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My spouse doesn't care much about me...that's okay because.......

16 years ago

My husband has lost interest in me in MANY ways. Why?? Well it is always my fault...I am too nagging.......too mean......the list could go on and on. What he doesn't "own" is that he precipitates it on many occasions. The truth is, in MANY ways, it is just plain something wrong with HIM. He has no interest in making things better at all. If I bring up anything about our relationship then it is either all in my head or all my fault. He doesn't want to deal with HIS issues and I am TIRED of trying to make things better. The purpose of this posting is for those of us who are trying to slowly move on by first having an "emotional divorce". Until then, they control us in so many ways because we still CARE. For those of us trying to move on let's try this out and see if it helps! I know this may be corney! It is a way for us to realize how much good we have in our lives independent of them. They overshadow so many things in our lives by their lack of compassion, etc. I say NO MORE!!

So today........ I know my husband doesn't care much about me, but that is okay because

1) I had fun today with my kids shopping for school clothes!

2) I am enjoying hearing/watching my kids play together this evening!

Comments (86)

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    lael00--

    Men.....they just don't get it (at least most of them--not all). It is amazing to me how they are. Don't they want for more?? Your husband is scared to death to face his real emotions. He never really learned how...not your problem. I know you would help him if he would just open up a little. My guess is that in ways he will be very hurt when you leave eventhough it should of no surprise to him. He won't really get it even when you leave. Don't you wonder sometimes why they bothered to get married at all. What were they really expecting or wanting? I wonder this in my marriage a lot. Anyway, continue working on yourself (that is the only person that you can really change!!) He is who he is and nothing can change that except him. Good Luck and remember that you deserve happiness.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    You said it, men! I shouldn't say it is all men, but at least "our" men seem to all share the same outlook on love, romance, and sex. I have actually been trying to see the better lately and was even back to the old ways of convincing myself that is might be all "me". I'll run this past you and your honest opinions will be appreciated. My husband and I went to bed last night around 10:15 p.m., he always sleeps nude, I usually do not. I made it a point to remove my clothing and when he got into bed after I did he made a comment to me that something like "someone is sleeping naked tonight". I remarked, yeah, I felt like sleeping this way tonight and kind of snuggled up to him. He has a way of (he calls it playing) biting and pinching at me that leaves bruises and actually hurts and if I don't go along with it he gets mad and says that I am no fun so I played along and when he was all finished with this type of play (bit or pinched no where intimate) he just lays there. So I start to stroke his chest and arm and then ask if he would like to mess around? He makes this noise of aggrevation and says I was relaxing and about asleep. He had only just stopped pinching and biting the heck out of me 60 secs. prior. I then point blank asked if he was interested in me sexually anymore. He says yes, he is. I said then what is the problem. He says that I waited too long and I didn't touch him right and when he asked me about being nude I shouldn't have said what I said. I asked please tell me what you want so I will know because this sort of thing happens all the time and that I had needs and he just basically told me that I was the one with the problem that I wasn't making myself clear and not letting him know soon enough that that was what I wanted. Am I crazy, but rubbing on him and just being naked I would think most men would "get it". To me that is just an excuse. He sure didn't need all of this coaxing when we first got together. I realize nothing stays new forever, but this just seems ridiculous. He told me the next morning that it is my mouth that ruins things for him. I don't get it, I asked if he wanted to mess around and got turned down, then I tried to talk to him. I'm I missing something, was it my mouth as he calls it that is the turn off or is this man just so in love with himself that if I don't practically rape him and kiss his "entire" body and tell him how terrific he is he just isn't going to make the effort? I admit that I do not perform some duties that I used to (I think you get it) but he hasn't done anything like that for me in over a year. I guess I just feel like withholding some things because I don't get what I need either and there just is NO talking to him. Afterall, he doesn't want to hear my mouth. So any advice, please feel free. Otherwise, I just feel like totally withdrawing putting myself into my baby and my work and just getting through my nights home with him. The only really unfair thing is that he will get mad if I even act indifferent towards him. I am supposed to "want" him no matter what and just "get over" my low self-esteem because it isn't him it is me! Argh!!!!

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  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Of course it's your fault!

    Because it if isn't your fault, it's his.

    You went to bed nude in an attempt to entice him into some intimacy, right? You said it should have been obvious -- Well it was - that's why he reacted the way he did. The snarky comment about your being nude didn't seem to discourage you, so he tried the biting and pinching -- he knows you don't like it. But this time, you didn't protest. (Rats!) So he just rolls over and lies there. (Talk about passive agressive.) But you still don't take the hint. (Jeese! You must be really dense.) You snuggle up to him and basically force him into a corner. (Why'd you have to go and do that!?) Now he has to come up with a reason for not wanting to have sex with you. And it has to be your fault. So it's your mouth. It could just have easily been your toenails. Or your hair. Or the little freckle on your left elbow.

    Searching, I walked in your shoes for 10 long years.
    My first husband also worked out at the gym 6 days a week, had his clothes custom-made and monogramed, and, when finally backed into a corner blamed my 'cottage-cheese thighs' for the near-total lack of sex. (I was a size 8 - how bad could it have been?) All of my attempts at any type of intimacy (verbal, emotional) were met with amused derision, deflection, contempt, or even thinly-veiled disgust. Like your husband, my Ex would deliberately hurt me, then accuse me of taking it too seriously or not having a sense of humor. By hurt, I don't mean hit or shoved (I'd have had him arrested) but little things exactly like the pinching and biting that were designed to get me to change my mind if it looked like I wanted sex.

    I have walked miles in your shoes Searching, and have the battle scars to prove it.
    If you want the answer, I know what it is.
    Or you can vent away - that's your right.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thanks for that insight sweeby. I get what you are saying, except why IF they don't want to have sex with you except once in a while when it his asking (something like do you wanna get naked)? That is supposed to spark me to rip my clothes off and be ready (ready all by myself of course)do they stick around at all or on ocassion initiate sex at all. Is that so they don't look like total bad guys? Give us what "we" want. Big of him!!
    Venting helps, yes, but I want to take a stand, one where I won't come off like I always seem, emotional and just all "mouth" where I am not taken seriously. Oh, and I am to NEVER think for him. Even when the obvious slaps me across the face like a freight train, don't dare think for him!!!!

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    It's a big time CONTROL issue too... He may even want to have sex with you, but he doesn't want YOU to be able to dictate when. Plus, turning you down or making you feel worthless by not having sex with you, can keep you in line, insecure, and even more in his control.

    It's not your fault in the least bit. Some men are sort of thick, but it sounds like your husband has a lot more problems than the typical "Men are from Mars, Woman are from Venus" thing.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Sometimes he does want to have sex.
    Not the slight difference in semantics -- I said he wants to have sex, not he wants to have sex with you.
    In fact, he probably prefers to have sex without you. Nothing personal. (Re-read that -- nothing personal.)
    And it could be the reason he "asks" in the charming manner he does is so that you'll say "no" or respond less-than-enthusiastically.
    And then your response will be the trigger.
    Believe me Searching, it's not anything YOU'RE doing. Or NOT doing.
    My Ex used to ask for it every six months or so at 2:00 a.m. (Yeah, he was dreaming about me all right.)
    And he actually said to me once (after about 30 seconds) "I got mine - now you get yours!" and laughed like he genuinely thought it was clever.
    But it was clever actually, because I didn't ask for sex for a loooong time after that, which was, of course, exactly what he wanted.
    What you want is intimacy -- and that is one thing he is INCAPABLE of giving you. Ever.

