim. They claim they’re being unfairly attacked for “standing up for the truth” and having the “courage” to speak out. This kind of woman frequently defends her indefensible behaviors by saying she was swept away by her emotions or passion and offers such chestnuts as, “I did what my heart told me to do.” Nonsense. These women are known to have temper tantrums when their bad behaviors are exposed and lash out with a verbal attack or pout in cold silence.

At heart, an emotionally abusive woman is a bully who will try to steamroll anyone who disagrees with her. It’s not just about controlling her reality, but controlling everyone else’s reality, too. When you allow a narcissistic and/or borderline woman to determine reality, you’re letting one of the inmates control the asylum. So the next time you’re on the verge of being sucked in by one of the above tactics, calmly look your wife or girlfriend in the eye, quietly say “No” and walk away.

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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Photo credit:

Foaming at the mouth from Getty Images.

Mouth tape from Getty images.

  1. Free2beYou
    September 20, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    Hello Jenny,

    I am a Non-BPD/NPD female who knows about NPD males pretty darn well b/c I was in your position once dealing with the crazy-making behaviors of one really messed up NPD dark-souled man. He wormed his way into my life with some sort of online brainwashing which soon became an on going phone relationship. I Thank God everyday I never actually met this beast of a man in person although I do not think of it as any less of a relationship, because the effect of it hurt more than any other relationship in my life, regardless that it was based on delusions & dreams he planted into my mind. No abusive relationship is less hurtful regardless of how insignifigant it was based on the time involved or how many emotional or physical occurrances happened(abuse is abuse). Now I look back with my confidence returned & think how I could of stopped picking up the phone or answering emails lol,……it sounds that easy right? He had some strange powerful hold on me(puppet on a string thing). I still do not fully understand how he did it to this day. Although, I was lucky enough to figure out things on my own after about a year & a few months of feeling like a pathetic & scared puppet on a string, I eventually did my own heart & soul searching & researched NPD personality disorders extensively(& finally went no contact). Everything was all about him & his emotions, physical ailments etc. Funny thing is, when we first had contact I thought I was in instant love because of a weird pulling(racing) I felt in my heart everytime I associated with him….now I realize it was the darkest of fears or God warning me. In the beginning that weird feeling felt like a spiritual type of unconditional love I thought was destined from above. I felt like I knew him forever because the connection was unbelievable. For about 2 1/2 months he was on his best behavior & he seemed funny, charming, a good friend, sexy, helpful….etc. it felt like a match made in Heaven. How in shock I was to be brought down to the dark depths of Hell suddenly without warning. I tried everything to get him to be that magical man again, but he just got more & more negative regardless of how much love or goodness I sent his way. If I stood my ground & got angry or defended myself, I would get punished harshly by getting the cold shoulder, no contact & disrespectful emails or calls stating how I caused my own grief. According to him everything was my fault…..EVERYTHING! He always said I made him get angry.(it could have been the slightest, tiny or silly thing I said that would cause a great conversation to sour & then according to him, I would have to suffer.) I was pretty much always kind, caring & positive when we spoke, so I had no idea what was happening(it was his crazy-making) & I felt guilty for somehow setting him off in a rage. Usually just joking around or making a silly innocent comment about him, or saying how I felt by something he said or did that did not hold up to his almightier than thou delusional King-like vision of himself, set him off in a rage. Basically, if I could describe how I felt during more than half of the encounters dealing with this man, I would sum it up to feeling caged in a small room, tied up & bound to silence. None of my feelings could ever be shared without having them first studied & analyzed by his magnifying glass, dissected & then thrown back at me in disgust. My feelings did not matter. He started off trying to be a therapist to me since it was in an emotionally vunerable time in my life. He asked question upon question upon question about my past & then other times blast me with anger when I would ever talk about the past in any conversation other than when he wanted to discuss the past. He built up my confidence only to later knock it down. He wormed his way into my deepest thoughts, feelings & tried to take hold of my life & my compassionate soul. He tried to analyze people in my life he never met like friends & family & advised me to only focus on him & his words because those people did not truly know or care about me like he did. To him, I was wrong to even have feelings because only how he felt mattered. Unfortunately, these NPD/BPD personalities are wiser than all of us in some kind of freaky instinctual sort of way, I’ll give them credit for that…they just know how to brainwash you, mix up your thoughts,feelings & stir up some kind of weird passion in you towards them. Once you see them for the ugliness they truly are inside, you can be saved. Once they realize you have seen their darkness, they know the beautiful Narcissistic vision of themselves they brainwashed you to see, as well, is gone. I look back & realize I never met such a cold hearted, self serving, uncompassionate & negative person in my life. He was truly the door to darkness however, It helped me work on loving myself more, when afterwards I was left somewhat in ruins, so for that I have no regrets. I am a stronger & more confident person now & I think there can be a lesson like that learned in all abusive relationships once you escape. There was absolutely nothing I could possibly do or say that would have changed this man’s negative, controlling personality & I was destroying my own emotional self in order to tiptoe around subjects, feel out his moods not disrupt them etc. etc. My moods revolved around his moods, pretty much. No amount of love, goodness or compromising would have ever gotten me anywhere(I wanted hope & must have tried every advice in every communication or psychology book when all I really needed to do was realize that nothing could be done but take back my power & go no contact) . Like most of you reading this, I can bet that no contact was the last thing you truly want(you are hoping to find some magical way to fix them with love or patience etc….it is NEVER going to happen with these personality disorders). That is what I love about this site & Dr. Tara’s advice…no contact is truly the only way to survive & maintain your true loving self. Only they can change themselves & since they believe they are never to blame for anything…then change for them is highly unlikely. To Jenny (or other readers), if there is anything I can help you figure out through my own experience dealing with a NPD man, or just someone who understands, I am here. I have also have or had interractions with BPD women in friendships & working relationships, as well(it is scary how many you come into contact with all the time once you see the tell tale signs). This is why I find this site very helpful for me & to pass on to Non-BPD/NPD friends & family in abusive relationships.

    • Cornelius J. Jackson
      July 13, 2013 at 6:05 pm

      Maaan!!! What you found out in over a year I found out in six months. I too met a woman on Facebook and found it amazing how much control she had for awhile just by messaging at first and then phone conversations VERY SOON after. She was charming, VERY intelligent, and knew some of the things I knew about. We just didn’t agree on how relationships should go and SHE WAS ALWAYS RIGHT. I realized the red flags early on but her charms and intelligence is what kept me going. After a while though when we would talk and disagree, which would be most of the time, and to her denial, one time it she cussed me under her breath…..but very audible. Oh man the vile names I heard shocked me so bad I couldn’t talk to her for a week. She apologized but they continued SOON after. The next time though I caught on and argued and cussed back at her to her surprise I can tell. By the way WE NEVER MET in person, well because she lives on the westcoast and I’m in the midwest. When I told her there’s NO chance of us meeting I can hear what sounds like pounding on the couch, more vile name calling “under her breath”…..but very audible. The guys I knew who talked to her on FB or who she called blocked her within an hours notice. LOL. I tried to stick it out but I couldn’t take it no more and eventually left her alone. She still calls (like I’ma answer) and she calls 50 to 100s times in a row. So much I had to either block the calls at night or put my phone on silent.

