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Dr Tara J Palmatier_Shrink4Men_02

Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD

Are you in an abusive relationship and in need of support? Have you recently ended a toxic relationship and don’t understand what happened? Do you think you may have been the victim of narcissistic abuse? Or, involved with a borderline? Are you at your wit’s end going through a high-conflict divorce and custody battle? Does the information you’ve read on Shrink4Men resemble snapshots from your life and intimate relationships? Are you determined to have healthier relationships in the future?

If so, I’ve been providing individual counseling services via telephone, Skype and Facetime to adults seeking support, understanding and healing from emotionally abusive relationships with narcissists, addicts and other personality disordered individuals since 2009. I also work with friends and family members who have become estranged from a loved ones involved with abusive partner.s Altogether, I’ve worked in the mental health field for over 24 years and counting in a variety of therapeutic milieus including substance abuse, college counseling and inpatient treatment for the chronically and acutely mentally ill.

My academic credentials include a PsyD (Psychology Doctorate) in Clinical Psychology from Antioch New England conferred in 2005, a MSc (Master of Science) in Counseling Psychology conferred in 1996 from Gannon University and a BA (Bachelor of the Arts) in Psychology and Art Therapy conferred in 1994 from Mercyhurst College. My doctoral dissertation, Ce ci n’est pas une these, is a psychoanalytic study of the artist Rene Magritte that focuses upon childhood trauma, incomplete mourning and creative outcomes. In addition to my academic training and clinical experiences, I’m an adult child of a narcissistic parent and a codependent parent. Like many of my clients, I’ve had adult relationships in the past with abusive individuals who exhibited traits of narcissism and borderline personality disorder.

My practice combines a variety of cognitive behavioral and psychodynamic techniques along with practical advice, problem-solving, support, reality testing and goal-oriented outcomes. My style tends to be more active and direct than traditional psychotherapies. When a client’s safety, children’s safety and emotional well-being is at stake, clear communication is essential. To be otherwise would be grossly negligent.


What are the benefits of distance counseling or telecounseling?

There’s the convenience of meeting from home, place of work, your car or  local park — anywhere you can receive telephone signal or Wifi. I once worked with a man from his gardening shed. For many individuals in abusive relationships, the most dangerous time is when you’re contemplating ending the relationship. Many abusers are extremely threatened when their targets practice self-care.

By meeting from work or while you’re running errands, you can get the help you need without alerting your abusive wife, husband, girlfriend or boyfriend that you’re working with a therapist. It can also be difficult finding a therapist who understands personality disordered individuals and the trauma many people sustain from relationships with them. This is especially important for male victims as many mentally health professionals make excuses for and enable female abusers.

Who are your clients?

Men and women in abusive relationships with individuals who have been diagnosed with or exhibit personality disorder traits, particularly the Cluster B disorders (i.e., narcissists, borderlines, histrionics, psychopaths and sociopaths); adult children of narcissistic, borderline and other mentally ill parents; adults experiencing workplace bullying; men and women embroiled in high-conflict divorce and custody cases. Family members who have become estranged from a loved one who is married to or dating a narcissistic or borderline abuser.

Do you work with women?

Yes, I do. Abuse isn’t a gender issue; it’s a people issue. My writing focuses on male victims of abuse because men don’t have nearly as many support resources as female victims. Nevertheless, I’m happy to work with anyone regardless of gender, sexual orientation or religious beliefs who wants to heal and live abuse free.

What disqualifies someone as a client?

People who are psychotic, delusional, suicidal and/or in acute crisis aren’t good candidates for distance counseling. These issues require regular, in person monitoring. I also don’t work with personality disordered individuals. If you have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, please seek support from a local qualified DBT practitioner.

How does telephone or Skype counseling work?

If you have a telephone or a computer it’s easy. If you’re unfamiliar with Skype, it’s an instant messaging app that provides online text message and video chat services. It’s free to download and typically very simple to install and use. If you wish to have a video session, you’ll need to install Skype on a device or computer that has a camera. I’m also happy to use Facetime or Google Hangouts, which are, respectively, Apple’s and Google’s versions of Skype.

Do you work with people outside the United States?

Yes, I work with people all over the world. I’ve helped men and women in Canada, Mexico, South America, the UK, Europe, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, the Middle East, Africa — if you have a telephone or Internet connection and speak English, I can work with you.

What about payment?