    So why didn't it seem that way before marriage?
    Because he wasn't that close to you then. Or rather, you weren't that close to him. Before marriage, maintaining his "perfect facade" was realistic. You were oh-so-lucky to have 'won' him; you knew it and maybe even were 'appropriately grateful'. But now you know too much. Now he has to do damage control. Now he has to convince you that your perceptions are faulty, that your judgement is inferior, that he is right and you are wrong. Always.

    Sad to say, with him you will always seem "emotional and just all "mouth" where I am not taken seriously" because that is how he will frame your actions. Unless you manage to NOT get emotional, in which case he will frame you as "robotic" or "frigid". Or if you're serious, you could be framed as "melodramatic" or "paranoid". And why should he take you seriously when you're obviously "stupid" or "silly" or "ridiculous" -- or whatever else.

    The thing is, you're trying to change his behavior by changing yours. And generally, that's not a bad idea -- it even works to some degree with most people. But it won't work with him, because his behavior isn't really being driven by your behavior. It's driven by his own needs, which unfortunately, can't be met (for long) by another human being.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Carla35 I think you may be on to something. His whole life is about being in control of everything! I'm sure sex is just one aspect of his feeling like he is control. What I can't for the life of me figure out is how he acts so digusted when I act like I have low self esteem, he hates that in fact, but what he does and he doesn't even seem to realize is that he is tearing my self esteem apart even more. How can I be confident in myself I my husband rejects me for what I voiced to him ridiculous reasons. I told him that it was obvious I wanted sex and if he doesn't that is fine but I wasn't going along with his "rules" and protocal just to have it and I wouldn't bother him anymore and he says to me Oh, I've heard that one before. So cold showers here I come, but I am not giving in to his pathetic "do you want to get naked" when he is so horny he can't hold out anymore. Maybe that sounds like a game, and I guess it is, but at least maybe that way I will feel a "little" more in control of myself and not so stupid for giving in and feeling empty afterwards. Our baby is only 1year old, I hope I can hold out and things can truly change for the better for her. I have a strategy for me... I want to start going to the gym (will ignore him there) even if I make twice in a week that is better than nothing, maybe excercise at home and start eating better, at least I think I feel like I am "doing" something for me and who knows maybe even start to look better to him and things could turn around.
    It is a longshot, but worth trying for my little one's sake and ours too.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi -

    Sweeby said:
    "The thing is, you're trying to change his behavior by changing yours. And generally, that's not a bad idea -- it even works to some degree with most people. But it won't work with him, because his behavior isn't really being driven by your behavior. It's driven by his own needs, which unfortunately, can't be met (for long) by another human being."

    A right on analysis. Everything seems to be pointing to a personality disorder. He would have to submit to therapy to find out plus, his therapist would never tell you and would avoid telling him, too. He would probably rebel against such a diagnosis and a therapist knows that and would be careful.

    When people are young they are not very "wise". They don't pick up on it. I also think that when a person grows up in a home that is dysfunctional (not necessarily abusive) they are not aware that anything is wrong with their prospective mate. They may be a co-dependent or rarely an inverted narcissist.

    When I would run across a person when I was younger who was pushy, insensitive, demanding, selfish.....etc., I would just think that they were mean or "I" hurt their feelings. Now, I know better.

    Your DH needs you a lot more than you think! He gets his cake and eats it too. You are his captive audience. He reminds me of a little child who enjoys the power he gets from killing or torturing a small mouse. A little...tin....g_d. That is because somewhere along the line he came to feel that he was even smaller than a mouse. He doesn't like himself. He is a person who rejects being a part of a club that would allow him to join. That is to say, "if you like him them something must be wrong with you".

    That is why you have to see him for what he is. Once you do, he will start to disgust you and you won't feel so rejected anymore.

    It is difficult to process it because we usually feel that everyone thinks the same. Believe me, your DH already knows that is not true.

    For him there are probably only two kinds of people.

    1. The people he can abuse and;
    2. The people that can abuse him.

    Once you come to the understanding that it is all in him and not you, then you can sluff him off until it reaches the point that it is second nature. "Like water off a duck's back".

    Think about it, daaaarling, if you were really so bad, why doesn't he pack his bags and leave?

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE PERSONALITY DISORDER!!!!!!!!!

    It would be beneficial to you if you would read the book --Living with the Passive Aggressive Man by Scott Wetzler. You would find some answers here ---I am almost certain.
    It is MUCH easier to confront a passive aggressive man when you can emotionally distance yourself (a learned art!) They see uncontrolled emotions as a sort of weakness. They depend on you to be strong --they need that security and they also despise it at the same time. Also, when you are emotionally out of control (even if warranted) you are NEEDING something from them. It is something they CANNOT handle very well. I would love to know his family dynamics. What are his parents like and his relationship with them? I know it is just psycho babble to some people, but these dynamics are at the very root of PA behavior. My husband is passive aggressive and I --over the past three years ---have learned that is a big problem for him and have studied it a lot, done counseling,etc. He won't own up to it (surprise) but I am convinced he knows he has issues with it and I am convinced he knows his family has issues with it. PA people have a hard time being close(intimate) to someone....they feel they are losing control over themselves. When they start getting close then they have to "shake" things up to feel in control again. It is rather sad. Sweeby was right on in many ways.......you didn't see it before marriage because you weren't that "close". It is exactly what happened in my marriage. He could no longer have sex the way we used to........he was too close to me. You really opened my eyes to that Sweeby. I was missing that puzzle piece. So obvious; yet I couldn't see it.
    Anyway--
    you should go to the gym and work out........for YOU. Do things to feel better about you. Don't count on it making changes in him. Take care of yourself and don't let yourself go by the wayside in all of this. You have friends,etc. Do things that matter to you. Focus on your baby/friends/family. Areas where it is more give and take. DON'T LET HIM DRAIN YOU. It is his problem and he makes it your problem by rejecting you. Channel these energies elsewhere. You'll be a better person for it. Let me know when/if you get the book.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    By the way:

    A therapist once told me that Passive Aggressive Disorder sort of "bleeds" over into the Narcissistic Disorder. They can go hand in hand. He said that my husband was not a full blown Narcissist but he did have some of the signs and this is not uncommon when dealing with PA behavior.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thanks, used2b, for another wonderful depiction of a "personality disorder"! Helpful information. Passive aggression makes no sense to me cause the initiator gets hurt as well.

    I am attaching a link to an article about Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Not very long and kind of interesting.

    The follow is an excerpt from the article, "Abandoning a Narcissist":

    "The narcissist's partner is perceived by him to be a source of narcissistic supply, an instrument, an extension of himself. It is inconceivable that - blessed by the constant presence of the narcissist - such a tool would malfunction....."

    Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.drirene.com/8_nar.htm

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Just so you know, I think most professionals would think passive agressive behavior is a trait ...not a personality disorder. I don't think it has been recognized by the DSM Committee. Just don't want you barking up the wrong tree. Many, many people have passive aggressive qualities... eye rolling, giving the silent treatment, spitting in someone's food when they don't like them, stomping off, being late when they don't want to go somewhere, etc.. are all examples of passive agressive behavior. It sounds like a trait he has, but what he is doing goes way beyond just being passive aggressive.