      • mike
        July 16, 2013 at 11:20 pm

        You don’t know how lucky you are to have escaped with minimal damage. I met my now ex-wife and she was exactly the same early on and for quite awhile. Then we had our son and the veneer i have heard referred to here and elsewhere started to crack but not so much so that any major alarm bells went off. Besides her previous relationship had lasted 17 years. We bought a house and then my daughter came along that’s when hell started to break loose. Apparently having a girl child meant something special to her more than the two boys she’d had from her previous (one spoiled rotten and the other with asperger’s syndrome) and more than our new son. I realized after our marriage ended how twisted everything had become, how isolated I had become, how I had given away so much power and become too dependent on “the family”. But all the realizations had a price. I lost my home and became homeless in a foreign country, had a heart attack and nearly died. After her promising to place our childrens need for their father before her hatred and assuring me a move a slight distance away wouldnt affect my access to them, I moved taking her at her word. After I moved she allowed one visit. Then informed me that if I wanted to see them again I would have to take her to court. Well i just couldn’t do it on her terms, I couldn’t surrender humiliating myself and further. Her desire to get me in court was a manipulation for more power and control. She wasn’t concerned as much with the kids seeing their father as much as she was concerned with controlling their father by using the kids. I simply couldn’t and though it has been one of the most painful decisions of my life i have withdrawn from the power struggle, refused to fight and refused to submit. The great sadness for me is that I have not been permitted access to my children since and its nearly 10 months. At times i find myself plagued by thoughts of how to get control, how to beat her, how to get revenge, how to get access to my kids but realize that is not letting go, that is thinking of ways to manipulate to get power. Apparently my ego loves power, it loves the fight, the drama, the chaos and that’s what I have to deal with, my ego needs to die, my pride needs to die to.

        • Paddy
          June 18, 2016 at 5:22 pm

          No you need to see your kids dude. Your their Father. Take that bitch to court

        • August 22, 2016 at 4:39 am

          Go to court. The children won’t be IN court watching anyway. Get an attorney who understands Abusive Relationships. She WANTS you to go away and I think you want to see your kids. She will never change, but you can toss your attorney in front of it..or walk away from your kids forever and HATE yourself for it later.

    • I_GTFO_of_there!
      July 20, 2016 at 10:57 pm

      I spent almost 10 years with a woman who was the quiet BPD type. She did these same deceitful tactics! I tried to finally call her out, and I told her that I was leaving without marriage counselling together. Well that was a disaster, lol. She got ‘sick’ the day of, and 3 weeks later, we went through a separation. (Which is happening now.) When we separated, she left at 2am while I was at work, and I told her to get out after lying about leaving already… I was so tired of the lies all the time. It could be anything! For instance, I was ‘controlling’. So when she left, I told her that I was just going to say what I was doing, and I asked her what she wanted… She wanted to separate, and she wanted to come get her stuff at 8pm. I knew that was a lie, but I said that’s fine. However, I will have the police here at that time. If she refuses to leave, then I’d grab my things and go because I’m done arguing or trying to work anything out with some one who will not let me do anything that she doesn’t want me to do. (What she really wanted was to come by and have me stay there so she could tell me what im doing wrong.) She then said I was trying to control her by putting her on my time schedule…. the same time that just told me that she wanted to come 5 seconds ago.. So she showed up at 9pm lol. Long story short, she made up a story about how I threw her on the street with her kids, and I refused her to come live there ever again. (She left during a 12 hour long text argument… durine my 120 hr overtime week for 10 days straight.) She said I turned off the phones to ‘control’ her, but she was harassing me every morning by texting. Also, they arent even marital property… My parents own them, and i told her that i would be forced to turm them off unless she stopped comtacting me for a few days. I’m not strong enough yet to not respond to her insults and shaming tactics, so I turned them off.. She luckily has a part time job because my state still has alimony laws. So that’s not a problem, but it took me 3 years to get her to even get a job! I also found out recently that she lied about childhood abuse, her cousin shooting heroin, and I’m even starting to wonder if she was having sex with people now because of the insane lies that I learned as soon as I started wantin real intimacy and a healthy marriage..

      I used to get pulled into her arguments by gaslighting because I have a lot of guilt and shame already due to an NPD and alcoholic parent(s) and past drug abuse. After reading about codependency and BPD, I realized that I was just being manipulated, and I started noticing these very selfish behaviors that seemed completely normal to me before now. She even brought her kids to the house when she was coming to get her things, and she knew that she was going to cause a huge scene. I even told the officer, but he was some retarded deputy that had no idea what the laws even were lol. I just kind of laughed as I heard all the insane lies, and half of her ‘friends’ just blocked her and called me to tell me she was calling. Now I told all of them to never say another word to me about her. She called my family and tried to post on their Facebook pages about how I was trying to throw her on the street and just insane stuff. Thank God, I didn’t have a kid with this psycho. I feel so bad for people who did! She would gaslight and run upstairs to her kids even!… I told her that if I was so horrible, then I was going, but to her, that was me controlling her… Apparently, anything except me doing exactly what she wants at all times is controlling somehow.

      The ironic part is that she wanted me to get help. I got help, and I realized that I lived wit a psychopath! I appreciate her forcing me to get help tbh. It saved me before someone got hurt, and the kids got to see what you do when a family member refuses counseling if you ask them to go with you because she’s hurting you. I was tired of seeing them become passive like I was in response to her anger. Her kids of course are now kept right around her, and she even tried to upset my mother by refusing to see her kids again! I finally told her that I was disgusted with her behavior. A loving mother doesn’t use her kids as weapons!

      Thanks to sites like this, I realize that I need help, and that I will have to do it alone because I can’t make her do anything. I used to be controlling because I tried to make her do the right things, but I realize that I was wrong to do that. I can only get help myself, but I can’t live with her since I can’t keep her from emotionally abusing me constantly until I’m better. I am not insane; she is! I know I have issues lIke any other healthy adult does, but she looked me straight in the eyes and said she was not angry at all… As she was following me around being a toddler while I was getting my things… I’m glad I got out before too late. I see so many people on here who got trapped with their own kids, and I would be mortified! I can’t help her kids at all, and they’re not my responsibility. I need to start worrying about my needs, and a huge one is that I need help for my codependency issues. And now I’m not afraid to admit it! I used to be in so much denial about her and myself and what we were doing to those kids of hers by arguing. However, I can’t be in denial anymore after learning the harmful effects of my behaviors on others by being so passive about her anger. It was making me hate myself and her for not just leaving!

