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Q: Women who always want more ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   4 Comments )
Subject: Women who always want more
Category: Relationships and Society > Relationships
Asked by: liebesfrage-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 13 Aug 2006 09:17 PDT
Expires: 12 Sep 2006 09:17 PDT
Question ID: 755542
Is this a recognized syndrome?  What is it called?
A man and woman have a relationship.  No matter how giving and loving the
man is, the woman wants even more, and if at some point for emotional or
practical reasons, he is unable to give more, or not right then, she
becomes angry, calls him unloving, and threatens him.  This occurs over 
and over.  I have been told that the woman's behavior is a certain syndrome 
(but I don't know the name of it) and I would like to research it.  Is it, 
and do you know the name?  Thank you for any help!

Clarification of Question by liebesfrage-ga on 13 Aug 2006 09:26 PDT
I should add that it is a discreet relationship.

Request for Question Clarification by czh-ga on 13 Aug 2006 10:59 PDT
Hello liebesfrage-ga,

When you say it's a "discreet relationship" do you mean that he's
married and she's supposed to stay a secret? I think this is a drama
that has been portrayed in plays, novels, movies and other fictional
stories from time immemorial. Just wondering.

~ czh ~

Clarification of Question by liebesfrage-ga on 13 Aug 2006 12:01 PDT
The man is married and the woman is married, but separated from her husband, 
and has been living with another man for about 6 years.  
The man and the woman have been involved, more or less intensely, for
12 years. Of course situations like I described in my question have
been the subject of fiction.  But here there is a difference, it seems,
in the intensity of the woman's behavior: she very quickly feels unloved
(for instance, within 24 hours of the most loving attentions), and she
reacts by threatening to tell the man's wife unless the man shows by
immediately scheduling the next meeting that he continues to love and 
cherish her.  In addition, the woman periodically asks the man for significant
amounts of money to pay for career advancement (she is a poet), also under
threat of disclosure.  I forgot to mention that she charges him for each

At several junctures in the relationship, the man has become so frustrated
with this behavior that he desired the relationship to end.  The woman
permitted it to end, but only upon payment of what she calls an "exit fee".

The "glue" that keeps the relationship going is that both are extremely
attracted to each other, apparently.  So that, even after it "ends", as
above, after some months the man contacts the woman again, she does not
reject the contact, and it starts up again.  The man says he keeps hoping
the woman will change.  He wants her to stop "escalating", to understand
the limits of his situation, and to enjoy what they have without so much

To return to the question: does the woman's behavior constitute a recognized
syndrome?  The woman is or has been under psychiatric care.  She 
had trauma as a small child: her sister died and she subsequently felt
abandoned by her mother; one of her mother's husbands enticed and may have
abused her.  The woman is very intelligent and sensitive and her poetic
ability is probably substantial (she is "emerging" as a poet); her poems
are highly personal and often reflect her early experiences.

Request for Question Clarification by sublime1-ga on 13 Aug 2006 12:45 PDT

In the simplest terms, this is known as "fear of abandonment".
Another phrase that will yield information is "attachment disorder".
This type of behavior may be exhibited as part of a more complex
syndrome such as "Borderline Personality Syndrome".

Searching for these phrases, in quotes, should yield results 
which will be helpful in recognizing this woman's behaviors
and understanding them.

Let me know where this takes you...


Clarification of Question by liebesfrage-ga on 13 Aug 2006 13:24 PDT
In response to sublime1-ga --
Google is insisting that I "respond to clarification request" but I haven't
really digested your comment.
"Fear of abandonment" certainly seems essential to the case.  The woman
has often used that very term.  Sometimes she says "fear of absence" (of the
man).  Or she refers to "being left" or "stranded".
I Googled "borderline personality disorder", though, and it seemed too
extreme.  But I'm not finished!  :-)
Thank you.

Clarification of Question by liebesfrage-ga on 14 Aug 2006 07:40 PDT
This is to sublime1-ga.
Your terms are very helpful.  The more I look at "borderline personality
syndrome", the more it looks familiar.  But also complicated, so I would
rather just mention a couple of symptoms that seem relevant.  By the way,
you have certainly answered my question, and are entitled to the price,
but I don't know how to do it.  Will you please just tell me?

I found the term "grandiosity".  The woman certainly displays something like
that.  For instance, she brags about the poets (all very well
known) that she tutors with, and how they are helping her to publish--i.e.,
her first poetry book publication--right at the top, due to their
recommendations.  In fact, in all of her (mostly failed)
as even day-trading when it was fashionable five years ago--she claimed
a certainty of success.  She is also extremely proud of her son, and of
her background--despite the fact this includes primarily her mother (now
deceased), with whom she has an ambivalent relationship to say the least.

