Home > Abusive relationships, Borderline Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, relationships > 8 Red Flag Dating Phrases that Should Send Men Running

8 Red Flag Dating Phrases that Should Send Men Running

man runningI came across a website called YourTango and saw an article titled 6 Red Flag Phrases That Should Send You Running: If a man tells you he’s not boyfriend material, believe him. Plus 5 other verbal red flags. It piqued my morbid curiosity, so I read the post. It was the standard fare on how to avoid men who are jerks. The article never once gives equal time to female verbal red flags, therefore, I’m going to take a crack at it.

The following are 8 phrases that should send you running for the hills when dating:

1. “What woman doesn’t go a little crazy now and then?” If a date utters this rhetorical question or some variation of it, my advice is, “Run, Forrest, Run!” Get while the getting is good and don’t look back. Otherwise, ask for an operational definition of “a little crazy” and then decide if it’s a deal-breaker.

There’s a certain kind of woman who believes that acting out, extreme selfishness, entitlement, throwing tantrums, pathological jealousy and having narcissistic rages are normal and acceptable female behavior. They’re not. She will try to minimize the severity of her craziness by sugarcoating it or glossing over it as a natural occurrence, tell you to make your peace with it and imply or explicitly state that you are the one with the problem if you don’t accept her unacceptable behavior.

For example, the blogger in the YourTango article cites the following red flag if a man isn’t willing to put up with a little crazy female behavior:

“All the girls I’ve dated were just too much.” Translation: He isn’t willing to compromise. We know our kind can overreact. Overanalyze. Cry at the wrong times and get all worked up over things that, perhaps, were nothing. But beware the man who says all the girls (but not you, of course!) he’s dated were crazy. You may initially delude yourself into thinking you’re cooler then the average chick and have the ability to melt that steely exterior with your no-frills stylings, but sooner or later you too are likely to have demands that are just going to be “too much” for him.

This is pretty frightening. Basically, the author of the above quote states that if a man is unwilling to put up with crazy, hurtful, irrational behaviors from his girlfriend/wife it means he is “unwilling to compromise.” Damn straight. No one, man or woman, should have to “compromise” on crazy hurtful behaviors.

crazy princess2. “I expect to be treated like a princess (or a queen, empress, czarina, etc.) Unless she’s some long lost member of the Hapsburg, Romanov or Plantagenet family, I don’t think so. Even then, who cares? She’s a person just like everyone else. When a woman fancies herself royalty, it denotes a level of entitlement, one-sided-ness and probably an incredible lack of empathy. She’s basically stating, “I expect you to be subservient to me. My needs and wishes trump all others.” Do you want to be a lover and equal partner or a manservant?

3. “I expect my man to put me first.” Here’s the unspoken second half of this phrase: “at the expense of his own best interests” or “just like I put myself first.” If she puts herself first and you put her first, who takes care of your needs? Who is looking out for your best interests? Not her, that’s for sure.

If you marry this woman and later divorce, this mentality morphs into, “What’s yours is mine and what’s mine is mine. In fact, everything is mine. Gimmee. Gimmee. Gimmee.” A healthy relationship between two equal partners is reciprocal. Furthermore, when you truly love someone you don’t expect or demand that he or she neglect or harm themselves in order to make you happy. Each person is responsible for his or her own happiness and needs. You’re dating to find a partner, not an autocratic dependent.

4. “I like the finer things in life.” Your response to this statement should be, “So what do you do for a living?” If she’s not an attorney, doctor, executive or in some other high paying profession, guess who’ll be on the hook to pay for the finer things she professes to like so much? That’s right; YOU or any other poor sucker who’s willing to let her pimp him out. Also, take note if she’s obsessed with designer labels, expensive cars and other bling. Does she read a lot of celebrity and fashion mags? Is she a reality TV junkie? These are other potential red flags.

5. “I’m a drama queen” or “My friends think I’m a drama queen.” Drama is something better left to the professionals like Meryl Streep and “reality stars.” Self-proclaimed drama queens are draining, toxic and probably have a touch of Histrionic Personality Disorder. If you want to spend your life wading through disproportionate reactions to minor events, that’s you’re prerogative. However, pushing the broom behind the bejeweled elephant in the room eventually becomes tiresome.