    I know you're not yet at the stage of understanding what is really going on to truly believe this yet, but, loosing weight and getting in better shape will not help at all. He will only find something else to pick on you about. IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT AND IT IS NOT YOUR WEIGHT! Sadly, you probably will not realize that until you actually lose the weight and realize things are not better.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    From what I understand PA is no longer considered a personality disorder in the "books", but it used to be. You are correct when you say that everyone exhibits PA behavior sometimes. The problem is when someone continually does it and it affects their life--job, marriage,etc. I think it is well worth reading up on the subject. You can find lots of info on the net also in regards to it as a personality disorder because it used to be seen as such. I still kind of believe that it is. Some of the info that you read will talk about why it is no longer declared a personality disorder. When I have time I will attach some links. The professional I went to DID feel that my husband was passive aggressive. He never really got into whether it was a personality disorder or not he just simply talked about him being PA and he talked about narcissism and how they coexist a lot of times. It was in my other reading that I found it was no longer a disorder on the books. Whether in the books or not it is still a big problem. I encourage searching to read the book I suggested. It can't hurt.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "but, loosing weight and getting in better shape will not help at all. He will only find something else to pick on you about. IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT AND IT IS NOT YOUR WEIGHT! Sadly, you probably will not realize that until you actually lose the weight and realize things are not better. "

    Actually, losing weight and getting into better shape probably WILL help --
    It'll help YOU regain what he's taken from you, your confidence, sense of self-worth and personal power.
    There's nothing like working out to dissipate the rage you are rightfully feeling (or will be).
    And frankly, there's nothing like the admiration of other men to help you feel attractive again.
    (And I'm betting you're very attractive or he would never have married you.)
    But it probably won't help your marriage. In fact, he might not even notice!.
    Mine didn't -- And I went from a size 8 to a size 4. (Remember, it was my 'cottage cheese thighs' that were the 'problem' in my marriage?)
    Anyway - Losing weight helped ME. Because when I finally kicked him out, I looked the best I had ever looked in my life; and I felt the most empowered and determined I had ever felt in my entire life. And frankly, it was one big catharsis -- the ridding of nearly everything that was toxic and dragging me down and causing me to be miserable.

    But - you may not be there yet.
    It can take a long time to go from hurting and constantly questioning yourself, apologizing, and trying to repair or prevent more damage, to disengaging and insulating yourself, to disentangling. And you have to get there at your own pace.

    I'd like to suggest therapy for you --
    NOT because you're the problem, but because you need an impartial expert in your corner to help you evaluate your husband's actions, your responses, and the future of your marriage. You need help and support for you. And as someone suggested earlier, it is unlikely HE will go, or if he does go, admit that HE has a problem. Then there are those nasty HIPPA laws that would probably prevent his therapist from disclosing his "confidential medical information" (a.k.a. diagnosis) to you -- which I am very, very sure will be 'Narcissistic Personality Disorder' or a 'close relative'. But YOUR therapist, who works for you, not him, would be able to evaluate his behavior (and yours) from your reports, and give you a pretty good perspective on the problems and your options for handling them. And if the therapist is YOURS, she has no duty or privacy to him. She probably won't be able to 'diagnose' him unless he also comes to some of the sessions -- but she'd be able to tell you if it does or does not sound like NPD, and help you evaluate your own options.

    I wish you the best Searching. It IS out there...

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    used2be - I'm curious, you don't have to answer of course - did your professional counselor ever meet with your husband?

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Yes a counselor did meet with him. We met together and separate.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    But she's not loosing the weight for herself. She's really hoping and thinking it may help her relationship with her husband and that he will accept her if she's in better shape. Heck, a boob or nose job, or liposuction could even make her feel better about herself. And, yes, I had a friend in an abusive relationship who thought a boob job would help. It didn't; although I'm sure it attracted more men- LOL

    Don't confuse the issue. It's not about getting her to find outlets or make improvements in her body, or to get her to feel more attracted to other men. She is perfectly fine and doesn't need any improvements! Telling her loosing weight may indirectly help her insecurities is really only feeding more into her insecurites that she needs to loose weight. It's really about her realizing that it is not about her, that it is all about HIM. Her insecurities are coming from how he is treating her. None of these self improvements are going to help her marriage or help her with insecurities because he will just go onto something else or will still find something wrong with her body.

    I'm just wondering, if she were flat chested and thought a boob job would help her marriage, would you recommend she go ahead get one if for nothing else than to help her insecurities and be attracted to more men (when you fully know her insecurities are coming from her husband)?

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Good points Carla -- I agree with most of it, but I'm going to respectfully disagree with part as well.

    Losing weight has only a TINY chance of improving her marriage, because her weight isn't the problem. Her HUSBAND is the problem, and he won't treat her decently no matter WHAT she does. He might toss out 1 or 2 tiny compliments - or maybe even more, because he might be happy that HIS WIFE looks better. (He deserves it, right?) But you're right that it won't help the marriage, and you're right that there's probably nothing at all wrong with Searching's weight.

    Weight IS NOT the problem and losing weight is not the cure.

    But rebuilding her shattered self-esteem IS part of the cure, and losing weight probably CAN help with that. Who among us doesn't feel better about themselves when they're at they're ideal weight? I know it was enormously empowering for me, and every time I walked past a full-length mirror (there was a huge wall-o-mirror I had to walk past on my way to work), the reflection I glimpsed was one of victory, not defeat. The reason I lost wieght was NOT because I didn't feel good about my previous weight (though actually, I didn't). Rather it was to 'prove' to my husband that it wouldn't make a whit of difference, and to make him all the more sorry when I finally left him. It was totally a "revenge diet", and very effective, psychologically.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Wow, I must thank all of you for your input. The low self-esteem is most definitely "my" problem. I have always had a problem with that. My weight even after baby at my age is not bad, I mostly need to do some toning but am NOT an excercise nut like my husband. It would help to do something though, it does feel good to be healthier. One thing I should let all of you in on, my husband had an alcohol problem and lost some things that were important to him and he stopped drinking completely and has not had a drink in over 3 years. So some of this excercise and must have big muscles and so forth could be that addictive personality he has. If it isn't drinking beer, it is obsessing over his body. I suppose that is better than drinking. It is just his lack of compassion he has for me and well, most things in life really. It is strange though. He treats almost total strangers nicer than he does me. I asked him one time why he treats other people so well and he told me that is because he expects more from me. What kind of crap is that??? We tried to "talk" last night because he is going off to some fire class, that's right ladies, he is a fireman, go figure! Anyway, I asked him about what is going on with our sex life and he basically blamed it on me not ever being happy with what he does and he feels like it is a chore now. He said that because I mentioned a few weeks ago that we never kiss anymore and there is no foreplay between us. So that was being too critical of him I guess. I thought I was doing a good thing by expressing my feelings and might get a kiss. Boy was I stupid. I just thought he could be a little more enthusiastic and less matter of fact. He can plug on to his computer regularly and look at porn until his eyes pop and God knows what else so I'm not thinking getting worked up over your wife is too much to ask. He also explained why men, not just him look at nude pictures and other women in general. He used this analogy, it is like a car show. If you have a 2001 mustang and there are shiny new 2007 and other newer models there he would want to look at them because they are "different" from what he has. Meaning I'm the 2001. Well, I must have been shiny and new looking at one point or he wouldn't of bought the 2001. Is it time to just give up? Granted, a lot of men think this awful way, it is just man, but mine carries it too far. I at least give him credit for being brutally honest.
    I want to make sure I'm understanding all of the advice correctly? It is okay to "work" on myself, but do not expect things to get better in my marriage because he will just decide that whatever I have improved on needs more improvement or it will ultimately be something else wrong. I could go to counseling, the time factor with baby and job and possibly gym a couple of times a week it would be tough to fit it in and I'm not so sure that they could say anything more meaningful than most of you have said. I realize not to take this all and act solely on your advice, but I do "listen" and honestly hope to "get" something out of the advice you are giving. Even if it is just to know that I have someone out there rooting for me and not saying that I'm an idiot because I stay and "try" to fix things or stay with him. I'm obviously not ready to do that. If I didn't leave after he hurt me physically a few weeks ago, I'm not ready to do it. That also was my fault, I made him do it. I do KNOW better than that. I'm ashamed of myself for staying and overlooking his behavior. I was standing in his way and he wanted to leave and I wouldn't let him. Now he knows I have learned my lesson and won't stand in his way when he wants to leave the next time. Good dog. One of you said a while back that he has to have control, that is the BEST way to describe him. He must control it all. The conversations, he claims that I cannot communicate and HE has to pull us through things and it is ALL him. I look at him as he goes on and on like this with this look on my face that you would think most normal people could detect that I'm thinking you are full of s---, but he continues like he is just doing me this big favor by even talking about it. After his lecture last night he asked me what solutions I had because he said I never have any, I do, but he discredits them so therefore, I have none, anyway, I told him that we needed to take sex out of the equation and just concentrate on our communication and other things in our marriage. He acted ticked off and said he didn't think that was the solution, I almost felt that there was a glimmer somewhere that he actually "did" desire me, then late thought on it and it probably was just more of the control thing, that I couldn't be the one to turn that off, that was his right. I won't go on anymore, you got the picture. I just thought I was on to something when thinking I could exercise, work on me and get a non-concerned about him so much attitude and that would make him wake up a little. Now I'm thinking that was a silly idea.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    It can only make your life better if you do the things that bring you joy as long as it's not hurting other people. If exercise is one of those things, then DO it! However, doing it to change someone else is a recipe for disaster. Plus, it's not doing it for you.

