91 Responses to “Brass Balls Award: Husband Sets Boundaries with Slacker Wife and Tells Her to Grow Up and Get a Job”

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  1. HurtLocker

    Like most of Dr T’s other posts, this is right on the money. I never did this, because I was still “trying to make it work”. In the end, being married to a selfish child didn’t work for anyone.

    My ex has no accused me of everything under the sun, so this option likely wasn’t for me. But I applaud anyone who can make it stick.

    • Dr Tara J. Palmatier

      I agree. Being married to a selfish child is untenable and unsustainable. Unless, of course you want to spend your life being the disciplinarian grown-up, which can’t possibly be fun or satisfying.

  2. jham123

    The kids are most confused, she tries to PAS me with the kids stating that I am a mean man by not giving her money. The 11yo is smarter than that, but the 9yo is confused, you can tell.

    All I can do about that is continue to be truthful.

    It’s amazing how fast she actually found a job once I put the final boundary in place and started paying all the utility bills out of my online bill pay. I also started doing most of the shopping for groceries. At one point I was giving her $900 per month on groceries, but since the oldest moved out, I stopped giving her that amount and instead, I just get a list and go myself or give her $60 upon request…..she hates asking me for money….but I could care less that she hates it.

    She finally realized that all her discretionary money was completely gone….

    2 weeks after the final salvo, she seems to magically find a job. She is starting week three of her job and about to get her first paycheck.

    And yes, she is the most nasty she has ever been.

    As Dr. T. stated, I did look up the CS calculator in my state and I figured out how much I’ll have to pay her once/if she files for Divorce. I AM prepared for the worst, I just can’t take the same ol same ol any longer.

    • Dr Tara J. Palmatier

      I was pretty pissy with my mom when i had to get a job at age 16, too, Jham. I didn’t want to work as a cashier; I wanted to hang with my friends. I eventually got over it. Your wife probably won’t ;)

      Props to you for sticking to your guns. Keep telling the truth to your kids.

      • kiwihelen

        But can you remember the first thing you bought with your own money?

        I can. I was raspberry picking for the summer. And I got to buy my first pair of jeans and a blue and white striped sweatshirt that was really cool.

        I’ve always worked or studied since then (and done both too), but knowing the money had been earned picking raspberries at $0.50 per kg made it special.

        • jham123

          I remember the very first paycheck was ~$68, ALL MINE!! I cashed the check and since I was working in the back bays of a car dealership washing used cars….I went to Radio Shack and bought myself a Radio…..I could now listen to “my” music while wax-on wax-off (Daniel-son)

          That day was empowering to say the least…..I was 13 and didn’t have to ask anyone if I could spend the $20 on the radio…..I just did it….

          I have a set of Snap-On mechanics tools that I also bought when I worked there….they were the most expensive Tools money could buy…..The sit in my garage as we speak, I’ve made thousands of dollars using those tools over the past 35 years.

        • Dr Tara J. Palmatier

          It was either a round of miniature golf or a sweater from The Limited. I honestly can’t remember.

    • Dr Tara J. Palmatier

      Jham, I suspect many women like your wife hate asking for money (and they almost all make a huge stink about not wanting to have to ask for money) because it is a painful reminder that they are still children, not self-sufficient, not independent, not “doing the hardest job in the world,” not pulling their own weight and are utterly dependent on men whom they hold in contempt and resent because, I believe, they are jealous that you all actually go out into the world and produce and carve out a living — enough for more than just yourselves — and they’re still dependent on daddy for an “allowance.”

      They hate it because it reminds them that the false image they puff themselves up into believing is a big fat lie.

      As a point of clarity, I do not begrudge mothers of infants and young children who want to stay home — as long as it was discussed and supported by their partners before getting pregnant and women who, again, with their husbands, choose to remain at home after the kids are in school because they really are stewards of their home. These are not the kind of women we’re talking about here.

      • jham123

        Dr. T., I understand that last paragraph fully and that “was” the original intention of our marriage agreement.

        However, as you have so astutely pointed out in other articles (thank you for all of them), the train left the tracks somewhere along the lines and CB became neither a “Steward of the home” or “Super-Mom”. She just kinda gave up on that role and became bitter that she was expected to fill it…and yet at the same time found a way to “Oops” our two younger daughters. I thank God everyday for my children, don’t get me wrong with that statement, the meaning being that if CB doesn’t enjoy her role as SAHM, then why continue to have children? (We know that answer, more Hostages).

        So, fast forward 17 years(we are married 20…I just started waking up around year 17), the kids aren’t getting “Super-Mom” AND they aren’t getting the benefit of a two income family…what they get is a Mom that ignores them, is all stressed out over “Whatever” (also see Xanax) a smaller town-home to live in, less resources due to lack of funds…..They get a double whammy of neglect.

        If she “isn’t going to help with homework, help in the class, take part at PTA, get them into dance or ballet or gymnastics, help at school….then what as a SAHM is she doing? The kids extra-curricular activities are Soccer and BMX, guitar, I wonder which of the kids parents are supporting that?? (also see Father)

        Then throw in the “New Woman” when she turned 39…and now there is no Housework done as she is “Above” all that and “It is time everyone learn to do their own laundry” etc.

        No child rearing, no house cleaning, limited cooking(I cook as much as anyone), No income, No love for the Husband (he is too mean!) No output toward the family unit at all from her end…..just scorn, ridicule, guilt-ing and shame-ing.

        Asking for Money…..that leads to her Hostile Dependency. She cannot do anything on her own that requires money…..and she is so nasty to me, she knows I’ll not hand over a dime without first asking a question or two……the third question being “why do you feel I should give you this money after all the things you’ve said?”

  3. alreadylost

    Been there done that got the t shirt it hasn’t done any good. We supposedly had a divorce settlement in nov 2011 she backed out. Since the she has fired one lawyer and hired another. Latest word is maybe Aug 29. If she doesn’t find some way to postpone again. Two days ago she asked me where I wanted to be buried and what kind of head stone I wanted. Can’t pay the bills cause of her spending habits (shopping is an olympic sport to her) do you see a problem here?

    • Dr Tara J. Palmatier

      alreadylost,

      Aren’t you worried about her asking where you want to be buried? Is she still a recipient on any of your life insurance policies?

      Even if she isn’t, what the . . . ? What’s it to her? Obviously, you don’t want to spend the rest of this life with her. Does she think you want to lie next to her for all eternity?

      • Autumn

        If there were no life insurance policies with her as beneficiary, I would check around to see if she took one out on you anyway. This kind of thing happens more often than you think.

  4. jham123

    I do have to add this one point. Since I put my foot down, We’ve gone from three adults (and one 17 yo) with only one working to…..Me with my job, my Wife with her new job, My 19 yo with his Job at a Italian Restaurant, (paying all his own bills including his insurance and tuition at school) My 17 yo with a part time job at Ace Hardware (He is fixing up my old Corvette to drive….with his own money I might add).

    So, in a short year, 1 out of 4 working to 4 out of 4 working….Once I made it uncomfortable, people started getting the message, but it has come at a price as everyone is short with me. But I can guarantee you the ones that aren’t personality disordered will feel a sense of pride as they evolve from helpless child to independent self sustaining adults…

    • Dr Tara J. Palmatier

      Exactly. Many of my clients have watched their children surpass their wives/girlfriends/exes in emotional maturity. And, in some cases, we’re talking about 6-year old children surpassing their mothers in maturity and emotional intelligence, accountability and empathy.

  5. Autumn

    My NPD sister has done this to my parents and her husband. She has degrees in business, accounting, environmental science and biology and finally went to work for a governmental agency years ago….where she met her husband. She figured out how to max out sick time, family bereavement, medical leave, etc. until she finally has gotten disability. During the last ten years she has worked there I think she was out more than at work.
    Her husband recently got a job that has required them to move 1600 miles away…when I asked my mother how sis was settling in over coffee yesterday morning, she said sis was thinking of going back to school! How many degrees does a person need?
    Hubby must be asking her to get a job, is all I can assume.
    I’m wondering how long it’s going to take her to come back home into the waiting arms of mummy and daddy. This is really going to put their 12 year “marriage” to the test.
    Frankly I hope she finds something she loves at the new town. My brothers and I are enjoying her absence.

    • Dr Tara J. Palmatier

      Two post-graduate degrees was enough self-inflicted and other-inflicted sadomasochism to last me 3 lifetimes. Have thought about getting a law degree to pay off my 2 psych degrees, but then I’d be . . . a lawyer, which is only marginally worse than being a psychologist ;)

      For some people, higher education is just another way to avoid real life and developing into a mature adult. But, on the surface, it looks more productive than other forms of avoidance.

      Will her husband be paying out of pocket for her new degree acquisition?

      • TI85

        Sounds like you’ve ruled out the law degree. Just in case you haven’t, don’t forget that you’d have to pay that off, too. And the best law degrees (read “only ones worth getting these days”) tend to be the most expensive ones.

        • Dr Tara J. Palmatier

          TI85, not to worry. The thought of sitting in a classroom again and dealing with the out of control egos and petty fiefdoms of higher ed is enough to make me break out in hives. No way.