6. “All of my ex-boyfriends/ex-husband(s) are jerks.” Maybe, maybe not. Maybe the problem is her. If you read this site regularly, you understand that a person can choose the wrong type of partner many times before they “get it” and make healthier romantic choices. This is usually because the individual is reenacting an unhealthy relationship pattern from childhood as an adult.

As I’ve stated elsewhere, you want to hear a potential mate take some accountability for their past relationships. For example, “I was immature. I didn’t know what I wanted. I was attracted to the wrong kind of guy for awhile, but I’ve grown up, etc.” At some point, the only common denominator in all your failed relationships is you. Whether it’s because you’re the one with the issues or because your issue is that you’re attracted to people with issues.

7. “I don’t speak to my father.” This is either a healthy choice, for example, if her father is an abusive NPD/BPD type, or a sign that she has a lot of issues that will make a romantic relationship with her a living hell. Beware of unresolved father issues and proceed with caution. You definitely have to do some detective work on this one. You also want to discover how her mother treats her father.

8. “I like it when the man makes the plans.” This is the flip side of another YourTango red flag. If a woman expects you to make all the plans and entertain her, it may mean that she is unwilling to take responsibility in a relationship. It’s another attitude that puts you into a subservient role and also sets you up for failure. For instance, she expects you to make all the plans and you inevitably choose something she doesn’t like. She then gets to tell you what a disappointment you are and you “never” do anything she likes.

This is another device by which to control you and undermine your confidence. She pretends she’s in the passive role when she’s actually the one pulling your puppet strings. Meanwhile, you’re doing all or most of the work. In a healthy relationship both partners contribute.

The dating world is like a jungle and there are a lot of predators out there. My advice is:

  • Pay attention to your instincts.
  • Know your deal-breakers and deal-makers.
  • Don’t minimize or ignore crazy or unsettling behaviors and conversations.
  • Remember that your needs and feeling are just as important as a potential mate’s needs and feelings.

Beauty fades, but crazy and abusive are forever.

by Dr Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD

Shrink4Men Coaching and Consultation Services:

Dr Tara J. Palmatier provides confidential, fee-for-service, consultation/coaching services to help both men and women work through their relationship issues via telephone and/or Skype chat. Her practice combines practical advice, support, reality testing and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Shrink4Men Services page for professional inquiries.


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Photo credits:

Man running by andreamisera on flickr.
Crazy princess by hairstyle on flickr.
  1. Richard
    February 15, 2010 at 12:17 am

    Never marginalize seemingly insignificant comments or messages on clothing lightly. Words like “high maintenance” ARE significant. Take notes and ponder their deeper possible meanings in quiet. Listen up when she laughingly jokes about being called “baby bitch” or “evil twin” when she was young. Yes I once intuitively articulated about our income that what was hers was hers and what was mine was hers. Beware of not receiving any positive feedback or reciprocated compliments on a date after showering her with compliments all night.

    Thanks Dr. T!

  2. Richard
    February 15, 2010 at 12:15 am

    Never marginalize seemingly insignificant comments or messages on clothing lightly. Words like “high maintenance” ARE significant. Take notes and ponder their deeper possible meanings in quiet. Listen up when she laughingly jokes about being called “baby bitch” or “evil twin” when she was young. Yes I once intuitively articulated about our income that what was hers was hers and what was mine was hers. Beware of not receiving any positive feedback or reciprocated compliments on a date after showing her with compliments all night.

    Thanks Dr. T!

  3. Jon
    December 30, 2009 at 5:55 pm


    I have potentially encountered an odd situation–

    There appear to be bpd’s that have formed an anti NPD support group.

    However, they don’t know that they are bpd…but they seem like it. In fact, many of them say that they are because bpd’s mix often with NPD’s…yet it all seems to be a group of male bashers who are diagnosing every “ex” with NPD.

    I know you would need more information to answer it correctly (not asking for a solid dogmatic conclusion) but is it possible that something like this could happen?