    Maybe exercise isn't the thing. Maybe counseling is. Maybe getting a sitter so you can go for a walk is. Find your passion.

    How does the porn make you feel? If it hurts you, did you tell him? So lots of guys look at it. You aren't married to "lots of guys" - you're married to him. Guess what, lots of guys don't look at it. If it hurts you, tell him. If getting sexual gratification outside of the relationship puts a negative effect on the relationship, then we have a problem.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    It's not a silly idea -- Because with a normal person, that might have a shot. But sadly, you're not dealing with a normal person. You're just not.
    And when you asked if "he will just decide that whatever I have improved on needs more improvement or it will ultimately be something else wrong." -- You nailed it on the head there. Trust me - if you were in any way "not measuring up" to his unrealistically high standards, he would have told you by now. Loud, often, hurtfully. The simple fact is that he is MAKING UP FLAWS for you to have! A common tactic for narcissists is to project their own perceived flaws on to you, so don't be surprised if he calls YOU controlling, withholding and demanding.

    Why does he treat total strangers better than you? Because he can impress total strangers. They will walk away thinking "He's so Hot! I think he looked at me! or Wish I had HIM for a quick romp!" You - too late. No point wasting his energy on you.

    Controlling you is key - totally. If you 'disobey' he will punish you - severely. Yet if you 'obey', he will disrespect you. He needs you to meet all of his endless needs with no gratitude or appreciation in return. And your own needs? Your own problem!

    The car comparison? Trust me, the "subtle" comparison to you as the older, used model was totally intentional. If he meant you were a Mercedes and he was lookking at BMWs, he could have said that. He wanted you to feel inferior so you'd be happy to still have him. He may even think, somewhere in the twisted corners of his subconscious, that having that new Mustang might cure what ails him.

    Empathy and compassion? - Never. He is actually incapable of understanding how you feel. Truly incapable of it except *perhaps* in an intellectual capacity. The fact is that for him, YOUR feelings have no value. The fact that you feel something is of no interest to him, and the very idea that he should sacrifice something of any importance to him because of your feelings is ludicrous. (When I asked my then-husband for a cell phone because I frequently worked late and walked to my car alone in the dark, I at first, used my feeling unsafe as my reason. That was my reason! He couldn't have cared less. But when I pointed out that if something happened to me, then who would care for our baby? -- Then he reluctantly agreed, so long as it was a cheap one. His OWN cell phone had all the bells and whistles, but was necessary for his business. Yeah, right.)

    "I could go to counseling ....and I'm not so sure that they could say anything more meaningful than most of you have said. "

    Here is where I disagree -- Over the years, my good friends had given me some pretty good insight, and I had come to realize that my Ex was was incapable of genuine love, that he blamed me for everything and thought all of our problems were my fault. But hearing an official "diagnosis" from a qualified expert with a clinical prognosis (not good) made all the difference in the world. She help me realize that he would *never* change because he couldn't admit he needed to, that *every* problem would always be 'my fault', that my feelings, thoughts and opinions would *never* matter to him because he was incapable of empathy, and that I would never be truly loved or valued because he just couldn't do it.

    I saw how it was and how it had been -- She helped me see why it would stay that way and that I couldn't fix it. (He could - but wouldn't.) I saw why he did it and that it wasn't his fault (mother died when he was very young, absentee father, etc.) -- She helped me see that this didn't mean that it OK and that he did have the power of choice. I saw 'stand by your man', honor your committments, don't want to fail at marriage -- She helped me ask "Do you want to sink with the ship?" and "Is this how you want your child to grow up?"

    Yes - you have to be ready.
    Just understand also that the damage will continue until you stop it, and that your chances for finding future happiness are better today than they will be next month or next year.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Patricia Evans is probably the best author I have studied on verbal abuse. She may help you understand and come to terms with what is going on. You can do a search and find a lot more info on her and her books.

    It scares me that you seem to scrug off his physical abuse. Although often the emotional and verbal abuse is worse, it's harder to pin point and understand as abusive. You really don't need to put up with his verbal or physical abuse.

    Here's some easy reading, see if you can relate...

    Here is a link that might be useful: Patricia Evans

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi -

    This is a difficult concept for a person to wrap their mind around. If you are basically a "normal" person and married to, working for, living with a parent or sibling or have a neighbor who is one, it will rip you up as you try to negotiate some kind of peace with them.

    People with NPD (narcissistic personality disorder) are at risk of stalking, drug/alcohol abuse, brief psychotic episodes, deep transcient depressive states when their "pride" is injured, criminal activity, promiscuous sex,(if somatic), no sex (if cerebral) etc. It depends upon their level of sophistication, financial resources, their profession (g_od forbid one is in law enforcement) etc. Their lifestyle is the medium by which they express themselves. Everything and everybody is a prop used to buoy up their self esteem.

    People are no more than tools to them. When you get embroiled with one of them you soon find out that saying no or rejecting them in any way can be very dangerous (depending on how sick they are). They don't let go and not because they Love you. You are their possession. You have no autonomy. They wouldn't expect their TV set to start to change the channel on them. You are no different than the TV set. How dare you tell them how you feel! If the TV set were to stop working, they wouldn't feel bad about replacing it. It is an annoyance that would put them out and TV sets have no rights.

