Obsessed with a Crazy Ex: Are You Stuck?


Plaster_Cast-PompeiiThere’s a new article on www.Shrink4Men.com that discusses some of the reasons men and women have trouble getting over an abusive ex. It also challenges the old “But I love her” error that so many targets of abusers make.

Here’s the link:

Obsessing Over an Abusive Ex: Thoughts on Being Stuck

Shrink4Men Coaching and Consulting 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.

  1. K
    March 15, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    My relationship with my girlfriend of 6 years ended recently, I loved her very much, we spent a lot of time together alone and with friends, traveled extensively. I grew very close to her kids( they are adults).. so where was the problem?.. well she was married once, ex hubby walked out but now pays her a big alimony check which in many ways is as much as a curse as it was a blessing for her. Her decisions in life were based on whether it would affect her alimony payments, nothing was going to jeopardize that. We did not live together, she had a key to my house , came and went as she pleased, I put no restrictions on her at all. She on the other hand would never give me a key, I could fix everything in her house, cars you name it( I’m the handyman type) but I never earned the trust of a key. So I guess you could say trust issues were a big problem. The day of our breakup I had taken her to lunch, we had a nice time, laughs and fun, 20 minutes later she tells me I don’t respect her or her time! saying I don’t value her, which is odd seeing as how we had just gotten back from a weeklong motorcycle vacation down the coast. how does someone you spend that much time with, share so many adventures with turn right around and say some of the most cruel and hatelful things? it was all about her

  2. Anonymous
    September 18, 2013 at 12:26 am

    I can relate to this article ,I have been in a relation with a woman like this for almost 2 years, she was never considerate to how I feel about things, she spent more time with her friends more than with me,she wanted me to adapt to her life and accept everything she does,she was acting like she was single,going to parties and dressing up in a very provoking way,giving me the (we need some time apart )every few months, whenever we get into an argument she would turn into blaming me, calling me a liar for little things I merely forgot to tell her, or hidden to avoid problems,she would get angry and tell either telling me I am a man-child,don’t know responsibility and continues to rip me apart, or she would suggest break up,I find myself most of the time trying to avoid her leaving me ,by either apologizing for very small things or just taking the blame and keeping my mouth shut, some times I would defend myself and mention her faults, and how she didn’t care and then she would say “you see me as one of these women then break up and go,you will be better off without me” .

    she would tell our problems to her male friends,and sometimes to people she doesn’t even know well, she would talk to her friends about things I said to embarrass me,I ended up not having any privacy,she would often call our neighbors whenever we have a fight or argument
    every time I would make a mistake or hurt her ,she would get mad, dress up, go to a club dancing and drinking.
    she works for a woman, and this woman would ask her to stay in her place while she is away,or travel with her,she would talk to her about our relationship and say to her that I am trying to control her,that she should go out and enjoy herself and leave me.
    and my woman takes her advice.

    this woman began to litteraly control my wife, and telling her what to do,I started to get over stressed after a situation with this woman,I kept this stress inside for months, and then I started getting a a chest pain, I didn’t give it much attention at first but it got worse,till one day I couldn’t bear the pain went to the doctor that told me I have a lung infection prescribed anti-biotics ,I couldn’t go out I had to stay at home, but she was out with her friends most of the time, one day it got really bad and I couldn’t breath,coughing puss out of my lungs, at this point I went to the hospital and found out I have a large abscess on the lung, at this point I found out that I have to travel to another city to make a surgery.

    she said she cannot come with me because she had to work, I really reached a bad state where I could no longer walk or talk,I had to be transferred with an ambulance to another city, I spent weeks at the hospital she would call me briefly everyday to see how I am doing,and tell me how she enjoys her time with her friends, she used to say that she felt she was not free to be herself while I was around, and now that I am away she started to return to herself again, then proceed to remind me of my mistakes or what I did wrong,
    I made the operation and returned to my home in the same city (my other house,where she is not there)

    she would say that even though she loves me and feels bad that I am sick she is still hurt that I lied to her and that she does not want to see me because she does not want to meet the person that hurt her.