I accept payment via PayPal. You don’t have to be a registered PayPal member to use the platform. There’s an option to pay by credit card without the registration requirement of sharing your bank account details, which I understand many people prefer not to do.

How will the transaction show up on my credit card statement?

Oftentimes, abusive wives and husbands are controlling, including financially controlling. They’re hypervigilant to losing control and potential abandonment. For the peace of mind and safety of my clients, my business isn’t incorporated under Shrink4Men. It will appear on your billing statements as a very anodyne sounding consulting business.

Do you accept insurance?

No, I don’t. I can provide you with an invoice to submit to your insurance provider. However, I cannot guarantee that they’ll reimburse you. As a solo practitioner, I simply don’t have the time to wrangle with insurance companies. Thus far, most clients who have submitted invoices to their providers have received reimbursement.

How do I schedule a session?

If you’d like to work with me, please send inquiries to and I’ll send my fees and other information.

Are sessions confidential?

Yes. I won’t release any information about you to anyone without your written and time-limited consent. The only exception to this is if you disclose that you’re planning to harm yourself or someone else.

How long are sessions and how often do we meet?

Sessions are a “therapeutic” hour, 50-55 minutes. Double sessions are available upon request. Initially, it’s preferable to meet once a week and then, based upon progress, transition to every other week or every three weeks. Understanding the financial constraints many people face, particularly when divorcing, we can meet at a level of frequency that makes sense for you.

Do you do couples or family sessions?

Yes, however, I only work with adults and supportive family members. This includes new spouses or partners who are also dealing with the high-conflict antics of an abusive ex. In my opinion, it’s neither advisable nor safe to do couples therapy in a relationship in which there’s ongoing abuse.

What type of issues do you typically address in sessions?

My work with clients covers a wide range of issues.

  • Overcoming codependency and other issues that make you vulnerable to narcissistic abuse.
  • Identifying and understanding abusive personality disordered behaviors in your partner, family members, colleagues and friends to help facilitate your healing.
  • Validation that perhaps you’re not “the crazy one” or that it’s not “all in your head.”
  • Understanding the dynamics of personality disorders and other abnormal behaviors and how they affect intimate relationships, so you can make the most informed and reality-based decisions possible.
  • Understanding the dynamics and long-term effects of abuse.
  • Understanding and dismantling your buttons, by which your partner manipulates, controls and abuses you.
  • Understanding your family and childhood experiences that make you susceptible to abusive individuals and bullies.
  • Developing strategies and coping skills such as detachment and boundary setting if your relationship is ongoing.
  • Exploring the option of divorce and developing strategies to navigate the family law system.
  • Developing strategies and coping skills such as detachment and boundary setting post-break-up or post-divorce.
  • Dealing with affects of parental alienation.
  • Instituting and maintaining a No Contact (or Low Contact if there are shared minor children) policy.
  • Teaching BIFF (brief, informative, firm, friendly) communication when you’re required to communicate with a high-conflict ex.
  • How to effectively use third party communication platforms like OurFamilyWizard.
  • Grief and trauma issues; breaking the trauma bond many victims share with their abusers.
  • Mourning the loss of the relationship and letting go.
  • Learning to recognize the warning signs of potentially abusive and/or personality disordered women and men.
  • Learning how to avoid the traps set by emotional predators and bullies.
  • Support for family members who have lost their son, brother, nephew, cousin, father or grandson to an abusive partner who has isolated him and cut off contact with him and his children (if applicable).
  • Support and strategies for girlfriends and wives of men whose former partners were abusive and/or personality disordered and step-parenting issues.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but is typical of the work I do everyday with clients. To get started please send inquiries to I look forward to working with you!



If you find the information I provide free of charge helpful and valuable here on Shrink4Men, please consider making a donation via PayPal.


  1. James
    January 14, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    No theres no hope. That is hard maybe even devastating to hear my friend but these psychopathic trates never die. Belive me after almost 12 years and thousands of hours of research, all I’ve found from hundreds of testomonies is NEVER ENDING PAIN foor the one involved with the bpd.