    It is difficult to understand because there is a grain of truth in a NPD'S complaints and convoluted logic. However, the bottom line is that they are not humane.

    They don't care about how a significant other feels. They don't care about how things are. They mostly only care about how things LOOK to the outside world. They only exist because of the reflection they see of themselves thru the eyes of other people. They can't exist without casting their reflection off of someone else.

    If they are intelligent, they are often seen in positions of power and authority. They like to be in the limelight. They are our politicians, actors, CEO's...in other words, often times "big shots". It is difficult to assess that you ran across one until they drop the bomb on you. If you have ever been stalked, as I was, by one of them, (in a position of power) you would realize just how vulnerable we all are to their ploys. They are sadistic in an off handed sort of way. It is horrible enough to be married to or be closely related to one and according to statistic one out of one hundred people have this disorder and they are usually males. They are out there and you never know when you might run across one. You can become the target of a prolonged interview before they decide to strike.

    I hope the OP can wrap her mind around what it is. Once you shed some light on one of them, the good news is that like a cocaroach, they run for cover. They will let go and move on to their next victim. Don't bother trying to get even either. They enjoy the attention. Remember, you are not dealing with a normal person. It would be the same as trying to reason with a "space alien". Hopefully, a person can escape before too much damge has been done.

    All my best to anyone out there who is dealing with one!

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    All good points and helpful thank you each one. I am definitely down today, what else is new, this has pretty much become my everyday thing, to just feel lousy because I've failed again. Sweeby kind of comes almost too close with her insight, and even how her ex acted towards her and others. I did look up the Narcissistic Personality Disorder info. and surprised to find that a lot did not fit him, some traits did, but wasn't overwhelming conviction for me. Is there such a thing as " Just A Big Jerk" Syndrome? Seriously, not sure how to label him or his behavior other than just relentless and unbearable most of the time. He was out of town last night and he called this morning and we weren't on the phone 60 sec. before he made a snide comment about the trash not being taken to the end of our 8 acres of property. I mentioned that he was home the afternoon before he left town and could have been done then, he hung up on me. I of course, as I always do... chase (wish I could control that urge) finally got an answer and just hatefulness so I returned fire and needless to say, no contact now and it is a recipe for a miserable day and another evening. He left all of his uniforms for me to wash and have ready for him to go on duty early Sat. morning and he won't be in until very late this evening. I told him on the phone this morning that I was leaving his laundry in limbo and not finishing (still wet in dryer-turned it off in anger) he just very calm and casually says "no problem" hangs up and we haven't spoken since. How can he just be so calm??? Why can't I just let it alone, not care about his snide comments and move on, I just can't overlook the things he does because he comes down soooo hard on me about when or if I do that to him. He refuses to see that he does NOT live by his own rules. I will NEVER win. I know this so why can't I help myself???? So should I just leave laundry to sour and the heck with it, or do I be the "big" person and do it and just shut up about it and I will definitely receive to thanks for it (not that i look for that every time), I just don't want to be a game player (way too old for that and not good at it) like the name says, I just want PEACE. I really need a break from all of this mental anguish. It is taking a toll. Would it be immature or even MORE damaging to the marriage if I just refused to speak to him at all or answers his calls for a while? I just really think I'm at my breaking point and can't deal with any more of his crap!!!!!

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Your husband didn't really sound Narcissic to me, but he does sound verbally and emotionally abusive. I am in no ways trying to push Patricia Evans on you but her insights into dealing with abuse may really help you. I posted a link for you a couple posts above. Did it not seem to fit? I know it seems like a catch all term and simple answer, but I think if you look into it a little further, you really may be surprised and educated. It's at least somewhere to start.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    thanks carla35 i will check it out. I looked briefly and saw the verbal abuse but if it deals with mental also (which is mostly what he is all about) then it definitely could help.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Leave this guy now searching. do yourself a favor. It sounds bad. I am sorry, you deserve better

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Here's the 'official' diagnostic criteria for NPD:
    A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

    1 - has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
    2 - is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
    3 - believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
    4 - requires excessive admiration
    5 - has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
    6 - is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
    7 - lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
    8 - is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
    9 - shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

    Whether NPD fits your husband or not, the Patrcia Evans section about verbal and emotional abuse certainly does. (Excellent link, Carla)

    As to the laundry and garbage, it'll certainly be easier for you to just do them than to suffer the consequences of not doing them. But then, he'll abuse you if he feels like it, whether you do those chores or not. It might be safer just to go along with it until you're ready to make your stand.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Verbal/Emotional abuse IS mental abuse. It's NOT just about calling you a bad name or two or yelling ... way worse... it's about degrading you and trying to make you feel inferior and insecure with words and actions and even inactions. Many say it is the worst kind of abuse there is.

    I really, really think you should look into verbal and emotional abuse. I think you would understand what is going on in your relationship.

    Here's one of Patricia Evans books, but please read my link above. It should give you an understanding of what this kind of abuse really is.

    Here is a link that might be useful: The Verbally Abusive Relationship

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    searching---

    I found something that may or may not be helpful for you.
    Look into it. There may be something in there you find applicable to your situation.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Sorry I messed up when trying to attach the link in my last message!

    Here is a link that might be useful: passiveaggressive.homestead.com

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    When you start thinking about all of this it is pure *abuse* period. It is a control issue from the get go...and we are all in it! It is this on going tug o'war and there are no winners (even tho the H thinks he is), and they don't get it that they are the real losers in the end. They have lost the love from the women they have married and bore children with. A reality check for them,as they/you can never get back that time wasted over silly issues and walls that they have put in place, and we (wives/lovers that we are) keep trying to knock the walls down, and they quickly keep laying the bricks putting them back up! It is a on going cycle that I wish would end peacefully, but probably won't. It is the avoidance dance that keeps going on, and nobody is leaving, because we are *trapped*, with kids, finances and stigma... *Be the good little wife and carry on*...it still is in effect, even though it is 2007! Bottom line...it ain't easy! It comes down to: Take care of yourself, build your nest egg, get a job, friends, confidence and reinvent yourself (I am), and see what is around the corner...2008!

