There’s a topic thread being discussed on the Shrink4Men Forum this week about a series of videos posted on YouTube by a man who suspects his wife has Borderline Personality Disorder or some combination of Cluster B personality traits based on how he’s tagged the videos. There are 11 videos in all, which are disturbing to watch on many levels.
As I watched the first two videos, I wondered, “Is this an audition for a reality show? Is this real?” The wife is fully aware she’s being video taped during her nasty verbal diarrhea episodes and physical attacks and doesn’t seem to mind the camera until she starts to really lose it towards the end of some of the clips.
The husband, Greg, remains calm throughout most of the videos, countering his wife’s verbal attacks calmly by saying, “That’s not true.” Sometimes, he sounds a little smarmy, but then again, if I were repeatedly accused of things I didn’t do, I would probably employ sarcasm, too. Greg asks his wife, Lynne, for specific examples of his behavior when she hurls accusations at him, which she can’t substantiate (telltale sign you may be dealing with a high-conflict person and/or abusive personality disordered individual, by the way).
There are many things I find disturbing about this collection of videos. The most troubling aspect is that many of these abusive episodes take place in front of their 2 young children. On more than one occasion, Greg states, “I thought we weren’t going to do this in front of the children, Lynne” only to be ignored. The daughter is crying and upset in one clip because Lynne tells her, “your father doesn’t love me anymore and we’re going to separate.” When confronted by Greg, Lynne denies saying this. The husband asks the son what his mother said and the boy confirms that his mother indeed told them they’re going to separate. The son quips that he should live with dad and his baby sister should live with mom, to which his sister exclaims, “Not fair!”
I think Greg should absolutely be recording his wife’s abusive tirades for his own protection as Lynne also threatens to call the police in one of the clips. Lynne is physically coming after Greg and he puts his arm out to stop her. He needs to record this so she can’t twist events and tell the police he attacked her. However, I’m uncomfortable with the way he questions his children in some of the videos and that he has posted videos of his children on YouTube.
In reality, it can be difficult not to drag the kids in the middle of parental conflict. Lynne clearly has no compunction about doing so, while the husband states he doesn’t want the kids to witness the adult conflict, but then questions them about it. If you’re in a relationship like this, you need to address it with your children, but I don’t think this is the right way to do so. I’d rather see a father talk to his kids about how they feel when mom and dad fight and then try to allay their fears. This is probably something best done off camera, but I don’t know. Maybe it’s necessary. It still makes me uncomfortable.
I think I understand why Greg’s doing this. I assume he wants people to see what goes on behind the closed doors of his marriage. Lynne’s clearly disturbed, angry and violent. This type of evidence should be admissible in court, but should it be posted on YouTube?
What I find most amazing is that Lynne shows absolutely no shame when confronted with her abusive and violent behavior. In fact, she freely admits to it. Also notice how she backpedals on her accusations of his alleged abuse toward her. First it’s “you strangled me,” then it’s “Okay, you didn’t strangle me, but you pinned me against a wall.”
In the second video, Lynne goes after her husband with a hammer once she’s decided he’d gotten enough of her verbal attacks on film. Their daughter is in the room as she embarks upon her semi-intelligible rant:
Notice how the wife is going to tell her parents that her husband wants her to take Prozac, a common tactic—”I’m going to tell on you and everyone will see I’m right and you’re wrong!” By the way, Greg never said he wanted Lynne to take Prozac, but that he would support her if she’d be willing to take steps to improve herself. There’s lots of other crazy stuff in this video. Lynne blames her behavior on PMS, their relationship, turning 35, her bad haircut, etc. She states she won’t see a doctor unless he finds a job—not sure what one thing has to do with the other.
This next video occurs after Lynne has thrown a glass of milk at Greg. I can’t believe the way she carries on in front of the kids, however, the kids seem to just be taking it all in stride:
Lynne apologizes for getting some of the milk directed at Greg on the kids, but isn’t sorry about her violence toward Greg. The bit about, “If you love your father so much more I’ll leave home and you can go be with your father” followed by “your father can go f–k someone else” is horrific. PAS to the 10th power.
This next video is an example of how you DON’T talk to kids about divorce, complete with threats by Lynne to call her sister to “get her [husband] in trouble” and a threat to call CPS:
This video was incredibly painful to watch. My heart breaks for the children and Greg. Ideally, he should have been able to get out of that relationship and get his kids away from that woman before this incident ever happened. I don’t know the details, but speculate that he was probably terrified Lynne would receive primary custody.