  2. Brad Payne
    January 13, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    I have been married for 31 yrs. I seriously beleive my wife has either BPD and or,NPD
    we have been separated now for almost 18 months. I left after 30 yrs. Of off and on bad behaviors. No, I don’t think that she is the whole problem. I know I share and hold my portion of responsibility. I have been moderately to severely depressed since 2004. I read your blog last evening and I feel the pain of so many of the people.
    I was a victim of the therapist / spouse tag teaming you mentioned. And actually I had finally gotten my spouse their willing to do the therapy and he shifted and bought into her manipulative story changing and blame shifting as you described. And this gave her even more confermation that I was the problem. This happened in dec 2012. We had been to another councilor in November and December of 2011 and the councilor at that time diagnosed her as mentally, verbally, and sometimes physically abusive. At which time my spouse discontinued her therapy.
    My question is is there any hope for our relationship ever being a healthy one for me?
    I truly love this woman. I have 4 children the youngest is 17 and lives with me. and 6 grandchildren. Grandma and grandpa just don’t get divorces. Thank u.

  3. Simon from London
    January 5, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    Hi Dr Tara. I forgot to say that I’ve got a recording of when my wife busted my ribs with a guitar on boxing day.Sounds exactly the same as Lt.Col.Kirk’s wife. Poor guy& kids. I’ve other recordings since until yesterday of the madness of my wife afterwards The “I’m still to blame & if she wasn’t with me she wouldn’t be like she Is”.Her Golden balls Ex has reappeared to the fact they are meeting up, all on tape.Not to sure if you would be interested in them to help others?? if so i can send once i get free of my wife’s monitoring.Im going to stay calm not block out with booze and learn. Many thanks Simon from London

    • shrink4men
      January 5, 2013 at 5:04 pm

      Hi Simon,

      It’s important to have the recorder on at all times. This way, police, a judge, a custody evaluator, etc., can hear how she flips from calm to psycho rage out. Otherwise, if you get in front of a misandric judge or constable, they (or your abusive wife) can’t claim you provoked her.

      Even then, depending upon the biases in your system, it may not be enough. Very good idea to limit alcohol consumption. You must have a clear head and be in control of your emotions and not take any of her bait.

      Good luck!
      Dr T

    • Simon
      February 4, 2013 at 9:19 pm

      Hi Dr T. After 15 years I’ve finally found the strength to get out of this crazy life from being with my sick wife. Since Boxing Day having been physically attacked again and with busted ribs,I’ve gone thru every possible trick she could throw at me to get me back. I’ve literally seen her change minute by minute sometimes with Love for me then pure hate.Coming into me with sexy underwear on and saying “am i sure i want to give all this up” Er, yeah.Coming in to my room at least twice thru out so many nights”saying she just wants to smell me and give me all her love”.sleep deprivation was another way to grind me down usually then she works on me mentally so hard and i give in. not this time.this apparent god like moment of clarity she had was about as real as a flying pig that she had awareness of her wrongs & yet behind my back viewing properties & getting legal advice! I’ve lost over a stone since this xmas thru the stress.not going to advice this weight loss program to any one though! In 10 days time she has got a £12,000 (12 frigging grand)full face lift operation by a top London plastic surgeon.she has absolutely lost the plot & she like many other guys have said about these women is very attractive & turns heads.I was so worried for her but I’ve had to stop this showing as it was getting me no where.she doesn’t need it & it will not fix her hole in the soul. she’s even said I might see a new her. Ugh! I’ll see someone that’s still mad on the market today so things moving at 100 miles an hour. She’s gone now mentally, it’s like I don’t exist, she looks thru me as if she never knew me. I’ve told her there’s no contact ever once I’m out. think she smiled as if to say, your be back crawling on your knees like her friend said to her in one of her emails.finding this site has with the support of family got me to man up but I know I’m broken and gonna take a long time to get well. Not going to get involved with any one as I’ve read enough here to know it wouldn’t be right for me or a new woman. Hey, anyone in Chicago October 2013? I’m over for the marathon which by then i hope I’m up & running back properly,as I’m now officially travelling on my own so be good to meet people.nearly forgot to say, a young lad I know has definitely got one of “our” crazy woman and keeps getting hoovered back in. It’s un canny the similarities. He’s on board & on this site learning. good luck to all the guys that are struggling on this site but have hope you aren’t alone or mad. Thank you Dr T & everyone, I’m still staying close. Simon London ( ive got control of my own accounts now, minus £12000 mind you,so a donation on the way)

  4. Alfredo
    December 30, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    This website and the information you provide has made a difference for my mental health and support. Thank GOD for this website and you all of course. Thank you Dr T look forward to communicating with you

  5. Sharyka Alvarado
    December 17, 2012 at 3:03 am

    After being in a relationship for 7 years there is no ring, I wonder why we won’t progress. I went to ask my boyfriend and it always turns into a big fights, I have started losing faith and begin to question weather I should stay. He claims he wants someone who has their life together, but I work 2jobs, pay a share of the bills, look to progress my life. I fear he is just making excuses to not marry. My question is how can I figure out weather what he means? I feel like I am not enough for him. Which I believe is wrong.

