Borderline women, and men who love them.
Shari Schreiber, M.A.
phone call with news that you're going to be a father has come, and
in an instant, it feels like the bottom of your world has
dropped out. As anxiety overtakes you, you begin thinking about how
you're going to extract yourself from this mess with a gal you've
had a one-night-stand with, or have been seeing for awhile. Whatever
the circumstances surrounding this unplanned pregnancy are, you will
be paying for 18 years of child support, whether you marry that woman
or not--and no court of law will let you off this hook.
I often wonder what our society
would be like, if men could get pregnant. Would they
be suing their former girlfriends or lovers for maternity?
And how might women feel about being on the financial hook
for eighteen years or so, providing for children they never wanted
in the first place? I’m curious about how a female
would handle being tied for virtually the rest of her life, to a guy
she had a one-night fling with, just because he'd conceived a child
with her. Sadly,
this happens to males all the time--in fact, the frequency of this
kind of injustice is staggering. It’s disheartening to think that
women intentionally entrap men with pregnancy--and
in this woman’s opinion, it’s a form of blackmail, and there
ought to be laws prohibiting it!
primary aim of this article is to caution men
about dangerous women and entrapment by conception--but that's just
the tip of this iceberg. Much of this material
speaks to the terrible emotional torment that goes hand-in-hand
with these affairs, so that men can make sense of their most
troubling and painful relationship experiences. Whether
you're single or married, if you are involved with a woman who's brought
chaos and destruction to your life but you just can't
let her go, this piece holds vital information
who ‘entrap’ are typically bright, attractive/alluring, highly seductive
and charismatic--but their moods are mercurial, and behavior patterns
are extremely unstable. Relationships are characterized by an ongoing
series of breakups or periods of distancing, and reunions. Wildly
alternating relational dynamics (come here/go away) can
feel confusing and emotionally injurious, leaving you with the sense
that they either love you or hate you! Within the same day or
hour their perceptions of you can shift dramatically--and you'll
be feeling adored/idealized or devalued/criticized/rejected.
These behaviors and traits are consistent with Borderline
Personality Disorder, and here's more:
are narcissistic--but you'll also observe other problems,
such as; desperate attempts to gain attention, intense/irrational
abandonment fears, lack of empathy, extreme jealousy, lying,
poor impulse control, extramarital affairs, drug/alcohol abuse, hypersexuality,
'crazy-making' interactions, low self-esteem, rebound relationships,
distortion, self-harming behaviors, eating disorders, panic/anxiety
issues, OCD, suicidal ideation, pervasive neediness/clinginess,
emotional volatility, stalking, etc.
next section on forced paternity holds critical information for all
males, but if this isn't your immediate concern, scroll down
and familiarize yourself with a variety of BPD issues that were shared
by men who've struggled just as you have, and recovered.
If your affair has abruptly ended, read this first; AT
ANY COST: Saving your Life after Loving a Borderline.
advancements have been made in the field of contraception, yet countless
males are still being trapped into marriage and/or fatherhood,
and the repercussions are vast. Historically, females never wanted
to be pregnant out of wedlock, so men have naively continued to hand
the issue of birth control over to their partners.
While it's the responsibility of both parties to insure against
conception, males are easily seduced and infinitely more vulnerable
to getting entrapped than they believe--particularly
when their voiced concerns/queries are met with assurances that, “it’s
safe.” Think this won't happen to you? Think again!
with agendas to have children give men no say in this matter, and
are often looking for a ‘free ride’ in terms of financial support.
They could harbor significant abandonment wounds from
childhood that cause them to frantically grasp at opportunities for
emotional security, so having a man’s baby insures that
he cannot sever all ties with her, if he needs to leave.
But ask yourself this; would an emotionally sound
female want to keep a guy around, knowing he doesn't want to be there?