          I’ll just keep living within my means and accept the fact that I’m basically going to be an indentured servant to the feds/student loan companies for the rest of my life. Just like many of the good men here are indentured servants to entitled exes courtesy of Family Court, Inc.

          • Lovekraft1

            It is unfortunate that you are struggling with student debt, but try to remember the good things your education brought you. Without the debt, you may not have had the same opportunities.

            Also, you could look at things this way: looking back with regret at opportunities lost or misguided implies we could be someone other than who we are. Youth comes with limited ability to foresee long-term consequences of our decisions.

            I have a few regrets in my life, including where I chose to live in my mid-30s, as well as allowing my current girlfriend to live with me (which i am in the process of correcting with her eviction in the next few weeks). I don’t really regret getting a now-useless Bachelor’s Degree because that decision was made when I was young.

  6. Paul Elam

    Insert standing ovation is right! Blistering good article, Dr. T, as usual, but this time the crown goes to Earl. He just gave everyone a supreme lesson in healthy behavior and self respect.

    I also want to add an unsolicited opinion for anyone here that is struggling with an opportunistic, lazy and/or abusive wife. If you are not willing to do what Earl has done, then quit, and I mean QUIT! complaining about the way she treats you.

    If you don’t have boundaries with people, even your partner or children, then you rob them of any motivation or reason to respect you at all.

    I think the way men are raised and socialized in this culture, along with perhaps some biological factors, makes it difficult for them to put a stop to abusive treatment from women. It is something most of us have to learn as an adult. Often the lesson is hard because there are few people that will support us for that kind of decision making. So yeah, it is tough for most of us. But tough is not an excuse.

    Everyone deserves respect and reciprocity from people who claim to love them. Those who can’t or won’t insist on decent treatment won’t get it, and it is nobodies fault but their own.

    • kiwihelen

      Paul, my SO had a sudden “ah-ha” moment over his wife’s abuse. He realised he had the choice of doing “nothing” and walking away, rather than trying to solve yet another problem she created.

      Since then he has been through (still going through) the meat grinder that is the family court. He might be depressed, living in a granny flat, unemployed, alienated from one daughter, but he says he would not go back for the world.

      Kind of makes you aware of how bad these relationships are.

    • cuatezon

      Paul, I respectfully disagree on your last statement. People shouldn’t have to demand respect; they shouldn’t have to ask to stop being financially abused, physically abused, emotionally abused. The fact anyone has to insist/demand a stop to abusive behaior is sad.

      In addition, many men, including myself, DID demand the respect and DID implement boundaries. This resulted in verbal & physical violence. Many of these women are seriously mentally ill and/or Borderline. You cannot ever earn respect from a Borderline Personality Disordered person. Most experts and lay people agree the best thing to do is get far, far away from the Borderline. Insisting or fighting for respect will only cause you to fall into their trap (Borderlines thrive on getting reactions out of others).

      I do agree we need to stand up and battle for our rights as a collective whole.

      Bottom line, IMO, you, me, Dr T and every other person on the planet has a fundamental right to be treated decently. Period. Its not the victims fault that sociopaths fail to recognize or respect this right.

      • Crazybait

        I agree. When you set boundaries with them things get even worse and they STILL don’t respect the boundaries. In fact i think it gives them a goal to strive for. I’ve never met people like these Borderlines before…….strange strange.

      • TI85

        I’ll disagree (and agree with Paul). I’m not sure that “insist[ing] on decent treatment” is limited to verbal “demand[s for] respect,” as your response implies, cuatezon. Sometimes it means respecting yourself enough to walk away from those who treat you like objects despite your attempts to model adult behavior, and surround yourself with people who actually understand that being in a relationship requires occasionally accommodating the other person by adjusting your own behavior towards them.

        At some point, it’s probably better for each of us to stop shouting at the rain and either put up an umbrella or move indoors.

        Our (my?) main problem with this advice tends to arise from the belief that the rain is the only water that there is to drink.

        • cuatezon

          Thanks TI85, I understand your perspective. I guess I see ‘walking away’ as an exit strategy more than a demand for respect, i.e., the last alternative. There are many situations where people are unable to walk away from bullies/sociopaths, e.g., children w/ BPD parents, kids stuck in a classroom with bullies, unemployed individual who has nowhere to go and stuck with the BPD for the time being, etc.

          Whether its just emotional weakness, depression, insecurity, some unknown defect of the abused person (think of autistic-spectrum people like Aspbergers, folks who simply often do not have the emotional capability to defend themselves despite being highly functioning intellectually). It may not necessarily be a matter of self respect, but other pieces that we do not fully understand.

          I agree being assertive and standing up for ourselves is ideal – but that’s different from walking away or exiting the relationship. My two cents worth on this anyway.

  7. george

    Dr. T.,

    Sadly there are some judges who will see themselves as the white knight coming to the rescue from the mean ogars such as Jham and Earl. If they are unfortunate enough to get one of these judges, a wife can actually be rewarded for bad behavior. With my divorce, the employment evaluator said that my ex admitted to her that she was not trying to get a job (even after an earlier judge gave her a stern warning to do so) and that she didn’t feel that she should have to get a job. The Dishonorable Mr. White Knight judge, just told her that the evaluators comments were just too cavilier and that she should just try to do the best that she can. When she spent money out of the joint accounts and eventually cleaned them out, the judge said that this is her lifestyle which she had become accustomed to. When I said that I had really tightened my belt during this same time because I realized that during the divorce process our expenses had doubled and my income had stayed the same, Judge White Knight said that I seemed to be able to make do with my new meager existance. Thoughout my almost three years in the court system, my ex was asked by family court services and each judge if she was doing alright and if she was doing fine. During this entire time she was living in the same house, receiving support checks from me, and cleaning out the joint accounts. During this same time, I was living in a very humble rental with an air mattress, a camping chair and a cardboard box for a table. During this entire time in the court system, NO ONE ever asked me how I was doing. No one. My experience with my white knight judge is that bad behaviour can sometimes be rewarded and the responsible can often be made to pay for the irresponsible. It was explained to me that “The judge has a lot of discretion in this area.” I believe that this is code for the judge can do whatever the hell that he wants regardless of what the law says that he should do. It’s my opinion that these types of white knight judges are real dangers to society. The are not being judges and using the law, logic, and reason to guide their decisions, but rather just playing god.

    George

    • SineNomine

      George,

      you have my sympathy. Unfortunately the system is rigged from the get-go. The entire family law system is more or less designed to shield (mostly) women from the consequences of their irresponsible and antisocial behavior. Just the fact that a woman who divorces her husband without any cause whatsoever can soak him for child support and alimony on any level is, in my view, patently unfair. The natural consequences of being a financial parasite, then kicking the host to the curb, are that you find your own means of support, find a new host, or starve. The court system takes away those natural consequences, making the decision for (mostly) women to jettison their husbands and destroy their families a relatively pain-free one, and incentivizes them to burn down their marriages instead of growing up, taking responsibility for their own behavior, and making it work.

      • Crazybait

        Extremely well written explanation on why these types of women are encouraged to act this way.

        • Dr Tara J. Palmatier

          Welcome to S4M, Crazybait.

          • Crazybait

            Thanks Dr. T. Been lurking for some time. One of the best sites on the net for dealing with BPD women. Perhaps you have commented on this before but would like to ask something. You have a lot of great insight on these types of people…..did you encounter someone in your own personal life like this? Or did you learn about it through your professional experiences with them? Either way it puts you at a great advantage for dealing with them and helping those of us that arent positive for the BPD “disease”. With your experience you would be great as a court mediator in high conflict divorces. In my state you dont have to be lawyer I believe.

      • RecoveredAlpha

        Heck ya! My ex took $322k out of our net worth when we divorced. That was 4 years ago.

        BUT!!!!!!

        Eventually natural laws caught up with her. She is now self-proclaimed “broke” because she quit her teaching job (approx $50k/yr) to be a trainer where she works an hour or two every other day (approx $15k/yr). She also has pissed away the big chunk from our divorce settlement: 4 quads with trailer (only 1 still works all sitting in her garage — house by the way bought by mummy&daddy), all expense paid trip to Hawaii 17 days on condo by ocean for her, my 4 kids, her boyfriend, and his 3 kids, frequent trips to out of state vacations, etc.

        Even though “the host gets kicked to the curb and then the parasite gets half” eventually that half is used up and then reality sets in. Watching it from afar now I’m having a hard time not indulging in a little schadenfreude!

    • Crazybait

      We give the judges too much credit sometimes. Many times they handle these women with kid gloves simply because they feel sorry for them or they just can’t picture her doing anything bad because she is pretty, bats her eyes, will cry, etc. Usually the older judges are more prone to this way of thinking. The younger ones are less likely to believe the poor little housewife routine but it does still happen too much.

      No good deed goes unpunished in family court as i have learned.

      • george

        Every good deed can be twisted in a way that can punish you in family court. If you make an extra effort in some fashion, you can be forced to make an extra effort for the rest of your life. If she makes no effort, you can be made to maintain her “no effort” lifestyle because this is the standard of living that she has become accustomed to. At the end of the day, the judge gets to decide and you will have virtually no recourse. He does not need to provide any explanation. He can just say that this is the way it shall be. In fact, the less explanation he provides, the less grounds you will have for any appeal! He does not need to say what laws he used, logic or reasoning, or even what evidence he used in his decision.

