I read somewhere one time (back when I was still married to and was still desperately trying to "fix" my NPDX) that I just needed to "love him more" and "learn to accept his behavior" as my resistance and or opposition to his abuse was actually part of the problem....
But the thing is I think on some level we all were made to believe that and act on it. It is what woman are programmed to believe, that we are to serve the man and family and that our love makes or breaks it. If it fails it must somehow be something we failed at.
I look at who the wifetress is on my case and she is prime source. Compared to her abusive first ex this one is a dream. He only hits her accasionally and she must deserve it for provoking him somehow. She is an adult and it is up to her to figure it out. I refuse to put myself in harms way again by saying something. She has let him poison her mind about me so I know anything I would try and say to her would not be received. Heck she apparently gets "medically stressed" if she has to talk to me or so my ex filed with the courts. I can only imagine her stress living with him.
Who is Kim Cooper?
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.
For there to be any hope of change you will need to protect yourself and also become a very strong parental figure, and fill in some gaps and heal some distortions your partner has missed in the developmental process. The biggest of these is the ability to trust. Just like parenting, if you want to improve a child’s behavior and character you will need to change your own behavior towards them. Leaving them or threatening to leave in order to try and force them to change their behavior will NOT build trust! Making demands will not work either.
Sounds like a lovely vision of the future.
What bothered me is that on this and her blog there are lots of people thanking her for telling them to continue to stay in a dysfunctional, abusive relationship. She claims to have them, but I have yet to see a success story. Other than hers.
[This message edited by veritas at 7:27 PM, December 22nd (Tuesday)]
This is true. But if we are going to adhere to old fashioned beliefs (as I do) it needs to go both ways. The husband is suppose to love honor, cherish, protect, and (even going way back) provide for. Not belittle, call horrible names, get drunk, cheat on and beat the shit out of when the mood strikes him.
Either way it's suppose to be a two way street. And according to Kim Cooper, the wife is suppose to accept the outrageous and abusive behavior your nutso NPD is dishing out and you are somehow suppose to maintain some kind of cool and treat your husband as a child and tell him how wonderful he is (I guess maybe from behind a locked and bolted steel door <<protecting yourself>> while playing the part of a parental figure for your underdeveloped overgrown out of control "child" <<husband>> who is throwing a violent temper tantrum and probably trying to kill you.
Can you even imagine??
[This message edited by sadtoo at 8:43 PM, December 22nd (Tuesday)]
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!)
And according to Kim Cooper, the wife is suppose to accept the outrageous and abusive behavior your nutso NPD is dishing out and you are somehow suppose to maintain some kind of cool and treat your husband as a child and tell him how wonderful he is (I guess maybe from behind a locked and bolted steel door <<protecting yourself>> while playing the part of a parental figure for your underdeveloped overgrown out of control "child" <<husband>> who is throwing a violent temper tantrum and probably trying to kill you.
Not to mention that she lists herself as a success story, while at the same time the only positive thing you see from her is that now she's happy! There's nothing about how her husband has changed any of his behaviors -- and she emphatically states that you shouldn't expect him to change. All you have to do is make yourself happy about it!
Yeah, so long as I ignored what my CBXFE was doing, he was a total peach -- while at the same time telling lies about me to other people. It wasn't until I started calling him on his crap that he became violent. According to Ms. Cooper, that was a big mistake! I just had to pretend like I was happy and everything was all right and he wouldn't be violent! w00t!
How can you possibly teach children how to act when you have to deal with a tantruming adult in the house. God knows I tried and it was nightmare.
I totally agree with you Sadtoo that it has to be a 2 way street.
I looked at the link and do think that some of what she is saying may help some people. I think those who are helped likely don't have the real disorder and have the ability to look inside on some level. People who have NPD need someone to be there for them and give them supply so her advice works for them perfectly because they get to not take responsibility for their behaviours and get to have a partner so all the hard work of keeping the relationship afloat and doing everything for them because they need a mommy or daddy to manage the stuff they can't.
What a load of crap.