    If it were, you would think many of them wouldn’t openly call themselves borderlines. Nevertheless, it is as odd of an observation as I have described.

    It would seem, upon closer study, that there could also be multiple truths: They are suffering from NPD’s, but they are in fact BPD’s who have contributed to their own suffering–or they have caused the problems in the relationship and have reversed engineered these problems in such a way where they blame the man and call him ‘npd’.

    I know such men exist. I am not challenging this.

    Yet it truly seems to be a BPD “gang” in part, whilst also a support group of some sort. I’ve heard that they study psychology and arm themselves with lofty terms of human behavior in order to put the blame on their husbands/boyfriends, yet could it be to even such an extent as this?

  4. Vantage1
    December 7, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    I cannot begin to tell you how thankful I am that I happened upon your website. You have just described — to just about the VERY letter — the woman I used to date earlier this year: a celebrity hairstylist who spent north of $20K on plastic surgery (actually a damn fine job but she looked beautiful before the work was done), was out of work and collecting unemployment checks, living in a rental apartment who also turned out to be a seething, toxic mess of entitlement, insecurity and overblown ego. Points 2, 3 and 4 hit the bull’s eye!

  5. AnonymousT
    November 5, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    Hi, Rebirth. This is familiar. The versions I heard were “You need to make me feel special”, and “You need to date me all over again”.

    • Vantage1
      December 18, 2009 at 4:37 pm

      @Rebirth: too damned creepy!!! After the major break-up my NPDXG and I had, she foolishly conned me into going out with her one night for dinner (I ended up paying but thankfully spent well under $75!). We met a friend for a party and some bar and earlier on she swore, based on her behavior from when we split up, she was not planning on drinking. Well, I held her to her word when we got to the party and, sure enough, she started complaining about how I wouldn’t buy her a drink. Later that night at her place, she acted VERY cold and standoffish and mentioned how I “need[ed] to date [her] all over again!”

      Wow…can’t believe it!!!

  6. Rebirth
    November 2, 2009 at 11:27 pm

    Another version (2.2) of “I expect to be treated like a princess” is “I want to be courted”.

  7. shrink4men
    October 31, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    Thanks for the link, Brian. I think I’ll write something on this.

  8. NoSeRider
    October 31, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Oh yeah, I read that website before. Emotional Blackmail.
    Clear markers of cluster B drama type personality disorders.

    Not only do they give you ultimatums, but they get all fussy and emotional too.
    It wears you out. I think I’ll fall in love with a tortoise, less emotional aggravation…..or one of those pugs.

    I feel like Jane Goodall watching the primates go all greedy and sociopath. It’s like these women are Bernard Madoff’s trying to manipulate an emotional ponzi scheme.

    • shrink4men
      October 31, 2009 at 5:26 pm

      Much like a Ponzi scheme, if you don’t buy into the BS, you don’t get burned.

      There are at least two lessons here—cliches, but good lessons:

      1. If something looks to good to be true, it probably is. This refers to the finely honed, but illusory false self many of these women (and men) create to lure people into a relationship.

      2. Know when to cut your losses. This truly is a great scheme. “If you work a little harder. Give a little more. Jump through even more hoops. Humiliate yourself a little more. Sacrifice all of your needs and feelings, then MAYBE you’ll be good enough to deserve me.” Abusive cluster B personalities keep raising the bar every time you meet one of their demands and keep themselves or whatever it is you want just out of reach until they completely drain and break you. When there’s nothing left or you simply refuse to hurdle the bars they keep raising, they’re finished with you. Meanwhile, you’ve thrown good time, money and love after bad.

      All in all a losing proposition no matter which way you look at it.

      Dr T

      • Vantage1
        December 17, 2009 at 5:38 pm

        I think this article was the PERFECT precursor to the “You Are Not A Princess!…” article you just posted!

        MANY THANKS!!!

  9. October 31, 2009 at 2:21 am

    Female Who Understands and George, (thanks)

    One very important factor we all must do is to help educate the general public on this topic. Educate help whenever we are dealing with a serious social problem like drugs or other dangers that we need to warm others about and more so for our young people.

