Even though part of me has reached indifference, I know I could be easily sucked back in during a weak moment.....maybe. So I want to read this one, because I think we are all, at the very least, a little co-pendent.
The dance of the wounded soul, Codependence. By Robert Burney How to break free..
I won't get this one till my next paycheck but it is on my list of "must read"
Status: S & D'ing
I am going to get those two books and one I have read before "Women who love to much". I know I am a caretaker as I was raised to be one by my mother. I have to learn not to be so appealing to those looking to use me.
I think part of my problem is knowing that he is lying and what he lies about most and not being able to tell him that I know.
For the first seven years of our relationship I was head over heals whatever he siad I belived. Then after thinking we had a relationship that was the greatest he had to go away for a couple of months and it was really hard for me, we had never been apart before. When he came home I thought everything was ok then I found out from the doctor he cheated on me and things have been going down hill ever since.
I have all the computers in house wired so I know what is going on and know that by what he types in for porn sites he has been looking at porn for a long time.I also know that he lies about his money.
As I sit here and know about the lies and have researched NPD I have such an uneasy feeling and can only wonder what else he is lying about sometimes I just want to burst.
I have started to go to church and watch only things on tv that are uplifting and read my bible and pray because I know that I deserve better than this.
There is nothing about this relationship that says love, no intimacy no long talks about what happened and no real feelings of remorse for changing our lives in such a horrible way.
I have been told that the reason is like this is because he has not felt the shame that would put him check. But NPD have no shame because they think everything they do is the right thing.
He continues to swear to me that he only cheated once and he regrets it but then he continues to act the same way.
I have wanted to leave for a long time but have no resources to get me out although he says if I want to leave he will help me, and then I wonder what life would be like if I had nothing to worry about. I feel defeated, like if I leave he gets his way and if I stay he gets his way and the only ones suffering is me and the kids.
At times I test him to see what he will say and he does exactly what I think he will do and that is lie. It is so confusing to me that he would continue to act like he has done nothing wrong when every day I wake up and feel like I am lost and noone can find me.
So do we ever confront them on this or do we just quietly leave and act like this nightmare never happened.
Only you know what you CAN live with and what you are WILLING to live with. If you want out then you have to start taking steps. Have you gone to social services to see what is available for financial help, career retraining, anything that would help? The grown children that are living with you....can you move out on your own as a group? What kind of income can/would they contribute? Have you been to any of the women's shelters seeking any advice or recomendations on where to start and where to look for help.
If you are feeling trapped in the marriage then you will need help in getting out and starting over. Don't be afraid to ask for that help from any source you can find it from.
And yes, exit quietly. Have your ducks in a row so that you can leave quietly and secretly. Do not leave any way of them finding you if you do not HAVE to have contact. It does no good to confront them. If you feel you need to let it out and let them know that you have not been the fool and doormat they thought you were, then leave a letter telling them what you know and need to let them know you know.
If you think leaving them will wake them up.....huh uh....not going to happen. They may panic because their supply is gone.....they may even pretend to be humble and remorseful.....until they have you sucked back in. Then it will be business as usual. Or they may rage and become physically or mentally abusive in order to keep their supply.
Nope, just quietly slip away. You will be amazed at how quickly you will be replaced. I know that sounds harsh. Mine did not replace me with another man....no new men in her life. I was just the walking wallet to her. She did not need emotional feed from me. Ego feed???? Maybe a little. But that animal does not need to be fed again just yet. My begging and pleading has that ego beast fattened up for a while. She replaced me as a source of financial support with parent's money, and state aide.
So don't feel like if you leave he will replace you with a new partner. He may just find a maid....KWIM???
I would also look very hard and co-dependence. Most of us spouses of NPDs are. That is why we became their targets. They sought us out because we showed all the traits.....and that was what they were atracted to. If we work on fixing that....then we will not be appealing to the next NPD we meet.
There is no magic cure here. A lot of work up front but then a lifetime comittment of maintaining that healthy you. A lifetime of working to be better......kinda like preventive maintenance for the soul.
That is where I think my fear is, I have depended on WH for a long time financially because he eanted me to stay home with the kids and brings it up all the time, how good it was of him to let me stay home while he did all the work.
I was reading something in SI about seeing things different in different seasons. I think because my love was real it is going to be a real transition to leave and he knows that and can play on that.
I have been paying for a storage place for months and stopped putting stuff in becaue I was hopeful that things would get better.
Needless to say they are the same, and sometimes I think this is all in my head and I am making worse then it really is. That is my winter feeling but when the warmer temps come back and girls are walking around half dresed and his eyes start to be observant has he calls it I realize that he will be this forever and I have to leave or stop complaining.
Hell I HAD a psychiatrist tell me she was NPD. It took a year to convince myself that HE knew what he was talking about. And I STILL wonder if it is not just in my head from time to time.
It is because they still have a pretty convincing act and we think we see a human being from time to time....that causes doubt.
It takes time and knowledge to accept. Try not to resist the signs he is giving you. Gotta run for now but will be back to address the "trapped" aspect of staying with NPD. Maybe someone that has been financially trapped with an NPD can jump on and give some advice of resources of financial help. I hope so.
[This message edited by noone at 6:20 PM, January 14th (Saturday)]
I don't know your story or how he has behaved throughout...before and after dday. You are the one that lives with him so you would best know his actions and reactions....
If you suspect he may be NPD, read through these NPD threads. I think you can go back as far as NPD 4. Skim through and look for links, or book recomendations, and even discussions on traits. I would write down all the links and then start going to them. Most of the online stuff will give you the basics and the books will be more detailed. The books usually discuss other sociopathic disorders as well. It might help you narrow down the options. There are lists of traits that they exhibit and you can run down those checklists.