    One time we talked on the phone I told her that I would liked to see her while I am sick,she proceeded to say that I am a needy person and that I always want and want.

    at this point I started to have less and less communication with her as every-time we would talk my health would deteriorate again, now she does not even call neither do I

    Now we would only send text messages she telling me about her nice days and where did she go or do (spending day on the beach, traveling with friends,having dinner with friends..etc) I would tell her how my health is

    Now I feel depressed and sleep most of the time also didn’t recover from the operation yet, I miss her feel the need to go back to our house and be with her, but something is stopping me as I feel how cruel and un-caring she treated me even while I was sick,and I take comfort in the fact that maybe she is not worth my love because she does not really love me or care for me and I wouldn’t be losing much

    I have a clouded mind,cannot think right,sometimes I don’t know if it’s my fault how we ended up or her’s , I don’t know what to do or how to act, I lost my job, I am severely damaged,physically and emotionally, trying to recover and cope with the sadness and depression that this relation have put me through.

  3. Wendy
    May 29, 2013 at 12:38 am

    WOW, I always sensed our son’s future fiancé was crazy, but now I know she definitely has BPD. It’s been a nightmare for my husband, his father, and our family for 2 years now. There have been so many “break-ups”, of course always caused by us, that I have lost count. We had a brief period of reconciliation, but now the game is ON again. Her latest rant was as usual about her perceived slights and how she has been so hurt by us, of course all of this without our even saying a word to her, until this last go round I told her I had enough! Well, that was all it took for her to give the ultimatum to our son… he has since stopped contacting us and since she controls his email, facebook, phone and texts and any other communication lines( he doesn’t have many of his friends anymore) we don’t’ know what is going on. He doesn’t respond to our texts anymore (I’m no sure if he even gets them). I can only assume that he has chosen her, not surprised! She sent a text to us on my husband’s birthday telling us; “Congratulations! I have broken up with Trevor and the wedding is off–add that to your list of things to celebrate today!” Believe me, it was all I could do to not respond to her…hallelujah! But I refrained. The last contact we had with our son the day after she sent the text was that he had no knowledge that the wedding was off! So as usual, she sent it just to be mean. I just don’t know what to do! I feel for my husband but there is a part of me that just wants it to stop, so not seeing them gives me some relief, but I know its only short lived.

  4. Empowered Girlfriend
    May 9, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    Having been in love with a man who was divorced six years & moved on, as soon as his ex heard that we were engaged, she decided to make it her mission to “get her family back” using his children and his family to manipulate through guilt, shame and smearing me as his “mistress” and “homewrecker” while playing the victim. Her emotional abuse & neglect of the kids has resulted in high school dropping out, teen pregnancy and criminal records for her & their teen daughters. She is a functional alcoholic on probation who has his family supporting her mission to “getting back together” to save their family. They have all lied to Child Protective Services to keep ‘family secrets” in order to not cause her problems because she is a ‘good person’ all the while she had a live in boyfriend (in violation of a protective order) and allowed & engaged in underage drinking & smoking pot even WITH the kids! The codependency and enabling is textbook classic. Being the target of her wrath is endless but I hung in there trying to help him get back to his healthy well being of two years ago. The pain has been horrific at times. This website was a god send in every way! It helped us although we lost several battles with her gang of the kids, HIS family and regular doses of popping into his office (yes, they work at same place!) These women are truly evil and live to ROB you of happiness, control of your life and moving on without them. They will hurt everyone in their path from their own kids & family members while believing their own lies within their delusional bubble. My guy is back in counseling for the third time after finally learning the hard way that she does not want him or anyone else to have him but only wants him to pay her bills, blame him for all her bad choices and take responsibility for their failed marriage and kid problems. I wonder if I should move on too often but in the end, he is worth it and we have decided to empower ourselves and not let her “win” by being consistent with firmer boundaries for her and his family members. We do not seek their approval and will concentrate on his youngest who now lives with him. I see a bright healthy future and we are better prepared to win more battles thanks to this website! Please keep it going, it helps to keep us healthy on this journey of life! Empowered girlfriend

  5. Juggler
    May 4, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Hi, I have been through every article and radio show. It took me a month to find the time and at some point even stopped working. I really needed to know once and for all what I was dealing with.

    I have been married to the same abusive woman for the last two decades and I knew something was off the moment we got engaged. Since then I have been trying to run away many many times, but never with much success obviously. I have always returned or hooverd back with feelings of guilt of being the one who would destroy a family.

    My case differs in that I grew up loved and nourished in a family where nobody divorces and every marriage is a success story. From my greatgreat grand fathers to my parents. They all endured, worked together, raised their kids and built wonderful families and homes.
    I always wanted that for me, I decided that when I met the girl, my life partner I would do it as my parents. I knew they had their trouble, but nothing that couldnt be worked out so I became in love with falling in love and building a beautiful family.

    After all this reading now I know that yes, there has always been something wrong with my chosen life partner and my reasons for wanting to run always were right. Being abused, beaten, manipulated and isolated is not normal and deciding to stop taking it is not being irresponsible coward, but a rational survival act.