Conception doesn’t “just happen,” and with very few exceptions (such
as rape) I’ve always believed that if a woman is clear about not
wanting to conceive or mother a child, she won’t. Ambivalence
is too often the cause of unwanted and 'unplanned' pregnancies--but
tragically, the children of these mishaps suffer most, as
they're the unwitting victims of unstable relational dynamics that
began long before they were born.
woman (straight or gay) who yearns to have a baby and is
equipped to provide a loving/stable home for this child, may adopt
or use the services of a fertility doctor or clinic. My point is,
this is a conscious adult choice, which entails accepting
full financial and emotional responsibility for this decision. But
when a couple's
faced with an unintended pregnancy and they disagree about
keeping it, neither should be forced to pay the
terrible, life-altering price for this occurrence! Inequities may
always exist between females and males in every society--but in my
view, this one's the most hideous. Until our legal system
mandates that women are equally financially
responsible for these "accidents," men will continue to
be brutalized by governing bodies that persistently ignore this travesty.
Furthermore, if we sanction a woman's "right to choose,"
how is it even remotely fair that
a man's denied this same liberty?
you own a penis and haven't had a vasectomy--that pistol is loaded,
and can get you entrapped! Men aren't the only ones reading
this piece, and it can function like a how-to manual for females who
have no scruples. You must be wise, and very cautious with
the disposal of your ejaculate.
determined to impregnate themselves without a partner’s
consent, lack adult emotional development--which means their capacity
for empathy (ability to identify with another's feelings
and needs) is extremely limited. Accompanying moral deficits allow
them to premeditate conception, which is diabolical, unconscionable
behavior that's akin to criminal theft. Financially
successful men are especially at risk for entrapment, but
in no way is this issue confined to specific socioeconomic
status. Our legal system does not discriminate, even when your substantial
monthly child support payments are going to a female who has; stopped
taking her birth control pills, lied to you about where she was in
her monthly cycle, told you she's infertile or has never wanted
kids, perforated her own supply of prophylactics, or inserted
the contents of discarded condoms to impregnate
herself with your sperm! Any of these actions is a
prelude to extortion. A client of mine was once
involved with a woman who actually stated she was going to “steal
a baby" from him! She was engaged to marry somebody else
at that time, and was having sexual relations with other
men--but genetic testing revealed that this child was his. This man
has made significant financial and emotional contributions to his
son’s life to solidify their bond; he's chosen to be a loving/involved
parent, despite the mother's consistent attempts to alienate
their child from him.
Still, this experience has been deeply troubling and life-changing
on many levels. Before you do anything, demand paternity
testing, and make sure that baby is yours!
not every female who conceives outside of wedlock has done
so deliberately, but there are various options for someone who has
accidentally become pregnant, or thinks she may have--in fact, the
morning-after pill was developed in direct response to these
The morning-after pill is effective for up to 72 hours
after intercourse. The abortion
pill (RU486) non-surgically terminates pregnancies of 4
to 9 weeks duration.
Alternatives to surgical or non-surgical abortion include surrogacy
or adoption arrangements made through attorneys who specialize
in finding responsible, loving couples who desperately want to be
parents, but cannot conceive. While abortion can be a painful consideration
for both parties, most men will readily accept financial
responsibility for the cost of this procedure, and many are sensitive
to their partner's very difficult, but sane choice. If you've suddenly
found out you have a child, this new legal statute may help;
INFATUATION & BONDAGE
man who's caught in the clutches of a borderline disordered female
feels ebullient when things are “good” between them, and miserable
when they’re not. He’ll come to think of her like a drug
he can’t live without, because he feels alive and buoyant when she’s
loving, attentive and available, and empty and tortured when she’s
indifferent, detached or cruel. Periods of disengagement
may cause him to obsessively long for her return, and resort to elaborate
strategies to re-engage her--but this pursuit has no happy ending.
matter how gorgeous she is, this woman is insecure and hypersensitive
to any hint of abandonment (real or imagined), but
terrified of attachment. This means, she's incapable
of sustaining an intimate connection--but if she suspects
you're slipping away or distancing, she'll become highly focused
on luring you back (whether you matter to her or
not)! In the early phase of this romance you'll be captivated,
and intrigued with her intensity--but over time,
her behaviors can feel either suffocating or
not uncommon for a female with borderline traits to conceive, in order
to speed-up the tempo/pacing of her relationship, and secure a commitment
of marriage. If her boyfriend's an essentially good-hearted/responsible
guy, he might respond dutifully to this
predicament, by “doing the honorable thing” and marrying. But inherent
in this choice are substantial risks, as regardless of how attached
he is to this woman, he’ll always feel a level of resentment (whether
he admits it or not) throughout the course of their relationship.