      Thanks for showing me a healthy relationship! Now I can finally goto therapy, and maybe in a couple years, I can finally have one when I’m doing better. :)

  2. Jenny
    September 20, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    There is so much good insight here. I’ve been so shell-shocked for the last year with my partner, having had all the experiences described above and many on other parts of the site. It’s an odd relief to see it in black and white. But … the narcissist in my life is a male. It *seems* as if much of this applies to both sexes, not sure if you agree (I apologize if there’s an article or discussion about this I haven’t found yet on the site). It feels a little strange to keep seeing only female pronouns in these descriptions. Then again, I can 100% appreciate that there are not too many sites that men can go to which focus on the emotional abuse they receive, while there are tons of such, for women. Men seem made the go-to scapegoat for all relationship problems, based on their sex alone and the conventional wisdom that they’re not emotionally intelligent enough. I’m not sure if that’s why the thrust is about narcissistic women, or if you do feel that narcissism is more (or only) likely to be seen in women.

    At any rate, until I met this guy, I’d never experienced anything quite like this emotional space. It’s mind-blowing. It’s crazy-making. The constant and determined revisions of history (from what we did together a few months ago, to things that came out of either of our mouths five minutes ago) so that his self-image can be totally preserved, telling me emphatically what I mean when I say things, and refusing to entertain any notion of misunderstanding, or mishearing, or elaboration. Before conversations have begun, the conclusions are made, and though they can be about me and the way I’m behaving or the way I think, my input isn’t necessary/welcome, because he “knows.” There is total intolerance of any divergence from the way he would have me or his family do anything, down to the simplest task — don’t we understand, he’s just trying to help us? There is complete personal identification with every idea, so that it seems like a threat punishable by cruel vitriole, to disagree with his viewpoint, or the viewpoint of someone he respects.

    Anyway, I feel a little bad crashing, as I see this is really a site for men, but I just wanted to say how much relief I feel at seeing in writing that I’m not crazy, that this is a real pattern shown by people, that follows so much of what I’ve been experiencing. I don’t know why it helps, but it does. So, thank you.

    • shrink4men
      September 20, 2009 at 4:13 pm

      Hi Jenny,

      You’re not crashing at all. These articles can be applied to men with narcissistic and/or borderline issues, too, with a little tweaking. I tailor this information for men for the exact reasons that you note—there aren’t a lot of resources for them while there are a lot more for women who are in abusive relationships. I’m also trying to dispel the double standard when it comes to relationship abuse that you also mention. Specifically, that men should be patient, tolerant and loving with their female abusers and learn how to not trigger them whereas women are told abuse is wrong, he’s a jerk and get out of the relationship.

      Men need that same kind of support. I hope that someday very soon we’ll see abuse as a “people” problem and that both male and female targets of relationship abuse will receive equal support and resources without the gender split. I think the number of people who have NPD traits or the full-blown disorder is probably a 50/50 male-female ratio. Recent research re: abuse seems to be pointing this way, although, there a lot of people who have vested interests in maintaining the “a woman can’t be abusive” lie. I discuss this issue on the site, but it’s mostly in the comment threads. I should probably do a post on it. In fact, I’ll add it to my list of upcoming topics.

      Your male NPD seems like a classic case based on your description. Their behaviors are mind-blowing and crazy-making. I’m sure many of the men here can relate to your experiences and validate them, too. No one deserves to be on the receiving end of the cruel behaviors you describe. I hope you’ll stick around and start bridging the “gender divide.” The reality is that there really isn’t a division. Abuse is abuse no matter the gender of the perpetrator. We’re all human and we all hurt when someone treats us badly.

      Dr Tara

    • Rebuilding - but still in pain
      September 20, 2009 at 8:23 pm

      Hi Jenny,

      Welcome. Why do you consider that you’re crashing when your story matches so many here? You are describing ‘gaslighting.’ It is bewildering and infuriating. With my soon to be ex-wife I found that sometimes we could not agree on what was said 5 minutes ago! Like you, I found that if expressed myself poorly and wanted to retract, expand, justify, clarify or whatever, it was always too late. In short my ex didn’t care about facts or genuine communication. It was not about finding ‘truth,’ but being right.

      (BTW – the term ‘Gaslighting’ comes from a 1944 Ingrid Bergman film, ‘Gaslight.’ A husband contrives to drive his new wife mad. Watch on you tube; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvNQv6Ro26w) Most genuine people will experience a measure of self doubt in their first experience of this.

      Where I think women ARE different is that they are frequently excused. First time my ex’s halo slipped – it was ‘her periods.’ Now it’s ‘early menopause.’ Men are less excused, even though the media frequently portrays men as emotionally immature. eg ‘Homer Simpson,’

      I applaud Dr. T for running this site. If it helps you recognise your abuser then great. Male or female.

      BTW you don’t say how tied you are to this guy. If getting out is easy – see his behaviour as a real red flag.


      • Freedom
        September 22, 2009 at 4:57 am

        you have no idea how wonderful it is to read you giving advice to others and expanding on your knowledge of all of this. to me, i see this as a very big step in your “rebuilding”. i found that when i was actually healing from my ex was when i started relaying knowledge and advice TO others on this site instead of always being the one responded to about my events. so a very large high five to you – my friend – i think this is a wonderful change. and please don’t stop imparting your wisdom. you feel deeply, you think well, and you write well. i have no doubt that you will bring a lot of insight to others. well done!!!

        • nick
          October 12, 2009 at 5:16 pm

          I relate…..sitting on a barstool in Montana…drinking watered down- orange juice talking to a guy from Salt Lake. Subject of past marriage comes up (his 21 years).He says “I’d take her back in a heartbeat” I knew he was one of “us” and proceeded to tell him the type of woman he was involved with. He looked like he’d seen a ghost. Nuff said.

  3. Chris
    September 20, 2009 at 10:06 am

    ( If you let the text on the site – you are very velcome to correct my spelling errors – such as “now” instead of “know” :-) Thank you)

  4. Chris
    September 20, 2009 at 10:01 am

    Lis, why should she “admit”? Just as if Dr. T did something wrong.

    I agree with the sense of humor on this site – and I certainly wouldn’t mind if you kept your off topic, narrow-minded, sour opinions out of this blog, that changed my life.

    Im living as far away as Denmark, Scandinavia – and I probably all ready in this english text made several errors – but never the less Dr. T and shrink4men has helped me to be a new man with a new lust for life again!

    I am for ever great-full to you.

    I’ll write my story later – and suggest a topic for you to consider writing about.

    And for you, Lis.

    Go out and find a practitioner, where you absolutely now for sure that they are full-blooded conservatives, has no humor and wants to support you in all your believes. Your writing won’t be missed here.


    • shrink4men
      September 20, 2009 at 1:01 pm

      Hi Chris,

      I think Lis just wanted me to admit I don’t like conservatives. I don’t really know why, but I’m not going to admit to something that’s not true so I can unwittingly prove some unknown (on my end) point to someone.

