10 Hidden Lies Said about Love | The Exhausted Woman

Cupid arrows, chocolate covered cherries, cute stuffed animals, huge balloons, and red flowers have blossomed all over the stores. There is hardly a store (including gas stations) that has not been inundated with Valentine’s Day paraphernalia. But this does not represent true love. This is romantic fantasy love which is highly elusive. Unfortunately many people have twisted definitions of love born out of dysfunctional parenting, misguided youth, or hurtful connections. These erroneous perceptions of love can do significant damage to an individual, let alone the relationships. Some of the lies may even be hidden in seemingly innocent remarks. The following phrases may be familiar to anyone who has been in an abusive relationship where love is wielded as a weapon. These hidden lies can cause the destruction of a loving relationship. “I’ll show you love when you do what I ask.” Lie: Love is conditional. Lasting love is not based on a person’s performance. Rather, it is grounded in

Source: 10 Hidden Lies Said about Love | The Exhausted Woman

An Interesting Mix: Male Borderline Personality Disorder | The Exhausted Woman

Typically Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is viewed as a female disorder but it is not. Just like their female counterparts, males also have an intense and persistent fear of abandonment that permeants nearly every relationship. It could manifest in a marital or partner relationship, a father to a child relationship, or an employer to an employee relationship. Early on in life, male BPD is often confused with oppositional defiant disorder, attention deficit disorder, intermittent explosive disorder, conduct disorder, or bi-polar depression. One of the determining factors in accurately diagnosing BPD might just be that they have been previously diagnosed with most of these other disorders over the course of their life. Most male BPDs also display signs of other personality disorders. They look narcissistic when they attack others and make nearly every discussion about them. They appear anti-social in their risk-taking sexual behaviors and have a desire to shock others with their

Source: An Interesting Mix: Male Borderline Personality Disorder | The Exhausted Woman

Trouble in the Making: Personality Disorders Mixed with Depression | The Exhausted Woman

Depression has its own signs and symptoms but when mixed with a personality disorder (PD) it can be more elusive. Each PD has a different manifestation of depression with varying levels of intensity. While not all depression becomes homicidal or suicidal, the risks for this possibility are presented as a word of caution. The following are the PDs most likely to raise a red flag. Anti-Social PD (Sociopath and Psychopath): This is the hardest of the PDs to diagnose as depressed unless they want a person to know about it. So accustomed to masking true feelings or emotions, they are even able to deceive themselves. At first, to counteract the sadness, they will escalate in two main ways: criminal and sexual behavior. Both behaviors have given them pleasure in the past however the acceleration and intensification of their actions will be noticeable. Just like a drug addict with high tolerance, they need much more than before to satisfy. When that fails to achieve relief, they will isolate.

Source: Trouble in the Making: Personality Disorders Mixed with Depression | The Exhausted Woman

How Not to Cope with a Narcissist | The Exhausted Woman

Dysfunctional behavior applies to everyone. It’s not just the narcissist who is flawed in their perception and responses. The people around them frequently utilize maladjusted coping mechanisms (or defense mechanisms) in an attempt to handle the toxic situation or manage the narcissism. Here are some real life examples: An employee realizes their boss is a narcissist but idealizes their success and strives to be just like them. A child knows their parent is different, controlling, reactionary and demanding but says they are perfect. A spouse sees the narcissism but minimizes the behavior and makes excuses for it. A quick look at types of defense mechanisms, originally coined by Sigmund Freud and further developed by Anna Freud and George Eman Vaillant, reveals several which are commonly found in people who deal with narcissists. Acting out. It frequently backfires when a person expresses their frustrations to the narcissist about their narcissistic behavior. So instead, non

Source: How Not to Cope with a Narcissist | The Exhausted Woman

A Borderline’s Emotional Reaction Cycle | The Exhausted Woman

One minute everything seems fine, even happy, and then in an instant things turn. The joyful mood is quickly replaced by hurt, dramatic expression, and anger over what appears to be a small matter. After that, things escalate rapidly as accusations fly, feelings intensify, threats heighten, and absolutes accelerate. For those experiencing this for the first time, it can be shocking. For others, this pattern regularly manifests when in a relationship with a person diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). While not every person spirals to the extreme mentioned above, some do. The cycle described below is an attempt to help clear up some of the misconceptions and misunderstandings. This is a warning: If you are a person with this disorder, I’m not trying to explain you to you or to say that you even do this in the first place. Rather, this is an attempt to help the people around you understand how their reactions can contribute to the escalation. The intended audience here is

Source: A Borderline’s Emotional Reaction Cycle | The Exhausted Woman

Projective Identification: How a Narcissist Projects Their Identity on Others | The Exhausted Woman