  6. Al
    October 3, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    Do you sell any books or audio books.

    • shrink4men
      October 15, 2012 at 2:43 pm

      Not yet, Al.

  7. Cliff
    September 4, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    Hello Tara

    I have just come across your site, and it is really very interesting. I have a problem which I do not know how to address.

    I live with my Wife and Three Children, Two Sons aged 13 and 10 and a Daughter aged just Three Years of age. My Wife has always been a Bully and also Isolated me and my Children from my Mum (there Nan) and there Two Half Sisters. My Wife has now taken to just talking in her native Hungarian tongue in the House, and wont allow my Children to speak there Native English Language. She keeps them Cocooned upstairs in a Bedroom, for which they Eat and watch Tv. She wont let my Daughter downstairs anymore, and if I try to talk with my Sons, she is always there vetting what they say.

    She never tells me where she is going with them, and I am not allowed to take them anywhere. She has now even taken to taking my Sons Mobile Phones way, for days on end, so that I cant contact them, and she also controls my Sons Laptop, all his passwords and has even made him remove his sisters from his Facebook page.

    I now want to go for somer kind of Legal Parental and Residential order, to break this madness. I have been told that Judges will not split up Children from there Mothers, but surely as there Father, I know this is not correct or normal.and I would make sure they would grow up in a normal environment. Do you think I can press charges on her for things that she has done over the years, because she needs to be confronted with what she has done so wrong. Would our Children be taken away because it almost looks like it is Abuse, from both Parents, as I have allowed this behaviour to continue, but who would believe me.

    I now have recorded proof on my Phone, but can this be used as evidence, as I dis it without her knowledge of me recording it?

    My Wife has also Physically hit the Boys, and also has hit me many times whilst I have been driving with the Children in the car. She has Bruised my eye, and threatened me with a Knife before. She said she would like to watch me die slow whilst she laughed into my face, this she said in front of the Boys.

    What do I need to do to get the ball rolling, and is the past situations relevant to the present.

    To top all of this, she is a Devout Christian going to Church Twice on a Sunday, and is a TA at a special needs school in Emsworth.

    Kind regards

  8. Simon Read
    September 2, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Oh my god. I live in London and have found this site which has truly been a lifesaver for me as I’m not alone. My wife is a control freak is what I typed in and up this popped! I’m leaving my wife as in now after reading and learning with this guidance.i feel free of her control and making me feel like shit after 15 years of in the stage now where I’m able to not engage in her not believing its over and still,bloody still wants me to change for us. I’m 42 my wife is a bit older and I have a daughter from my first marriage who is 22. Shit I thought my first wife was crazy when she sprung the bulimia sickness on me aswell.dont know who I’m talking to here but I don’t care if I’m being judged as its a release. I’m a builder and have done some modelling and have financially done ok but I’ve isolated, shouted at my daughter, family, lost friends and just become a shadow of a man. My ex wife to be is never happier than when I’m down. I spent 18 months in AA cos she convinced me I’m a drunk. I’m not and never was but no I wanted to numb out from her digs,snipes and cattle prod. It’s always something with me and she’s never happy. We went to counselling and the therapist who was a lovely woman how happy I was. I said at this moment below 40%. My wife replyd that she was a 100% a happy person and didn’t have the issues I have. Always has been said to me that without me she wouldn’t lose it and I say to her that when I lose it I’m responsible for me. I’m probaly talking jibberish so I’m going to stop. I’ve read everything on this site and just so grateful and I will contribute some money once I can work out how my wife has syncd our iPhones and iPad. I can’t get emails or mobile is [REMOVED]. I’m in New York this November for the marathon on the 4th. Found running last couple of years and yet I’m addicted to this aswell apparently. Thankyou so much.

    • shrink4men
      September 3, 2012 at 6:20 pm

      Hi Simon,

      I removed your telephone number because I don’t think it’s wise to post. You are welcome to contact me at once you have a secure computer/phone/email.