      I appreciate your kind feedback regarding my site. However, let’s try to refrain from name-calling. Lis is entitled to her beliefs whatever they may be and I want her to feel welcome here if she decides she wants to continue to participate.

      I want to figure out how to plot a map I can post on shrink4men that shows everywhere people are reading my site. So far, I have readers in the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, India (go Commonwealth!), France, Portugal, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark. The power of the web to reach people never ceases to amaze me. Through the power of Skype, I’ve had consultation sessions with people as far as 9 time zones away from mine. We may have different national and political interests, but abuse is abuse and the desire for happiness and peace in a relationship is universal.

      Thanks again,
      Dr Tara

  5. Mr. E
    September 20, 2009 at 4:56 am

    The content in this post is valuable. Political debate in the comments is not. Dr. T removed the offending content and stated her position. What say we now resume discussion of our universal and agreed-upon need for fewer nutjobs? I’ve heard tell of a far more intriguing kind of job out there, and would like to learn how to get one for myself…

    Also, happy talk like a pirate day, me hearties.

    • shrink4men
      September 20, 2009 at 12:51 pm

      Thanks, Mr E. I guess it’s a good object lesson. Some people can’t tolerate the slightest difference of opinion. It’s like the devaluing that occurs with a borderline. You’re on a pedestal one minute— only to be knocked off for some infraction later. I’m not saying that’s what occurred here, but many people have a lot of black and white thinking and engage in splitting when it comes to politics.

      Here’s the reality: Colleagues, friends, family members, intimate partners aren’t going to agree with you 100% of the time about everything. If you can’t find a way to tolerate a difference of opinion or interests, the list of people with whom you have relationships is going to get shorter and shorter.We all have individual differences, likes, dislikes and preferences. I think it’s the differences that make relationships more interesting. If I wanted to be with someone who thinks and feels exactly as I do, I’d have to have a relationship with my mirror.

      Thanks again,
      Dr Tara

  6. Lis
    September 20, 2009 at 2:27 am

    Dr T,

    This is your website.
    You can say what you want but why don’t you admit you don’t like conservatives?
    It’s no shame to show your true colors.

    Saying your not political isn’t true because I found this on the web.


    Different strokes for different folks…I guess its a good time to depart and shop around for another practioner.

    • shrink4men
      September 20, 2009 at 12:37 pm

      Hi Lis,

      George W. Bush isn’t a conservative; he’s a neo-conservative. There are plenty of conservatives out their who also dislike the direction Bush took the US. In fact, if memory serves, his own party wouldn’t even allow him to attend the Republican convention last year because of the damage he did and they didn’t want to be associated with him.

      Many of my friends are registered republicans and conservatives in the traditional sense. We actually agree on several issues.

      Best wishes on finding another “practitioner.”

      Dr Tara

  7. meyoufools
    September 19, 2009 at 3:29 am

    Wow George, great questions! I was just pondering the same things. Can’t wait to see what the answers are.

  8. George
    September 19, 2009 at 2:01 am

    Dr. T.,

    After reading many of your articles regarding NPD/BPD wives/girlfriends, I have a few questions about them. Are NPD/BPDs monsters, or predators, or just people with a disease? I’m not sure if they are operating with malice or if they just don’t know what they are doing? Or are they just being what they are? For example, I can’t get mad at a tiger for being a tiger, but I can realize that a tiger is a predator and stay out of the tiger cage. Lastly, if they are predators, what about me made me look like prey? Are there characteristics that I might exhibit that might make me look like appetizing prey to them?


    Mr. Prey.

    • shrink4men
      September 20, 2009 at 3:16 pm

      Hi George,

      These are good questions that don’t have one-size-fits-all definitive answers.

      NPD and BPD aren’t illnesses like diabetes or cancer. They’re not even illnesses like depression or schizophrenia. By definition, the suffering, discomfort and pain these illnesses cause hit the person diagnosed with them the hardest.

      Personality disorders, particularly the Cluster B personality disorders (Narcissistic, Borderline, Histrionic, Antisocial) cause the most pain and suffering to people who come in contact or have relationships with the personality disordered individual. NPD/BPD individuals often experience negative consequences for their bad behaviors, however, they don’t see themselves as the ones with the problem. They blame everyone else for their problems and unhappiness. As you know, this is quite maddening and painful when you’re in a relationship with one of these women, while they blindly insist that you’re the crazy one; you’re the jerk. They will not connect the dots back to themselves.

      I believe they’re capable of doing so, but they childishly maintain a pseudo unaware-ness to avoid personal responsibility and hard personal work (and sometimes work “work”—i.e., wives who are capable of getting a job/career, but refuse to do so). At heart, it’s a kind of psychological laziness combined with a fear of seeing themselves as they are because it will mean that:

      1) They have to acknowledge the reality of who they are—that they’re not this perfect person who’s unhappy because she’s put upon by lesser beings such as yourself. As I’ve stated elsewhere, a reasonably healthy individual can honestly look at themselves and acknowledge their strengths, flaws and areas for personal growth without experiencing it as a crushing, humiliating blow to their egos. To women with NPD and/or BPD, admitting they’re wrong, damaged or guilty of abuse means ego annihilation.

      2) Playing the perpetual victim/hostile dependent child is a powerful role, but a sick one. They maintain their control over you by pretending to be the helpless, injured person. This is laziness. Their power is illegitimate. Never taking responsibility for your words and deeds while expecting other people to clean up your messes and take care of all your emotional and/or financial needs is the height of laziness and psychological immaturity.

      Women with these issues are often malicious and purposefully so. To play devil’s advocate, let’s say they don’t know what they’re doing. Okay. What happens when you tell your wife/gf that she’s hurting you, making you feel bad or placing to much of an emotional/financial burden on you? Does she change her behavior when you make her aware or does she amp it up and either become more needy/demanding/abusive/sullen/withdrawn. You can’t say it’s a lack of awareness when more than one person has told you that your behaviors are hurting them. That’s willful denial and cruelty and, I think, very predator-like.

      I believe these personality disorders are most akin to alcoholism/drug addiction re: illness. You may have a predisposition to it because of your “wiring” or you’ve learned bad behaviors to cope with your pain. You can either recognize how you’re harming yourself and others, stop making excuses and blaming everyone else for your problems, get help and feel your own pain instead of putting it on others.

      As for being good “prey,” most predatory bullies like an easy target. This means they tend to go after kind, gentle, loving, tolerant, giving, easy-going approval seeking, conscientious, fair-minded “pleasers” (or they get involved with another abuser). This doesn’t mean you should become a hard-edged bad-ass. The qualities I listed are wonderful attributes—what a reasonably healthy individual would view as strengths. A NPD/BPD woman sees these strengths as weaknesses because it makes you vulnerable to their BS. I recommend finding a woman who cherishes these qualities instead of one who takes advantage of them.