Another term is "unempathetic".  The woman does have difficulty seeing the
man's point of view, or his reasons, instead accusing him of "deceit".
She is often adversarial instead of trying to understand.  Related, perhaps,
is the fact that a publisher, in declining to publish a collection of her
poems, said the reason was that they were "too personal", being entirely
about her own life.

One term that I found was "self-deprecating".  Perhaps I misunderstood, but
this is definitely not characteristic.  Much more characteristic would be

You might be wondering what the man sees in this woman.  It seems that when
they are together, the woman changes and feels much more secure--in fact she
calls their meetings a kind of "sanctuary", like being in a "yellow boat".
Both agree that their intimacy and feelings when actually together are
extremely close, deeper and sweeter than they have ever experienced elsewhere.

Thank you for your help.  If you have any more ideas where I should look
please let me know.  The man is asking for advice about whether to renew
the relationship, and I feel qualified only to pass on what I might find out,
since the woman seems to be pretty disturbed.
Subject: Re: Women who always want more
Answered By: sublime1-ga on 14 Aug 2006 12:09 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

I'm pleased that you found the terms I provided to be fruitful.
I'll include those comments here for the sake of future readers.
By posting in the Answer space, I will have claimed the fee, as
you noted was your wish.


In the simplest terms, this is known as "fear of abandonment".
Another phrase that will yield information is "attachment disorder".
This type of behavior may be exhibited as part of a more complex
syndrome such as "Borderline Personality Syndrome".


"Self-deprecating" was not one of the terms I used - that was
mentioned in a comment by a non-researcher, in connection with
an altogether different diagnosis. The comment was removed by
the editors because it unneccessarily included a link to the
poster's website, and was considered spam.

Self-deprecating behavior is more indicative of Dependent Personality
Disorder, as noted on this page about that diagnosis, from the
Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders:

"The diagnosis of dependent personality disorder must be
 distinguished from borderline personality disorder, as there
 are common characteristics. Borderline personality disorder is
 characterized by fear of abandonment, as well, but with feelings
 of emptiness and rage. In contrast, the dependent personality
 responds to this fear of abandonment with submissiveness, and
 searches for a replacement relationship to maintain dependency.

 Likewise, persons with histrionic personality disorder have a
 strong need for reassurance and approval, and may appear childlike
 in their clinging behavior. Histrionics are characterized by a
 gregarious demeanor and make active demands for attention, whereas
 dependents respond with docile and self-deprecating behavior."

If the woman doesn't exhibit the characteristic rage associated with
Borderline Personality Disorder, Histrionic Personality Disorder may
be another diagnosis to explore, as it includes demanding behaviors.

Note that it is also unique in that it is often associated with above
average physical appearance:

When you mention the terms "immodest" and "grandiosity", another
diagnosis that comes to mind is Bipolar Disorder, or Manic-Depressive
Disorder. This disorder is often accompanied by symptoms such as an
unusually high sex-drive and grandiose assertions and behaviors,
along with characteristic mood swings, from severe depression to 
manic episodes which may include compulsive spending or other
compulsive behaviors, seductive behaviors, and the feeling that 
one can accomplish anything:

This didn't require much in the way of research for me, since I have
25+ years experience in the field of mental health, but if you need
further assistance in refining your searches, I'll be happy to help.

liebesfrage-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
Very helpful.  I have confidence in the answerer.  The diagnosis is incomplete
because my information is incomplete, yet the answerer tells me what factors
would allow him/her to crispen the diagnosis.  I will continue in the form
of a follow-on question (which I hope is possible).

Subject: Re: Women who always want more
From: tisme-ga on 13 Aug 2006 09:22 PDT
I think both male and females always want more. It is human nature.

Subject: Re: Women who always want more
From: pinkfreud-ga on 13 Aug 2006 12:06 PDT
This kind of behavior certainly isn't unique to women. When I was
single, I had several relationships with men who became increasingly
needy and demanding. Narcissistic personality disorder is an easy
diagnosis to make in such cases, but I'm not very keen on categorizing
Subject: Re: Women who always want more
From: sublime1-ga on 14 Aug 2006 22:12 PDT

Thanks very much for the 5 stars and the tip. If you'd like to
have me personally address your followup question, just include
my username in the question title, as in "For sublime1-ga...".
I'll keep my eyes peeled.

Subject: Re: Women who always want more
From: magneta-ga on 05 Nov 2006 14:04 PST
If she charges him for each meeting and continues to request more
meetings, the word for her would be "prostitute." Other words that may
apply to her are "extortionist," "blackmailer," and "very good actress
who has convinced a man that she is in love with him, when in fact
she's just making very good money off of the deal."

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