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    After researching "more" I have decided that H is a P.A. and also very much show displays the characteristics of NPD. Scary that he could be so screwed up!! We had a nice little conversation (because I forced it) about what was going on and how to change it. Basically in a nut shell it was "me" who just doesn't understand him which is what he wants to just accept that he is a man with no empathy-compassion etc.. emotions are useless and serve no purpose. The sex, well, simply coming to bed naked isn't enough, I MUST initiate more strongly and if I'm rejected it will be because I pissed him off earlier in the day and he just can't bring himself to perform. Funny though when I look through his private email (i know, shame on me) he has numerous pictures of women's private parts all over the place that he sends on to his other pig male friends and I suppose that is a turn on that takes no provocation or initiation. What the hell, he says that it is not from LACK OF DESIRE for me, then what is it. Am I truly supposed to prompt him into sex each time and make him "want" to. I can understand that a guy likes to be sought after once in awhile too, but every single time I must put on the full court press and HOPE that it works. If it doesn't, then I'm supposed to just know that it isn't because I'm undesirable. I swear I can't stand it anymore. I suggested earlier last week that when he told me sex was a chore with me (because I said he didn't kiss me or not any foreplay) too much for his ego I guess, so now sex with me is a chore so I guess now I (really before any of this also) must "do" more to earn it. Anyway, the point I was making was I told him that if it has become a chore to lets just take it out of the equation completely for a little while and focus on other aspects of our relationship and then maybe the sex thing would fall into place from there. He said that was a stupid idea, but whatever I can play my little game. He mentioned it in the conversation I forced him in the other morning too. He said that my little sex game he is waiting for me to want to end it and see how I react basically when it back-fires on me. So that is a real incentive to want to seduce the jerk!!! So the rest of the day goes by, we take the baby to the park, eat dinner and watch movies we rented until around 10:30 and things are okay (normal for us anyway) we go to bed and I have to force a good-night kiss from him. I know, why do I provoke any response when it is obvious he doesn't want to give me anything. So I will read these articles passed on and check in to reading some of the books suggested, because I so much want and need to for my own sanity and my children's to just not care anymore what happens with us anymore. I think I have decided though that I am not playing His game and I'm not going to be initiating anything between us, because I DON'T need it that badly. If he can look at porn pictures and pass them along to buddies then he obviously is interested in sex so he can chose to meet half way or he can choose to go elsewhere (which is a possiblity) then that just gives me my ticket out with a clear view of just who he is. In the meantime, good advice....build what nest egg I can concentrate on my family and job and to heck with him or his "feelings" or lack thereof!!!!!!!
    So I'm going to say it.. My spouse doesn't care much about me....but I refuse to let it destroy me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    There's something in your post that sounds better today...
    Like you're beginning to internalize and accept that it really isn't your fault at all, and that talking to him about your feelings is kind of like talking to a wall. Only worse really, because at least the wall doesn't argue that you're wrong and that your feelings don't matter.

    On the sex thing, you might as well forget about it, because for him, it's all about his own needs. That's why porn is so perfect -- it gives him the arousal and release he wants, expects nothing in return, doesn't judge or criticize his performance, doesn't act disappointed or "understanding" if he can't perform (oops - I meant 'doesn't feel like it'), and doesn't expect to be kissed and cuddled either before or after. It's your "person-hood" that's getting in the way, and do you really even want to have sex with him if he can't even appreciate you as a person?

    Near the end of my marriage, I had a dream that has stuck vividly in my head every since. It was of two ordinary cans of vegetables sitting about a foot apart on my pantry shelf, and I realized that they were my then-husband and myself -- that our marriage had become two cans sitting on the same shelf. Not touching, not caring, not sharing anything but shelf space - that was the extent of our connection.

    Don't know if it helps or not, but putting up your emotional walls can help dull the pain while you build your nest egg and focus on other areas.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    thanks sweeby for the words of encouragement. I truly want to be strong and focusing on the other areas of my life which CAN be very fulfilling if I allow them to be and to stop making EVERYTHING in life about "him". I very much want to get to the place where I can have my walls up enough to where I can actually NOT care what he does or doesn't "feel" for me. I am a realist though, this will take some time and much effort and lots of discipline on my part to pull it off. I'm hoping that what may start out as well, sort of a game of I don't care see, and before I even realize it, I "really" won't. I liked the canned vegie analogy by the way.
    I DO realize that not all is my fault. I will admit as we all must that it takes two to create some problems, but this just goes beyond that now. It is just so frustrating to me and I know you know exactly where I'm coming from that the person you truly do love and WANT to spend your life with can not EVER see that anything is EVER EVER their fault and just maybe they could do a little changing. My H flat out tells me he does not need to change, then I usually get this lecture (that he tells me I'm so lucky to be getting, because he does that because he sees "something" in me) wow, I'm not totally inept I guess. So glad that "he" sees "something" in me. If I would only do this or that this way because don't I know that it is really the correct way??? This is pretty much how he puts it. That he KNOWS deep down that I know he is right and HE is the one who pulls this relationship together, that I am unable to communicate. Of course at this point I am so flustered and my mouth is usually agape that he is right, I can't communicate at that point. How is it that a person can utter TOTAL BULLSH-- out of their mouths and somehow can put it in a manner that as crazy as this is going to sound, sane and reasonable. I come out of things sometimes believing that I am the one who is the idiot. Is that some sort of disorder or is that a gift??? It is amazing. I can't even begin to explain really what I mean, just that everytime he speaks he goes on in a manner that he can almost make it all look like he is totally in the right and justified for it all. He can even justify striking me. He can say it is wrong but in the next breath justify why it was my fault and I made this happen. I don't want to believe in him anymore. I guess that is what I'm really trying to say. So if I need to become a can of some sort of vegetable then so be it. I'm just afraid when he discovers I am a vegetable he will want to be something like corn and make me lima beans that isn't as desirable. This just seems to be how it goes whenever I start to act differently and I swear he senses when I've had enough and when I'm starting to feel stronger. Not playing a game, he sees through that, but "really" feeling stronger, that is when he can CRUSH me and does and the whole cycle begins again.
    So if you have any advice or anyone on how to STAY STRONG AND FOCUSED when someone is ripping you apart, please pass it along!!!! As always, thanks for listening.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "I will admit as we all must that it takes two to create some problems,"
    That's very big of you, but unnecessarily generous. Sometimes, a very serious problem can be caused by only one person. You may shoulder some bit of blame for most of (plural) your problems, but for goodness sake, don't let him off the hook for his share! A dear friend of mine used to call my Ex "Mr. Never-been-wrong" -- and to this date, he has never once apologized to me for anything or admitted that he ever made a mistake. He came close once last year, and caught me totally by surprise -- but he caught himself in time!

    "the person you truly do love and WANT to spend your life with"
    Important distinction: The person you truly love and want to spend you life with is the person you thought he was when you married him, not the person he truly is. He was acting a part then, playing a role, pretending -- and you fell in love with the person he appeared to be.

    The "he sees something in me" is Soooo typical! When you first met him and he was so wonderful to you, didn't you feel like the luckiest woman in the world? Even though he was often critical of others, he put you on a pedestal and told you how special you were...

    And the circular arguments with a grain of truth that somehow get twisted into your fault -- NPD classics! My Ex's favorite, on the rare occasions when I decided to stand up for myself and hold firm on some small issue, was to point out how ridiculously small the issue was, and why on earth was I being so silly and stubborn on such a trivial little issue!? I'm embarassed to say, it actually worked for a while, until, in a calm moment, I realized that if the issue was so ridiculously small to him, then he should be able to give in on it, right? Of course, when I told him that, he exploded into more circular logic that never resulted in his giving in and always resulted in me being wrong - somehow.

    How to protect yourself? The only thing that worked for me was planning to throw him out, and then actually doing it. Revenge fantasies sustained me for the last 6 months -- and I'm just not that type of person, but the circumstances were just that way. Not violence, or cruelty, but just "he'll get his" and "he'll never actually believe I've done it!"

    Finally realizing that just getting away was actually 'winning.'

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi searching4peace -

    When I read yours posts, they come across to me as you being terribly frustrated. I think you are trying to understand "why" DH is this way and what you may or may not be doing that caused it or exacerbated it. Stop, cause you did nothing. At the present time, you are reacting to it which is feeding into his need to feed off of your responses. It makes him feel alive...like a vampire. If he is truly a pathological narcissist he is an emotional vampire. He needs to "stir the pot". As soon as things get a little dull, he feels unimportant again. He must play off on his primary source (significant others) to get an affect. This continues to affirm that he is a vastly important individual who can pull the strings of his puppets. I think that these freaks feel like nothings for the most part and the only way they can feel good is to control people. And, not many casual friends, co-workers, etc. will allow someone to screw with them so the NPD people do it to those closest to them. (cause it is easy)

    You can also be controlled thru their money if they have it to use. Then they feel that you must worship them. If their money/power doesn't impress and control their targeted victim, then they use what they can to take things away from the person. If they can't get you to worship them by them using money, gifts, etc. to control you, then they do negative things to get your attention. In other words, if they can't gain control thru buying you then they will hurt you. If they can't be Loved they would just as well be Hated. Either way, it doesn't matter as long as they are at the center of attention. In their minds they must think that they are the hub of the universe.