    How many others members stated “if I only read this or knew this years ago”. How many years would have been gain to get out quicker and before children where born into the union? If only they knew of the many red flags and what to look for! Educate is the key to improving those at risk for this type of dysfunctional toxic behavior and we need to employ it in the most effective way to achieve the best possible results.

    Yet one other thing we can do is exposure. As Dr. T has mentioned many times these people fear and hate exposure to who and what they really are. Also in my book the true victims to these types of dysfunctional and toxic people are their own children. Who suffer the most if not the children? We agree to date marry and become involved with them but our children didn’t.

    The children will be used as pawns and supply for them as we are and/or once were. We can move on but our children are bonded to them by birth and we all need to protect them and educate them so that one day they too will decide if they even want dysfunctional Mom or Dad in their own personal life. A choice only they can make and have a right too. Educations in this topic will guild and aid them in that decision…

    • Recovering Alpha
      December 6, 2009 at 7:57 pm

      “… children will be used …” Sad but true story during an interview of both me and (soon-to-be) ex in same room at same time with a psychologist. This was ordered by the family court at the first divorce court proceeding to find out why the oldest two boys didn’t want to spend time with their mother. During that interview, the ex stated why the boys should live with her, “I don’t think it’s fair that I will miss much of their growing up.”

      That floored me! The focus in her mind wasn’t the kids: it was herself! What was SHE going to miss. What about the boys?! G*d d@mn it! Makes me very angry! She repeatedly suggested that I was the reason the boys didn’t want to stay with her. WTF? I freely shared the boys 50% all summer but they after three months ON THEIR OWN INITIATIVE ARGUED WITH ME TO LET THEM LIVE WITH ME FULL TIME IN A SMALL RENTAL HOUSE. I initially didn’t want this as I wasn’t sure I could handle all the extra work — research scientist, part-time college instructor, etc., plus 2 teenage boys ALL THE TIME. (The neatness of my house with them there all the time now tends towards the more chaotic, but I look at it as a “learning experience”.) I consented with caveat that they visit their mother every other weekend.

      My boys tell me the ex constantly tries to convince them to live with her using all kinds of manipulation: “sticks lower lip out and pouts” etc. In contrast, if my boys tell me they want to live with their Mom I’d say, “I’m sad, but that’s your choice.” And then I’d be done with it and let them make their own way with that decision. (A cop buddy told me “Once kids of divorce reach driving age they go where they want regardless of what the court tells them. We cops are under verbal instructions NEVER to remove a child from a legal parent regardless of orders from family court and the other parent UNLESS there is a risk of violence or drugs are involved.”)

      Another point that put a dagger in my heart. When the divorce settled out of court, I received the house (not yet moved in tho, have to give her half value plus addtl monies). When I went home (to my leased house miles from the house the boys grew up in) and told the boys the news, they excitedly said “Great! I can’t wait to have my bedroom back, and ride the bus with all my friends, and be in the same neighborhood as my school, and be able to jump in the pool in the backyard,” etc.

      I had to retire into a bathroom and recompose myself. I hadn’t realized how much my sons had given up of their own accord to live with me (or worse TO BE AWAY FROM THEIR MOTHER WITHOUT ME THERE — that’s what they said) in a small rental house miles from the house they’d grown up in and friends etc. Yes, “suffer most the children” which is why I stayed in that marriage for 16 years and would have until the youngest left for college had the ex not “released” me by her EXTREME behavior when she found I’d visited a divorce attorney (just for info — tho that attorney said, “You know. 98% of the guys that come in here sitting in that chair just for info eventually get a divorce” when I told him I wasn’t quite ready to petition etc).

      Yes, the kids suffer, but I must state one thing my son said to me recently that might help other men struggling with this similar issue (leave or stay for the kids). I had just apologized to my 14 year old (almost 15 in a few weeks) son for the divorce and said it would be better for me but would be more difficult for him and his brothers. He said, “Dad, I don’t agree with you. It’s better for us too. How many times have we fought in this house since we moved here?” The answer was zero. He didn’t mean between the ex and myself; he meant the ex-wife yelling and being ultra controlling to him and his brothers! (I usually requested my ex and I move the argument to another room where the kids were absent before agreeing to her tantrum or latest criticism.) That was a big understanding from a kid, and I’m embarrassed to say had not yet been realized by me.

