veritas- i think that my H is definitely a N, but doesnt have all the qualities. there are degrees of N... right?
Do you want to start a war? I personally think there is straight up N with variances and then there's people with N traits. And that's all I am going to say about that. I wouldn't give any assessment about your husband because I don't know him personally, and quite frankly, it's only been a few months. After 32 years of not getting caught, he may just be working from that omniscient mindset. The reason why you don't see a whole lot of us reconciling with N's is because they rarely respond to treatment. Sometimes they do, but for the most part, not. Mine would "do what he needed to do" until I relaxed and/or he got tired of it, then it was back up to the same tricks again. He always felt sorry for getting caught; he never felt anything I was feeling or my pain. He never, ever in the time that I knew him felt bad for ANYTHING that he did. I can't recall a single time when he ever said that he felt bad about doing the things he did. He would say that he felt bad because I felt bad, but it wasn't because he was sorry for my pain; he just didn't like it that I didn't like what he did. As an example, to my face, he would say that he would do whatever it took to win me back. He would meekly submit, he would be patient with my questions, etc. Behind my back, however, he would complain that I was monitoring him like he was a child, that he was sick of my snooping, etc.
downfall: well, at least it's something. Hopefully, your kids will share a good Thanksgiving with their father (I'll be praying about it!).
(((ouchagain))): I'm so sorry for your pain.
[This message edited by veritas at 2:48 PM, November 21st (Wednesday)]
Thanks so much for the support. I'm a little worried about my reaction to this D&D - it feels overwhelming - I can't cry, get mad - nothing. I feel guilty and numb and am having physical symptoms - dizzy, nauseous. Why in the world should I be feeling guilty after what he's done. Probably because I would, under normal circumstances, never hack into someones voice mail. This relationship has made me compromise so many of my values.
I don't know how to get through the next 4 days while he'll be on this "dream" vacation with her. I had better tap into some anger if I'm going to survive this. Does anyone has some words to offer to help me feel the indignation and anger. I think I'm turning the anger inward causing these terrible physical symptoms.
Nice to see you, again, ouch.
Things were clipping along okay -- then it hit.
The Pain. The anguish. It really helped ME to think of psycho as the *man in the box*. (Thnx, again, cj!)
Not Real, never will be, & a POS.
My N might not be flying into rages (yet), but there IS a certain devious sociopathic/criminality to his twisted dishonest way of thinking, & of viewing Life, & of treating people.
Yes, I did see him feeling sorry/guilty. But, this is before I knew him much BETTER.
Before I knew how WELL he could *act*.
I am going to keep busy & not dwell on him. He is not worth my energy!!
Wishing everyone a Good Thanksgiving.
Are you taking any anti-depressant meds? If not, PLEASE, please get to your Dr. ASAP and get on some. I will swear that those little pills saved my life.
Right now you are crippled with pain. You can't even feel anything else. You feel tricked, you feels stupid, you feel like you should have known better. I know. I have been in your shoes. Many of us have been in your shoes.
This man has tricked you, used you and taken advantage of everthing that is good about you. You need to stand up for that part of you and show him that you won't tolerate this type of treatment.
Don't get caught up in his guilt that "you" are ruining the holidays. Who is running off to spend the holidays in a posh bed and breadfast suite? Don't let him turn this around. He's runining the holidays. Just make sure that this is the last holiday he will ruin for you.
Get tough. You can do this.
[This message edited by sadtoo at 2:44 PM, November 21st (Wednesday)]
When another woman takes your husband,
sometimes the best thing you can do for
yourself is to LET HER HAVE the worthless
OC born 2001 (I didn't know)
Remarried 2008 (Happy!)
Something that is really bothering me and making me question myself is that he is surrounded by adoring women friends and some exGF's. He is a complete charmer and has so many fooled. Why does he reserve all the crap for me? It makes me think I've done something wrong to deserve this because everyone else seems to think he's Mr. Wonderful. I know crazy thinking, but nonetheless, that's how I'm feeling today.
Did you hear that from yours ever? Should I be more concerned about such a statement? Hmmmmmm...