I cannot even imagine trying to play nice as I was literally running for my life slamming doors behind me, trying to get away from that lunatic when he was in one of his rages. I would have been long dead had I stopped and tried to "parent" him.
I'm not kidding...after I finally got him out of here I had to replace EVERY SINGLE DOOR in this house. ALL of them had been kicked in and or had holes in them where he had punched his fist through them. Plus, the door jams were all completely destroyed. It was NUTS!
Crap. I wish I had said that. Unfortunately, I think this is pretty much what I HAVE done and it looks like recovering myself is going to be a long haul. My STBX claims the his IC told him that he scored high on N traits, but did not diagnose NPD. Of course he tells me whatever he thinks it will benefit him to tell me,so I don't really know. Anyway, as far as Kim Cooper goes my theory is that there was too much competition in the "How To Get Your Ex Back in 10 Days" category, so she just came up with a little twist to sell her stupid book. Her H is probably perfectly normal,or she is single.
I am currently unavailable to accept your projections. Please try again when hell freezes over.
At his urging, I read websites and books he's suggested and I sit there with tears streaming down my face and goosebumps all over. I've skimmed through many pages in this thread and my H doesn't seem to touch some of the behavior I've read here, but many of the little stuff is definitely there.
At this point, two years past Dday, I just want to give up. I don't want to R, I don't want to D, I want to drive off a bridge so I don't have to deal with this crazy mess anymore. If it didn't mean that he'd be raising the kids, it would already be done. You spend ten years with someone, you get to know all their quirks and nuances, and then you read a book about NPD and realize that every personality quirk that you thought was unique to your H is actually a symptom of a mental disorder. I don't know how to absorb that.
I hope I'm in the right place. I've been posting a bit in the R forum but even as I ask the questions I have serous doubts about the possibilities for 'us'. I've read here someone mentioning that even as you suffer from them, a part of you sees a broken little boy and you feel compelled to fix him. I've never had an addictive personality, but the urge to fix him is almost overwhelming. It washes out every thought of divorce. Even after everything he's done to me. I have a lot of CoDA issues from FOO, I was raised and groomed to be the fixer. I was a strong person before hurricane H came through and now I don't know who or what I am.
Is R even an option? Or am I signing myself up for a lifetime of misery. I thought when I walked down that aisle that he had taught me what love is. I don't know what a relationship is supposed to be like without any of these mindfu@*ing behaviors present. Is this like drugs/alcohol? Do I need to "get clean" before I can think and see what I have to work with?
It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.
-- Agnes Repplier
...a part of you sees a broken little boy and you feel compelled to fix him.
This really jumped out at me. This is exactly how I felt about my XNPDH. He was such a little boy. In the beginning, there seemed to be an almost child like innocence about him. He was sort of niave...or so I thought....or tricked into believing. I always thought he was so misunderstood and that if other people just knew him the way I did, they would adore him too.
Well as things turned out, if I knew him the way they did, I would be running for my life. Which in the end is basically what I had to do.
As you have already discovered, there is no fixing him. There is simply not enough love, not enough stuff, not enough money, not enough praise, not enough anything to "fix" an NPD. And in the end, you give and give and give until is nothing left for you....unless of course if you are willing to accept the breadcrumbs that are sometimes tossed your way. You end up with your self esteem in the toilet, broke, seeing a psychiatrist and numb from what you have been through. Sound familiar?
NPD's are human vampires. They have no real human emotions, qualities, ideas of their own, morals, values, self esteem, confidence, etc. So they STEAL ours. They bleed us dry and we end up an empty shell of our former self. Then when we have nothing left to give, they usually find a new supply and leave us to clean up the mess and disaster they have made of our life.
You are probably still teetering in that area that's right between him still needing you and him beginning to loathe you. You are probably in the place where you feel that by keeping him closer (enemy) you can know what he's up to. But by leaving you know that you risk launching him into NPD rage. So you remain paralyzed.
Is R even an option? Or am I signing myself up for a lifetime of misery.