In truth, his choice to have a child has been stolen
from him, and whether or not he feels ready or equipped to be a parent,
he must accommodate this immense life change. If
he musters the courage to express his concerns and feelings, he risks
being shamed with accusations of not loving his partner enough
to "really commit" to her.
emotional commitment to a woman and a commitment to fatherhood are
two distinctly separate issues! Two wrongs don't make a right,
and sharing a child with someone, can be a more lenient sentence than
with a woman you don't really want to be with, and cannot trust. Starting
marriage with a baby on-board, means the honeymoon's over.
There are unfathomable adjustments--including significant
changes in a couple’s sexual
that can put tremendous strain on a new/developing relationship,
and sour it very quickly. After the baby's
born--or even during pregnancy, a man’s buried resentments often surface,
and he may act-out these repressed feelings by having affairs,
or exiting this relationship emotionally or physically.
Men who've been trapped into fatherhood are forced to somehow reconcile
their inner conflicts surrounding this--and many face character assassination
for infidelities, or leaving at the "worst possible
entrapment doesn't only happen with single women, by the
way. Plenty of men have been kept from leaving highly conflictual
marriages when their partner has "accidentally" conceived.
The Borderline has a sixth sense about when you've got one foot out
the door--and may use this sly tactic to keep you from moving toward
divorce! Whether married or not, the choice to have a child should
always be agreed upon by both, or it's not a partnership.
THE 'OTHER WOMAN' IS REALLY YOUR DREAMGIRL??
borderline disordered female can be prone to having romantic liaisons
with married or attached men. These relationships provide thrilling
intensity, by prompting dramatic sensations of longing/yearning for
someone who's just beyond her grasp. This type of romance
perfectly fits her emotional profile;
it allows her to seduce you and feel close, without triggering her
might even echo girlhood experiences of growing up with a
dad who indulged in extramarital affairs that kept him away from home,
and her. In a sense, being the "other
woman" strangely compensates for childhood deficits in appropriate
paternal affection, and gratifies her need to be the most
alluring, compelling focus in a man's life. Once this need is satisfied,
a Borderline's immediate abandonment concerns are eased--but when
a man leaves his existing relationship and actually becomes available,
he loses his value (and appeal) to her. For this kind of
woman, it's all about The Chase. A Borderline's sense of Self is predicated
on her ability to manipulate your desire and emotions; when a
seduction challenge comes to an end, so does
her capacity to reinvigorate self-esteem--at least until the next
elusive lover is found.
playing with a married woman, pay close attention to how
she talks about her husband and their relationship. She might tell
you he's abusive, cold or narcissistic, and that they haven't had
sex in years. I doubt you'll believe
me, but regardless of this connection you share, there's a very good
chance she'll be saying the same things to another guy one
day, about you! You may feel sad or angry she's had to endure such
a "loveless/passionless" marriage, and you'll do anything
to give her comfort, and support her efforts to get free; after all,
you've been wanting her to be yours--but this is when your
dynamic will change! Do you remember the film, Body Heat?
Think of Kathleen Turner's character, Maddie as an example
of a coupled Borderline.
reasonably sane woman will abandon her children, or expect you to
leave yours! If she's leaving a marriage, that's one thing--if she's
leaving her kids behind, that's quite another. Think of it this way;
if she can walk away from her own child, how secure
do you think you'll be in this relationship??
THE TWIG IS BENT, SO GROWS THE TREE.
Borderline may have learned early in life, that sex
affords her the sense of mastery and control she desperately
seeks--but given inherent attachment difficulties, she could be more
inclined to use you, than love you. There may well have been
sexual abuse or incest in her background,
which is often not remembered--but
fuels her fascination with men who are already involved with, or married
to another. She could easily have grown up being the object of her
mother's jealousy, which inhibited genuine parental concern for her
safety and well-being, and as a child she may have repeatedly heard;
"If you hadn't been born, my life would have been much better!"
It's incredibly sad and shocking to even imagine
that a Borderline's mother could ignore or sanction
her daughter's sexual abuse, to keep a spouse/partner closer to home.
Substantial lapses in childhood memory are frequently attributed
episodes that occurred during physical/emotional violations.