ETA: To better clarify what I was trying to say, as I can be lame like that.
[This message edited by bobelina at 5:23 PM, November 21st (Wednesday)]
I believe because we are good & kind & loving, & they KNOW how much CRAP they can PULL & Get Away with...because they are cunning Sociopaths!
Read what downfall posting in the beginning.
We can stand on our heads & it STILL will never be enough...'it is, what it is'...& I don't want IT.
The *charm* is just an ACT for the next victim.
I don't know BoB...my N spoke about wanting to choke his XW a few times (because she was soooo *horrible* -- yeah, right!)...Lord only knows what he is saying about me.
Frankly, he's OUT & I don't care.
I feel guilty and numb and am having physical symptoms - dizzy, nauseous.
Your in shutdown. Limbo. Numb. Overload. Whatever you want to call the stage. Though this stage is probably one of the hardest because your inner voice has stopped speaking with you, it is also one the "best decision" stages. Decisions at this stage are usually based on survival instincts; not necessarily a bad thing when dealing with a N.
You need to comfort yourself as much as possible in this stage. Bubble baths, books, movies, music, anything you enjoy. Focus on small projects - cleaning out a closet - learning a new recipe - going for a walk. Small accomplished tasks are good for self esteem. Make sure you eat even if it is just crackers or small amounts of food every little bit. Your body is trying to recover and needs nutrition.
Many positive thoughts for you!
Ah, but she can't take you any way
You don't already know how to go ~ Eagles
I also remember the intitial reaction I have when I realized I was being abused and cheated. It was very physical and I spent months trying to stay upright and not be ill on anything I could not clean. (sorry for being graphic but it was that bad for a while). DO something good for yourself every day.
The essence of love is not what we think or do or provide for others, but how much we give of ourselves.
A clean house is the sign of a broken computer.
Oh, ouch..I *so* remember all the physical symptoms I had when I was going through that "realization" phase.
The *enormity* of what you've been through is HUGE. The compromises(against your own self) that you've made, the excuses you've told yourself, etc. ALL of it..its physically catastrophic when you actually come to terms with it.
Its because you don't deserve to be treated that way. Actually, *nobody* deserves it.
Not sure how to make it through today knowing he's off to the romantic B&B to celebrate his 50th with her and it's Thanksgiving to boot. I know too that she threw a big party for him last night with his "new " friends - her friends actually, but he's completely glommed onto her and now has a new life. It just makes me sick. He has all these adoring people around him that have no idea of the kind of person he is. I wonder if they would be so adoring if they knew what he has done to me - and would she be doing all of this if she knew about me. This is just really sick s**t.
I can't get out of my mind that he's happy now and has everything he wants. The woman he's with has it all together, money, lives in a big, exciting city - all of that. I am comparing myself so much to her right now thinking that he's with her because of something lacking in me. When I first met him, I had a full life and slowly he sucked the life out of me and sucked me dry financially. Now he's on to the next victim. I've heard a hundred times here that he'll do the same to her, but I can't keep from thinking - maybe she's the one and everything is just wonderful. Sorry, but that's how it feels right now. I think I just need time to get past that thinking - all will reveal itself - right?
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.
Happy & *SAFE* Thanksgiving to everyone!
He would drain his victims, slowly. But if a victim used precautions like garlic (NC) he couldn't drain them any longer and he would move on. He might come back again and again to try and get his needs met if there wasn't any easier or more available victim (NS) elsewhere.
Did Dracula change just because of the garlic? Nope. He was still Dracula. He was still going to need a victim (NS) to sustain him. Was one victim (NS) better than the other? Nope. To him a victim (NS) was just a victim (NS) and were just victims (objects) that existed for his needs alone. He needed what he needed and that was that. It is what it is.
The victims (Us) didn't exist. They didn't matter. They existed to serve a purpose. He would use any and all charms, etc. to obtain a victim (NS). Flattery, promising the moon, "hypnosis", etc. All that mattered to him was to satisfy the need (NS). Nothing was right or wrong to him to sustain his need. To him it was all fair. He was a predator needing to feed, and such as he wasn't doing anything right or wrong, just feeding. It was all about him and his needs. Remember, victims (NS) existed for his purposes and his purposes alone. They were objects to fulfill his needs.