      Kind Regards,
      Dr T

  9. Nat
    June 29, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Married for 25yrs, August. Wife inadvertently admitted a while back that “she wanted to get/ knew she was pregnant before I knew” has always made me feel as though I was an unwitting participant… YUK! I love my kids, though. I’d never tell them about their mothers “plan”. (youngest, now just graduated from High school) I recently found that I couldn’t hold in bad feelings toward her sister, (she’s always been protective of) for her sister’s obvious and ongoing narcissistic behavior and repeated “crossing the line” instances. Her spinster sister, 67… has lived with her mother/in her mothers house for approx. 60 of those years, which by my allowance, is right across the street. In my frustration, I finally could take it no longer… spoke to her sister directly of my feelings, instead of complaining to my wife about her, which really IS hard NOT to do. I only spoke out otherwise, because none of her siblings, nor her mother would stand up to her sister – (even though they admit: she bothers them too!). This had disastrous consequences. Though I thought I’d made it perfectly clear to the sister that we (2) were adults; that this situation was between US and that if she wanted to discuss it further, I was, of course – right across the street… could not resist having a “self-pity party” and aired her side of the issue with her 90yr. old mother and tried to drag her 60-something alcoholic brother into it. (he says he drinks to try to deal with her… neither really belongs where they are) Mom’s VERY capable and WE have always lived nearby. Of course, in short order, my wife was involved (by the sister and mother) and RAGE ensued by my wife. Her typical behavior, EXPLODED with a rant that was vicious/mean and laced with excerpts from many years past of issues that should/could have been addressed/ discussed and hopefully resolved back then. (her method and theirs too) has always been NOT TO attempt to resolve issues, but rather pretend there are none and just let time fully erase them). I sought help from a local “Psychologist” (after experiencing my wife’s melt-down and subsequent feelings of extreme despair/doubt and threats of her leaving me) after I experienced (2) episodes I think were nervous breakdowns/blackouts/depression. The Psych “studied” me, but never helped me – even though I clearly/repeatedly BEGGED to learn ANY coping skills of any kind. I stopped letting her “study me”. Here I am. I went online today… (should be working) looking for references to links between “Marital impasses and loss of libido”. my latest symptom. HELP! I’m a little surprised to find that other men REALLY DO – HAVE FEELINGS TOO! Signed, NAT

  10. Sandra
    June 23, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    I am a woman married to a BPD man who fits every descriptor of BP plus Narcissicim.
    I am into it 18 years now and I can tell you the only thing that gets better is my clarity that it is not me, it is HIM who has the mental illness. If you are involved with a BPD, you know that it is no small thing to finally realize this. Just two days ago my husband was raging that he called me an albatross around his neck because I must have said something nasty to him. I had calmly told him that that had hurt my feelings deeply. It has been a week of hell because he has gone into his “black hole” as I call it. It is no use talking to them as if they are rational, they are not. It is no use expressing your feelings quietly, in hopes of compassion and respect–see above. It is no use “walking on eggshells” these people are going to explode with rage anyway. I try to control our universe in order to avoid his triggers. It is impossible. These people CREATE triggers. I have not left him because I have no where to go , financially, and I have a cancer history (that’s not surprising, is it?).
    But I urge any of you to leave this toxic person how ever you can, as fast as you can.
    Don’t fall for the professions of love, the promises to take care of you, the temporary adulation– you will always get the flip side of all of that. You deserve better: convince yourself of that and don’t believe you can “help” this person or manage their behaviors. In the end they suck the life out of you, turn you into a person you don’t recognize, give you cancer…I could go on and on.
    I am desperately unhappy and fed up and I plan to follow up with the Dr. who started this blog. And I hope I can someday escape this prison.
    Manage your own escape ASAP!

  11. Delinda
    April 29, 2012 at 2:14 am

    Yes I’m a female reading this information. Twenty years ago my brother was killed by his wife. I knew in my heart of hearts that there was something REALLY wrong with her but NO would even consider she was the abuser. I could see it but had no name for it and mo one to back me up. With her very twisted lies and a twisted lawyer she hired before she killed him she was never charged. But now their 2 sons are grown and starting to ask questions. Both are married one has a great normal wife and one has a BNP wife. So this has me looking for answers to the things I have known in my heart. Ways to explain if I can some things to my nephews. One thing has come out in all if my research is that my Mom is BNP and so was my Grandmother. I wish I had known this growing up. Our Mom was so mentally abusive. So attention men!! If you are in a relationship that looks anything like what has been described in these articles and you don’t have children RUN!! No it won’t get better. RUN!! I saw my brother be destroyed in every way before she actually killed him. RUN BOYS RUN!!