      • Mr. E
        December 7, 2009 at 3:22 pm

        “sticks lower lip out and pouts”

        Really? My wife pulls that one too.

        …Another scary-how-much-they’re-all-the-same moment.

  10. George
    October 30, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    Dear Female Who Understands,
    I think what you are doing with your sons is excellent. I grew up in a healthy non-abusive home. It wasn’t perfect, but it was definitely loving and supportive. One of the downsides of growing up in a good home, is that you can also be a little bit naive. I definitely was. When the people you are surrounded by are loving and trustworthy, you tend to get used to not having your guard up, because you don’t have to. Teaching your sons that they still need to be aware of boundaries, will help them develop the street smarts that can help them survive in the sometimes dangerous world.

  11. Female who understands
    October 30, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    Dr. T,

    I am so happy we found your website. I am giving this article to my adolescent son. I talk with him all the time about healthy relationships and boundaries but I never told him what to look for. You might think he is too young to worry about these issues but information at an early age is priceless in my opinion. Information is valuable and useful when your already there but PRICELESS if you never have to go there. I am the Mother of 2 males and I have tried to raise them to be sensitive and caring. My sons will be especially ignorant to these types of females because the women they are most close with (mother, grandmothers, aunts) are not abusive to the men in their lives. Conversely, the men in our lives are not abusive to us. They don’t know anything else exists. We are not a perfect family (that doesn’t exist) but we respect healthy boundaries and truly want all parties to a relationship to be whole and at peace. I pray my boys find a love that doesn’t hurt when they become men. Love, taken on a whole, does not inflict constant pain, confusion, and desperation. Utopia does not exist (I would have bought a 1-way ticket years ago) but peace does. I hope my “little” men find the peace that all human beings need.

  12. Ron
    October 30, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    shrink4men :Agreed. I wouldn’t like being doused with ice cold water and I have a totally off-the wall sense of humor.
    I was speaking in general about having a sense of humor—specifically, can she laugh at herself when she screws up or does something silly?
    Cruel practical jokes are only funny to those who pull them because they have a fundamental sadistic streak. If you pulled the same kind of nasty prank on this type of person, I highly doubt that he or she would find it amusing.

    Thanks. I triggered a bit as the accusation that I overreacted was one she often used. I have a very long fuse and am gregarious and friendly. I have no problem laughing at some of the stupid things I do.
    And, I often fantasized of retaliating but knew, insitinctively, that the reprecussins would be extreme.

  13. Ron
    October 30, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    She is charming. That’s the problem, Dr T. I did not see any of this wierdness until after we got married. And, other than her family, who have come to me and told me she is a habitual liar and sociopath, I think she has a lot of people fooled.

    • shrink4men
      October 30, 2009 at 4:34 pm

      Correction: She sounds . . . frightening. I still think individuals with these issues should come with warning labels just like a pack of cigarettes.

      • George
        October 30, 2009 at 11:20 pm

        Often these BPD’s can be beautiful and charming monsters. We are all taught to recognize the monster in the movies when they are big and ugly. It catches most men off guard when they are attractive and charming and perhaps even petite! In my opinion, one of the most dangerous types of monsters is the one that doesn’t really look like one.

  14. Ron
    October 30, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    Anonymous Coward :Dude, nobody was suggesting doing it when you are in the shower, or just going out, and not expecting it…
    They see you, see the bucket, see the water in the bucket, see what you are about to do…
    The water thrower OBVIOUSLY should not do this to someone in the shower, just going out the door, getting into the car… “mental tennage stunts on TV” this is not.
    The fact that you worry about this shows just how much scar tissue you’ve picked up from this woman’s abuse of you.