My friend, it was never about you (NS), it was only about him. He's not happy. He's not content. His life isn't any better. It's all the same. Don't let the magical illusion that he's portraying fool you. It's more of the same. He's just feeding on her (new NS). She doesn't exist anymore than you did. She's an object. She's to be pitied.
Hang some garlic (NC) tonight and every night so that you can heal and break from Dracula's spell. You are worth it. You have been victimized (abused, etc) by a nasty predator who saw you (object) as a feeding (NS). Move on. Move on. Move on.
For all of my friends here. Rock on, Rock free. You deserve better. Your better than some nasty predator. We can heal. The "NPD Freaks" are doomed to live thru this cycle till the day they die. Don't envy the victims and what appears to be their new happy life. Pity them. Someday they may be here with us telling the same stories as we are.
ETA: Lame spelling.
[This message edited by bobelina at 9:29 AM, November 22nd (Thursday)]
Thank you, thank you, thank you. Just the words I need to hear today. I understand it so well intellectually, but, as you know, the distance from the head to the heart is immense. I'm sure time will take care of that.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
He will NOT change.
You might think he is "happy" or that they are whooping it up NOW, but I believe there IS a season for everything...
It ain't always going to be lookin' & bein' this Grand!
Nope. Just *appears* this way for NOW.
Its difficult to comprehend how our N's can have such an adoring Fan Club...but its all part of who they really are...which after awhile the light of day & good ole Father Time will EXPOSE.
Your *happy* time is coming, too. I know it is. Laws of nature, ouch.
lied2~ wise words/concept!
I'm staying busy doing FUN things today. Yes, you are so right about that!
[This message edited by dreamlife at 10:41 AM, November 22nd (Thursday)]
I'm hanging close here this morning. I'm going to be with family this afternoon for Thanksgiving and I can't talk to them about this - they don't know I took him back, so have to act like everything's just fine.
What's bothering me so much right now too is I was the one that acted CRAZY, irrational, inconsistent towards the end. I would try to act like everything was fine, be sweet to him (while I suspected all of this with the OW) then just couldn't take it anymore and blow up at him. Then nice again, then freak out time. I truly felt like I had a double personality. He never reacted, just focused on my issues. He would not discuss anything and if he got too uncomfortable would just hang up. I am not this kind of person at all - many people have told me I'm the kindess person they've ever known (yeah, I know, not a good thing necessarily when there are no boundaries.) So, I end up looking like I caused all the problems and of course he couldn't be with such an unstable person. He never once thinks about the things he did to cause all the crazy making. Just truly insane stuff.
Would you ever think sweet lil ole ME would pick up a heavy enamel colander of bananas that I was going to *crown* my N with...as he sat on our bed, laughing like a hyena because he had gotten ME so damned worked up/crazy/confused/angry?
But, I had a *light bulb moment* as I set it down. I pictured being in prison for smashing his head (the sweet little lamb )...a RO put against ME...etc.
This is what my N wanted.
I did not give it to him.
Instead, he got his sicko butt kicked out!
(He's not laughing NOW).
Its really difficult not to be able to talk about it, either.
This is where IC and a very few of family/friends come in to play...they *know* about the POS.
Keep on posting, sweetie!
Hang in there!
It really is as simple as that. Think about it.
The fact that you are thinking you could be NPD says that you're not. No true NPD would even entertain the thought that there might be something wrong with them.
The characteristics of an NPD spouse? Here's some:
1. Very loving
2. Very patient
3. Very forgiving
4. Very GENEROUS
5. Unbelievably TOLERANT
6. Most likely good looking
(No narcissist would be caught dead with an ugly spouse.)
People with personality disorders lack three basic qualities necessary to meaningful relationships: conscience, empathy and a sense of responsibility.