    • James
      October 15, 2012 at 6:20 am

      I married a npd had two kids with her that i now raise by myself. There were many times I wanted to commit suicide because of the crazyness she caused but how could I leave my babies defenseless? She still tourtures me to this day. Thankyou soooooo much for this website it’s given me something to cling to knowing others have survived……

      • shrink4men
        October 15, 2012 at 2:43 pm

        Hi James,

        I am glad you find the site helpful. Also check out

        Kind Regards,
        Dr T

  12. David
    April 23, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    I think i come in this category. I’m very confused as to wheather I’m loved or not! I do everything to try keep everything smooth,yet this is hard work. I got in trouble the other day as the indicators didn’t work correct on the car. I am very lonely which is slowing me down in looking for a new job. Sex life is non existent. I try to talk,but get told to stop my crap again. I’m just trying to work things out. Thank you

  13. abner
    January 5, 2012 at 12:47 am

    Keep FN around with her, and she will “accidently” be pregnant and you will be F&^%$d for life.

    • abner
      January 5, 2012 at 12:48 am


  14. BDT
    January 4, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    wow! you have no idea what a relief it is knowing i’m not this horrible, insensitive person who can’t figure out how to get things right with my gf…and a special relief knowing that i’m not “crazy”, and there is a reason i’m so stressed out since we met. i’ve read just about every article and comment on Shrink4Men dealing with the disorders, victim role, etc… my gf fits most of them and it scares the crap out of me! i’m even going to counseling on her recommendation to learn how to deal with my “insecurities”…yeah, it’s that bad. now here’s my question to anyone who can help….i just moved to a different city and live with my gf. how do i break it off? we share all of the financial responsibilities, and i do care about her enough to not just leave her hanging financially. i appreciate ANY legitimate feedback.

    • abner
      January 5, 2012 at 12:44 am

      Just do it, and do not look back. It took me 17 years to realize that I’m not that special to my ex. They/she will replace you in a heartbeat! Her professed feeling of “love” for you is about an 8th of an inch deep. Tough to accept-but true.

  15. Kat
    August 4, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    Dear Dr. Tara,

    Thank you for this site and for all the information that you and others share. What can parents do to support a son who is in this kind of marriage?

    He is our one and only and has always had a great relationshiop with his family and us. Since his marriage (3 years ago), it has become strained. They live 2 hours away and we have respected their time, relationship and privacy.

    I can give you many examples of false accusations she has made about us,through him, and we have not been allowed to discuss them. She has gotten sick at the last minute for the majority of his (our) family holidays and gatherings. This is making it very difficult for him to be part of his family. At times he has had glimpses of what is going on but has said if we try to work through any of the issues his wife will divorce him. For instance, two years ago, we all agreed to see a family therapist and then she refused to go.

    My question is…what can we do to improve the relationship with our son and his wife? We are open to suggestions and will try anything.
    Thank you,

    • blueskygirl
      May 2, 2012 at 8:07 pm

      Hi Kat,
      Your post is dated 8/4/10 so I don’t know whether you are still checking back in on the blog. If you are not, I hope it’s because your situation has improved. If you are still “blogging” I hope you will see my reply. We are in much the same situation. My son is our only child and, after almost 11 years and two beautiful grandchildren, we are still at a loss as to how to deal with the hateful drama caused on a regular basis by our daughter-in-law.

      Dr T’s website has given me comfort that we are not alone with our experience. After maintaining our silence for so long I am just beginning to explore how we might learn some strategies that will allow us to support our son without our son and his children suffering for it. I would be grateful for anything you could share.

      • Mellaril
        May 2, 2012 at 8:47 pm

        If you’re interested, please check out the Forum. There are a few parents whose children are in abusive relatioships that post there.

        • Blueskygirl
          May 3, 2012 at 2:38 am

          Thanks Mellaril… I’ll check it out!