    Another poster mentioned her plight with an individual such as described and her lucky escape from his clutches. Some can escape in time. I don't know if children were involved.

    However, I am aware that you have, I believe, a young child and are rather vulnerable and fragile at this time of your life. This I understand to be a very important variable as regards to how you might want to deal with your situation. Not so easy to make an exit when kids are involved and finances have to be taken into consideration. You are weak at this point and if DH is really a NPD and you were to attempt separation/divorce he would have the advantage if he is the bread winner.

    I had a friend/acquaintance who was married to an attorney. I knew her and her DH since I was a teenager. They got married while he was in law school. He was Catholic and she, Protestant. After a while, he wanted to get married again in a Catholic service but they never took the required classes that precede the ceremony and they also didn't raise their children Catholic. As a result, he applied to Rome for an annulment because the children were not raised Catholic. He, as a result, claims the children are illegitimate. (what a nut!) After twenty years of marriage and three children, he decides that he made a mistake and the marriage wasn't blessed by G_d. He walked out the door and left her without a penny. He (being a lawyer) started proceedings against her. She did not have a job (although she was once a teacher). She could not afford a good divorce attorney. Needless to say, he ripped her apart. She does not understand why. He just wanted out and now dates lots and lots of women with no intention of settling down. She is finally back to teaching and has managed to make a life for herself. My opinion, she never saw it coming. He was a monster all along. That is why, being vulnerable to one of these NPD's requires a good understanding of what you may be up against. So, think good and hard and get help if necessary to prove that he is the "nut" before you jump into any form of retaliation. If he become aggressive, a suggestion might be to call the cops and get it on record. It depends on how crazy he is.

    The reason I know a lot about this personality disorders is because I was stalked by one of them. This "professional" then attempted to coerce me into a relationship. I was so confused. I managed to escape from the NPD's clutches in time (Thank you G_d!). I never would have believed it from this person. I know I will never get closure from that person or a rational reason as to why. I had to let it go and not pursue revenge. They feed off of your pain and want to keep you thus for as long as they can. The only way to win is to cut them off. You can't recover the losses. It ain't worth it.

    Often times naive people fall prey to pathological narcissists. The NPD showers the object/target of their desire with lots of attention. They open doors, pick your food for you from the menu when at a restaurant and make acute observations about your clothing and appearance (compliments) They suck you in and make peremptory demands which seem precocious at the time. An all or nothing attitude. They will want an exclusvie relationship and commitment quick into the relationship. Some people might be flattered by all the attention. As times goes on, though, their true colors start to show. The facade begins to break away and the not so nice parts of their personality/character begin to show. This is a "no no" cause remember, it is all how it looks and the facade cannot break or you will start to see the true them. So, they strike and devalue the significant other first before they become the object of ridicule or rejection. They must reject first! That is the crux of the matter. Actually, they disgust themselves. They do not like to feel so needy for the attention of others and as a result they disqualify themselves before you can do it to them. Yuck!

    They are monsters.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    It is amazing how many men out there have this NPD tendencies. In fact as I think of it every men i knew had something of it about them. It must be all about them and thei needs!
    Searching, I wonder if you are better off leaving this marriage now. I am your age and life is not over. It must be tough with a baby, but it looks like everything is better than what you described.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    yes, it would be impossible right now to leave. Not only do I have baby but have my two teenagers from previous marriage living with us. just adds to the stressful situation!!!! so can't leave when although should not really have to be responsible for the other two (over 18) as a mother, could not leave them hanging like that of course. I do not make hardly anything at my job so even putting money away a little at a time will take TIME! Not saying it is impossible down the road when I have my ducks in a row, just saying that will be a long while. So if my sanity holds out by then it will be a miracle. Plus, as sad as this is to admit..... I still hold out some sort of hope that things will change, of course that would be my way of thinking, i know.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "an emotional vampire"
    Beautiful turn of phrase Tenderchichi -- and it perfectly expresses a narcissist. They only exist through the eyes and emotions of others, so absolute indifference is the worst you can do to him.

    I'm guessing I am the poster Tenderchichi referred to who escaped -- and yes, I did have a young child.

    My son was a little less than a year old when I first realized that just growing a thicker skin wasn't a viable strategy. Even though it had 'worked OK' for a while, it wasn't viable for the long term because it did nothing to protect my son. It wasn't just me being abused anymore (though honestly, at that time, I did not realize Ex's treatment had crossed the line into abuse) -- It was realizing that my son was going to grow up watching his father treat his mother the way he treated me that got through to me. It was realizing that my son would think this was normal, that he was likely to think his father was clever and witty and powerful and that his mother was pathetic, that he would probably think I deserved it and grow up to treat his wife the same way.

    How could I possibly live with that?
    How could I choose that kind of future for my child?

    I didn't do it for me, because by that time, I was too badly damaged to realize I needed to...
    But protecting my child brought out my inner "Momma Bear" and viewing things from my child's eyes gave me the determination to carry through.

    If you do decide to leave him, I have some advice -- because narcissists have some profound weaknesses that you can use to assure a fair settlement. But I'll save that for another post.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Sweeby, can you either start a new post or list what you can do to help insure a fair settlement? I know someone that may really benefit from what you have to say. Thanks.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    as awful as it sounds it is not going to get better. you can either grow thicker skin and let your child to grow watching bad treatment or you can leave now and struggle on your own...

    You damage a child though letting him/her watch this kind of relationship.

    My father, although not a bad man, was emotionally abusive to my mom. He mellowed down much with age but it did inevitable damage to me. Every man i have been with was one way or the other emotionally abusive to me. Those who weren't I chased away myself subcounciously looking for being emotionally abused again. You don't want this for your child, do you?

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    It wasn't all that complicated Carla, so I'll list it here -- and I'm only suggesting it for someone married to a narcissist.

    1. A narcissist will need to feel like he's won, so my best advice is don't even waste your time trying to "take him to the cleaners" or "make him pay," because to "win" in the traditional monetary sense, you would have to spend more time, money and emotional energy on lawyers than you could imagine. And since most narcissists are so good with their 'public faces,' you are unlikely to be able to convince the judge that they're awful unless you have aLOT of hard evidence. The differance between a "fair" and "you-win" settlement is not likely to be big enough money to change your life. So go for FAIR - not more. Go for half of the marital assets, your state's "standard" support arrangements, and a pleasant, quick, settlement. He will *need* to be able to walk away feeling like he's won. Remember that for you, walking away IS winning.

    2. Since he will need to feel like he's won, find out what it is that will let him feel this way. Realize that it *might not* be anything you would even want. It'll probably be something visible - might be money, the house, the 'good' car, artwork, furnishings, even certain child custody provisions that preserve the appearance of him being a good dad. You'll need to know what he wants, and if it's something that's not particularly important to you, don't tip off your hand that you don't care about it. Again, it's not so much that he needs to win -- it's that he needs to be able to *feel* like he won. Let him "win" something visible, and make a loud and visible show of him winning-you losing. (You know how much he likes that.)