There is a vast difference between a mental illness and a personality disorder, even though they can look exactly the same on the outside. Someone who has anxiety can be angry and ruthless temporarily. Someone who is fundamentally angry and ruthless can have anxiety. We can’t always tell the difference from behaviors.
People with personality disorders lack three basic qualities necessary to meaningful relationships: conscience, empathy and a sense of responsibility. Recently some professional therapists have stated that personality disorders can be successfully treated, but many professionals consider personality disorders an untreatable, intractable condition that permeates the entire person.
Most mental illnesses involve a temporary loss of control in a person who does have a conscience, empathy and sense of responsibility. Most mental illnesses respond to medication and/or treatment. Personality disorders do not respond to medication, and as stated above, response to other treatment is debatable and debated.
About 80% of the population will experience “mental illness” – depression, obsession/compulsion, anxiety, mania, etc., at some point in their lives, if not a few times in their lives.
Never confuse a true personality disorder with a mental illness.
Few people understand this, and among the few who do intuitively get it, they are rarely able to articulate these things so that someone else understands it.
According to a 2001 study that is now considered the best available, approximately 15% of the population is a personality disorder. That means that 1 out of every 6-7 people is seriously morally compromised, and that’s a lot of people. For most of us it will not matter why they are this way. What does matter is that we protect ourselves from them.
Personality disorders have specific patterns of exploitation and abuse that are recognizable once we learn them, but until we do learn these patterns we can see an abuser at work right in front of us and what they are really doing will be completely invisible to us. We will not understand what we are seeing and we will interpret it any number of ways. Mirroring will be seen as sensitivity and consideration. Moments of negativity will be seen as “illness” or related to illness, e.g., “stress,” or eccentricity, or a bad childhood – whatever we have learned to that point about interpreting human behaviors.
Some key things to remember: the abuser targets his victim. He does the choosing. He charms and seduces with a sweetness that many people find irresistible. He mirrors. He works extremely hard to solidify an attachment that is entirely one-sided. He has enormous energy that he brings to the mix to keep his target where he wants her, and to shape her perceptions. He may even convince himself temporarily that the person he pretends to be is who he is, and it makes his acting all that much more convincing to others.
He communicates in specific ways that keep his target off-balance and confused throughout the process. He is a master of mixed messages, always alowing you to choose which truth you want to believe, while you never realize you are choosing. He is vague and noncommittal; at the same time he is highly controlled.
He may rage, or he may not, but anger and malice are at the root of nearly everything he does, and he keeps track of every slight, both real and imagined.
His mental and verbal games can be as cruel as a knife in the back, and sometimes the damage is longer lasting. Trying to understand the truth of what is taking place can inspire a level of obsession in the victim that consumes their life. This can go on indefinitely. Few people even begin to gain clarity until they have been away from an abuser for a long time.
The abuser is a gifted actor and liar who would deny the truth no matter what. If you walked in on the abuser in the midst of murder and you saw him plunge the knife into his victim, he would tell you that things were not what they seem. There is no obvious truth that he will not deny. The abuser is not interested in changing reality, but he is very interested in convincing others that they cannot count on their own perceptions, that they must believe him over their own hearts and instincts.
By giving an abuser the benefit of doubt, we sell our very souls for love. The irony is that real love would never ask that of us.
An abuser is fully conscious of what he does and he enjoys it, no matter how many crocodile tears he may shed and no matter how energetic his denials. He enjoys hurting people, or making them hurt themselves in the same way that ordinary people enjoy a beautiful sunset or a great meal. He thrives on it; he gains a sense of power from it. No one who is not like them will ever understand it. Trying to understand abuse from a disordered person can keep a victim trapped in the abuse. We aren't supposed to understand these things; we're supposed to walk away.
Being abused can set us up for further abuse. Just as an animal that is injured or sick is chosen by a predator, we can become prey for other abusers and continue the cycle.
There are no hard and fast answers. If there were, we would not be dealing with these issues at all here in the 21st Century. People would have figured out how to fix this a long time ago, because it is part and parcel of being human.
This article was a good one.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder - Recognizing the Problem
Recognizing the fact that you have been living with a partner who is affected by NPD, is surely the first step of dealing with the issue.