If you are going to reconcile, realize what you are reconciling with and accept it. You are never going to have a true give and take love relationship. That beginning what you thought was love, was only a "hook" to get you where he wanted you. What you have now is the real thing. If this is okay with you, then go for it. But you're going to be reconciling on your on. Remember, he doesn't have any problems.
I thought when I walked down that aisle that he had taught me what love is.
Yeah, we all thought that...
I cannot stress to you how much your life will change once you leave this man. Assuming that you do make the choice to leave him, be prepared for a battle royale.
I know. It's so vulgar, but NPD's do not want you to have any of theirs. So distasteful to fight over it. Right? WRONG! If they even suspect that you're willing to compromise on the money, they will try to get it all. I'm suing mine for contempt. By the time we go to court, he will be in enough arrears that it'll be a felony charge. He could be arrested. Which leads me to my second point...
My husband thinks he is going to waltz into court and tell a bunch of lies and the judge will let him get away with it without any evidence. Why? Because that's what he did to me. After he filed for divorce and moved out, he begged and pleaded to come live at the house until his house went through. We lived like that for a month and a half. He was "so grateful" to me for giving him that time. I later found out that he was stealing receipts from me and that this is what he's going to argue in court as to why he underpaid for 10 months, that he paid all the bills around the house. In reality, he was mooching off of us and eating our groceries.
Where to start? There was the savings account that he emptied the day after he dragged me off of a sofa. He is now claiming that he used part of that money to pay off his mother for a community debt. He also accused my uncle of molesting me and having ulterior motives about my divorce. He would cry on my neck and offer me anything if I would not divorce him, even as he stole condoms from me and laughed it up about his new single life.
Divorcing an NPD is like dealing with the witch and Tam Lin. You have to keep holding on no matter what he says or does. Do not engage him. Do not trust him. Do not believe that he's a nice person. Do not believe anything that comes out of his mouth.
Lately I've been working up the courage to ask for a separation, and out of nowhere he has been so over the top sweet to me about everything. He's been going out of his way for me(of course, he always brings it up later to get his 'pat on the back' and recognition). He's been considerate, doing more than his usual share of housework (I've not been feeling well). Its completely thrown me off.
I'm glad that you both responded, I was wondering if this was a dead thread. I'm in very confusing waters with him right now and have no idea how to cut through the crap some days. It really helps to have someone else do a bullshit check for me.
Btw, that money comment really hit home for me. I remember when I first confronted him about the A. I hadn't even mentioned D but he sort of laughed at me with that ugly look of contempt and said "well, I don't know what you're so upset about, with child support youll be getting $35,000 a year. Thats like a part time job for doing nothing." Of course he has no recollection of saying this whatsoever. He claims he'd never say something so ugly and that he is so focused on R that he hasn't even considered D or anything else.
[This message edited by dismantled at 6:02 PM, January 7th (Thursday)]
Not all NPD's are "monsters." But they ALL are self focused, self centered, display inappropriate and or exagerated emotions, have NO ability to put themselves in another persons shoes (lack empathy) cannot tolerate critisism, has a difficult time accepting responsiblity for wrong doing. There are many other things, but you get my point. Your H is displaying many of the hallmark characteristics of NPD.
As soon as I show him my pain, put any kind of expectation on him or (God forbid!)hint that he isn't doing the work to fix the damage of his affair-- then holy shit! I might as well have punched him and called his mother a whore. He freaks out.
This is so typical. You can't explain to him (even in the kindest tone) that he has hurt you. You could be saying something as simple as, "You really hurt my feeling when you were late to my birthday party and didn't even call."
Like you said, he'll react as if you punched him, called his mother a whore or even worse. Next thing you know he has twisted things around to "How dare YOU!!!" Then pretty soon YOU are apologizing to HIM!!
This is how they control the people around them and do what they want without consequence. If they are confronted, they scream and yell, throw things, throw temper tantrums, and some even get extremely violent. Most of the time the people on the recieving end soon realize that life is much easier to just say nothing. That way, maybe the NPD will SHUT UP. Because saying something or voicing your complaint just isn't worth the grief you are sure to suffer by bringing anything up.