A client walked into my office for the first time and began to describe her husband as a narcissist. They had been married for 15 years, had two children, were well established in the community, and were both very career oriented. She came across an article about narcissism and that her husband fit the profile. Not interested in getting a divorce, she wanted to learn how to manage his narcissism. But something seemed a bit off about her as she was too put together and completely lacked the usual anxious reaction that corresponds with living with a narcissist. Her appearance was immaculate, her mannerism was guarded, she shed what seemed like an obligatory tear, and within minutes she revealed her income, square footage of her house, and details of the latest European vacation. There was nothing about the kids, no admittance of even the slightest abuse, and no signs of PTSD, anxiety or depression. Then it hit me, she was the narcissist. Twisted Perception. The distorted perception of

Source: Projective Identification: How a Narcissist Projects Their Identity on Others | The Exhausted Woman

Why Marriages Fail After 25 Years | The Exhausted Woman

It’s shocking. After 25 years of marriage, a couple decides to get a divorce. From the outside looking in, things could not be any stranger. The pressures of establishing a career have subsided, the kids have grown-up (and hopefully moved out), and a desired lifestyle has been obtained. After all, surely this couple has been though just about everything and survived it. Or have they? It is precisely when a lack of distractions from career, kids, schools, and community subsides that underlying long-term issues rise to the surface. The defense mechanism of denial no longer works. Instead what is revealed is prolonged hurt, deep seeded resentment, a lack of forgiveness, virtually no real communication, and zero intimacy. A marriage falling apart after such a long duration isn’t about a lack of commitment. Rather, the dedication to staying together is what allowed the marriage to last as long as it did. Yet society vilifies the desolation. Instead of understanding and compassion for the

Source: Why Marriages Fail After 25 Years | The Exhausted Woman

The Aging Narcissist: Adding Dementia to the Mix | The Exhausted Woman

Despite what a narcissist will pontificate, even they are subject to the effects of getting older. Becoming elderly is a normal part of the developmental stage of life for most people, but not for the narcissistic. They view aging as an ultimate evil. Some will engage in ridiculous plastic surgery in an effort to look as young as they feel. Others will begin a new career while their peers are retiring. And still others will take on far younger partners. But what the narcissist can’t do is dodge the effects of dementia. As a progressive indiscriminate disorder which sometimes transforms into Alzheimer’s or other disorders, dementia effects every area of the brain in a random order. What seemed natural and habitual now becomes foreign and difficult. Memory becomes scattered and unreliable. Familiar people become strangers or even enemies that are out to get them. For the narcissist, this is completely unacceptable. Most narcissists rely heavily on their cognitive abilities as a way of

Source: The Aging Narcissist: Adding Dementia to the Mix | The Exhausted Woman

Can a Narcissist Be Remorseful, Empathetic, or Forgiving? | The Exhausted Woman

Try to point out a narcissist’s mistakes and the attack is likely to be returned with force. Expect a narcissist to show understanding during a difficult time and the conversation will quickly be turned back towards the narcissist. Ask a narcissist to forgive an error in judgement and a detailed accounting of all blunders will be recounted. Within the definition of narcissism is a lack of remorse, empathy or forgiveness. Narcissists have a fantasy view of themselves where they are all powerful, knowing, beautiful, and influential. Even when reality might prove otherwise, their distorted perception of self greatly contributes to egocentric behavior. So if everything is about them, then why does a person need to admit to wrongdoing, show compassion for others, or release the wrongs of others? In the eyes of a narcissist, they don’t. However, when it is to their advantage, a narcissist can demonstrate limited amounts of remorse, empathy or forgiveness. Here is what that looks like:

Source: Can a Narcissist Be Remorseful, Empathetic, or Forgiving? | The Exhausted Woman

How Flattery Can Be Abusive | The Exhausted Woman

It’s easy to identify bullying, intimidation, physical restraint, or molestation as abusive. But what about other, more subtle forms of abuse that seem on the surface to be kind and generous, then are not. Think of it as a mask of deception used to control, manipulate, and eventually abuse. To the outside world the mask may appear to be attractive, but to the person on the receiving end it feels like a hidden form of torture. To be clear, this is not about a compliment, it is about flattery. The difference is quite significant. A compliment is an unconditional gift of praise, whereas flattery is excessive and insincere praise given to win favor. On the surface the praise could look innocent, but in time the deception of flattery is revealed. What does this type of flattery look like? Here are a couple of examples: Flattery on the rocks – “As a wise person, you can see the wisdom in my idea.” This implies that a person is only wise as long as they see the idea as good. Flattery

Source: How Flattery Can Be Abusive | The Exhausted Woman