However, before someone might be classified as being narcissistic, it is important to keep in mind that, like every psychological disorder, narcissistic personality disorder too comes in various degrees. Going to the extreme, we might argue that each of us has somewhere a narcissist in her/himself. It even could be said that a narcissistic tendency is important for survival. However, in the same context it must be emphasized that, while a narcissistic tendency is constructive, a fully elaborated or developed symptomatic of NPD is nothing but destructive.
Psychologically there are several criteria which have been applied to this personality disorder. These are:
The narcissist can not take perspective, hence situations are blown out of proportion
The narcissist has little or no empathy. This means that (s)he cannot identify with the feelings or thoughts of another person
The narcissist is preoccupied with her/his personal distress
The narcissist cannot accept authority and hence has little concern for morals
The narcissist feels easily inferior and will try to be seen as superior
The narcissist is narcissistic hypersensitive, and hence cannot accept any form of critique
The narcissist is an exhibitionist and needs sexual admiration
The narcissist is exploitative, vain and not self-sufficient
So the question is whether the man or the woman you are living with are so strongly affected by this disorder that you will have to seriously confront the issue or whether the condition is mild and maybe after some adaptations it is possible to agree on a harmonious life together. However, this page will focus on the first scenario where the disorder poses a serious threat to the relationship as well as to your existence.
There is much one can read about the symptoms of NPD and yet exactly this can be more than confusing, and you might find yourself going through a checklist of symptoms in order to arrive at some conclusion. However, the list above should give you some idea. Still, there is another element which is just as important and this quite possibly the most important item for you to look at:
Look at yourself and ask yourself how you feel and whether you are the person you once were and knew. If you live with a narcissist, you will develop a cluster of negative feelings centered around the emotion of fear and an image of inadequacy. This self image of being inadequate then will be due to a change in self perception. This is, it is a cognitive concept that you are not familiar with and which is in contrast to how you used to see yourself. Clearly, such a negative self image will have serious effects on the way you feel and behave. The dominant feeling is, as alluded to, fear. Fear of doing things wrong and fear of being punished. And thus, the way you behave too will become modified whereby you will watch your every move and where your actions become unnatural to yourself.
The issue is - in a sense - more complicated. Because, all of us have negative feelings and concepts about ourselves even if we never encountered a narcissist. So in this sense, what the narcissist does is to build on the already existing negative self images and enlarge them to a maximum. The situation is even worse because we are aware of short comings in ourselves. This is where the narcissist is most successful. The narcissist will endeavour to increase these short comings. I may give a personal example: once, I gave up smoking, the narcissist exercised so much pressure on me until I started again (I still smoke sometimes). The narcissist would really like to see you in the gutter.
However, if you see that you have substantially changed for the worse you can be sure that you are living with a narcissist, and a check list is not necessary any longer.
Still, there is a healing aspect to sharing what actions you suffered and what injustice and cruelty you have been exposed to, and hence sharing experiences and finding reassurance through others can be very important. This is the more the case as, while you are still living with the narcissist or are still in contact with the narcissist, the negative self image gets constantly reinforced.
If you feel that the self check and the characteristics of the narcissist as given above are not sufficient you might want to check your relationship for symptoms of the following kind as given by the check list below. Still, while you are comparing your own experiences with the check list provided here, it is important to remember that maybe only some of these symptoms apply to you or that symptoms which apply to you are not listed. The final criterion will always remain the way you feel about yourself and your self image. Here now a list of possible symptoms a narcissist might display:
Dis-allowance of contacts with friends and families
Verbal and physical violence
Inability to admit wrong doings
Control over your time
Threats and intimations
Destruction of your things - physical and non-physical
Claiming to know your feelings and motivations
Accusations of infidelity and of behavior you yourself despise
Dr. Ludger Hofmann-Engl
from the site
Bob - something my ex said to me about his first wife was that he used to wish she would die in a car accident or something like that. I don't think he would of said anything different about me somehow.
I got my decree absolut today. It has made me a bit flat. I am still trying to figure out why.
I will post a bit more later.