He doesn't get it. When I tell him how scared it makes me when he reacts this way, he looks at me like I'm stupid and tells me I should know that he'd never hurt me, and it's insulting that I'd think he's capable. I no longer know what he's capable of.
Mine would do the same thing. He was a big guy too. I would ask him about something and he too would completely FLIP OUT. He would literally throw himself on the floor screaming and crying like a two year old. It was shocking! It was usually about something I found that appeared he was up to no good (cheating) and this would be his reaction. This would usually escallate into a three or four day fight where he would turn things around into how I had disrespected him and accused him of the "most horrible and ugly thing anyone could ever do!" and say, "You don't understand, I would never do that to you! That is so insulting! Do you know how bad that hurts me that you would even say that to me!!"
The truth was he was having an affair and had been for some time and this wasn't his first. There had also been an OC born.
See, it's all about them. How hurt THEY are...What's in it for them....It's so exhausting.
How does he react when you've talked about leaving or him leaving?
It's like the mindfu@* from hell. He starts talking and talking fast and keeps going until I have no idea what we were talking about. And in the end he is summing up how we 'both agree' that we should stay together for all of the reasons that I just 'agreed' to. All I did was sit there and stare blankly, but somehow in his mind, I'm actively involved and suggesting all sorts of reasons why I didn't actually mean that I wanted a divorce.
The last time was about a month ago. For probably our entire marriage he has "joked" about how I trapped him into marriage. (he asked me on one knee like most do, but we already had an 8 mo old by the time he got around to it.) He has a sarcastic somewhat insulting sense of humor. I have never found this funny, and every time he's "joked" it would cause tension. Around dday, he made the same joke and this time I absolutely blew up. Since then not another word. So, about a month ago, he's telling me how a friend of his was asked to move in by her boyfriend. He tell me that he "joked" to her that she shouldn't have waited for him to ask, she should've just done it like I did. Needless to say that scab was torn off and I started to cry. Instead of realizing he was a A-hole, he got angry with me, told me I was ridiculous and purposely taking it the "wrong way". I sat there, wiped my face and quietly said "I want a divorce". Somehow from that he claims that I screamed at him that I want to divorce him, I am out of control and overtaken by my emotions. By the end of the conversation I have no idea what happened but we are "past that little unpleanantness" and he is chatting happily about random nonsense like nothing ever happened.
[This message edited by dismantled at 9:14 PM, January 7th (Thursday)]
These people don't change. They pretty much only do things they think will get them some kind of ego stroke or reward. Once there is nothing to gain they will be horrible to you or even try and break you in whatever way they can.
I would seriously recommend not saying anything about wanting a D until you have all your ducks in a row and then move quickly. To do otherwise you and your children may well put yourselves in a difficult situation.
I know my ex constantly turns everything around back on me. It is always my fauly for everything. And the money It was all his and I deserved nothing. I recently had to take him back to court to have him pay the table amount (going back the last 2 yrs because he managed to hide his income increases). It was terribly messy because he figured I was using the courts to rob him blind. He went so far as to go off on me in the court waiting room calling me all kinds of things including a vampire. We finally got it settled when the mediator got through to him that he pays the table amount now or later and there was no other way out. Of course now to spite me he has had no contact with the kids for christmas. I am sure that will be my fault as well.
As much as being around someone like this can be damaging to an adult I think the effects are far worse for the children. I know my kids have had many struggles as a result of having a father act like a crazy person for so long modeling terrible behaviour. My kids now have difficulties with acting out etc. It makes me wish I had left him sooner and maybe spared them these struggles.
Oh and if you think it is just you that they treat this way, rest assured it isn't. My ex is remarried and I know he hits the wifetress (I never let him get to that point. I always put space between me and him when he would start going off). He did that before they got married but he still convinced her to marry him. I am sure he talks a good talk but the reality she is not getting anything more than the chaos I lived for so many years.