      • RecoveredAlpha

        “… because she is pretty, …”

        WITHOUT A FREAK’N DOUBT!!!!

        My ex was a teen beauty queen.

        In our last bout in court, she walked to the witness stand. I watched the judge, a middle aged man. His eyes were locked on to my ex’s butt, in which she wore very tight black stretchy pants. I remember thinking “WTF!!?!”.

        Testimony showed she was drunk and smoking pot regularly and driving my kids, and she and her boyfriend (in her boyfriend’s ex-wife’s court case) already had documented domestic abuse in front of my and the her boyfriend’s kids, …

        But what was the verdict? No change in custody, only several weeks of the kids with me. I had to raise a stink AFTER court with my lawyer who went back (and I don’t know how exactly) got an agreement by the court that my ex would have to take weekly drug and alcohol tests for a year. That way I felt safe my ex driving my kids.

        Anyways, the judge definitely “kid-gloved” her. If I’d been the “drunk” or “pot-head” my guess I’d have lost custody of my kids! Pretty scary the system of justice we have.

        BTW, my ex’s boyfriend’s ex-wife WON her kids custody FROM THE SAME TESTIMONY AND EVIDENCE. Only difference? She had a woman judge who slapped very hard my ex-wife’s behavior around children. Maybe it was because it was regarding someone other than her own children (ex wife’s bf’s kids), I don’t know. But interesting to see a female judge slap my ex hard while in my court case the male judge didn’t do anything really against her.

  8. SineNomine

    Her expectation is that Earl should find new ways to make money to keep up with her spending habits and lack of gainful employment. Sound familiar?

    Oh my goodness, yes. My STBX made it her mission in life to spend every dime I made and then some, racking up tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt – on my credit cards no less – which I was fully expected to pay for. Where she thought all the extra money was supposed to come from, I have no idea. I should have put the kibosh on this early, but to my shame I did not out of desire not to be the “bad guy.” I didn’t have the knowledge that I have now (thank you, Dr. T!) to realize this was nothing less than financial abuse and that I didn’t have to take it. It was out of a sense of obligation, and maybe fear, that I didn’t cut off her access. Obviously I can’t go back and change it now, but I damn sure won’t let anybody do that to me ever again.

    Much congratulations and admiration go to Earl and jham for having the stones to draw a line in the sand and put an end to their wives’ loafing and financially exploitative behavior. I’m glad it worked out for both of them, although as Dr. T pointed out this can go very badly very quickly so you have to be careful implementing this strategy. Still, way to go guys!

  9. SineNomine

    Love the brass balls pic, by the way. We can all do with more of that!

  10. Cousin Dave

    “My suspicion is that she made herself out to be more successful than she was during their courtship and the truth about her career came out after the marriage. ”

    My ex used to regale me with tales of the glamorous job she had as an executive assistant with a well-known New York retailer. To hear her tell it, she was the vital cog that made the whole office operate. However, the entire time we were together (five years!) she never held a job for more than two weeks. Her explanation was always a variant of “it wasn’t as good as my New York job”, the job that she supposedly gave up to move to Florida to be with me.

    I found out later that she only worked there a few months, and part time at that. She lived with her father, who paid all of her expenses, and she had in fact quit the job months before she met me. The reason she had hooked up with me was because her father had kicked her out for being a layabout; she had been staying with a friend but the friend was also about to kick her out for eating them out of house and home and not contributing a dime.

    A word of caution to Jham and Earl: when my ex decided that I wasn’t providing for her lifestyle sufficiently, she started forging my signature on credit card applications. Fortunately, I had at that point already initiated the divorce and had legally separated our finances, so I was able to deflect most of the creditors. I still wound up stuck with about $8000 (1991 dollars, about $15K in today’s dollars) in bills for cards that she took out before I filed. I had to pay those off (and of course I had no money since she had cleaned out our accounts), but I figured it would cost more than that to fight it in court, and my lawyer agreed with me. I bolted down, lived an extremely frugal lifestyle for about eight months, and paid them all off in that time.

    We’ve been divorced for 22 years, and she is still representing herself as my wife in places. I started getting calls from a collection agency last spring. When I finally managed to get them on the phone in person, I told the guy that she was my ex. He was very nice about it; he apologized for the calls, and just asked me if I could give him the date that the decree became final. I offered to fax him a copy of the decree, but he said that with the date he could look it up and didn’t need any more information. That was the end of the phone calls, so I guess he found it. He didn’t seem surprised at all. I guess this is something that collection agencies probably have to deal with all the time. It’s creepy, though, to think that my ex that I’ve had no contact with since 1991 knows my where I live, given that the house and neighborhood that I live now in didn’t exist the last time we had any contact.

    Anyway, Jham and Earl, do be watching your mail for any unfamiliar credit card or online bills.

  11. Swan Song

    Like the proverbial frog happily floating in an increasingly warming pot of water, I didn’t hop out of my situation as life with my ex went from bad to worse to intolerable to nightmarish, I learned to adapt like a good little co-dependent. Over the years I pulled out the vehicles she planted in ditches while driving drunk, I dutifully covered her bad checks, and I allowed her to treat our kids with escalating cruelty, and I did all this with the mistaken belief that I was just trying to preserve some semblance of family harmony. Several years before our divorce, I had just gotten home from a grueling day at work and I was preparing the family dinner as usual when my ex stumbled through the front door in a drunken stupor, and right behind her followed my six year old son, she had driven with him from her friend’s house 15 miles away where she had been drinking to excess. I sent my son and the other kids downstairs so that they wouldn’t see their mother in her condition, and she proceeded to tear apart our bedroom, trash the bathroom, puke on our bed, piss herself, and pass out half naked in the puddle of vomit on our bed. I look back on that now and I realize that if it had been a woman who I had only been dating for a few months, that I would have called the police to come and haul away the bitch who had endangered the life of my little son. However, I’m ashamed to admit that I cleaned her up, changed and washed the sheets, cleaned up her mess, and tucked her into bed……..but not before I took pictures of her carnage. The next morning, I showed her the pictures, since she always denied all of her drunken mishaps, I wanted to present to her solid proof of her drunken rampages. Instead of expressing shock or contrition, she angrily said, “So, I suppose you’ll use those pictures if we get a divorce.” Yeesh!

    Several years later, I got a call from my daughter and she tearfully told me that her mother had gotten the car stuck on some rocks, and that I needed to come get them. When I got there, there was a tow truck, about a dozen onlookers, my daughter, and my ex who had passed out on the steering wheel of our locked Mercedes. I pulled my ex out of the car and laid her on the grass a few yards away, told the tow truck driver that I wouldn’t need him, and I proceeded, with one of the onlookers driving the Mercedes, to pull the car off the rocks with my truck. I moved the Mercedes to the side of the road and locked it up, bundled my daughter into the back seat of my truck, and picked up my limp wife and strapped her i8n the front seat. When I got around to the driver side, my ex had woken just enough to attempt to get out of the truck and she was instructing her daughter to come with her. I just watched as she clumsily tried to find the door handle, and I told her that she wasn’t going anywhere but home. The next morning, she was furious with me for having brought her home, and she demanded that I take her to her car, which I did, but instead of dropping her off next to the car, I told her to get out about a half a mile away which would force her to walk down the busiest road on the island to get her car that was parked rather conspicuously and purposefully in an awkward manner.

    You would think such embarrassing and shameful behavior would have an affect on her, but one month later, I got a call late on a Sunday night from the Fire Chief who informed me that my ex had crashed our car and that I should get there before she was taken away in the aid car to the hospital for scrapes and bruises. She had gotten stinking drunk at the baby-sitting coop meeting, and totaled our Mercedes when she passed out while driving. She called me from the hospital the next day and wanted me to come get her, but I had finally had my limit, I told her to find her own way home. When she got home, she told me that her blood-alcohol level was .24%, three times the legal limit, and that someone at the hospital informed her that she was an alcoholic………..DUHH! I told her that I wasn’t going to lift a finger to help her, and that I wouldn’t allow a single penny of the family $$$ to pay for anything involved with her DUI. I suggested she get the money from her parents or anywhere else she could find it, but that I would throw her out of the house if I caught her using any of our finances to deal with her mess.

    One month later, we separated for good.

    • Dr Tara J. Palmatier

      Jeepers crow, Swan Song. Given your ex’s raging alcoholism and history of endangering her life and the children’s lives, how on earth did you not receive primary custody? Why isn’t she court ordered to have a breathalyzer apparatus attached to her car’s ignition? Why isn’t she required to random follicle tests to ascertain if she is still actively using?

      Golden uterus loving family court judge?

  12. Autumn

    Some wives work but still live WAAAAAAY beyond their means…my friend’s CB wife spends her paycheck, then takes his -what’s hers is hers, and what’s his is hers. The man is in charge of the complete operation of a company, finances and all…yet she tells him he “can’t handle his paycheck” and that he’d spend it on stupid things. Meanwhile she fills the house with junk to overflowing and puts the surplus in the spare rooms, garage, and his “workshop” aka: her crap storage. This also makes it impossible to have any satisfying hobbies of his own, because he can’t move due to her collecting. He finds relief by going to the gym and working out, and a gaming night once a week at someone elses’ house.

