Home > Abusive relationships, bullying, divorce > An Anthem for the Husbands and Boyfriends of Narcissistic, Borderline and Histrionic Women: Mr Guilty by Loudon Wainwright, III

An Anthem for the Husbands and Boyfriends of Narcissistic, Borderline and Histrionic Women: Mr Guilty by Loudon Wainwright, III

Not too long ago, I attended a Loudon Wainwright, III concert. His children, Rufus Wainwright and Martha Wainwright have been two of by favorite singer-songwriters for many years, but I’d never really listened to Loudon’s music. On a lark, I attended one of his performances recently and he was amazing. One of his songs, Mr Guilty, made me think of the blame game abusive individuals like narcissists, borderlines, histrionics et al like to play with their nearest and dearest. I chuckled the whole way through and told my companion he should email the mp3 to his ex as a facetious apology.

I found a rendition that Loudon performed in Glasgow in 2007. I love the “I’m a villain! I’m a villain!” bit. All in all, Loudon has an utterly charming stage presence and is a supremely talented singer-songwriter and performer. The apples certainly didn’t fall far from the tree. Same goes for their mother, singer-songwriter Kate McGarrigle, who recently passed away. If you have the opportunity to see Loudon perform, I highly recommend it.

I wonder how many of my readers have thought about tendering the same kind of apology to their wives, girlfriends and exes as Mr Guilty?

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  1. sam
    May 18, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    As long as we’re recommending songs, I must have listened to this one a million times. I think it was written just for me – the failed rescuer. Linkin Park – In the End.

    • jham123
      May 18, 2010 at 6:10 pm

      Hey! I know that one!! LOL

  2. Mellaril
    March 31, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    Non, Je ne regrette rien….

  3. LeavingLaurieT
    March 31, 2010 at 3:14 am

    Dr. Tara did us all one better with this one! She is a great counselor, personal experience. Every guy in this situation should DEFINITELY hire her!

    And I also THANK HER for turning some of us on to Loudon Wainwright, III and even more, his children, Rufus Wainwright and Martha Wainwright!

    Great music – Rufus and Martha!


    • shrink4men
      March 31, 2010 at 3:31 am

      Thanks, Brian. That’s very sweet of you. It’s been my pleasure to work with you and I’m delighted you’re doing well (and almost free).

      Loudon’s super wry. Rufus has a new disc coming out in April, “All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu.” Already pre-ordered mine through Amazon. Martha’s Edith Piaf recording, “San Fusils, Ni Souliers, A Paris- Piaf Record” is in regular rotation on my iPod.

      Now they both just need to perform in my town again so I can enjoy them live!

      Kind Regards,
      Dr T

    • shrink4men
      March 31, 2010 at 6:52 pm

      Here are some videos of my favorite tracks from Martha’s Piaf recording:

      Taylor Swift can only wish she had Wainwright’s chops. Here’s a track from Rufus’ upcoming CD and his opera:

      This a performance I attended in France a couple of Christmases ago, which were part of his Judy Garland tribute and always make me a little misty eyed:

      One my favorite songs, “Grey Gardens:”

  4. Freedom
    February 22, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    I just had to include this video. I’m a big fan of the Offspring. They can take a funny yet sardonic look at life. This song always makes me laugh cuz it is SO true… for both sexes. but the video just adds the icing on the cake. enjoy…

  5. laura
    February 21, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    Dr. Tara…
    You didn’t have me at hello. You know, I thought this was a cool idea you have here – but I wasn’t sure how that would work. Then you said this, “Don’t swallow their crap.”


    Didn’t have me at “hello” – but I’m a believer now. Know what?? I worked with a BPD person – it was a physical injury. Brain injury from auto accident. However, his shrink called me into his office because the young man became suicidal when I said I could not work with him. The shrink put all of the onus on me and made me responsible for the young man’s life – and talked me into working with him. Told me I had to be responsible to be his external “brakes” when he went out of control – and could not reason or control his moods.

    The man was a Dr. – telling me this man’s life was on the line – and it was because I said “no, I don’t want to work with you”.

    It was the worst experience of my life. I am nearly recovered now from it – but I listened to the shrink – it was high pressure that a life was on the line – and so I followed authority in an emergency rather than using my own judgment.

    After a while, I sat back and said, “Please do not talk to me about these things. Please call your psychiatrist.” But nothing would stop him – it seemed – from “unloading on me”. I wish the shrink would have either hospitalized him or shown him that he was responsible for his own behavior – must be accountable for his own behavior – and not put all of that on me.