The Borderline Mother is often envious of her child's achievements
or successes, and may be flirtatious/seductive with her daughter's
romantic interests. She may have no compunctions whatsoever about
stealing boyfriends/lovers from her teenage or adult child. The Borderline's
inability to forge a trusting bond with Mother, derails her capacity
to trust you (or anyone else).
variety of betrayals in childhood have deeply fractured a Borderline's
core, and psychic trauma from this period cannot help but seriously
impact all adult relationship endeavors. A tough, self-reliant demeanor
could initially mask her fragility--but at some point, you may still
be compelled to rescue
her financially, sexually or emotionally; suicide threats and/or
attempts are not uncommon, especially when Borderline
Waif features are present. Eating disorders can be a part
of this picture, and are driven by her need to exert control over
an existence that feels like it has none. During adolescence
or early adulthood, she may have started cutting or burning herself
to escape emotional anguish; numerous body scars, piercings or tattoos
are frequently vestiges of a high threshold for, or addiction
to pain. This woman's limited capacity for empathy and impulse
control leaves you vulnerable to physical attack, as well
as psychological and emotional abuse.
you wondering if a Borderline can be a good mother? She might attain
a modicum of personal healing during her motherhood experience--but
the way she treats you (and the pets), will be much like how she'll
treat her children. They can grow up feeling confused, tormented and
insecure. If a BPD mother enmeshes
her child, he'll be likely to develop attachment/engulfment issues,
narcissistic features and pathological perfectionism. In short,
a Borderline's attachment difficulties and narcissism cannot help
but influence her capacity to form healthy bonds, even with
her kids--which leaves them impaired.
LIES AND VIDEOTAPE
the novelty or intensity of a new relationship starts to settle and
you've begun orchestrating a committed life together, a Borderline
still needs to control the emotional climate between you. This can
have her picking fights or acting-out
her feelings (passive-aggressively),
rather than speaking with you about them. Once you've sensed something's
troubling her, she might respond to your attempts to discover what
that is, by replying "nothing," or
bringing up problems from ages ago--even if
previously resolved. Avoidant maneuvers support emotional
cut-off and interrupt any closeness you may have gained, reinforcing
the chasm between you. When authentic intimacy is derailed, her false-self
has opportunity to reseduce you after each episode of turbulence.
In an ongoing relationship where she cannot win you over or steal
you from another's arms, fighting with
you creates the 'distance' she needs, to mollify internal tension
surrounding attachment. Want to see this aspect of borderline behavior
in action? Rent HBO's TELL ME YOU LOVE ME.
who allow themselves to believe that marrying a woman
will finally put an end to her constant "nagging" and pressure,
are sorely disappointed in the aftermath of their nuptials. While
the topic of her discontent changes, the pattern of conflict
does not! Borderlines often approach the subject of marriage prematurely;
when there's been limited opportunity to build real
trust, your self-preservation instincts should
be on full alert. Even if you're nuts about this woman, you'll start
feeling uneasy--and this is completely natural. You may require a
bit of time alone, so you can come to terms with these conversations
and what they might mean to you, but this could set off a firestorm.
Beware that this woman could use marriage as the deal-breaker
in your relationship, and wield it as an ultimatum--especially
if she thinks you're slipping away, or she's becoming interested in
your Borderline thinks that you're failing to meet her expectations
professionally, emotionally and/or sexually, her diminishing comments
and frequent haranguing can have you questioning your self-worth.
You might be willing to endure this emotional abuse, in order to maintain
the bond you share with her, or your child/children--but the cost
to your overall health can be considerable! If you decide
to save yourself and leave, her attempts to entice you back might
become pitifully desperate/hysterical--she could even threaten to
KILL herself, if you don't return! This
is the ultimate emotional blackmail, which
could be used to influence your behavior--but resist feeling flattered.
These frantic measures are very primitive reflexes
that are being triggered by overwhelming needs, which have nothing
to do with you! If your chaos reaches this extent,
urge her to see a mental health professional.
aware that during a breakup or separation, your absence
may force her to confront sensations of emptiness and/or self-loathing,
and this can happen within a very short period. She'll usually re-engage
when this psychic pain becomes unbearable, or she's wanting/needing
something from you--but this is always according to her
terms and timing. Typically,
the more you try to bridge this gap, the longer you'll
have to wait for any contact!