    • jham123

      That’s called Hoarding…lol

      There’s a TV show on A&E called Hoarders and a competing one on Spike TV called “Buried Alive”….both of them are awesome to watch….

    • TI85

      This sounds familiar. Before we were married, my wife lived beyond her means, but told herself (somewhat reasonably) that she was doing good, low-paying work in a high-cost area at the beginning of her career, and she’d pay it off later. She got the better-paying job in a lower-cost area when we got married. Extravagances weren’t many, but $400 purses became a regular item on the Christmas list. All of her friends’ children started getting regular gifts in the mail, because children like getting stuff in the mail. We had a budget, but agreeing on it was like pulling teeth, with my first attempt at discussing my need to live within my means quickly breaking-down to a fight about whether I actually loved her or not. We eventually compromised, but it wasn’t pleasant getting there. And, somehow, we always ended up spending the same amount over our budget each month. This didn’t put us further in debt, but it did ultimately delay us from getting into the black by almost a year.

      My error — while this was going on, I said almost nothing about it. Because, when I did, I’d see flashes of that first fight when she found a way to steer the discussion from “Husband really does not want to live in debt, especially when we don’t have to,” to “Husband doesn’t emotionally support Wife, because he’s not being sensitive engough about her bad feelings about her massive debt.” Or, “Husband is so unhappy with himself that he doesn’t know that it’s OK to treat yourself sometimes, and he’s not frugal, he’s cheap, and this is something that is wrong with him.”

      I swallowed my own discontent, and pressure built. Money that I used to save or spend on my hobbies was consumed with household expenses such as makeup, boutique wrapping paper, nicely decorated tissue boxes, $6/gallon organic milk, etc. She would ask if each nickel ($5) and dime ($10) item was ok to buy with household funds (as opposed to our own allowances), and I’d always agree. (Disagreeing usually resulted in some sort of pouting, withholding, etc.) At home, I was either (a) a grumbly jerk, or (b) emotionally inconsistent and unpredictable. But I didn’t realize this until I had been this way for quite some time.

      We have been apart for a few months now, and I’m cooled off a little. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t still blaming her (partially) for the pressure and frustration that I felt. But now the pressure is gone (we split up our finances), and, somehow, I’m saving more than I was when we were together, and I’m even paying proportionaly more rent than I used to.

      Oh, and I also saw her bank summary. She’s already got more on the credit cards than she has in the bank. I know it’s childish, but sometimes, when I’m spending a full Saturday on the golf course (and I’m not at a farmer’s market), I think about that.

      • Cousin Dave

        “…and, somehow, I’m saving more than I was when we were together, and I’m even paying proportionaly more rent than I used to.”

        Remarkable, isn’t it? I remember, a few months after my divorce from my BPD ex was final, looking at my bank statement and thinking, “Crap! I didn’t realize I make this much money!”

  13. Jason

    Sometimes what goes around, comes around.

    Toward the end of our marriage, my ex was blowing through money like crazy while refusing to work or go back to college, as she had agreed to do when we got married (once the children were all in school.) One of the precipitating events leading to her asking for a divorce was when I produced a detailed document of her spending. Oddly she behaved for the last several months of our marriage. The contrast in how much we saved in those months was astounding.

    As part of the divorce, we split the biggest bank accounts in half (I did this quite deliberately to preserve other assets intact.) The amount wasn’t huge, but it wasn’t tiny either (and my ex had no idea that I’d saved that much, though I’d never hidden it.)

    Due to alimony and child support, for most of the first year, my ex’s “take home” was significantly greater than mine despite her not working. Yet, within six months, she’d blown through most of those savings. Another six months and it’s almost all gone. Yet, she still refuses to get a job AND is still eating out and blowing money on junk food. In contrast, by living frugally, I’ve rebuilt my savings back to the pre-divorce level.

    Payback is a bitch.

    • Brother, I feel your pain.

      No offense to Dr. T, but this post was not at all on par with some of her better advice.

      Before stumbling on good-sounding but risky, risky, risky solutions from an Internet forum, get your shit in order. Have a plan.

      If you don’t, the Queen will eat you for lunch.

  14. BPDnot4me

    This article is yet another by Dr. T that was text book of my 22 year marriage to a BPD.

    I was attracted to her because she was a RN and full time employed. As soon as we were married total mood change and the real her emerged. She soon became part time and cut her hours and they were dependenrt on my pay. If I got a bonus she did not work until it was spent. I got more pay she took less work. The real kicker she spent 25 years as a part time nurse which she felt entitled her to retire at 50 so I can fully support her bon bon padded bum.

    Yes I spent full marriage in the FOG. Cut off from family and friends and sex last 12 years. Frustrated I met a normal woman and divorced her. Sure I got the credit card bill and anything else and she got the family court golden uterus prize kids and half my retirement. But I am free of that angry, mean, abusing woman. When I left she choked me and threatened to call the police and report my domestic violence for prying her hands off my throat.

    My kids now see her for what she is and she has to work full time to support herself. To my advantage every thing went her way until settlement day at the court. Where she self destructed and looked like Linda Blair in the exorcist. As a result her attorney had no choice but to settle in my favor.

    Believe me there is a way out. She stills tries to pull stunts and looks for her last word. She no longer gets it. I am remarried and happy. She has a new punching bag and wallows in her misery.

  15. parmo1

    The women mentioned are simply going to cry “domestic violence” due to financial controlling aren’t they? They will throw you out the house with restraining orders and the rest we know

  16. Peter

    I can see clearly now: My Senior Business Executive wife with MBA quit working about two months after we married and did not do any further paid, income-producing work for our entire marriage of some 20+ yrs yet miraculously started work about 1 month after I finally walked out, one year after I was laid off from my job.

    Looking back though she had form: she quit her fast track job with a leading bank to arrive homeless on the front doorstep of my house about 3 months after I met her and then took about 1 year to find a humble job as a hourly-rate typist. Yet somehow or other I was blind to all of this dependency stuff in my early 20’s and 30’s. I am also starting to see how I have continued in the role of Community Banker with other male friends of mine where I support them financially in many ways. Not a good look for either male or female friends and a big wake up call for me.

  17. BPDnot4me

    I forgtot to mention my ex pulled out of her current relationship with a man 10 years her senior. She told him she would not be with him unless he bought an insurance policy of at least $400K on himself with her as beneficiary. He hoovered back with ppolicy in hand and they are not even married.

    She demanded I give her a policy worth a million during settlement negotiations. The auspices she would need to raise my nearly adult kids if something were to happen to me. Needless to say it did not happen and she had to shop for a idiot to get a policy.

  18. > “She was incredibly docile all weekend.”

    Hoovering. My first thought was, get an attorney, pronto. As soon as she does, there’ll be a restraining order against domestic violence, accusations of child abuse, you name it. You’ll be out of the house and ordered to pay spousal support.

    This type doesn’t go along quietly unless they’re biding their time, waiting to stab you in the back.

    In my opinion, at least.

    • Dr Tara J. Palmatier

      Earl has updated his situation on the forum. She has already tested the boundary twice (or maybe three times) in under a week and Earl is sticking to it.

      As noted in the article, this strategy is NOT for everyone. In both Earl’s and Jham’s cases, their wives are not off the charts crazy, neither have made threats re: false allegations of DV, neither are violent and neither of them have extremely young children.

      Might these actions propel them into divorce court? Perhaps. The article also states that both gentlemen have made peace with all the potential repercussions. After years of reasoning and pleading with their wives, they both have had enough.

      I would never recommend this as a “one-size-fits-all” strategy. Many men who follow this website and forum are with partners who are extremely vindictive and malicious. These women would go on a apocalyptic destruction bender if they had their husbands’ money cut off. In which case, these men have a lot more to protect than their assets. They need to be working on a safe exit strategy that includes documenting all abusive behaviors and threats. Setting boundaries with that type of woman just amounts to poking the rabid tiger. In other words, don’t do it unless you want your arm bit off. If you’re with that kind of abuser, you basically have 2 choices: 1) Get out as safely as you can or 2) Learn how to walk on eggshells by trying to figure out her triggers and validating her feelings and irrational rages.

      I don’t think either Jham’s or Earl’s wife are going to ever be happy about having to earn money. On the other hand, why should these guys continue to subsidize their wives’ entitlement?

      If it does lead to divorce, well, Jham’s wife has just proven she can go and get a job if she has to do so. That’s very good for him.

      I applaud both Jham and Earl for taking a calculated and carefully considered risk and setting a boundary.

      • You’re right T.

        I thought about it after posting my comment. The article is appropriately titled “Brass Balls.”

        Hats off to the guys who think it through and set appropriate boundaries. :)

        • jham123

          Just to update, this article was posted in July, here it is November, heading into Holidays and guess what has happened??

          Nothing.

          Nothing has happened, oh, she’s told me we are getting a divorce ‘someday’….She has also added that she has “divorced me in her heart and mind 5 months ago” whatever that means.

          Well, I know what that means, she still likes to say abusive mean things to try to hurt me, so, for whatever that is worth.

          But in reality, why hasn’t she left? or filed? or kicked me out? or or or….