After we separated I was pretty shocked at how much I was programmed over the year by him to do many things to appease him hoping to maintain some kind of reasonably peaceful life. So much of what they do is really not a little boy but a master maniplulator playing those around them like puppets. They are well attuned to making us dance their dance and staying just means more of the same dance for as long as we stay.
Do you like to live the dance or do you want to be free?
I know once I realized that was the bottom line I decided that I had to be free or die trying. I am free today and although some days are really hard I know it is far better than the charade that was sucking my soul out of me one day at a time.
For probably our entire marriage he has "joked" about how I trapped him into marriage. (he asked me on one knee like most do
This one is pretty creepy too...My XNPDH also got on one knee and asked me to marry him too. Then after we were married for awhile (not long) he ALSO started to say tha me AND my parents had "tricked him" into marrying me! He told other people that he was tricked because he "didn't know about my hidden incurable mental illness..."
I so feel your pain. It's like they grind you down to nothing....constantly digging at you, putting you down, destroying every bit of confidence and self respect you've ever had.
I know for me I had been a very confident, sucessful, independent woman when I met him. I was 34 years old when I married him. By the time we divorced, I was a shell of my former self. He had stripped everything away from me.
I guess where I get stuck is the good days. There are times when I don't see the emotional vampire, or the manipulation or any scent of abnormal behavior. I just see a guy who sometimes acts like a total moron more out of selfishness and stupidity than any actual malicious intent. In those days I wonder why I was trying so hard to 'diagnose' him. Then, an arguments strikes or some other conflict and his reactions are infuriating nonsense. But could this be an ignorance about communication? Could it be hardheadedness? Could it be emotional immaturity? Those things are fixable. NPD isn't. That's the sticky point.
So I wonder: how do I push all the buttons at once and test it? If he truly is NPD as I suspect and my counselor suspects, then each and every time he should react with predictable results consistently.
All NPD's are capable of being INCREDIBLY charming. That's how they get where they are.
Then, an arguments strikes or some other conflict and his reactions are infuriating nonsense. But could this be an ignorance about communication? Could it be hardheadedness? Could it be emotional immaturity? Those things are fixable. NPD isn't. That's the sticky point.
We've all probably been in this place with our NPD's. I remember going crazy trying to figure out what was going on with mine. At first he would turn on the water works, plead and cry saying that this was the aftermath from "abuse" he suffered from his ex-girlfriend. I encouraged him to get some counseling for his issues and he agreed but like everything else, lots of lip action and no real action. Then the excessive drinking...his mother claimed he was an alcoholic...then it was he was an adult child of an alcoholic. Then it was some kind of trauma he has suffered from being in the service...what kind? Who knows! He would never give any specifics. So I went back and forth for years too.
But the bottom line was he was an ASS-HOLE and was treating me with disrespect, abusing me and cheating on me. It didn't really matter why he was doing it. I just had realize that this was who he was and if I was willing to tolerate it. I wasn't so I threw him out after his last NPD-melt down by getting a court ordered protection order and he was never allowed to come back.
That was EIGHT years ago this March. Wow. I can't believe it's been that long already. It wasn't easy becauase of course he fought me every inch of the way and for everything, but it was SO WORTH it. It was worth every battle, every dime I spent, and every sleepless night to have him out of my life now <<knocking on wood>> My life is so much better and so much more normal today.
Sure my ex knew how to turn on the charm and sometimes he was not a total jerk. The problem was that he was able to use his charm to make me look like the crazy one at times. Heck he even had my family fooled to a fair degree.
At some point you get to the point where you ask if you can live like this for the next 5 yrs, 10 yrs... Is this the life you want? I know for me the idea of being still married to him 5 yrs and 10 yrs (it has been 7 yrs since my ex left) felt like a death to me, one worse than the idea fo divorce and freedom to be myself, be safe from the abuse and to make my own future without the insanity.
I have to say that 7 yrs out I can't believe I lived with his craziness for so long. I saw him in court in the fall and the behaviours shocked me. It was not that he was different, it was that it was the same and I had lived with that for so long.
You get lost in the marriage because it is always about them and preventing the next meltdown, crisis, blow-up..... You can't see how bad it is while you live it.