You should anticipate that during (relatively brief) episodes of reconnection
or reunion, she’ll have shifted back to her ‘adoring’ behavior (making
you wonder why the heck you left in the first place!), until your
next minor infraction sets her off again, and this cycle repeats.
There's often no reference to the previous upset, for which you will
feel grateful--but more confused. You're not weak, you've
simply been manipulated by a highly skilled, experienced actress.
not too surprising, many of these women are celebrities
who are almost constantly in the public eye. They thrive on media
attention, because it feeds/relieves
their core emptiness,
which is the function of any addiction. For some, magnanimous/charitable
gestures have brought them worldwide acclaim, and gratified their
unquenchable need for adulation. But even when press coverage
is prompted by 'negative' circumstances, the details of this exposure
are considerably less important to a Borderline, than keeping her
image in the forefront of your mind! In essence, The Media
has become her primary lover, and if/when attention from
this relationship wanes, she can literally feel unworthy
and invisible. These extremely difficult sensations are reminiscent
of childhood abandonment despair, that's impossible to tolerate. Compulsions
to self-medicate during these episodes can prompt drug
and/or alcohol abuse, overeating,
self-mutilation, shopping sprees, sexual affairs, etc. Along these
same lines, Borderlines are notorious for using
to deflect their pain. You could be agonizing over how she's managed
to replace you so quickly and easily, but it's pretty common
for a woman with borderline traits to begin a new romance, before
she lets go of you! Don't expect her to admit to this--she never will.
I CRAZY, OR IS IT HOT AND COLD IN HERE?
Borderlines are exceptionally bright, they're usually capable of convincing
you that it's your fault or shortcoming, which has
ruptured the relationship. You may be tempted to buy into this, even
when overwhelming evidence is stacked against her argument, and you're
unequivocally certain she's wrong. Her brilliant (but twisted) logic
and verbal dexterity can distort facts and details, to where her perceptions
actually make sense to you, even if her statements are
completely contradictory from one day to the next! You might doubt
yourself at these times, and begin questioning if you're going crazy.
These sensations are directly related to spending time with
someone whose psychic/emotional health is (at best) precariously balanced.
are no ‘grey areas' or middle-ground perspectives with these
women. Within the lexicon of borderline pathology, 'splitting'
is a commonly used clinical term that describes their pattern
of alternating between idealizing or devaluing perceptions
and behaviors. Borderline psyches are very delicate; they’re incapable
of maintaining a sense of you as a whole individual
who may have shortcomings, but who's basically loving and good. In
their world, events and people are perceived as black
or white (all good or all bad), so they either love you or
hate you. You might spend a lot of time and energy trying to get back
into a Borderline’s good graces by making promises you can’t necessarily
keep--but none of this will matter anyway, the next time she decides
to punish you for a perceived transgression, by stepping
could assume that if you “tried a little harder” to love or please
her, the desirable facets you've glimpsed at various times will be
more consistently available to you. They won’t. In
truth, the closer you
get, the more she's compelled to push you away! The diagnostic
term, “Borderline” derives from the expression
'borderline crazy,' and describes someone who's dangerously near the
edge of psychosis. Ever tried to help her
view an issue rationally, and felt like you just can't win? You're
attempting to reason with someone whose emotional age is about three
years old. Don't expect this to change.
can leave solid, long-term attachments/marriages very suddenly. You'll
be feeling shocked and bewildered by this--particularly when she cites
frustrations or problems you were never made aware of, to justify
her abrupt departure. You might vacillate between numbness and tormenting
confusion, but what's even worse, is she'll have you thinking you're
responsible for this outcome! When you've done virtually everything
to keep her satisfied and happy throughout this relationship (which
has included putting your personal needs and desires aside to accommodate
hers), you're left only with a sense of sheer exhaustion,
longing and deep betrayal. Are you getting angry yet??
mood lability could have been diagnosed as a Bipolar
Disorder. You might presume that this is the source of
her erratic behaviors--but this mood disorder may be only half
of a dual diagnosis, that includes Borderline Personality
Disorder. Personality disorder traits are difficult to identify during
a psychiatric evaluation, as they're substantially more complex than
clinical issues--and acting-out behaviors typically show up after
you're perceived to be their emotional mainstay. Mood regulating medications
can help alleviate some instability, but this is seldom just
a chemical imbalance.