          Truth be told, she’ll never do anything and this is actually good for her. She gets a free house and whatever she needs….

          I am glad she is working her little job, it gets her out of the house and one more day closer to the end of ‘us’.

  19. parmo1

    very good article, yes, but at the end of the day, the wife/girlfriend will continue to refuse to work, and the man will be then open to domestic violence by “financial abuse”. i was with this , the only option is to stop working hard but then your family situation will face eviction, foreclosures etc. my ex always refused to pay, said she could not afford it, one day i found she had accumulated 30,000 in her account of several years

  20. WaitedTooLong

    This and many other articles on this website are exact descriptions of my former marriage to my psychopath ex-wife. She complained about not finding jobs that paid well despite being a college professor, never honored family get togethers because she was always busy with work, never came with me to the hospital when I had 4 different surgeries and medical procedures, and spent me into bankruptcy. She is also physically violent which is why I now have a PPO against her to protect me while having gone through an extremely contentious divorce. So, when I closed line of credit accounts and restricted credit cards and gave her an allowance, she in turn a couple of months later reported to the police falsely that I attacked her and had me arrested, and the lady officer wrote in the report about many false allegations and also spun the allowance to appear as a form of negative control on my part.

    Divorce was the only solution, and should have happened a long time ago. I waited too long, been physically and emotionally abused, am trying to get through bankruptcy, still have attorney bills to pay, and she is using my daughter as a pawn. But, there are worse things in life than being alone, and that was being married to my ex psychopath wife.

  21. ron7127

    I have experienced this fnancial abuse deal. Without going into a lot of detail, like the rest of the abuse, I let it take place and that is on me.

    • jham123

      ron, be careful not to lay blame on yourself. Although you are being Noble by taking it on the chin, the abused is not to blame for being abused. I’ll accept that you were “too nice”, but stating that you are the one to blame while the abuser escapes culpability is you victimizing yourself all over again.

      Please, this is not an attack, I feel empathy for you when I see you post words that blame you…..stop allowing the abuse today…..place the blame squarely where it belongs.

      • ron7127

        Thank you jham123. But, I do realize that all the responsibility for the abusiveness lays with my XW. However, mygreatestregret is how long I tolerated this.It got to the point where my life was almost unfixable, even after the divorce. My finanaces, once very good, were obliterated. My self esteem was in the tank due to all the verbal and emotional abuse.
        What I realize is that I took this way too long. I allowed it to happen, and while there were some mitigating circumstances which might explain why it took me so long to ake up(kids, isolation from support, incredulity that my XW could possibly be so evil and irresponsible, frog in the gradually warmed pot etc.) , I do takek responsibility gor putting up with this.
        Many of us seem to not realize that we are not powerless against these women.I knew, on some level, that the person I was dealing with was, essentially, a monster. I kneew it early on, too. Yet, I denied it to myself because I was unwilling to face the consequences of having made a piss poor choice of a mate.
        Yet, the consequences to me and m kids would have been less severe, If I’d had the courage to bail earlier.
        I have an extremely cruel, NPd sister who now stalks me on this site(Hi, sis! Badmouthed any other family members besides me and our older sister to folks, lately). I handle her by just ignoring her sick , twisted attacks and just keeping her out of my life. I should have jsttisoned my serially chaeating XW withi the first year of marriage(approximately 20 silent treatments into the marriage).

  22. can-am

    I stumbled on this site yesterday and have been increasingly sick at heart reading so, SO many stories that run parallel to my boyfriend’s brother and his wife. My boyfriend and I are happy (please note, guys–there ARE healthy, mature women out there! :) So there can be life after emotional vampirism), but bro and sis-in-law are so enmeshed in the spiderweb of her PD that it’s painful to watch. The look in his eyes is excruciating to see–especially in this person I’ve known since he was four–either he’s wary, waiting for it, bewildered because it came from an angle he hadn’t thought of, or trapped because he’s in the thick of it…and (worst, I think) the shame in his eyes when he loses his temper or stoops to her level.
    I love my boyfriend, his brother, and their kids. But I’ve started avoiding going to their house (which is the hub of the family and our group of friends). I don’t trust this woman AT ALL, and know she’ll eventually turn on me. I won’t let my daughter babysit for their kids, even though it would be so convenient and fun for all the kids. I can’t risk exposing my daughter to her machinations, though.

    Brother recently told her to get a job if she wants to be treated like a fully functioning adult, and she lost her mind. It’s obvious she’s bored (kids are in school), and spends the day dreaming up ways to torment him the second he walks in the door. That’s the HIGHLIGHT of her existence–total control of the dynamic. Whether it’s a group that she’s holding in thrall with that “will she blow or won’t she” razor’s edge, eggshells nonsense during an evening, or an accusation of cruelty/abuse (which is how she framed the job conversation to anyone who would listen), she absolutely delights in power, however it’s gained. She refuses to work and (shock) has told him that she’d make it her “career” to bankrupt him in a divorce and strip him of the children if he “forced” her to work. Peter Pan, meet Cruella DeVille.
    She resents me (but is leery of showing how much) because I have a decent career, one that sounds more interesting than it is, but with these women the IMAGE is paramount so it really bugs her. I’ve gone out of my way to be respectful of the SAHM halo she puts on, because I don’t want to cause a rift, but it’s a time bomb. I can’t keep avoiding them, as my boyfriend is starting to worry it means I’m thinking his family is a dealbreaker. I love him and support him and accept him, and that means accepting and getting along with his family. I know that. But I’m starting to wonder if I’m a coward for being afraid of her wrath because I work for a living.
    Another part of it is, I hate the thought of being used as a weapon against him. “Oh, you think I should be more like HER, that’s it, isn’t it??” I can’t bear the thought of my boyfriend’s brother resenting me because I “caused” a fight. I adore both of these men (again, I’ve known them since we were tiny kids), and admire them, and SUPPORT them–but it comes at such a price…and I find myself wondering, “Why in the hell do we let the sickest person in the room control the room????”

    • tallwheel

      My ex GF used to worry about me comparing her to my brother’s wife too. (I never meant to. I was just telling my GF about her.) My GF once said something to the effect of, “As long as your brother is married to her, people will always be comparing me to her.” Wow. How insecure can someone get? It’s not like I can ask my brother to divorce his wife because she’s making my GF uncomfortable.

      • can-am

        Ohhh tallwheel, that made me gulp…I can just about *hear* this woman gearing up to say something like this.
        And yikes, “As long as your brother is married to her”…that means she felt the *potential* of them divorcing was a *solution* to HER problem! Who thinks like that? Who frames the world like that?

    • cuatezon

      Can-am, first of all kudos to you for heeding your instincts and recognizing an evil person – evil woman in this case – who is tormenting your bf’s brother. Honestly, as a guy its validating and relieving to hear other women recognize evil women and call them out like this.

      And no, you’re not being cowardly for avoidance behavior. I think that’s normal and there is not a lot you can do. Maybe some preemptive counseling on how to deal with a BPD person? That way when the ‘time bomb’ goes off in your face, you can shield yourself & family as much as possible.

      Keep coming back to this site!

      • can-am

        Thanks, cuatezon–much appreciated feedback! This site has been an education. My boyfriend read some of the articles and has been talking to his brother about the issues, so hopefully that will prompt a good dialogue.
        Your idea of preemptive counseling is a good one. Knowledge=power, after all. Already learning via this site how utterly (and absurdly?) predictable her behavior and statements are. My boyfriend said to his brother, “Watch, she’ll start talking about wanting another baby now that you said to get a job” …and sure enough!
        In a way it’s comforting that there are names and explanations for this behavior, but on the other it’s dismal that it’s so commonplace and predictably toxic.
        Thanks again!

        • cuatezon

          You’re welcome cam-am. Yes its been helpful for me too to be able to verbalize and label the insane people and their behavior. Agree too its disheartening this stuff is so commonplace. There are some other good web links on this site’s homepage – one I also benefitted from was ‘angies list’ or something like that, there are lots of excellent descriptions of BPDs/crazies and real-life anecdotes that you may also find helpful – or at least relieved in some strange way that your bf’s brothers situation is not an isolated case.

          Sounds like your bf’s brother is experiencing some of the outrageous and absurd behavior that I too lived through – and still have to put up with, although thankfully from a distance since I got out a few years back. Let us know how the counseling goes and if you get any good tips or strategies!

  23. These “stay at home mom’s” with NO kids or teens will argue back that “they ARE contributing to the household, their shopping, cooking, cleaning and other tasks are just as valuable as his financial contribution.” And that even though they contribute nothing financially, they should have a 50% say in any financial and other decisions about said household…

    I say BS. I was the breadwinner for 5 years in my new marriage. I supported my husband to get a business started, I got a mortgage in my name only because his credit was hosed (he has a psycho x who ruined their credit on her way out the door) I paid off our bills, financed and paid for two cars, etc. I am now “staying at home” because we have two children under 5 and its not cost effective for me to work out side the home and pay daycare for an infant and a preschool aged child. However, because of my former career I have been blessed to pick up some side work at home. I also contribute greatly to the running of his company. And as he is now the breadwinner, he gets more say in our financial decisions at present. I don’t and have never considered my doing dishes and cooking to be equal to the spouse who provides a roof over our head, insurance, and a decent standard of living. I am blessed to be able to be at home, I would never belittle my husbands contribution to our household or not go back to work when our family requires it. Selfish. Selfish…

    You go guys!