    I also wish I had not “trusted” an authority in an emergency – and sat back and used my own judgment. (I did use my own judgment before the shrink called me into his office.)

    Anyway, great advice. You really could help people, I think.

    Hi Anthony,

    Borderlines are not mentally handicapped. You are not responsible for her behavior. She is responsible for her behavior. It sounds like this group is nothing more than enabling vehicle for BPDs “in recovery.” Effective treatment teaches borderlines accountability. Don’t swallow their crap.

    Kind Regards,
    Dr Tara

  6. February 19, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    Don’t forget that if you are in a relationship that other person should feel a real need to not purposely hurt you, most especially not on a continual basis. I have a friend whose bipolar, I’ve known a few who were, and let me tell you they are not one in the same. Even people who are mentally handicapped do not behave the same, what matters is how the person chooses to respond to their environment. I’ve gone through such interactions and let me tell you, it is so not worth it to be around those who blame you entirely for their behaviors, that’s just plain rude. Don’t ever take the blame for the behavior of others, it becomes a vicious cycle, and will only serve to put you into a depressed state. I have also found that certain bipolar people actually unload their emotional baggage onto the minds of others because they refuse to deal with their own problems, a certain few blame the world for their present condition.
    I have met some very nice bipolar people as well, don’t be fooled, the choice to behave abnormally or not is always there.

  7. Anthony
    February 19, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    Dr. T – How’s it going? I’m just looking for advice, because I went to a seminar in NYC regarding awareness/education of the BPD/NPD disorder etc… The Association’s name is TARA. This person at TARA basically told me that it is my fault because I trigger her outbreaks and/or bad behavior. It’s the way I act with anger or communicate with her that sets her off. I have to change my behavior in order for her to change and/or seek help. She believes in the “science” of the disorder and how it’s “solely” a brain defect. She told me she is basically handicap and should be treated as such. I have to make accommodations for her and the environment if the relationship is to survive. Her family member also has the disorder, which because of this… I don’t think she is very objective or helpful for the people that come in contact with these individuals. I basically feel that this puts the burden/responsibility on the other person, rather than the person with the disorder to correct or control their behavior. Sounds like enabling to me with no boundaries. I would really like to know your feelings on this matter?

    It would be greatly appreciated it!



    • shrink4men
      February 19, 2010 at 7:02 pm

      Hi Anthony,

      Borderlines are not mentally handicapped. You are not responsible for her behavior. She is responsible for her behavior. It sounds like this group is nothing more than enabling vehicle for BPDs “in recovery.” Effective treatment teaches borderlines accountability. Don’t swallow their crap.

      Kind Regards,
      Dr Tara

    • Lighthouse
      February 19, 2010 at 8:07 pm

      From TARA’s website (http://www.tara4bpd.org/family.html) it appears to be aimed at people with family memebrs who have BPD.

      If you have a choice about joining/leaving that family dynamic then I would seriously consider voting for change rather than sympathy and facilitation by using your feet. That said, if you have any compassion left from your BPD experience you may wish to leave behind a donation for those who have a moral obligation to stay in some form of contact (parents).

      Of course, as Dr.T points out, this whole debate remains peripheral to the core question (of the BPD individual)… “I’m sorry for YOUR pain, but what are YOU going to do about it ?”

    • Mellaril
      February 19, 2010 at 8:53 pm

      Don’t let them fool you into thinking an explanation is an exonoration. They may be hard coded to behave the way they do and it may well be that it will fall to you to make the relationship work. It’s still their responsibility and by hiding behind the science, they can once again absolve themselves of responsibility and shift the blame onto you. How convenient. They have a problem that makes someone else miserable and they get to blame you on top of it because “it’s the way they are.”

  8. Lorenzo
    February 19, 2010 at 12:36 am

    The Jim Croce song “Lover’s Cross” is great, look up the lyrics especially if you have a true “martyer” in your life.

  9. 2curious2quit
    February 15, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    I am at work and the firewall won’t allow me to see this video, but the late Jim Croce composed at least two songs that I would add to this list.
    “One less set of footsteps” and “Lovers cross”
    Croce was sublime in many ways and should still be with us.

  10. D
    February 15, 2010 at 4:42 am
  11. Whipped1
    February 13, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Oddly enough this song came out the year I met my wife some 24 years ago. More strange is 5150 is in some police code the meaning of crazy. I will be participating in the forums to trade war stories.

    Certainly glad I found this site. Just knowing I am not alone in this shameful experience has accelerated my healing.