    3. Deep down, most narcissists feel really lousy about themselves. At some level, they feel they are worthless frauds, and this is why they work so hard to buff up their public images. In my opinion, their greatest fear at this point in time is that you will somehow reveal to the world what a fake they really are. So don't do it! This will be very difficult because you will probably have years of pent-up anger at your abuser, and venting that anger is cathartic. But make a list, build a file, gather your evidence and ammunition -- anything that would embarass him to the world and invalidate the picture he tries to paint. (sexual performance issues are biggies, social embarassments, career slights) Then sit on it. Tell him that all you want is a FAIR settlement with no mudslinging public trial that allows you both to walk away with your DIGNITY, SELF-RESPECT and PRIVACY intact. Let him act like it's you who would be embarassed if all your secrets came tumbling out, because that's important to him. But realize that if you expose him to the world as a fraud (like the world cares!), you've blown your best weapon.

    That's my two cents --

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I am more afraid to leave and have my daughter visit with her father without me. I have observed him with his son from previous relationship and if I were his mother, would not like it. At least with me around I feel like I can control some of the things he does around her. I don't mean to sound like he would hurt her, he just has messed up views when it comes to raising children also and would hate her being with him on his own and not knowing what in the world was happening. Hoping that through the next couple of years (hopefully not even that long) things WILL get better. Maybe just wishful thinking. If so, then I will cross that bridge when I come to it when she is at an age where she knows what is going on. My teenage daughter sees it and I'm ashamed, because she watched it with her dad somewhat, but I DID after 13 years of marriage leave for mainly the very reason--- did not want her to grow up thinking this behaviour was okay! Want better for all of my children.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Talk to your teens... If they've seen you abused before, and are now watching you be abused again -- they're being hurt more than you know! Ask them. Ask them about the way your husband treats you -- and listen to their answers. Admit to them that you may have lost your perspective, and that you'd value theirs.

    As for your youngest -- If you stay, she will ONLY have a messed up family to learn from and never have a healthy role model. If you leave, she will still have a messed up family, but she may ALSO have a healthy one where she spends most of her time. That has been the case with my son, who's now 16. He's a young man any parent would be proud of, and his healthy experience growing up in my second marriage has given him a good foundation for dealing with his father's issues. His dad pulled some real doozies with him -- but DS has figured out that his dad has some problems and isn't the best parent, and he's choosing his own path.

    I do understand why you'd be reluctant to have your daughter spend time with her father without you around -- But do you *really* think you can control what he does around her? Do you really think you can somehow manage it so that he will verbally abuse you only when she's not around to see it? Or that he will not insist that his own questionable judgement is better than yours just because you're around to protest? (How's it working so far?)

    If he's truly got messed up views about kids and parenting - and I don't doubt it for a minute - then your better bet might be getting them documented in a way that will limit his future visitation. Maybe some nice home videos of him and his son? What about counseling? Maybe some discussions on child-rearing with some of your friends? Maybe your older children have seen things that concern them.

    But if you think it's going to get better, you ARE deluding yourself.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    searching4peace -

    As sweeby mentioned, things (with him) are probably not going to change. What happens with this NPD's is that they kind of fizzle out in old age. Eventually, they do come to see all of the damage they have caused. Only because they are usually left all alone in the end. They manage to drive everyone away in their relentless need to always come out on top. Anyone that gets too close to one of them winds up hating them, running away, fighting back or cutting them off before they can get their hooks into them.

    There is an ongoing arguments as to whether narcissist are made that way or born that way. Do narcissistic parents cause their offspring to grow up and be destined to become one. The professionals think that it is both. An interplay between nature and nurture. So, even if you are born with a temperment which may sway you into that direction, there is hope that the environment may have a mitigating effect. There are people who are raised up in the most dire of circumstances and don't have "personality disorders" and there are people who are raised in healthy homes who have unhealthy personalities. I think that "it is what the mind makes of things" and there is no way to predict the outcome as to a person's personality. People still do have a choice.

    The best way to handle it is to do what is right for you and kids at the given time. If you or your circumstances change and jumping ship seems feasible, then at that time it might be the right thing to do.

    You've got to look at the odds. Most people hold on, hoping that it will get better. Thinking the worst when it comes to change because they fear the unknown. You are being challenged by all the complications that come along with making such a big change and sometimes it is not in your best interests to do so. Timing is everything.

    I hope you can figure out the best way to handle this situation without doing too much harm to yourself and kids.

  • 16 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I appreciate the feed-back. I know that you are right, however, not in any financial position to "do" anything at the moment. He is great at ignoring me and treating me as I don't exist so if I can "get through" this period and save, save, save then I can have a better chance of getting out. I also know that living on the streets is not good for your children either. That is just realism. I have a few friends, but they have families and could not take all of us in. I wouldn't ask that anyway, it would be a burden for an extended period of time. So, I put up with the fact that he treats every woman he meets sooo sweet and nice. I just have to tell myself that he thrives on the reaction of their flirting and "thinking" that he is this great catch and he just loves that and eggs them on. This is happening of course because he does not have to "give" anything other than superficial things to these women, they do not require "anything" as stressful as a wife or significant other does. So as the soccer moms (the divorced cute ones) have him mow their yard (has lawn service business) and drool over him and stand and talk endlessly to him and he gives them his total attention-What I wouldn't do for a little of it, I must tell myself as I watch to not be jealous, they simply do not KNOW him and if her were to enter into something real or as real as he can make something, he would ultimately treat them (any woman I think) the same way. I used to think that if I could act just like the woman with all of the qualities he says he looks for then it would be a no brainer, things would be peachy, but funny how I can just never quite "get there". Even a perfect (no such thing, perfect match in his eyes) were to enter his life, don't you think that he would eventually find fault with her too?? I believe this to be true now and hopefully can stop my silly crying-just makes me look awful and feel awful and FIND something for "me" baby or not, she will have to come along, but find something to occupy my heart mind and soul. That is a tall order, but this is what I need to do. I will talk to my older kids and tell them what my plans are, I am sure they will support whatever I do. Surprisingly all they have been through in life, they are great kids and very loving to me. When I start to "look" at things like that, I know that instead of feeling miserable because some man, just some man doesn't love and appreciate me-so what. I have so much more. If I could only live this way everyday!!!!!

  • 11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    wow i can totally relate to you on so many levels my husband is now doing the sme when i confront him he walks away from the situation dosnt want to talk nicely about it just tells me that im wierd and that its all in my head and that im talking stupied the only thing i asked was to have communication back and i couldnt even get that im on the edge of break down i really am but then i read a couple of posts and found that all our stories are so similar to eachother and from now on im not going to let him get to me anymore i know my husaband dosnt care about me anymore but thats ok because

    1) today is monday and im going to look at my kids and smile
    2) im going to take them to the park this afternoon and watching them smile having fun makes my day even better
    3)I think its now time for me too think of me from now on :))

  • 10 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I am wondering if used2bsexy is still a member of this forum. It was started in 07'. I read the entire thread and learned so much from her and the other contributors!!! Are any of you still around????

  • 8 years ago

    I just stumbled onto this thread and am wondering the same thing. Used2bsexy: where are you??? You described my current state perfectly! I could use an update to see how things have turned out with you!