    • can-am

      minicoopsmom, I agree. It is incredibly selfish, and self-absorbed, and self-serving, and self-involved…and and and.

      It makes me wonder if they’re getting their sense of self from external labels, cues and dynamics, rather than having a secure internal sense of who they are. Maybe that’s why it’s impossible for them to act as a genuine, PEER partner in a relationship.

      Which is exactly what you describe your relationship as in the above post: a genuine partnership…the way it should be!

      • Cousin Dave

        “It makes me wonder if they’re getting their sense of self from external labels, cues and dynamics, rather than having a secure internal sense of who they are.”

        I think that’s pretty much the definition of borderline personality disorder. They don’t have that internal sense, so they desire a constant stream of external affirmation.

        • can-am

          You’re right, Cousin Dave! Hadn’t put those two together ’til you said it. I suppose ultimately it’s all about their identity or lack thereof. Then compound that with their assumption that everyone sees the world the way they do…I guess I’d feel threatened by life, too. Like everything is one big food chain. (I always want to call it a “competition,” but it’s more primitive or visceral than that.)
          What an empty and wasteful way to live.

  24. ron7127

    The SAHM job being as demanding and stressful as the workplace is a huge myth, perpetuated by folks very invested in staying home, with much more leisure ime and less stress. I have done my share of child rearing and it is a snap compared to what I fave at work each day.
    Seems once a spouse gets a foothold in staying home, he or she ,often, remains there, even after the kids go to school full time.
    Just imagine the leisure they have. Household duties can be done while watching TV and accomplished in very little time. Then, it it pla time.Older kids come home and demand very little. It is a huge racket.
    You got a y chromsome: you get to work your ass off/ You have two XS and a husband naive enough to buy the BS that a SAHM has a hard job and it’s off to leisureland.

    • can-am

      My grandma used to call staying at home with little ones “being pecked to death by ducks.” I do think sometimes it seems frustrating (not the same as stressful) and endless (not the same as demanding) staying home with preschoolers because there’s a lot of drudgery/sameness to the day, and you’re trying to get chores done while they’re pecking you to death.
      But yep, once the kids are in school, come on! I sometimes point out to those “hardest job in the world” SAHMs of school-aged kids, “hey, I’m a single mom with two jobs, and I’m running the house and raising the kid all by myself. So I do all those hours of chores/errands/duties you do, plus full-time and part time jobs…how can I get it all done AROUND my two jobs, if it’s so time-consuming?”

      I usually get the blank “I was told there’d be no math” look. Heh heh.

    • Totally disagree with the idea that the SAHM job is as demanding as working a corporate (or other demanding) job outside the home. While it is challenging when you are dealing with the under 5 set day in and day out, its NOTHING like being a wage slave in corporate America. I have done both. I spent 11 years working for two fast paced fortune 500 companies and am now “work at home mom.” I have a freelance gig I do 2 days a week when my son is in preschool. Its not a cake walk to deal with young children 24/7 while my husband builds his business and works 60+ hours a week. But I am blessed to be able to be home with my children and to spend that quality time with them. Any one who has kids over 5 and in kindergarten (and is not home schooling) has no reason to complain. They get a daily break during school hours. And SAHM of teens? Puhleez.

    • SNM

      “Seems once a spouse gets a foothold in staying home, he or she ,often, remains there, even after the kids go to school full time.”

      This was me. The SAHM mom stuff is total Bravo Sierra (BS) and I still harbor some anger over the attitude.

      Sometimes I think that these women get confused. They are told that they can accomplish anything they want to do in a career – go to college and follow their dream. And having a career makes them more attractive to their potential mates. But then they are also told they should stay at home “just while the kids are young.” Because it is best for the children. Usually by the old-school mother in law who also never had to do much work compared to the rat race we live in these days.

      They forget/ignore about what they will have to give up for a career (something men have known and lived with for a long time). The second they get the chance they stay home and live a permanent vacation with the kids. That is to say as long as they have a sucker to take care of them. Let’s face it the SAHM is a big party. This is total bait and switch in my mind. And the way the courts/society is today if you are the man you are stuck with paying for them either way if your spouse lies to you about her intentions – or fails to live up to her word.

  25. Hello-
    Just wanted to give a shout-out to Jham and Earl. Ouch, Sorry you had to do that. I have to admit, as a woman running a “niche creative business” while my husband is trapped in a job he hates, I also kinda winced a bit and worried I was too much like Jham’s wife!
    I understand the all too well the temptation to let hubby carry the bills while I do my fun thing. Especially because I get a lot of support from other women to do just that! I remember being at book club once when somehow the discussion came up of splitting housework. I explained that because my hubby worked full time at a high-paying unpleasant job, while I worked free-lance at something I loved, I felt it was only fair to pick up all child-care, cleaning, cooking, laundry, bill-paying, taxes, yard-work, and pretty much every other routine household tasks except repairs. Especially because hubby has a chronic health problem that leaves him exhausted by the end of the working day. My idea was, greet him with a smile every night, a hug of appreciation, and preferably a nice snack before dinner.
    The other ladies looked at me with pitying contempt, like I was some 1950s throw-back who hadn’t shed her girdle yet. I tried to explain that THIS was my idea of equality- looking at what had to be done and splitting it fairly according to time and abilities.
    I could do a much better job saving than I do now (though I set up and help fund all our investment accounts), and I sometime overspend. But I hate myself for it, esp. when I see how much it stresses hubby! My solution- I doubled-down on my business and signed $9k in contracts just this month.
    I don’t know why or how this idea that bright, college educated women deserve to be supported for life by men without doing child care or housework became so popular. My mom tells me it wasn’t the case for my grandma’s generation. She says, “We used to be a primarily rural population, and you better believe that farm wives worked. My mom’s garden and chickens and eggs and canning and butter and cheese making contributed as much as my dad’s farming. They were partners through and through.”
    I’m a strong feminist, but my idea of feminism is to be a fully adult human being, with no outside limitations placed on you, but also no internal excuses. Be a partner, not a parasite.
    Thanks for letting women read your side of the story, and helping us keep it real!

    • Dr Tara J. Palmatier

      Hello Tallgirl,

      Welcome to S4M. Thank you for being so supportive to the folks here! I appreciate it.

      Dr T

      • Most welcome – it’s an interesting site, and I think you should get a “brass ovaries” award for putting it out there!

        After I wrote the above, I tried to remember where I got the “parasite” idea. I remember reading early feminist texts in college and one that really struck me was Olive Schreiner’s warning that labor-saving devices in the home meant that middle-class women were at risk of falling into “female-parasitism” unless they stepped up and helped with the intellectual and manufacturing tasks of society (i.e. got a job).

        The idea of these earliest feminist/marxists seemed to be to give EVERYONE a better life. Less soul-draining, repetitive, grueling work for men. An equitable split of wage earning. Instead of the man working 40-60 hours a week outside the home, the husband and wife each working 20-25. That way he could ALSO spend time at home, with the kids, and have some (GASP!) leisure time at all class levels to rest and restore himself.

        Ah, whatever happened to that dream? What a happy society we’d be if we could pull that off!

        Here’s a quote from Olive in 1911 – it’s long but you might find it interesting:

        At the present day, so enormous has been the advance made in the substitution of mechanical force for crude, physical, human exertion (mechanical force being employed today even in the shaping of feeding- bottles and the creation of artificial foods as substitutes for mother’s milk!), that it is now possible not only for a small and wealthy section of women in each civilised community to be maintained without performing any of the ancient, crude, physical labours of their sex, and without depending on the slavery of, or any vast increase in the labour of, other classes of females; but this condition has already been reached, or is tending to be reached, by that large mass of women in civilised societies, who form the intermediate class between poor and rich.

        During the next fifty years, so rapid will undoubtedly be the spread of the material conditions of civilisation, both in the societies at present civilised and in the societies at present unpermeated by our material civilisation, that the ancient forms of female, domestic, physical labour of even the women of the poorest classes will be little required, their place being taken, not by other females, but by always increasingly perfected labour-saving machinery.

        Thus, female parasitism, which in the past threatened only a minute section of earth’s women, under existing conditions threatens vast masses, and may, under future conditions, threaten the entire body.

        If woman is content to leave to the male all labour in the new and all- important fields which are rapidly opening before the human race; if, as the old forms of domestic labour slip from her for ever and evitably, she does not grasp the new, it is inevitable, that, ultimately, not merely a class, but the whole bodies of females in civilised societies, must sink into a state of more or less absolute dependence on their sexual functions alone….