    I hope I still have a few years to live, I am 48, and now I know I tried and did everything possible. I feel at peace with my decision to end this marriage and I know it won’t be an easy path, but some how I know it won’t be as hard as going on willingly to the torture of living with an abusive person.

  6. AJ
    May 1, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    Great article Dr. Tara.

    After about a year of dealing with her (my girffriends) spontaneous outbursts, hypersensitive, insane mood swings, bitterness and getting threatened to lose her, she’s now moving to another state for a job.
    It hurts but the reality is that I also made her into this image that never really existed.
    After reading this article I discovered I was trying to recreate and fix the way I grew up with my mother, who was a detached, cold abusive parent.
    My girlfriend was so similar to my mother the way I allowed her to treat me.
    I finally stood up, walked out of her life and refused to take her abuse.
    I made he aware of everything that she did and it was like talking to a wall.
    No regrets from her no remorse and no apologys.
    We where supposed to get married but during one simplistic argument that all changed and she treated me as if she never knew me or never cared for me.
    She was just like a light switch, she could turn on the love and the cold detachment in an instant

  7. May 1, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    I can truly relate. The attempt to find love in a person with similar problems of my mother, who was not as bad as my wife, was delusional on my part. To think that I would be able to find the missing love from my childhood in a person that was similar to my parents now seems a little crazy on my part. It did put on a quest to find out what Real Love is all about through reading and study and thus recognizing those with the same tendencies. One is better to be alone than to repeat those same habits. As Albert Einstein stated: “Insanity is when you do the same things over and over again and expect a different result every time.” A great lesson for the abused is to stop being an enabler. Be aware, abusive people are looking for an abuser. Learn to not be one.

    • JN
      June 7, 2013 at 5:05 am

      You mean, ‘abusive people are looking for an ENABLER. Learn not to be one’ (last sentence). I correct you because I very much agree with you!

  8. May 1, 2013 at 12:53 am

    Wow! Very timely and very helpful. The name used in your example struck me right between the eyes! Too damn coincidental. Thank you so much. I really needed this after this week. I was starting to fall into painful, wishful, longing. This was a cold shower. Thanks Dr. T!

    • shrink4men
      May 1, 2013 at 1:51 pm

      You’re welcome. Also, if you would like to comment on the article page and participate in the conversation, I encourage you to register at http://www.shrink4men.com and post your comments there.

      Kind Regards,
      Dr T

  9. Tanker
    April 30, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    Can’t believe how spot on this is. Lucky for me I left my crazy girlfriend finally and today I was really missing her, then I read this.

    • shrink4men
      April 30, 2013 at 11:33 pm

      Timing is everything. Typically, the longer you go No Contact, the easier it gets. How long has it been?

      • Tanker
        May 6, 2013 at 12:32 am

        I have not had any contact with her for five months. Surprise of surprises her final raging, screaming tirade was on her birthday after I carefully ensured I had a card and nice gift to give her. She told me it was her best birthday ever and about 2 hours later she was screaming at me telling me what a mean hateful bastard I was. I think about 90% of birthdays and holidays ended this way.

        Everything in that article was a feeling I had or still do have and it came just about the time I was sort of praying we would get back together and maybe it would be different. The flip side of the coin is that if she was perfectly normal she may not even give me a second look, so no matter how I think about our relationship I come away feeling a little depressed. I still care about her, but I’ll never contact her because it will be a lot of pain for both of us and it’s better to move on and not dwell on it. I’ve got hope and a lot of faith that someone perfect for me is just around the corner and that is actually an exciting thought.

        • Juggler
          May 7, 2013 at 12:25 am

          Tanker, It is always the good times and the good memories that hoover us back. The tranquility of the calm periods, the kind words and deep inside, the person that we fell in love with.

          The experience wtih abusive personalities resembles being tortured and then your torturer lets you rest. Once your head is out of the water and you catch some air to breathe, you even thank them for the kind act of letting your head up from the toilette.

          It is very comforting to be aware of the attitude and where it comes from. I could not see it until I found this life saving site. I did not know where I was, could not tell up from down, in from out. Totally lost.

          My situation is much more complicated with kids, marriage and shared assets. But now I now how and who was really manipulating me.

          Such a great weight if off my shoulders. I still have a lot of things to resolve, but at least now I know it was not all my fault.

          Just writing about it helps wonders.

          Good luck in your journey to happiness. Wish you find it soon.

          Juggler

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