      Hope this helps,
      Dr Tara

      • December 24, 2016 at 6:01 am

        Wow!!! When you said “let’s say they don’t know what they’re doing. Okay. What happens when you tell your wife/gf that she’s hurting you, making you feel bad or placing to much of an emotional/financial burden on you? Does she change her behavior when you make her aware or does she amp it up and either become more needy/demanding/abusive/sullen/withdrawn. You can’t say it’s a lack of awareness when more than one person has told you that your behaviors are hurting them. That’s willful denial and cruelty and, I think, very predator-like”

        What an emotional moment it was for me when reading this part of your comment. I’ve told this to my ex girlfriend many times. A healthy human being when told you’re being hurt by them would take a step back and analyze the situation. Am I making my significant other feel bad? What am I doing to make him feel this way? What can I change to make him feel better?

        When I tell her she’s making me feel bad, she becomes more abusive. More withdrawn. She’s completely aware of what I’m trying to communicate to her but yet she decides that it’s in her best interest to continue to bully and be abusive to me. I just don’t get it. Like you said, it’s willful denial..

  9. Lis
    September 19, 2009 at 12:41 am

    I hope I wasn’t a bully, Dr Tara.
    If I did I will apologize because your a sweet person.

    All I was saying your going to find very NPD types in the entertainment, news media and in the political arena.

    Why would they be attracted to those fields….to feed their Titanic Egos.

    • shrink4men
      September 20, 2009 at 3:33 pm

      No worries, Lis. Thanks.

  10. Rebuilding - but still in pain
    September 18, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    I am immensely grateful to Dr T. for hosting this site. This site helped me make sense of my NPD wife. Directly and indirectly it precipitated changes which have been liberating for me.

    In the past 2 months that I have been following this site I have also dis-abused myself of the belief in the stereo-typical ‘homer simpson’ husband/father as a representation of the typical man. The men posting here have tried so hard to work with the NPD/BPD women in their life.

    I am not to bothered about ‘American’ politics, though we live in a global community, but recognise that many of the woman described in this site will look for any opening to express their ‘disapproval.’ Confronting/exposing a narcissist is brave, but necessary.

    Thank you Dr. T.

    • shrink4men
      September 18, 2009 at 11:10 pm

      Thanks, Rebuilding. You’re very kind. Never forget: You’re the one who’s doing all the hard work.

      Kind Regards,
      Dr Tara

  11. Tom
    September 18, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    Hi–I wanted to add another voice of support for Dr. T. Her site has been a huge help to me in sorting out what was really happening in my marriage. What bigger help could you give someone over the web? From the posts on this site, it seems like lots of others have also received much understanding and a sense of a path forward. It bothers me that she was recently repaid with some “you are so out of touch” comments because of the public figure she choose as an example of bullying behavior. One of the great qualities about Dr T’s writing is that it is so down to earth; good luck getting the same level of understanding from more academic sources. Using a concrete example is a good way to clearly express what a process or behavior looks like in action.

    Part of any good relationship is perspective: be clear about the important stuff and let the little stuff slide. The big picture is that Dr. T is willing to help a lot of us deal with some difficult issues for free; and her insights are hard to find anywhere at any price. The small stuff is her politics, hobbies, etc.

    It seems that everyone on this forum wants better relationships. How about we start here: when someone goes out of her way to help us, we go out of our way to have a big heart and be willing to accept some small-stuff differences in which we disagree. I don’t mean to suggest that the small stuff can’t be discussed, just that we can all make progress on the road to better relationships by including in such exchanges a large measure of respect for someone who has doled out such a large serving of help.

    Many thanks Doc.

    • She was hot and smart, but also quite crazy...
      September 18, 2009 at 9:46 pm

      Agreeing to disagree, what a concept! And a concept a narcissist can’t understand…

      This is a great site that helped realign me with reality when I was in danger of assuming women for the most part are gold-digging narcissists. I think there are a disturbingly large number of such women in the dating pool, but if you take two steps back and think about it, that makes sense. The good ones mostly work on their relationships rather than bolt at the first sign of dissatisfaction.

      • shrink4men
        September 18, 2009 at 11:09 pm

        Thanks for the positive feedback, hot smart and crazy. I appreciate it.

        Cheers to everyone for all of your continued support.

        Dr Tara

    • shrink4men
      September 18, 2009 at 11:20 pm

      Shhhh!!! ix-nay on the obbies-hay. . .

      Thanks, Tom. I appreciate it. I think this is a good learning moment, too. Again, I never discussed my politics. As I mentioned before, there are plenty of “liberals” whose behavior I find equally troubling. I was writing about disturbing bullying behavior, I should’ve used non-political figures. Those two just seemed so relevant and in the moment. Next time, I’ll use someone like Kate Gosselin whom I hope nobody here takes seriously. Actually, I’d rather not think about that one.

      • John
        September 19, 2009 at 12:06 pm

        C’mon. Write us a blog about Kate Gosselin.

        I personally would love to read that one.

      • jp
        September 19, 2009 at 10:06 pm

        I never saw anything of the Gosselin show until I happened upon a radio talk show where the host and callers were debating who was more awful, the husband who’d left Kate for a 23 yr old, or Kate herself for being a controlling bully.

        Since it’s a subject near and dear to my heart I went to YouTube and checked out some clips.

        Yup, she’s a controlling bully. She treated the husband in the most dismissive, contemptous way and most of the time he just kept quiet and sucked it up.

        Of course as soon as he found an escape partner he was gone.

        Incidentally, the only thing worse than her personality is that horrible hair style. Sort or a reverse mullet with perma-bed-head in the back. Gross. I wonder if that kind of hair style is a red-flag, like grotesquely-applied lipstick.


      • shrink4men
        September 20, 2009 at 3:34 pm

        Hi JP,

        Love your description of her haircut. Funny. I thought she was trying to do the rural-housewife-who-believes-she’s-as-glamorous-as-Victoria-Beckham thing (Posh Spice).

        I think it very well could be a red flag—just like grotesquely applied lipstick. Very funny.

        Dr T

      • shrink4men
        September 20, 2009 at 3:35 pm

        I can’t do it. If I write about Kate I’d actually have to do research and watch her show. Can’t, won’t, not gonna do it. I promised myself a long time ago that graduate school was my last act of voluntary masochism. (By the way, this is a joke. Sort of.)

  12. Miguel
    September 18, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    I totally agree with you on this. But to live by your words, you would also have to dissociate from the left and Obama, who hasn’t actually brought any change to the Bush wars policies except to expand them.

    • shrink4men
      September 18, 2009 at 2:57 pm

      I agree with you, Miguel. For the record, I never stated what my political affiliation is. People assumed I’m a liberal Democrat just because I dislike the way O’Reilly behaves and the way Wilson behaved. I’m not happy with either party right now. I think they’re both largely dabbling in side show politics and engaging in personal power plays while the majority of the American people are up on the high wire without a net.

      I dislike bullies–whether they’re emotionally abusive women, the man or woman in the next cubicle, a manager or boss, a politician or a media figure. This is what this site is about primarily. I like to use multiple frames of reference in my writing because I think it makes it more powerful and interesting. Anyway, I suggest we all move on from this now.