CONQUER AND CONTROL
Borderline typically feels threatened by meaningful connections you
have with others. She could be jealous of the closeness you share
with your kids, your family, your friends, your therapist, your hairdresser,
etc., as these (trusted) relationships trigger deeply held abandonment
concerns. Whether these feelings are stated or not, you'll sense a
level of tension that signals her discomfort. The ugly reality
is, if she's successful in separating you from sources that are nourishing
and supportive, her power over you is amplified.
The Borderline mother often exerts this kind of influence over her
children's associations as well, even to the extent of pitting
them against each other, and/or driving a wedge between them and their
father. A Borderline's child may develop emotionally crippling enmeshment
issues (inability to discern and separate feelings/needs belonging
either to the parent or the Self), for he/she grows up feeling responsible
for the mother's moods and survival.
TOO LONG AT THE FAIR
wife with borderline features might intensely focus on her children
(or yours from a prior marriage). Her devoted attention to
them and their needs could appear wholesome and healthy--but may actually
provide convenient excuses for avoiding closeness and connection
with you! If you're patiently awaiting the day when your children
are grown, and hoping to share more sexual/emotional intimacy when
the nest is finally empty, this is a fantasy that may never be realized.
It's very common in fact, for a couple's conflicts to escalate
during this time, due to fewer "distractions."
takes a fair amount of courage/fortitude to leave
a Borderline, and scores of men never do. Your motivation might finally
come from recognizing that this 'prize' isn't worth the 'price'
you're paying to remain. Some men develop a secret plan for their
escape, in response to many years of having to fear
their partner's emotional and/or physical volatility. This is certainly
not the best or most advisable way to exit
this relationship, but the sad reality is, it could be your safest
your torment may continue in the aftermath of this coupling,
as her sense of self-worth is generally tied to remaining connected;
this can take the form of solicitous contact after numerous months
or years. She may be flirtatious with you even
after you've become involved with another, which speaks to her
lack of boundaries. Disappointment
or dissatisfaction with her current affair can trigger phone
calls or unplanned/impromptu visits with you. If you've gotten a lot
of 'hang-ups' on your answering machine or voicemail, these could
be the unrestrained, juvenile impulses of someone who's underdeveloped.
At some point, you'll probably have to set firm limits and parameters
with this woman concerning acceptable behaviors (as you would with
a small child), as she's incapable of discerning them for
issues typically attract intense media exposure, because of their
sensationalistic or bizarre nature. Headline stories about women or
men engaging in self-sabotaging/foolish behaviors at great risk
to their personal and professional lives, are frequently generated
by borderline disordered individuals. Whether we're hearing of teachers
having sexual relations with their students or a wife severing her
husband's genitals, we're observing a lack of impulse control that's
associated with borderline pathology. Are you feeling
incredulous or shocked by incidents reported in the news?? You're
likely hearing about the repercussions of someone living
with this disorder.
HATH NO FURY LIKE A BORDERLINE SCORNED.
the aftermath of a love affair or marriage, her statements to you
may be cleverly disguised as benign (or even caring), but you could
experience them as castrating, just the same. Make no mistake, this
is part of her vindictive nature at work, and it's intentional. It
really doesn't matter who left whom, your Borderline is furious
you've 'abandoned' her, and may derive more satisfaction from getting
back at you, than getting you back! She could retaliate with
favorable comments about a new love (whether true or not),
to fortify her stance that it's "all your fault"
this relationship failed. She's invested in having you think that,
"no other man would disappoint (her) in the
ways you have, nor even imagine letting go of such a trophy!"
While her words may be shaming, you could still be inclined to
believe you need her
back, despite the difficulties you've struggled with
before. She's very smart; she knows if she challenges your manhood
and makes you feel guilty/bad enough about yourself, you'll be compelled
to try and make it right (if only to salvage your poor, trampled ego).
wife/girlfriend is magnificent. She could have the most exquisite
body and face you've ever had the pleasure of being with--which makes
the notion of walking away, inconceivable. This woman's physical beauty
alone, can heighten your sexual enthusiasm and erotic responses, to
where you fear you'll never be able to replicate these intense
sensations with another. This presents an understandable quandary,
but there's often a deeper issue; for the first time, you may have
finally come to trust that you're worthy of such a treasure, which
is the insidious hook that's kept you ensnared beyond all instinct
and reason, and prevents you from moving on.
might feel excruciating shame and regret, as your Borderline throws
herself into a rebound relationship, and leaves you behind.