    Exactly. It was one of her favorite tactics:do something really mean and then claim that I had no sense of humor if it upset me.
    How about this one: Playing scrabble. My wife spells out “penis” and then, as if to convince me that this was not a bluff word(who does not know it is a word?)rattles of the follwing; “Penis, my huband has no penis.” To put this in a little more context , she would call me “like a woman” on occassion and often tell me I “had no balls”
    I was a three sport varsity athlete in college and played golf professionally. I am in no way effeminant. Yet, this was the type of thing I was hearing.
    If it upset me, i was “too sensitive”.

    • shrink4men
      October 30, 2009 at 4:17 pm

      She sounds just . . . charming.

  15. October 30, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    Another absolutely sterling contribution to the education of men.

    I think one of the many potential benefits of mental health practitioners finally getting real about the experiences of men is that it may well prevent incidences of abuse and even worse.

    I don’t justify violence for any reason, but I also know that relationship violence often stems from repeated emotional abuses and frustrations that never get resolved. Some guys stomach this stuff a day too long and snap because they are never exposed to the idea that they should show these women the door from day 1.

    I facilitated pro bono men’s groups for several years. It was a virtual universal, once the men started talking, that their relationship lives were marked by the constant frustration of dealing with women who felt that high maintenance and often insufferably demanding behaviors were quite normal and to be expected of women.

    Many of the men I worked with actually subscribed to the same thinking and vigorously resisted any idea that such behavior was abusive, unfair and antithetical to intimacy.

    Kudos to you and your fine work, Dr. Palmatier. I hope this blog goes insanely viral.

    • Ron
      October 30, 2009 at 3:11 pm

      Paul Elam has an excellent site, as well. Nice to see him here.

    • shrink4men
      October 30, 2009 at 4:15 pm

      Thanks, Paul. I hope the site goes insanely viral, too.

      . . . their relationship lives were marked by the constant frustration of dealing with women who felt that high maintenance and often insufferably demanding behaviors were quite normal and to be expected of women. What I don’t understand is how this ever became considered “acceptable.” It’s unacceptable at 5-years old and 45-years old and every age in between and after.

      Also, I haven’t made this announcement yet, but Paul’s site, MensNewsDaily.com is now featuring some of my posts in their Lifestyle section.

      Kind Regards,
      Dr Tara

      • November 1, 2009 at 5:02 am

        Dr. T,

        First, my thanks to Ron.

        Also, Men’s News Daily is the site where I serve as editor. If you will allow me the shameless plug, my site, where my essays are all collected, is avoiceformen.com

        I have one piece to finish over the next few days. The next one after that will be large an attempt to answer your question. I think the answer to why all this became “acceptable” goes back to the industrial revolution and the matriarchal hegemony it fostered. I won’t get long winded here in your space, but I hope to get your thoughts on the piece when it is done.

        Your work, btw, that is posted on MND, is doing very well. Hardly surprising.

        • Recovering Alpha
          November 7, 2009 at 9:41 pm

          Good Sir

          This is reference to your webpage
          from which I quote

          “The psychological and chemical emasculation of the younger generations”

          I have four sons. The two older are now 12 and 14. BOTH while in elementary school were “diagnosed” by their elementary teachers as “extreme ADD, hyper” or whatever. Said (female) teachers told me “They need meds.”

          Thank goodness my father is a biology professor and pretty strong example of masculinity. He told me, “DO NOT PUT YOUR BOYS ON MEDS.” All ‘s were wild as boys. That’s why so many are so successful in their adult lives.

          When I saw that phrase regarding “meds” and “emasculation” I had tears in my eyes for what my older boys tolerated in the elementary school system. They were separated from the others and so on. NONE HAVE EVER BEEN MEDICALLY DIAGNOSED WITH ANY DISORDER. THE PEDIATRICIAN’S I’VE TALKED WITH REGARDING THEM TELL ME THAT IS NORMAL BEHAVIOR FOR BOYS. My Dad angrily (and I don’t know if this is true generally) said, “Those teachers want all the boys to behave quietly like most of the girls.” True? Maybe.