      Kind Regards,
      Dr Tara

      • Nick from Texas
        September 21, 2009 at 7:18 pm

        This would be the only honest statement one could hear from a politician. “Things are screwed up in this country, THEY ALWAYS HAVE BEEN….voting for me won’t change much of anything…but I’ll work hard and try to do the most good for the greatest amount of people.” It’s really that simple.

  13. meyoufools
    September 18, 2009 at 10:11 am

    Dear Dr. Tara,

    I’m so sorry to hear that some readers have made you feel bullied enough to take down your previous posting. I for one love what you have been doing and you and all the other men who post their stories here have helped me immensely with my own situation and that to me is worth gold. You are tops in my books!

    BTW I think O’reilly is a cheap, cowardly, pathetic, bombastic POS and props to you for your article. It’s your blog and you have the right to post what you feel. If those idiots who complained can’t handle it then they can go start their own blogs.

    • shrink4men
      September 18, 2009 at 1:28 pm

      Hi meyoufools,

      It’s okay. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion; however, they’re not entitled to force it on others. I think the reaction of the few readers that posted a comments lamenting my observations of Wilson’s and O’Reilly’s behaviors are emblematic of what’s going on in the US right now. People tend to get caught up in what “side” they’re on and the personality/celebrity of certain figures as opposed to the actual issues, which seem to get lost in all the bluster and smoke and mirrors. Many people fail to see that we’re actually all fundamentally on the same side when it comes to real human interests and rights. The over the top behaviors and mud slinging distract us from that, which is the whole point, isn’t it?

      I grew up in a town that was equidistant between Cleveland, Buffalo and Pittsburgh. During football season, there were Steeler’s, Brown’s and Bill’s taverns. If you were a Brown’s fan, you didn’t go to one of the Steeler’s pubs to watch the game—unless you were looking for trouble or some serious ribbing. These guys were co-workers and friends the rest of the week, but you didn’t want to challenge them on who the “best” team was. When a ref would make a call for the other team, they believed their team was “robbed.” They vilified the opposing quarterbacks. They took on their teams as part of their identity and became unhinged if their team lost, forgetting that it’s basically just a game and the players get paid a lot of money, win or lose. I think the same thing happened here. Gosh, maybe I should add football to the list of topics to avoid in the future. . . (teasing).

      Kind Regards,
      Dr Tara

  14. No Baby Bird
    September 18, 2009 at 3:26 am

    Can all of your information and advice be applied to men with borderline personality disorder or are the disorders different depending on sex?

    • shrink4men
      September 18, 2009 at 2:16 pm

      Hi No Baby Bird,

      Most of the information can be applied to men with BPD with a few tweaks, but it by and large the same behaviors across the board. I find BPD men are more likely to do a final cut-off and just disappear while BPD women tend to keep coming back like boomerangs until you set rock solid boundaries and maintain a strict no contact policy.

      Hope this helps,
      Dr Tara

  15. George
    September 18, 2009 at 2:21 am

    Dr. T.

    It is scary just how accurately you describe my relationship with my NPD/BPD wife. I learned early on in our relationship that I was always wrong. She was always right. I was just a very bad man. I came to the realization that when we started talking about something, it wasn’t about communicating, compromising, finding some common ground, or reaching an understanding. It was all about winning. The only acceptable outcome was the complete crushing of her opponent, which was me. Over time, she just lost credibility with me. Why discuss something with someone that has no sense of fairness? She never made a mistake or was ever wrong.
    I’ll add one more technique that was used against me to get me to “shut up”. She would call me while I was at work. My desk is in an open area, so my conversation would be heard by all of my co-workers. When I would tell her that I wasn’t free to speak, she would even say that is why she called me there.
    Lastly, your comments about being a professional victim, really hit home. Even before I dated my wife, she was someone that everyone felt sorry for. Poor Linda, she has it so rough. All her previous boyfriends were jerks or creeps. An interesting thing happened after she married me. Nobody felt sorry for her anymore. I was a pretty well liked guy. We worked at the same company so most of her friends also knew me too. They knew that I was a good guy. They started referring to Linda as the “Lucky Girl”. As crazy as this sounds, this absolutely infuriated her. She would get really mad about that. They needed to feel sorry for her because they just didn’t understand what a creep I was. She needed to be the victim and I had to be the bad guy.

    Thank you for representing the unpopular truth.


    The Bad Guy

    • mike91163
      September 20, 2009 at 9:40 pm


      “…so most of her friends also knew me too. They knew that I was a good guy. They started referring to Linda as the “Lucky Girl”. As crazy as this sounds, this absolutely infuriated her. She would get really mad about that.”

      Oh yeah…and I’ll bet that as time went on, she would not only be mad at you, she’d get pissy with them too, right? I’ll bet you heard her say things like “If only you knew what he’s like…” or “you should see him at home…” or other lovely praise…

      BUT, it IS somewhat reassuring to know that you’re not the only one who can “trigger” her outbursts, mild as they might be in front of other people…

      • Rebuilding - but still in pain
        September 21, 2009 at 5:09 pm

        Hi mike91163,

        This very thing used to baffle me! My wife used to complain that her family never treated her like an adult. I wanted them to view her as being an independent, strong woman, who had a good husband and had made good choices in life. However, she seemed to be always threatened by my positive image and always sought to assault it!!! She wanted to play the victim. Then she wondered why her family treated like a child.

        I can’t believe the stories I am hearing now we’ve split. Don’t try to make sense of these people they try to consume the one’s they love. How they expect to play these games beats me.

        Most objective people see through her slander – if not immediately, then eventually.

  16. shrink4men
    September 18, 2009 at 1:03 am

    You made me smile, too, free2beYou. I’m definitely glad you finally started to be more than a silent observer.

    Thanks also for forwarding my site along to others. I truly appreciate it!

    Dr T

  17. free2beYou
    September 18, 2009 at 12:20 am

    Dr. Tara,

    Your reply brought me a Big smile :-) (not the evilish type of grin like Grinch who Stole Christmas NPD or BPD type of smile when they get their way(another bad joke he he he) but you brought me a heartfelt warm smile that makes me glad I finally had the guts to make a comment after following your site for many months. I hope I can be of any help to these great guys who need the wake up call I finally got after taking back my power & realizing it was “not me” in a few abusive relationships. The readers who are commenting negatively either may be lurking BPD/NPD’s or they just have not gone through the darkness of abuse, reached hell & decided to take the path back up to the light of freedom, like myself, you, and most of the readers have done or are doing. Quite honestly, I have read far to many psychology books on this topic & more, that I care to admit when I thought something was amiss with me because my crazy abuser tried to make me feel that way & this website blew me away with your knowledge & easy to understand logic & helpful advice. Luckily, I know myself more than the BPD/NPD’s did & I knew I was not truly the crazy one when I thought with my heart & not with the strings they were pulling my ego with. Most of my friends & family who are in abusive types of relationships are co-dependent or just feel there is no hope of escape. This site gives hope, helpful advice & straight answers that everyone can understand with out all of the super fancy big word terminology that bores the heck out of readers. It even has some humor too! I actually enjoy reading this site & then forward the information I have learned here to help those who may need it(above & beyond my own experiences which people are tired of hearing & hard to explain). None of my friends or family find psychology as interesting as I do, when I am rambling about these types of personality disorders every now & then & they are being abused but in denial, I can hope that a light goes off & they will someday “get it” & escape the abuse or navigate to this site too. Thanks again :-)