Your obsessive response to this, is acutely tied to self-worth
issues you've been battling and compensating
for, since childhood. Whether these boyhood difficulties are consciously
held or not, they've actually enabled this woman to control
and manipulate your self-image throughout this entire relationship.
While this tormenting pain you're feeling is (in part) due to the
scabs being torn off some early esteem wounds, you must
try to remember; the exact same patterns that you
wrestled with during this relationship, will be repeated with other
suitors. In other words, this broken doll you discarded, will
not miraculously become normal/well with some other guy who pulls
her out of the dumpster! Her disturbing, disruptive patterns
are associated with deeply entrenched survival mechanisms.
Without skilled intervention, she just can't help herself.
mostly remember the good times, even though you've taken
some heavy hits to your self-esteem, and the bruising hasn't completely
healed--but a word of caution is imperative here: After
a significant break-up, any (unclothed) reunion puts you at serious
risk for entrapment, no matter what she says to the contrary!
She's now painfully aware you're capable of leaving, and
may do whatever's necessary to insure that this never
happens again. You've managed to dodge a bullet. Try not to tempt
DANGEROUS LIAISONS AND MOVING FORWARD
If you're divorced and share children together, it's virtually impossible
to avoid some level of contact, but it often feels punishing
or toxic. This type of woman will try to wound you
in the most damaging and sadistic ways imaginable, which frequently
means turning your children against you. If she makes them think she's
been victimized by your "brutal, volatile or abusive" nature
(and she's a good actress, remember?), she'll inspire their sympathy
and protection. Over time, they may literally be programmed
to distrust and despise you. Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS)
is very common among Borderline mothers, but it's a tragic, no-win
situation for all concerned. Your ex's consistent brainwashing methods
compromise your child's capacity to build self-esteem, and forge solid/balanced
relationships in adulthood. PAS inhibits children's ability to maintain
healthy perceptions of the alienated parent as loving and good (which
is damaging enough)--but on far deeper levels, it
instills shame and self-loathing they may struggle with the rest of
their lives, especially for any father's son; "If my Dad's
bad, then so am I."
more your ex-wife erodes the connection between you and your children,
the more she (and they) may vilify you for "neglecting"
them. Under these conditions, you could feel damned if you see them,
and damned if you don't! If you're a man who's felt hopelessly trapped
in the frustration and pain this kind of situation invokes, your rage
is completely understandable.
material is not intended to suggest that Borderlines or those with
BPD traits are bad people; many have extraordinary attributes
and qualities that keep men from surrendering these relationships.
But a borderline disordered woman may be badly damaged, due to unresolved
childhood wounds; it is this
damage that influences/inhibits interactions and activities
like your sex life (particularly after marriage),
and deters healthy, harmonious unions. It's crucial you realize,
that many of these individuals have survived emotional traumas and
setbacks that fostered a sense of desperation--and desperate people
do desperate things (just ask any man who's been stalked
by one!). In the 1987 film, Fatal Attraction,
Michael Douglas portrays a married man who's initially captivated,
then tormented by a Borderline (Glenn Close's character),
and you should see this movie, or view it again. Any woman with borderline
features can destroy your livelihood, and turn your world upside-down.
One who's diagnosable with Borderline Personality Disorder
is capable of heinous crimes, which may include murdering her own
children, or you.
women are often attracted to narcissistic men, and vice-versa. The
reasons for this are
numerous--but in terms of the core difficulties that both
have sustained, these personality dynamics allow each partner to side-step
genuine intimacy, for which they are equally ill-equipped.