  16. Ron
    October 30, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    Mike91163 :AC–
    Your late grandfather was a GENIUS! Man oh man, how accurate that would be…
    –if she reacts by grabbing the bucket or a hose and soaking YOU, laughing all the while, I’d say you might just have a winner.
    –on the other hand, if she screams how you just ruined her clothes/hair/makeup, and storms off, and gives you shit or the cold shoulder for days, “Run Forrest, Run!”

    Mike, I think any normal person would be pissed after being doused.

    • Anonymous Coward
      October 30, 2009 at 3:16 pm

      Dude, nobody was suggesting doing it when you are in the shower, or just going out, and not expecting it…

      They see you, see the bucket, see the water in the bucket, see what you are about to do…

      The water thrower OBVIOUSLY should not do this to someone in the shower, just going out the door, getting into the car… “mental tennage stunts on TV” this is not.

      The fact that you worry about this shows just how much scar tissue you’ve picked up from this woman’s abuse of you.

  17. Ron
    October 30, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    shrink4men :Actually this is key: Having a sense of humor about herself. Most NPD/BPD woman do NOT have the ability to laugh at themselves. This is a BIG red flag.

    You have to be cautius about this lack of sense of humor after a water dousing, though. I say this because dousing me with cold water was one of my XW’s favorite things to do. I’d get it when I showered and once when I was fully clothed, just ready to go out the door.
    Believe me, it is a really humiliating thing and, when one is completely unexpecting it, like with eyes closed, soaped up in the shower, it feels like an electric shock through your body. Your body does not even recognize what has happened. Feels like you are being burned.
    I’ve read that cruel practical jokes are fairly common among BPD/NPD types. It is a sideways way of expressing aggression and they can then accuse you of having no sense of humor when you react. I think anyone would react to the adrenaline that an unexpected dousing brings.
    I ran this by my buddies, wondering if I overeacted by getting angry. Not one of them had exppierienced this type of thing from their wives and all said it would really piss them off.

    • shrink4men
      October 30, 2009 at 4:10 pm

      Agreed. I wouldn’t like being doused with ice cold water and I have a totally off-the wall sense of humor.

      I was speaking in general about having a sense of humor—specifically, can she laugh at herself when she screws up or does something silly?

      Cruel practical jokes are only funny to those who pull them because they have a fundamental sadistic streak. If you pulled the same kind of nasty prank on this type of person, I highly doubt that he or she would find it amusing.

      • jham123
        October 30, 2009 at 4:36 pm

        It is a lack of sense of humor, but more specifically, self deprecating sense of humor. They cannot laugh at themselves and be warned….don’t get caught laughing at them either.

        And it is not mean laughing…but if one does something really silly it is often best just to laugh it off and move on….not with my Wife……How dare you laugh at her.

        She pulled this on my 14 yo Son just last month. (the 14 is the character in the family)……I just shook my head…I had already read on here about the BPDs behavior and I fully understood.

    • Hayden
      October 30, 2009 at 5:08 pm

      My ex-NPD called me when I was out of state on National Guard training for a week and thought it was funny to tell me that the pipes had burst in my condo flooding the whole thing. She let me freak out for a long time thinking that my home was ruined with nothing I could do. She got a real kick out of it. I thought it was a really cruel type of humor at the time but wrote it off “because I loved her.” I wonder if the NPD would have reacted as well if she was the butt of that type of “joke?” There were many other times that I thought that she had a really unnatural sense of humor or lack thereof, which I now understand is a common trait among NPDs.

  18. Young Man
    October 30, 2009 at 3:28 am

    Most of the real crazies put on a FLAWLESS, magnetic, charming, FACADE. She would never SAY these types of things, but you have figure it out on your own through her ACTIONS.

    • shrink4men
      October 30, 2009 at 4:08 pm

      Very true.

  19. George
    October 30, 2009 at 3:05 am

    My wife used to be frustrated with my response to the several demands/requests she would make to me each day. I used to say to her that at work they trust me with million dollar projects and I seem to get them done on schedule and on budget. I certainly don’t need to told how and when to take out the trash or mow the lawn. I also started to notice that whenever she made a request of me it wasn’t “Do this for me.” but rather “Drop whatever you are doing and Do this for me right now.”

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  1. January 21, 2010 at 6:34 am

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