        It is wholly untrue that fifty pounds, or two thousand, earned by the male as the result of his physical or mental toil, if part of it be spent by him in supporting non-labouring females, whether as prostitutes, wives, or mistresses, is the same thing to the female or to the race as though that sum had been earned by her own exertion, either directly as wages or indirectly by toiling for the man whose wages supported her. For the moment, truly, the woman so tended lies softer and warmer than had she been compelled to exert herself; ultimately, intellectually, morally, and even physically, the difference in the effect upon her as an individual and on the race is the difference between advance and degradation, between life and death. The increased wealth of the male no more of necessity benefits and raises the female upon whom he expends it, than the increased wealth of his mistress necessarily benefits mentally or physically a poodle because she can give him a down cushion in place of one of feathers, and chicken in place of beef. The wealthier the males of a society become, the greater the temptation, both to themselves and to the females connected with them, to drift toward female parasitism…

        …. (The fact cannot be too often dwelt upon that parasitism is not connected with any definite amount of wealth. Any sum supplied to an individual which will so far satisfy him or her as to enable them to live without exertion may absolutely parasitise them; while vast wealth (unhealthy as its effects generally tend to be) may, upon certain rare and noble natures, exert hardly any enervating or deleterious influence. An amusing illustration of the different points at which enervation is reached by different females came under our own observation. The wife of an American millionaire was visited by a woman, the daughter and also the widow of small professional men. She stated that she was in need of both food and clothing. The millionaire’s wife gave her a leg of mutton and two valuable dresses. The woman proceeded to whine, though in vigorous health, that she had no one to carry them home for her, and could not think of carrying them herself. The American, the descendant of generations of able, labouring, New England, Puritan women, tucked the leg of mutton under one arm and the bundle of clothes under the other and walked off down the city street towards the woman’s dwelling, followed by the astonished pauper parasite.

        The most helpless case of female degeneration we ever came into contact with was that of a daughter of a poor English officer on half-pay and who had to exist on a few hundreds a year. This woman could neither cook her own food nor make her own clothes, nor was she engaged in any social, political, or intellectual or artistic labour. Though able to dance for a night or play tennis for an afternoon, she was yet hardly able to do her own hair or attire herself, and appeared absolutely to have lost all power of compelling herself to do anything which was at the moment fatiguing or displeasing, as all labour is apt to be, however great its ultimate reward. In a life of twenty-eight years this woman had probably not contributed one hour’s earnest toil, mental or physical, to the increase of the sum total of productive human labour.

  26. Wyatt

    I take my hat off to you Jham and Earl!

    I do find in reading all of Dr T.’s articles and the comments, that at least I’m not alone and I find oh so many to relate to AND I’m not fraking C-R-A-Z-Y!!! And it’s not all my fault!!!

  27. stephenjm

    The problem I have with this is that, based on Earl’s comments, it is implied that she misrepresented herself as someone who had a high paying job, and then she quit that job after she got married, and then she began to spend beyond their means. Given that this is a real problem if this was not the understanding going into the marriage.

    However, I sense a tone of condescension in the “niche craft business” comments. If this is what she was openly planning all along, and it was her understanding that this marriage was a situation where she would be supported and could follow her dreams, then I think it’s rather unfair to paint her as a petulant child who refuses to work. From her perspective, she is working, she’s just doing something Earl isn’t taking seriously. Admittedly it’s something that is not helping to support the family financially.

    My girlfriend is a freelance professional artist, and we both take her work very seriously. Everything is out in the open in terms of finances. I’m prepared to support her if work gets thin at some point, even though at this point her work is growing dramatically and we assume that when she moves in with me, she will be able to put some money into some of our expenses.

    I wonder what would have happened if Earl and his girlfriend had this conversation before he proposed.

    • Dr Tara J. Palmatier

      Hello Stephenjm,

      Thank you for registering with Shrink4Men and welcome.

      To clarify:

      1. Yes, Earl’s wife did misrepresent herself. When they met, she was working in a profession and the plan was for her to continue working. This changed after they married. They had separate finances before marriage and joined finances after while she was still working.

      2. The choice of wording “niche craft business” is mine. In order to protect Earl’s and his wife’s privacy, I removed the actual business. It is very niche and one that does not have a high success rate.

      3. She did not state this was her dream until very recently when Earl began to press her to get a job. In my opinion, her dream business is just another way to avoid actually having to work and contribute to the family’s finances. Earl would love for her business to be successful. He doesn’t really care what she does; he just needs for her to contribute to their finances and retirement. I do not think it is unreasonable of Earl to give her a deadline for making her business successful.

      It is great that you and your gf are open about finances and her risky career choice. Earl’s wife was not. As stated earlier, Earl and his wife did have this conversation before they married. After they said, “I do,” she changed the rules. I recommend you have a conversation with your gf about how you will manage finances if her business does not continue to grow. Will you still be expected to support her? Or will she get a job to finance her dream job?

  28. tomg

    I have not logged on lately, but this story is mind numbing!
    My wife is an Olympic Gold cry baby. Nothing, and i mean NOTHING is her fault.
    Calls me verbally abusive for situations that are all well represented in these posts……Years of hostile dependency.
    I once asked her what she didn’t like more. The way I say things, or what I was saying. Want to guess her answer?…..
    One significantly repressed irrationally dependent child…..Cousin Dave’s story gives me the creeps. However, were you angry or just unsettled by her intrusion?

  29. wswanson

    I’m hoping that Earl sees an attorney, and soon. I’d suggest getting every financial record he can copied, and annually get a credit report. I’d also start making a habit of carrying around a digital recorder.

    My ex, among other things, felt that spending 25% more than I made every month was not only her right, but her responsibility. Throw in some alcohol, a few violent blackouts and either a HPD or BPD, and you’ve got a recipe for ruin.

    I finally insisted that my ex get a job. She played the golden uterus for a while, and refused to live on any kind of budget. “It’s for the baby”, “It was on sale”, “I was mad at you”. She refused to get up in the morning, would sleep till the crack of noon with the kids dirty and hungry, call me every 15-20 minutes all afternoon, berate me when I got home, keep me up until 2am, rinse and repeat.

    Putting your foot down is very dangerous. The “Duluth” model says that being firm about the spending, insisting your partner be a partner and pull their weight, controlling any aspect of the budget or accounts, is abuse, and lawyers are pretty good about making men the villain, and enshrining the bad actor’s deeds as the status quo for life ever after.

    For my concern, I was assaulted, then arrested, and then I spent a year out of my house. I still had to pay for it, which at the time was half my pay. I gave 95% of the rest to my spouse, in the form of child and spousal support. She was supposed to pay the bills and expenses with it, but never did, running up another $2400 in phone bills, $1100 in cable fees, nearly $2,000 in electric bills, and somehow, in Texas, a $500 gas bill. She also managed to open a utility account in my 2 year old daughter’s name, write hot checks on the closed joint marital account, and rent cars in my name. Years later, she still would claim she was on my health insurance, leaving me with hospitals and clinics sending accounts to collections.

    In these matters, the police are not interested in pursuing fraud. Neither are the creditors or the vendors, but the only reason I can see is the futility of making a dead-beat pay.

    My ex remarried and divorced. They separated after about 2 months, with her stabbing him and selling his car with the aid of their marriage license. The police refused to consider it theft, and told him to go to civil court, since they were married, and she could do as she pleased.

    My ex repaid the year in the free house with more grief (she had all day with no responsibilities), and vandalized the house. Her lawyer sent me his bill, and tried to get a lien on my house.

    I’ve been divorced a mere 8 years, and I’d never do that again. My ex lost custody after a year, and the court has handled her parental obligations with disinterest. She’s now over $18,000 behind on child support, and hasn’t paid a cent in 3 years, even after two court hearings have found her in contempt.

    Our state’s attorney general doesn’t find it politically expedient, nor financially viable, to pursue my ex, so it’s one lame excuse after another. I have no doubt, like I know the sun will come up tomorrow, that the court would not tolerate me not paying a substantially higher amount of support for three months, let alone the piddling obligation she has.

    I could tell you about the violence and the psychotic behavior. I could tell you about not being able to sleep, about having to sleep with a pillow over my groin to feel safe, about carrying a gps tracker, having voice recorders in my jacket and in my car, logging every mile I drive, and having cameras and a DVR on my house. I could tell you about waking up in the middle of the night soaked and shaking because I was dreaming I was living with my ex.

    All in all, leaving my ex has cost over $120,000 in debt, fees, fines, lost savings, lost equity, damages, defaults. Courts think that men are made of money, just as much as these women do. They wouldn’t dream of inconveniencing her, but it’s quite alright with them if you live for 6 months on the $20 left after the court’s obligations. You’re a smart man, you’ll manage. You still have room on a credit card, somewhere, right? Good thing I have friends with big couches.

    They do what they do, because they can, and because someone either thinks we deserve the abuse, or thinks that holding an adult woman to the same level of accountability as a man would somehow be unfair. Again and again, even with outright felonies, someone minimizes the act, rationalizes it, and dismisses it, regardless of the harm caused. An Assistant District Attorney does not feel that impersonating a US Marshal, and threatening someone with arrest is a real crime, even when witnessed in public by an off duty police officer. This same ADA is now a criminal judge. (Why yes, she IS a Democrat, how did you know?)

    Instead of thinking they were given a reprieve for a moment’s stupidity and learning a lesson, for people like this it becomes validation, emboldening them to escalate their grief-making to new levels. This time it’s a claim that her ex is calling her. Next time the claim is he’s banging on the door at 2 am. Next time he’s breaking windows, and the next time she’s being stabbed on the porch – it seems that multiple exes have an obsession. Time after time, the police find no evidence, or find that she’s faked some aspect of her claim. Have a good night Ma’am. Over 80 police visits in 2 years, several clear false statements and false allegations, some with electronic evidence, and no prosecution.