    • March 27, 2015 at 1:12 pm

      I would love/need some input. My situation is very unique, which makes a decision so difficult. I moved to France, where my soon-to-be ex (I think) wife is from. She had a job lined up, but broke her wrist on a boating trip a week before leaving the US. As a result, I had to be the sole provider. I started a business in France (with a French assistant, who turned out to be useless) as I did not speak any French and had NO clue of French tax system. Skipping a lot of details, there were many mistakes made. I expressed frustration with the French system, sadness over missing everyone and everything I had given up to move here and the deepest loneliness I think a human can experience, as I had NO ONE to talk to about any of these feelings. Her reply was always something like, ‘be a man and deal with it’, ‘it’s normal for a husband to give these things up for his wife’, ‘if you can’t handle it, then leave’, ‘you never talked much with your family when we did live in the US anyway, so what’s the big deal?’, ‘you’re just a ______.’ I was criticized for everything from how I cut the tomatoes to how I ran my business. So, I learned not so share ANYTHING. The part I found so strange was that there didn’t seem to be an intensity difference between ‘too much seasoning in the sauce’ and ‘you slept with my sister’. (This didn’t happen, but you get the point). Too much cooking oil in the pan registered the same meltdown intensity and character attack as having a three-some with her sister and best friend (I apologize for the analogy, but this is the best way I can come up with to describe the situation). Gradually, I avoided going home more and more. When you don’t know anyone in France, it is nearly impossible to make friends (very closed circles). So, not wanting to go home and no friends = bars. I admittedly spent more and more time in a bar, avoiding going home to a snake pit. This story is very condensed, but the character attacks on me as a man, husband, provider, cook…as a human being in general, left NOTHING about who I am safe or intact. I existed like this for 6 years, which I can only describe as the darkest and loneliest hell imaginable. But, as we all know, it builds so gradually, we believe the abuser, so what did I have to complain about? I simply accepted I was worthless trash to the very core of my being. Finally, I met someone one year ago, who said, ‘Aaron, you are not perfect, and you do drink more than you should, but you are a kind, honest and loving person who God loves very much. You have more value than you know’. Almost as if from heaven, a few days later, a friend had posted something on FB about how men need respect from their woman more than anything. This broke the first gate open. Suddenly, I realized there was a reason behind my feeling lower than un-recyclable refuse. This led to research into emotional and verbal abuse, and again, more chains were broken. FINALLY, there was a name to this feeling I had. I began to write VERY loving, respectful, but detailed letters to my wife explaining how her words and treatment made me feel. Her list of replies; ‘you’re just a very negative person’, ‘you only remember the bad’, ‘you have depression issues’, ‘you’re a deeply disturbed/troubled man’, ‘you need professional help and medication’, (which I tried), ‘you’re too sensitive’, etc. I organized many meetings with counselors, pastors and therapists. As soon as she says ‘Aaron drank too much’, her Ace hits the table. She looks like an innocent victim and I should be lucky she tolerates me. But, I had NO ONE who would talk with me. I was completely alone and lost. ONE therapist said, ‘this is exactly how her mom treats her dad, so she (my wife) would have treated you this way sooner or later regardless of you drinking. (BTW, I was never abusive, rude or mean when I drank…just a coping method and avoiding going into the snake pit as much as possible). So…is this all my fault because I didn’t come home more? Thank you for reading. I tried to make it as short as possible.

      • October 1, 2015 at 8:35 am


        • Seeking4truth
          November 1, 2015 at 5:48 pm

          It doesn’t sound like your fault. Gaslighting at its finest, keep breaking those chains until you’re free.

      • Mike
        June 19, 2016 at 1:06 am

        not so unique at all. My ex is australian, I moved from america to be with her and get married which we did. Bought a house, had a son. then a daughter, then a lot of conflict. Then I left, lived in my car, had a heart attack, lost access to my kids and was stranded without support in a foreign country.

        Yes we all think our own situation is unique, that we are different and special…so you couldnt possibly understand or help me…your solutions may be simple, mine are much more complicated, which is why I can not change or do anything, I am stuck, I am a victim and I have to be…

        Rationalizing, justifying and denying wont work.

        • June 19, 2016 at 7:58 am

          Perhaps ‘less-than-typical’ would be more accurate. I am now stuck in France, a country in which joy and friendliness is scarce and I am miserable here. However, I now have a son and don’t want him to grow up only knowing the French perspective on life.

  18. free2beYou
    September 17, 2009 at 11:29 pm

    Dear Dr. Tara,

    Please chin up & smile :-)….. you & this site are WONDERFUL!! I am a Big Fan of this website & all of your very helpful information allowing compassionate & loving men learn to break free from NPD/BPD dark souls.(if they even have one that is). It not only helps great men like I have seen writing on here, but also Non-BPD women like myself(who follow this site daily in silence) & CHEER when each new man “gets it” & realizes that freedom is the only true answer & their relationships are those of bondage & certainly not of true love or love in any form.(I guess now I know where all the great guys have been hiding out(bad joke) lol). Also women or men like me, who are in the midst of trying to help friends or family they love understand personality disorders like these & stay clear or free themselves from the emotional/physical turmoil these types of relationships bring. I myself, have survived & freed myself from emotional abuse a couple of times in the past & I realize how tough it is to break away from love relationships or friendships involving NPD or BPD types of personalities. It is a scary & tough road & it takes everything inside of you & then some, to muster up the strength to face the darkness head on. Your self esteem will be chipped away & need repair afterward, but thats the easy part once your freed.
    I finally “got it” that if someone does not allow you to be your true authentic self or if they try & control your emotions, personal freedom,speech etc. etc. than they are the ones with the issues & not you. Free of them & feel the sigh of relief everyday of new found peace. I am all for flicking them right off your shoulder(like annoying dandruff lol) out of your life (if possible), ignoring them, & being in control of your own emotions & not letting them affect your moods(or fake it if need be for the time being) & realize it is not love, but power & control for them. They hurt you to survive their abandonment fear, …..well in that case, escaping their prison they built for you is your way of surviving & maintaining your own true self since it is YOUR life. They have made it seem to you as they are the important ones because for them it is a Me! me! me! thing…..it is not about love or You for them, so you have to take back your power & make it about you again to survive & be happy. Just like Dr. Tara & numerous readers have written, they will move on like a cockroach on the run if you do not fall for their fear tactics & act as if they do not exist.(trust me, you are only one chess piece on their game table…or just an appendage like an arm or a leg to them). Once you can see the dark-soul beneath their great acting jobs, manipulations, gaslighting, splitting, drama queen(or king), little girl(or boy) poor me/fake tear/suicide threat act, than the BPD or NPD has no control over you. Once you see what lurks beneath their masks, the Boogey Woman(or Man) is not quite as scary. Like a gloomy, dark shadow, NPD/BPD’s souls(again,if any) hide behind beautiful bright loving, compassionate souls of Non-BPD/NPD’s because the good in your light makes them appear good, loving & innocent to others. This is why they cling so tightly(the movie Poltergeist comes to mind lol). Look past their ever changing masks & fake stories & pitiful tears & see who you are shaking hands with everyday(not a pretty sight) ……Sure, you can keep trying if you want to make things work, but you have to give up your own beautiful soul to hold the light in front of their dimly lit shadow every step of the way for every day of your life.(that is not a fear tactic, just a little lifesaving advice from someone who has been there & cares).
    Dr Tara, I not only applaud you for continuing this informative site, but also for your compassion, patience & astounding knowledge getting the message out to people like me who need it & enjoy reading the updates everyday. Thank You so very much!
    …. & just a little more Hope & Strength sent to all the courageous, compassionate Men who are freeing themselves from abuse. Thank You also for your stories & advice for others.

