[Please note that the following was written in 2012. I have learned more about personality disorders since that time; maybe instead of “personality disordered,” we should simply say “abusive,” since many with Cluster B disorders don’t want to abuse. I have amended this post a bit.]
I came across this site:
This site is about abusive women. I found it very helpful in learning about, understanding, and recovering from Tracy’s bullying of me.
[Update 2/13/15: Some caution is needed, however, because of influence from anti-feminism and the men’s rights movement. Let’s not go too far in the other direction! I also discovered concerning things about Paul Elam. But if you can sift through the site, you can find all sorts of helpful material about abusive women. Just be careful about what it says about the motivations of borderlines, or about women in general.]
Tracy is not unique: There are a lot of other people who have been through very similar situations with women much like Tracy. Some have been married to them, some have been friends with them, some have been family members of men and children who live with them.
There is also a support forum, but it’s pay-only, so others can get support through commenting on the blog.
The latest blog post, on Princesses, reminded me of Richard’s philosophy that “respecting wives” means giving in to everything they want, and agreeing with them. Basically, putting them on a pedestal. That’s not respecting them: That’s allowing them to control you.
Because of this philosophy, Richard not only allowed her to bully me, but he even joined in on the bullying–instead of standing up and doing the right thing by stopping the bullying and apologizing to Jeff and me for the things he did to us.
It is, of course, good and right to treat a wife/husband well. But the line is drawn at her acting like a spoiled brat, coddling her, her screaming at and hitting you when you displease her, and you allowing her to control you, isolate you, and force you into sinful behavior (such as bullying others).
Richard himself said Tracy is a “mean girl” and a “queen bee.” And you know what, I’ve never gotten along well with mean girls or queen bees. They’re the ones who ridiculed me at school; they’re the ones I stayed away from.
Being forced to be friends with one, violated my human right to choose my own friends and confidantes.
It was very reassuring to hear this Shrink4Men webcast on April 2, 2012 about women being put on pedestals:
In various points, such as around 45:00 and 25:00, Dr. Tara and Paul Elam noted that you have to get that woman off her pedestal not through cruelty or disrespect, but through no longer enabling her bad behavior. For example, refuse to talk with her while she’s throwing a tantrum, acting like a toddler, and blaming you for it.
They said she has to face the problem as an adult, as an equal, who’s willing to talk things over, listen to another point of view, problem-solve, etc.
Around 25:00, Dr. Tara and Paul said,
If another adult isn’t willing to engage with you like an adult, you end the conversation….If somebody is not being reasonable…if she is refusing to be reasonable, you are not going to get a reasonable solution to your problem, so you step away.
Dr. Tara noted that in her experience, people do their tantruming, verbal diarrhea, etc., not because they want a resolution, but because they want to be “heard” and have their feelings validated.
Divorce yourself from those circumstances until reason and maturity take over and you can fix the problem….They’re doing it because it works, because most of the time when they pitch an emotional tantrum, somebody lets them have their way. So this behavior is reinforced.
Around 19:00, and also in this article, Paul said:
If he is one of the few that can do it, though, the game changes. Indeed, it quits being a game and starts to resemble an honest, even if troubled, relationship.
All a man has to do is decide that he does not do pedestals, for any person, for any reason, and he, of course, has to follow through.
If he does that a troubled but honest relationship might have a better chance at working.
Even if it doesn’t, the guy is a lot more likely to leave on his feet and do better in the next relationship because he is prepared to see a woman be unhappy, even pissed off at him, but not prepared to even acknowledge her problems unless she is reasonable and mature.
It doesn’t matter if he really screwed up or if she is out of line from the start, she still has to wear her big girl britches.
Just like with anyone else in the world, “Come back and see me when you can be reasonable,” is a perfectly constructive and rational response to a partner who is out of control emotionally, and it is what you would expect to say to someone who was your equal.
Men who think it is out of the question to expect emotional maturity from women are the ones with the most trouble wrapping their minds around this.
And this is exactly what this is all about; treating yourself and your partner as equals. …
Your equal doesn’t get to demand spot answers and stand there with her toe tapping, waiting for an answer. When you see her as an equal, that sort of behavior looks pathetic. You reject being treated like a bad kid in the principal’s office….
Your equal has to be accountable for their mistakes, just like you do. “I’m sorry, but you made me,” is NOT accountable.
Trying to reason with someone who is blaming you for their own mistakes is a guaranteed waste of energy. Don’t do it.
Disengage and refuse them an audience until they pull themselves together. Til they “woman up,” if you will….
Your equal can’t expect you to entertain any of her concerns unless she is bringing them to you as an adult with agency, accountability and in a genuine search for a solution.
You know the difference between that and someone just mad and venting, don’t you? Well, do your business with the grown up and tell the little girl to respectfully go take a hike.
If she has been successful in getting you to lose your cool, this is a change you can make to stop that from happening.
But of course, Tracy’s response to this was to tell me “have a nice life” and how I can come see her when I “grow up” and accept her tantrums as my due.
Not even an attempt at respecting or hearing my point of view and accepting that tantrums are the wrong way to deal with a problem. Just the response of a woman who was used to being put on a pedestal and getting away with her nasty behaviors and attempts to shame others into doing what she wants.