    • Freedom
      February 22, 2010 at 3:22 pm

      Wow!!! great minds think alike. i’ve thought several times about putting the lyrics to this song on here. Van Halen is my favorite band (Sammy IS the better singer) and this is one of my all-time favorite songs!!! the funny thing is, the song is sung in a happy tone, but the lyrics are not so happy. “it’s always one more, you’re never satisfied. It’s never one for all with you it’s only one for me. So why draw the line, and meet you half the way… when you don’t know what that means”. Now i’m gonna have to go put in the live DVD of the whole concert and rock out. You made my day…!!!

  12. B.E.C.
    February 12, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    My EX just moved to Texas yesterday. Our divorce was final on the February 4th. I filed after I learned that she’d been lying to me and cheated on me. She’d threatened divorce about a half-dozen times over the years but, never followed through. She got so angry when she found out that I had actually filed for divorce.

    She still won’t admit to what she’s done. Instead, she says that because I wanted to resolve our issue before trying to have a baby again (we’d lost a child a year ago; she’d wanted a divorce while she was pregnant) that she’d lost hope.

    She’s given a few different reasons for what she’s done; from me not communicating, to her loneliness to “it was never going to work between us”.

    It is harder than I though it was going to be. The house is big, empty and quiet. I start crying all the time. Even though she did me so wrong I miss her. We where together for 11 years, married for 7.

    I can’t believe how sad I feel. I know it’s for the best but, it’s not what I wanted. I truly loved her and wanted to work our issues out and have a child.

    Now, I’m just left wondering if I’d force the issue when she’d get angry at me, instead of withdrawing, if it’d been different. Would it haven given her hope enough to resolve our issues if we’d had a baby when she wanted to?

    Am I too willing to accept blame?

    All I know now is that she’s gone and it hurts…

    • Mr. E
      February 12, 2010 at 3:04 pm

      “Now, I’m just left wondering if I’d force the issue when she’d get angry at me, instead of withdrawing, if it’d been different. Would it haven given her hope enough to resolve our issues if we’d had a baby when she wanted to?

      Am I too willing to accept blame?”

      No to the first question. Yes to the second.

      We’re all there with you. Remember that there was no possible way for you to do the right thing with her!

      I recommend gettng the heck out of your big empty quiet house. Go to the gym, take a class, play poker, build something in the garage and get a buddy to help…

      • B.E.C.
        February 12, 2010 at 3:37 pm

        I’ve been trying that & it does make me feel better but, when I get home it hits me. I also realize that all the relationship drama over the last year got in the way of me mourning the loss of the baby & that is really hitting me hard now that that’s out of the way.

        I thought I was going to be OK because I was feeling OK until she moved all her stuff out.

        I’m going to therapy with the therapist that was our last marriage counselor. He say that we’d never been able to work it out because we were too different but, it doesn’t change the fact that I feel such a loss.

        I hope I start feeling better. I feel like the house if haunted by the memories. I’d wanted the house; I guess I was fighting for it as surrogate for the relationship.

        I guess the problem is that she’s not an extreme case, that there were times when it was. I’m not saying that to minimized what she’s done; there really was good periods. Its just that she’d go from that to angry, bitter and withdrawn and stay that way for weeks.

        It makes me wish I could have shown her that it wasn’t hopeless. I guess I have a lot of regret.

        • Mellaril
          February 12, 2010 at 4:23 pm

          It’s going to hurt, no way around it. I recommend you read the blog on the 5-Stages blog on the site. It will let you know what you’re in for. There’s a ton of good information here.

          Eventually, your head will stop swimming and things will start to look better. After your head clears, figuring out how/why you got and stayed involved with this woman becomes imporatant so you don’t do it again.

          • B.E.C.
            February 12, 2010 at 4:31 pm

            Thanks. I was talking with a coworker about this & he said its natural to have these feelings & doubts because during the divorce you where too busy thinking about winning to have these feelings.

            He said that having those feelings isn’t a sign that I made the wrong decision.

  13. Mellaril
    February 12, 2010 at 3:10 am

    I recommend Harry Nilsson’s “You’re Breaking My Heart” for the anger phase of the 5-stage process. Watch out for the last line, though.

    Then again, there’s always Joan Jett’s “I Hate Myself for Loving You.” That one got a fair amount of play time.

  14. shrink4men
    February 12, 2010 at 1:17 am

    I know. I’ve watched it at least a dozen times now and have most of it memorized and I’m still not tired of it.

  15. bikeknut
    February 11, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    The best song I have ever heard. One big HELL YES!

  16. Mr. E
    February 11, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    Wow, that was awesome! I laughed all the way through it and then watched it again.

  1. December 17, 2010 at 6:29 pm

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