    • shrink4men
      September 17, 2009 at 11:46 pm

      Hi free2beYou,

      Wow. With a comment like that, please don’t sit on the sidelines in silence anymore! My hunch is the men here will be reassured to know and communicate with kind, caring women who have both empathy and sympathy for what they’ve been through or what they’re still going through.

      Your observation about women and men with NPD and/or BPD are spot on. Thank you so much for sharing them here. It’s always inspiring to read about someone’s experiences who manage to “go toward the light, Carol Anne!” Love the Poltergeist analogy, by the way. Once you come out the other side, it really is a kind of rebirth.

      Thanks again, free2beYou. I hope to see more comments from you in the very near future.

      Kind Regards,
      Dr Tara

    • chico
      December 1, 2009 at 5:51 am

      Thanks for your wonderful post. a lot of your comments really stuck in my mind and helped to explain some of what happened to me. I got out my relationship with my ex-fiancee BPD 2.5 years ago – and am still healing from the experience. I sometimes wonder if I will ever feel 100% or if I can ever trust another woman again, and post like yours reminds me that there are good-hearted women out there…

      And to Dr. Tara
      Thank you for being one of the only support resources for men out there! Women can be just as abusive/dangerous as men and the fact that the focus of recovery programs is women-only boggles my mind. Men are also least likely to talk about being abused – so these online resources are the only tools to really grasp the reality of the relationship. There are a lot of us damaged souls out there – too many unfortunately – and the fact that you are taking time out of your day to reach out to us is truly a blessing…

      a heartfelt THANKYOU to you both!

    • Irishgirl
      September 19, 2010 at 12:35 am

      I am CHEERING too!

    • April 5, 2013 at 11:42 pm


      You are completely right and totally accurate. I only wish I could say it more articulately!

      My ex GF seemed like the sweetest, loving, sensitive woman in the world.

      Once her mask was finally stripped away it was literally like starring the devil himself in the face! No one can even understand what we are talking about unless you experience it. That is why this site is a treasure.

      Sorry, I have no pity for my ex GF. Funny you mention the soul. I honestly don’t think she has one. She definitely has no conscience!!!!

      I known some people are going to hate me for this, but these people should have warning labels tattooed into their foreheads. They are muniplulative FREAKS!



      • Trappednomore
        May 2, 2013 at 6:29 pm

        Hi Keven, I am totally with you there. I have just FINALLY separated from my bpd husband after 24 years. Absolutely horrendous. He was, for the most part a kind caring honest generous loyal almost perfect husband. Of course, until we had any conflict or confrontation, when the rages and verbal spewing were unbelievable. Always followed by profuse sorrys, sadness, guilt, shame and depression, often using emotional blackmail in order for me to forgive him. Of course, I did, only for the cycle to repeat itself, which without treatment, over the years, became worse, until the tragic ending recently. Too much to tell the story here.
        Did anybody here, in desperation, as a reaction to your partners inability to communicate healthily during a row, their rages and repeated crazy making behaviours, ever get so frustrated, angry and resentful towards them, that you also lashed out at them. Only to be told that you were the one to blame, your fault, you are/were the problem and you are the controlling abusive one in the relationship ?????

        Did anybody here, ever feel that you were the crazy one and the abusive one, rather than them????

        Although this is excruciatingly painful for me and a very very sad situation and ending, I feel lighter and somewhat relieved at no longer being part of something so unhealthy, damaging and destructive.
        We have to make it our priority now, to heal our own deep unhealed wounds, so as not to ever attract this type of dark soul and personality into our lives again.

        Until we do that, we are all unconsciously susceptible to attract a similar, same, if not worse disorderd partner in the future, until we become whole and complete in ourselves.

        Thank you to everybody here for sharing.

        Good luck to everybody with your healing. Hope you all find peace, joy and happiness in the future. We all deserve it.

        Remember, you are not alone.

  19. She was hot and smart, but also quite crazy...
    September 17, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    It just goes to show there’s more than one kind of abusive relationship out there…

  20. shrink4men
    September 17, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    Here’s the “non-political” version of my last post. I made the previous post private and password protected. I’m happy to make it available readers who can handle acknowledging bully behaviors in media figures and politicians, even if it means operating outside of their cherished ideologies.

    Thanks, as ever, for your support and participation. I’m not happy as I feel like I’ve been bullied and shamed into silence by some readers, which is kind of ironic given the subject matter of these posts. Nevertheless, thank you again for reading and commenting.

    Kind Regards,
    Dr Tara

    • shrink4men
      September 18, 2009 at 1:17 am

      Just saw this:


      What’s that line at the end of the original Willy Wonka film when Charlie returns the everlasting gobstopper to Wonka that he was going to sell to Slugworth. . . “one shining moment” or “one shining good deed” and it restored his faith in humanity again?

      Props to O’Reilly for this one. Which leads me to wonder. . . Bill, are you a shrink4men fan? Did you read my last post? (kidding)

    • dbear
      September 18, 2009 at 4:09 pm

      How is making a request and offering an opinion bullying?

      • shrink4men
        September 18, 2009 at 7:25 pm

        Hi dbear,

        I wasn’t referring to your comments. There were other comments, which I didn’t approve, because they were basically ad hominem attacks, inflammatory and I didn’t want to degrade my site. Basically, I was called a socialist, told I needed a vacation or a massage, that I had “ruined” my site and “destroyed” my credibility. I also received a few private emails along these same lines.

        I decided it wasn’t worth my time to address these individuals nor did I want to detract from the purpose of this site.

        Kind Regards,
        Dr Tara

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