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4/14 Interactive Board: Codependent Partners

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Update to Brawny Guy's Tale

Update: To Brawny Guy's Tale

“There is no man so low that the cure for his condition does not lie strictly within himself.”
-Thomas L. Masson

May 7, 2003

Guess who send an update to his original 2/5 submission? Steven from Brawny Guy's Tale. Sounds like Steven learned quite a lot...

Here goes:

Hello Dr. Irene.

This is Steven, "Brawny Guys Tale."

Just an update and some closure about my past relationship....

 My ex-fiancé started dating again, going to counseling and things went well.  We decided to start together again and, at her pleading, we did another move-in.  It went down-hill fast.  She pleaded with me, crying that she would do ANYTHING to avoid another fight.  Looking back, that was a laugh.  Although my head knew that this was NOT going to work, my heart was still in love with her and I wanted to make sure that I did EVERYTHING I could to make this work without compromising myself.

Five days after the move-in, she went right back to her old pattern.

In one incident we were sitting on the couch and she was drinking.  She looked at me, almost crying saying "You have no idea just how much I love you!"  I said "I know honey, I love you too."  I got up to use the bathroom and when I came back to sit down she glared at me and then said "You SOB.  You are so high and mighty and think you know everything!"  I was shocked to see her go from "I love you" to "You are an SOB" in less than sixty seconds.  I said "Honey, what's wrong?  What have I done?"  She went on with crying, anger, profanity, etc.

I walked to the back door, not saying a word, and got on my motorcycle.  She was following me the whole time, yelling, screaming, and carrying on.  I got on my bike, started it and she stood in front of it so I could not leave calling me all kinds of names and yelling.  I looked at her and said "I have no idea what your problem is, but you HAVE to quit drinking and get some help."  Then she slapped me.  I was shocked and backed the bike up and got out of there as quick as I could.  I stayed with my sister that night and when I came back the kitchen was destroyed, food all over the floor, dishes smashed and she literally ripped the door off the microwave.  Again, she is 5 feet and 100lbs!  She had passed out on the couch and when she woke-up; she said "What did we argue about last night?"  I said "I have no idea, but this must end now."  We agreed that we still loved each other but that she and I cannot get along and that it would be better if we got help and lived apart (I wanted her out of my house, but I wanted to do it in a 'nice' way).  Well, we set a time-table up of two weeks for the move-out but she played a PERFECT mate for the next week and worked her charms on me and I agreed to take her to a bike rally and see if we could work things out.  Yea, I know.  We went and as usual when we go out, she dresses very sexy.  To make a long story short (if that’s possible), I caught her in the arms of another man behind my back while we were there.  We were camping and while I was asleep she decided to be with another. I stranded her there, not wanting to be around her and resolved that it was over.

She called me the next day and said "What is your problem, I have done nothing wrong.  You left me stranded here without money and without you"  OK, and I was born yesterday.  I was very angry at having kept giving her chance after chance for us to work things out and here she does THIS and then says I HAVE DONE NOTHING WRONG!  I still have anger over this besides the pain of loss of someone you loved.  Needless to say, I am staying the course, taking the high road and going to counseling.

 After putting a boot to her to tell her to get out, I did some research on the internet with her symptoms as was blown-away by what I found: "Histrionic Personality Disorder."  It completely describes her:

 "Excessively Emotional
People with histrionic personality disorder may have rapid shifts of emotion that may seem artificial. They may overreact emotionally or sexually to situations. They can be very manipulative, using emotional explosions to get their way.

 Attention seeking behavior
Individuals with this disorder have an intense craving for attention and feel uncomfortable when they are not the center of attention. They often dress flamboyantly or wear outrageous hairstyles. They may dress or act very sexually in an attempt to gain attention.


They are very impressionable. People with this disorder are overly trusting and gullible. They often follow the latest trends in fashion, music, etc. They will also form beliefs with little evidence and defend these beliefs passionately.  

People with histrionic personality disorder are usually vain and self-absorbed. They have superficial relationships and their speech and emotional expression lack genuine feeling. 

 Concerned with presentation
Their personalities may change from situation to situation in an attempt to look more attractive to whomever is present.

 Some people with this disorder function with relatively few problems in society. Other, more severe cases, may have maladaptive behavioral patterns which cause significant difficulties in their lives. This disorder is present in about 2 to 3% of the general population and is more common among women."


WOW!  I knew she had problems, but this is HER to a "T."  She also displays symptoms of Narcissism.  My brother-in-law called her "The Chameleon" while we were a couple and know I know why based upon the above description.

She is supposed to be out by my birthday and I hope she goes or there will be legalities involved - I am threatening a Domestic Violence Injunction.  I am ready to have my life back.  I must admit this is one of the hardest things I have EVER done in my life but I WILL be strong and get this relationship over.  Its hard because she has a son that loves me so much and its hard because I really do love her, but I cannot live like this and I will not be disrespected.  But, at least I did everything I could to make it work.

 At least through it all I have learned a great deal about myself and patterns of mistakes I have made.  Once you let an important boundary get crossed, you have just compromised yourself if you let it happen again and you have no one to blame but yourself.  Only YOU can take action, not the other and you cannot control their behavior - just your own.


Dr Irene,

  Please feel free to post any of this information.  It might help someone.


Another update about me...

She was not moving any of her belongings - I think she still wanted the relationship to work and was just giving me lip-service.  She did move-out with a little help from the Sheriff's Office.  I had to serve her a trespassing warning after she had broken into my house the day after she left and stolen much property of mine, my families and my work.  Of course, now the Sheriff's Office is saying its a civil matter, not a criminal one.  And here, I always thought that if you took something that did not belong to you, it was theft. But, right now, I don't care - I just wanted her out.  My attorney can now handle the stolen property.  I now have MY life back and I thank God I got through it all and did not wind-up in jail.  It could have been much worse.  It took this break-up to learn what she was really like:  a manipulative, lying, drunken, thief.  I am wondering how I fell in love with such a woman.  All my friends approached me afterward and basically said the same thing "Thank God you got rid of her.  She was trouble."  My love for her was lost overnight when her actions and words, when sober, became obvious:  she was just out to get what she could from me and when I refused to continue the relationship she turned-on her true colors.  Sometimes I think alcoholism is an excuse for poor behavior that deep-down is there, even when sober - they just cover it up better when sober.  My counseling will now focus on making sure that I don't let this happen again as I am too good for this type of life.



Dear Steven,

Good for you! Keep up the good work! Dr. Irene