These last two videos seem to be voicemail recordings made after Greg and Lynne separated. The first is a classic name-calling attack and the second is Lynne threatening to have Greg “put down”:
What are your thoughts about this video series? Is this something you would consider doing? Is this something more abused men should be doing? What do you think? Perhaps these videos or something like them could be used to raise public awareness. What are your thoughts?
The man who filmed these horrific videos depicting Lynne’s monstrous, abusive and pathological behavior registered with the Shrink4Men site and left a comment the day after I published this post. Here’s Greg’s epilogue, which can also be found on the third comments page:
Hello. My name is Greg. These are my home videos. I read and re-read the comments with great interest and am honored to be supported by many. (Including the many supporters who have written through Youtube) Following countless tirades over the years, increasing exponentially after the birth of our second child, I would set a video camera on the mantle aimed at “us.”
Recording or not it was intended to be a silent witness with the sole intent of tempering my then-wife’s tantrums. I reasoned, who would continue a vituperous attack with the potential of being exposed? The answer is: My then-wife. On one occasion she grabbed the camera and bolted for the wall of the back yard and attempted to hurl it over into traffic. I gripped the camera in the nick of time.
The camera was freely accessible for use by anyone but to my dismay, on many occasions, was not charged or was not loaded with a tape. I always believed that the last tirade was, well… the last tirade. That she would come to some epiphany – that her actions and demeanor would somehow end and she would become a loving mother and wife for the sake of her children. That was not to be.
Lynn could have taken control of the camera and recorded me at any time except, I never behaved in a manner that would have been “recordable.” It was very perceptive of Dr. Palmatier to write, “I hope there was a happy ending, but for some reason, I doubt it.” This child custody dispute was the fight of my life.
I engaged the services of one of the most expensive and tenured attorneys in Collin County. He cratered. He failed to get these videos in front of the judge with the resulting ruling that we would have “Shared Managerial Custody” but that Lynn would be the parent to decide the residence of the children – primary custody – to the dismay of [deleted.] My emotional death occurred that day.
Lynn’s remarried to a previous friend of our family. He filed for divorce one month after our divorce became final though they were dating prior to his petition. Lynn continues to perpetrate her fears and insecurities upon the children. She has always assailed their self-esteem and probably always will. That’s how cluster-Bs work – instead of elevating themselves, they find parity with others by bringing others down. They are unable to feel empathy for others, including their children, as everything is alway about themselves.
To the people that believe that I should have removed the children before Lynn’s eruptions… that is like saying to a person who lost their house in a tornado, “Why didn’t you leave when you saw clouds forming on the horizon?” Not that it would matter, the house was still destroyed. To those who wrote they felt I should have protected by children’s identity, I reply… My children are older now and do not resemble their likeness in the video. If someone we know were to recognize them for who they are, so what? They are not culpable and can not be implicated in their parents failings. And I’m not attempting to hide Lynn’s or my identity.
As for me questioning Preston and Brooke following an episode, it seems so benign in comparison – they had just endured a BPD episode and I needed to establish some facts. Dr. Palmatier was correct when she wrote, “[Feels] broken with nothing like he has nothing to lose.”
On one occasion I messaged Lynn and asked if I could take the children to lunch. The reply was from her new husband informing me that I could not. Lynn has always abrogated her parenthood to the advice of the person she is with at the time. (A facet of BPD) I repeatedly asked her husband not to attempt to walk in my shoes to no avail. Recently, Lynn messaged me to demand that I not become engaged at the schools, as I have, and will.
Her continuous taking ownership of the kids induced me to bring out the videos. Now her years of lies, disparagement, malignment, and vilification of me will be revealed. Now all can see where the excentricities lie. But a few things will never change… I love my children as much as any father ever has. Preston and Brooke know who their father is and as I have echoed throughout the years, “If you’ve ever got a problem, I am your go-to Dad.
From their birth onward it was I that nurtured them mentally and emotionally. I was and is I that offers them unconditional love. Lynn loves them too, except, Lynn doesn’t love the children more than she loves herself. Otherwise, she would not have destroyed their otherwise happy childhood. My son calls me every night and I talk to my daughter almost every week. And when they have a problem, question, or concern – they call the person who will never place his own interests before theirs, their Dad.
Nine of twelve videos are posted on Youtube. Keywords: “Marriage in Plano TX” I am reluctant to post videos 10, 11, or 12. They’re too disturbing. Comments welcome.
P.S. Many suggested that I “knock that b***h the f**k out!” This is Texas and I was not going to take the bait. I may have been tempted but I never sacrificed my dignity in front of my children. I never cheated on or hit my wife and as a result can to this day hold my sceptre high. P.P.S. Following the events of video 9, Lynn did call the police and accuse me of assaulting her. By the time the police arrived I had removed the children from the scene.
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.