A female with borderline traits has the remarkable ability to perfectly
mirror her partner's attributes (and fuel his grandiosity),
without invoking his engulfment fears. Her intermittent
loving interactions are offset by distancing behaviors. These
alternating patterns draw him close (but not too
close), and nearly always leave him wanting more;
this of course, gratifies her need to manipulate his desire,
and accommodates his need to maintain 'safe' emotional proximity.
you've ever fallen in love with a Borderline, you could come away
from this experience having lost your trust in women--but also, in
yourself. In my view, this is the most tragic consequence
of these relationships. Everything you've grown up believing you
should want in a female, has come into question during the time
it has taken you to survive and recover from, this emotionally
wrenching affair. Along similar lines of a post-traumatic stress reaction,
you're no longer able to feel confident that your perceptions and
instincts will serve and protect you. In short, you're left with considerable
scars--and while your head might tell you that not all
women are going to wreak such havoc, your heart is never
again quite sure. Later on in life, you might be willing to take another
risk, but hurtful memories start to replay each time you contemplate
loving again--and you could talk yourself out of
it, before you've even begun. Part of this pain that's remaining is
primitive, meaning it touches on very old/deep layers within
you. Why else would you have such difficulty getting close
to someone? More than a few men have told me, they've realized that
they married their mother; relational dynamics with a borderline
wife or girlfriend paralleled their earliest frustrations, and some
of her traits seemed strangely familiar, or like "coming home."
Personality Disorder is not a gender specific issue. This
problem is related to attachment difficulties between a mother and
her infant, which lay the groundwork for unstable relationship patterns
in adult females and males. In men, this disturbance generally
presents as narcissism,
but the male Borderline can alternate between a Dr. Jekyll - Mr.
Hyde temperament, and is susceptible to acquiring a Casanova
Complex. This man has similar traits described above;
women may find his uniquely open nature and candid self-revelations
irresistible--but like his female counterpart, he shuts down
as soon as he senses you're His! Casanova typically engages in a pattern
of extramarital or adulterous affairs if he's coupled--and if he's
single, there's an ongoing series of seductions or brief love
'em and leave 'em encounters. This control issue stems
from emotional deficits in boyhood, that spawned a deep distrust of
women; he may be openly misogynistic, or secretly despise them.
is a complex disorder that can take a considerable amount of time
to dismantle or repair, even with specialized therapeutic intervention.
You are not equipped to heal your woman, but if she's open/receptive
to sensitive, ongoing psychodynamic treatment, your love and patience
can be part of her reparative process. Does it seem like you're mostly
drawn to dysfunctional or dangerous women? Issues that have driven
these disappointing choices can be resolved. You
can expect to gain important tools and essential insights in this
process, that will help you build healthier, more gratifying relationships.
you have an iPhone, iPad or iPod this app will let you hear
was the very first piece I wrote about Borderlines, and I'd truly
never intended to write anything additional about this topic. My other
BPD articles were inspired by a virtual avalanche of people who related
to this material, and contacted me for help to recover.
here, to determine if you're in an abusive relationship!
sessions are available. If you're wrestling with a difficult relationship
or trying to recover from one, or your fraternity/group wants
me to speak on this topic, call me in L.A. (323) 936-3637 or
N.Y. (646) 415-9369. Access my Borderline
Personality Forums to
read others' experiences with BPD.
MY BPD LOVER BE RIGHT ABOUT ME??
DEATH DO US PART - BPD and The Marriage Crucible
WE MET BEFORE? The Borderline/Narcissist Couple
women; learn about the
has linked to my BPD male article and this one, under "top websites"
for Borderline Disorder.
Glenn Sacks is a talk radio host
who champions men's and father's rights. Dr. Stephen Johnson (of The
Men's Center) and I discussed Dangerous Women & Fatal Attractions
during the last half of Glenn's radio broadcast on 1/18/04.
To listen to that show, you can Google Shari
Schreiber and locate this link pretty easily, or go to Glenn's website;
www.HisSide.com and look up the (archived) broadcast that aired on
reading: Understanding The Borderline Mother; Helping
Her Children Transcend the Intense, Unpredictable and Volatile Relationship,
by Christine Ann Lawson, PhD. Lawson's book delineates four Borderline
sub-types; the Waif, Queen, Witch and Hermit. Each type basically
has a central or primary temperament, but may also have combined
features. The Waif will seem helpless/fragile, the Queen is demanding/controlling/envious,
the Witch is rageful/sadistic, and the Hermit is
may phone for assistance, but I do not offer online/written
therapy. Only emails under 150 words are
read, due to time constraints. Please be clear/concise, and expect
a straight answer within four to six weeks.
Shari and Get Session Details
PsychSavant at Twitter.com
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2014, Shari Schreiber, M.A. All Rights Reserved.