    Jham and Earl – your next call should be to an attorney, and make plans to cover your butt. It’s good that you have got a backbone, but realize that too many people think that every woman that cries on queue was really abused.

  30. exodus34567

    Unfortunately, the courts, at least in the US, and more so in certain states and even counties, might see this as fiduciary irresponsibility at the least and financial abuse &control at worst, especially in community property states. Keeping great records in a safe place of a spouses financial overspending is both difficult and critical. Cause all she need do is mention financial control and you will spend $1000s of dollars defending the accusation.

  31. jham123

    Update to this thread.

    After I did all I did, guess what?? CB found herself a job (not a great job) Bought her own care, petitioned some charity for aid, they provided a GREAT three bedroom townhome at a reduced rate (very reduced) and she moved out almost 4 weeks AGO!!

    Yay! lol (happy dance)

    Not sure what all this will do or how it will shake out, but I don’t care. I changed the locks on the door and started buying new wall decorations to take the place of the ones she took with her.

    The kids come here after school everyday and spend every other weekend here…The 17 year old refuses to leave his home, so he is with me 100% of the time and has gone over there twice…..so……I get all the good stuff and get rid of her….

    Meaning. I get the kids in the afternoons and they go to her place to eat, do homework, bathe and sleep. She takes them to school in the mornings!

    I am not sure I could have orchestrated it any better. Here I am in my house with my kids and She is gone gone gone……

    That is the latest. just thought I would update anyone that cared to follow the saga.

  32. killswitch

    Wow. I’m feeling like this article was a play-by-play of what happened to me in [identifying info removed] just a few months ago.

    1. CB supposedly was a masseuse at a country club for 20 years and she got tired of giving massages. However, the truth is that she met one of her victims there, who happened to be a doctor. They had an affair, she got pregnant, tried to get him to marry her, and it backfired. He hired a high-end lawyer team and screwed her over. CB accused him of everything except being a child of God. When the dust settled, she only got joint custody of the child, and only $436 a month in child support paid directly to her.

    It gets better. CB was still married to her first husband! In 1999, she changed her last name legally AND changed the last name of her child, from her ex-husband’s last name to the new one that now appears on the birth certificate. How do I know this? Clerk of Courts civil public records, where I discovered the name of the child’s father and other crap about CB. The child’s father and I talked on the phone at great length.

    2. When we met, CB made herself out to be more successful than reality. She sells herself as a social media expert, life coach specializing in Law of Attraction and personal trainer. She has clients for sure. However, not as many as she said she had. [identifying info removed]. Yet, she’s not making it financially. She does, however, have a brand new [identifying info removed], and new iPhone 5 (which I’ve learned to hate, another sordid story)… and no evidence of ample income. Strange, isn’t it?

    3. I found out how she makes her money. The clients she “teaches” [identifying info removed], are more like clients that pay her for “extracurricular activities”. She also uses her created life coaching persona as bait, to suck in well-to-do men in [identifying info removed]. How do I know this? Let’s say, I’m good at what I do and her laptop tells me what I want to know, at will. In this, I’ve found naked photos she uses to send to potential victims. She is beautiful and keeps in shape – more like an obsession.

    Now, this and much more I found out after I left. What precipitated my intense excavation into her past? Most of what was listed in this article… and one more thing.

    CB had brokered professional [identifying info removed] contracts with high-end business in [identifying info removed]. She, then, approached me with the two contracts after the fact, and when I read them, I blanched. She had totally sold herself as a [identifying info removed] company, when she had no training what-so-ever in the niche. She expected me to do all the work, relinquish all intellectual property to her and she had all financial control. CB also expected me to drop my brand and work for her. As she put it, “I’ll (CB) be the bait and you’re the muscle behind ‘our’ company.”

    At this point, I started laughing. She expected (and demanded of) me to give up my company and lend her 20 years of Fortune 500 experience to support her. Of course, I refused to acquiesce. She reacted like Medusa meeting Jason. She went through with the subsequent meetings, and the clients immediately broke contract with her.
    She was spitting fire when when arrived to the house. By this time, I had Plan B in place and within 24 HRS from returning to NY.

    I figured she wouldn’t leave this alone. And I prepared for war. I told her if she tried anything or if anyone approached me knowing something they should know about me, I would ruin her internet persona (dream) for the rest of her life. To her, that’s the equivalent of dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Thus far, nothing’s shown up on the radar.

    Except I know who her next victim is: a poor sap [identifying info removed] in [identifying info removed]. But this is a good thing. When she does him in, hell hath no fury like a rich man bent on vengeance.

    Please pass the buttered popcorn and Pepsi. This is going to be better than Ringling Brothers.

    • Dr Tara J. Palmatier

      Hello killswitch and welcome to S4M. I am glad you were able to get away from the predator with whom you were involved. However, please refrain from disclosing identifying information on the S4M sites. Also, if you do decide to out her on the internet, please do not do it here. This is explained in the S4M comments policy. If you continue to share identifying information, I will remove your comments as I do not have the time to edit the identifying info out.

      Thanks in advance,
      Dr Tara

  33. md71611

    I just discovered this site today and I am so glad that I did. I made the decision to divorce my ex wife 2 years ago, and at the time, I knew nothing about BPD. In the years since the divorce, as I have racked my brain trying to figure out what the hell had happened, more and more evidence has flooded in to assure me that I was dealing with many of the issues brought to light on this site. When I made the decision to leave, I was willing to go through anything to get out. I was prepared for the worst, and that’s exactly what I got. Even now that the divorce is well over, the alimony has been paid (claimed she was unable to support herself though she is perfectly healthy with no kids) and I am running on a solid 2 years of absolutely no contact, I am still trying to come to grips with how it all happened. That’s what led me to this site today and to these great posts and comments.

    I wanted to comment here because I nearly fell out of my chair laughing when I read this brass balls award. These guys are absolute rock stars. I experienced a similar situation towards the end of my relationship with a BPD that I wanted to share…

    The ex and I met in college where she was presenting herself as a young woman looking to start a career. After we had been together a while, but before marriage, we discussed the prospect of children. She stated that she would like to stay home with the kids when they arrived, and I agreed thinking this would be good for the children. Still though I encouraged her to finish school and to work both because we could use the money and because it would set a positive example for said children. She did go to work and school for a while, but after we got married, she began complaining so much about working. Once I reached the point of being super fed up with hearing her complain about her job after being at my own job all day, I suggested that she just quit working and focus on school. She was elated about this at the time, but that is when things really went downhill. Her spending increased and her contributions around the home decreased despite a substantial increase in her free time. Instead of practicing to become little miss homemaker (as she claimed she wanted to be) she went the other direction and started acting like a teenager with free room and board, a car, and a parents credit card. As much of an enabler as I was, even I could not ignore this. Though I couldn’t see what I was dealing with was BPD, I could see that something was very, very wrong.

    My first reaction was to point out her bad behavior which got me nowhere. I was simply being an oppressive jerk trying to control her (which I am sure is what she tells people about me now.) after getting nowhere attempting to state the obvious, I decided on a different approach. I wanted to see what she would really do if given full reigns and allowed to act as she pleased with absolutely no push back. So all of the sudden…

    I didn’t ask or say anything about what she spent. I didn’t ask what she had been doing all day while I was at work. I didn’t say anything when she was snide or rude to me. I didn’t argue with her at all. And most importantly, I said nothing as I watched her form a romantic relationship with a friend of mine. Of course, while you might think she would love me acting this way, she treated me even worse because she was losing any and all respect she may have had for me. But that was ok, I expected it. Pushing back got me nowhere either, I was testing to see that I was in a lose lose situation. And I was.

    So once I had sufficiently proven to myself that her free will behavior was to rack up debt, do nothing around the house, blame me for her own insecurities, treat me like dirt and cheat on me… I left.

    Just like that. Didn’t say a word. Just left.

    I had nowhere to go, I just knew I had to get the hell away from someone who was supposed to be my best friend that would actually treat me like that. I lived in hotels for months as we battled through the divorce. And still, because she claimed to be so utterly helpless, I had to pay her support. Eventually I made it back to my home, and ever since I have been analyzing and researching to piece together the insanity of it all.

    But I will say this… Getting out was the best decision I have ever made.

    So if any of this sounds familiar to you. My advice would be to stop fighting so hard. See what that person will do if left to their own devices, and then decide whether or not you are willing to accept that. I would have never ever treated her the way that she treated me, and I will never allow someone to do that to me again. So props to these men for standing up and putting a stop their partners insanity. They are choosing to stay and fight, I decided to cut my losses and get out. Either way, do something. Your life is worth it.

  34. adrian evergreen

    It is weird how they never want to work EVER. All this nonsense about..’the craft shop”..bullshit. I NEVER questioned why my CGB..crazy gay boyfriend.. Never wanted to work while saying it every day and blaming me for working making HIM feel like like shit. Aye yai yai…I never thought he wanted to work especially since his ex paid for a big chunk of bills anyway..yes the triangulation thing. Boy they fit a pattern don’t they. Just glad after 8 or so attempts I GTFO.

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