        • Kat
          May 3, 2012 at 3:10 am

          I will too, thank you. Kat

      • Kat
        May 3, 2012 at 3:06 am

        Hi blueskygirl, we still are and it has gone from bad to worse, sorry to say. That is exactly what it is, hateful drama on a regular basis. It’s sad to think he is accepting this behavior. We have no grandchildren, that must be so much more painful and difficult. All we have ever wanted was to be a part of their life, but it was as if this has been done intentionally to isolate him from his past life, family and friends. Why should anyone have to give up their family for their spouse? She actually told me he has a new family now……..and what, we disappear? Of course his wife is his priority, that is a given, and she should be, two totally different relationships. There is so much I want to say, but for now, thank you for responding and look forward to hearing from you again. Kat

        • Blueskygirl
          May 3, 2012 at 3:36 am

          Kat, I feel your pain so deeply. I have no problem dealing with anyone else in my life but feel helpless here. She holds the power and there is little we can do except to reassure our son that we are here for anything he may need. Your comment about your son being isolated from his past life, friends, etc rings too true. We are very close to our grandchildren, ages 9 & 2. We put up with the drama and lies so we can spend time with the kids. I have thought it would be easier to deal with the situation if we didn’t have grandchildren but they are the joy of our life! I’m sorry that you haven’t experienced that joy. Maybe if your son eventually recognizes the sad truth of his abusive wife he will move on. My greatest hope for my son is that he will have a kind, loving and supportive relationship like I have been fortunate enough to experience. Thank you for reaching out…

      • Corrine
        August 7, 2012 at 7:23 pm

        I feel for both of you. I’m in the opposite position in that its my step-mom who is this way. It’s sad to see my dad suffer along in this marriage for 15 years but he does it because of his two daughters with her. He’s flat out told me that he won’t stand up to her because she will leave with his kids. There has been so much family drama over the years that I’m ready to throw in the towel over our latest incident where she scheduled his 60th birthday party without checking to see if me and my adult sisters were available. Two of us have vacations/ obligations that we can’t get out of. When I kindly asked her to please consider if there’s any other day, I’m told that if it means that much to me to rearrange my schedule to be there for him. But alas, we continue to cope with her so that we can be in my dad’s life and he can have a relationship with his grandkids. I’ve only recently discovered many articles online about Narcissism which have confirmed what I’ve thought for years, that she is not mentally right. This has been at least a little helpful in that I can recognize she has many many of the traits so it changes my thinking to not expect a socially normal response from her and it also frees me to not care what she thinks of me cause her opinion is worthless and warped and not based in reality. My husband’s sister in law is also this way and has cut off his brother from our family. She had for many years treated my mother in law like crap and my mother in law tells me all the time how thankful she is for a daughter in law like me. But it saddens our family that we’ve been severed from his brother and our nieces and nephew. So sorry you both have to deal with it hurting your lives as well. I will pray for you and your sons.

        • Kat
          September 26, 2012 at 7:57 pm

          Corrine, I’m sorry you are going through this with your Dad and brother-in-law. This behavior is so difficult to comprehend……. we’ve been trying to deal with these issues in a logical way and we’re learning we will never make sense out of nonsense, no matter how hard we try! Thank you for reaching out, your family will be in my thoughts and prayers also.

  16. Raoul Penson
    June 7, 2010 at 10:13 am

    Thank you for your website/blog, things are becoming clearer. I still need to “talk” to you about my situation. I hope it will be sooner than later.

  17. Scott
    June 6, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    Dr Tara J. Palmatier,

    I truely am in need of your sevices. Would you please contact me?

    • shrink4men
      June 6, 2010 at 4:08 pm

      Hi Scott,

      You can contact me directly at

      Kind Regards,
      Dr Tara

  18. mark wiley
    April 4, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    this is the only site i have found to help me with my wife.
    i thought i was going crazy with all her stuff, i just dont understand why i cant be done in my heart with her with all the stuff with her.I have 3 girls 16,14,11 and for their sake i have to figure it out and i cant.
    anything i can do even group services i see you have i would do i have reached out to my family and friends and church and nothing helps,she has filed for divorce and locked me out of house 4 times because i have come against her with her drinking and verbal and emotional abuse and has hit me in past, i have never in my life think i would be here in my life. i have been with her for 16 years, her father is worse than her.and her whole family is at odds with each other all the time.please help.

    thank you

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  1. March 15, 2010 at 8:26 pm
  2. March 15, 2010 at 8:25 pm

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