Most NPD WSs have axhibited the traits throughout the marriage but become more escalated after dday. Therefore they become more noticeable. Once you determine they may be NPD and you learn and study the subject, you can look back throughout their history and see the same traits that you were less aware of.
The violent rage is not that common, but there are other forms and exhibitions of rage.
The main tell tale signs are inability to admit fault, inability to feel empathy and remorse, self entitlement, substance abuse is common but not always present, infidelity is often present, and there are a few others. You can find a list somewhere in these threads and start there.
If he is NPD....they are incurrable and untreatable. There are rare cases that psychotherapy has helped. The main proble is that they feel there nothing wrong with them.....it is always somebody else's fault. Therefore since they are right and everyone else is wrong....they don't need treatment.....you can't fix someone if they don't think they are broken.
Good luck with your quest for information and for your sake I hope his is not NPD. Most of us here in NPD land no longer care about infidelity.....the NPD is a much bigger problem.
Read, Read, and then read some more. Open your mind to the possibility. Most of us went through a long period of denial at first. But the more you learn the harder it is to deny it.....as much as you wish it was not so.
On a related note, to the guys here related to or formerly married to female NPDs- I've seen several books for daughters of NPD mothers. Not similar to what we deal with here at SI, but may be of some help. I'm sorry I don't have specific titles or authors, but those types of books are out there in case they may be of some help.
Hugs to all here~ Sabina
"Live a life not an apology." Edward R.Murrow
"I can be changed by what happens to me but I refuse to be reduced by it."
I pop in now and then to see how you are doing.....still in that holding pattern....you have more patience than Job.
Thanx for the heads up on the books....I will try to google daughters of NPD ans see what comes up. If I keep researching this crap.....I may write a book....and sell the movie rights. They would propably only show it on the SciFi channel though.
Which, by the way, seems to be a common thread amongst NPDs.....I wonder if it is because the only thing they truly feel is anger and fear???? Anyone have an opinion on the subject??? Maybe DS & MH could get us a study grant.....I have never read anywhere where that is a trait....but many NPD survivors I talk to say that their NPD spouse was obsessed with Sci Fi.....Just wonderin'
I'm not Job, but some days & weeks are harder than others. I've had significant healing of my own to do before I felt strong enough to take decisive action. Financial resources are scarce on the ground and official assistance has been little to none or comes with enough strings that I can't accept. My plans are in place & I'm hiding in plain sight (as has been recommended here) until I've squirreled away enough to leave & take DS with me.
Re: fear & anger. In my house, those are the predominant emotions (other than 'flat') & your observation seems to be true, although with my mother (also NPD) as she has aged she has gotten better about showing other emotions.
Sell that book Frank & make your fortune! Somehow you should benefit from your struggles.
The SyFy thing, though, is off 'cuz I'm the SyFy fan & SAWH is the 'chick flick' fan.
It is easier to read over these posts and see how much applies to him; The constant need for admiration (cue the new girlfriend stage left), the unexplainable rage, even the obsessive kind of love that he had for me early in our relationship. Everyone else was always wrong, nothing is ever his fault.
He has kept me in a constant state of flux for 17 years. He has kept me confused and twisted up. I am just trying now to see out of the fog and figure out if I have been the victim of his abuse all this time, not just a victim of his ego.
Me - BS, 41
Him - WS NPD, 54
Kids - 20S, 17D, 15S
2 grandbabies - Twins!
17 yrs & 5mnts to the DAY of M
There is no turning back from what he's done to me. On the road to D.
I realized what has been missing in my marriage since his affair in the 2nd year of our marriage...Fun, compassion, and of course Passion. We used to laugh and horse around so much that his neice told us before the wedding that we were the craziest couple she had ever seen. We would play argue but be laughing so hard we'd pee our pants. We would have sex out at the lake (no one was around) we would go dancing in a local bar when no one else was dancing, I would dress up in very sexy outfits without him knowing it. We used to cuddle in front of the fire and drink winve We had FUN, we were a COUPLE.
All that went away when we moved here and he got a different job. I have been watching this movie and realizing that Julia Roberts couldn't marry those men because she wasn't a couple and she wasn't having fun. But when she starts getting to know Richard Gere, hubba hubba, she starts having fun and playing around with him. It hit me like a ton of bricks that all that was missing because he began an affair and I became the enemy.
He stopped trying to be a couple because it was too hard to keep up the facade of a loving, fun, passionate man. I realize that all the time I was trying to make my marriage work he was into weird crap that I would never have agreed to had I known. I turned myself inside out and became what he wanted in order to save my marriage but I lost ME! I stopped being the woman that I was before I married him and became this wimpy, lonely unhappy woman. Hell,it was no wonder why my migraines got worse and I developed autoimmunes diseases. My body was trying to make me wake up and see my "real" life. I had NO life unless it was what he wanted to do. I can remember only one time he agreed to do something that I insisted on doing with or without him. For my birthday in 2009 I told him that I wanted to go see "This is IT" with Michael Jackson, it was playing on my birthday. He said he didn't want to go so I told him that was fine, I would go alone. Suddenly he wanted to go and did later admit he enjoyed it.
I was living in a sexless, loveless, boring, unfullfilling and desparately lonely marriage. I know what I need and that is the friendship, love, passion, companionship, trust and FUN. I am not ready now but when the time is right I will finally know what I am looking for and that without it no marriage can work.
Thanks for listening to my boring thoughts but I just had to share it with someone.
Your post helped open my eyes and put words to it. Yes, I did maintain a part of me. I did not give myself completely over to the marriage. I still did things that I enjoyed, even if she did not want to do them with me. We shared a life together also. But it was more a life of obligations and responsibilities. We did not have FUN together. Yes, we went to dinner and yes, we did do a few other things that were enjoyable. But we did not share any ADVENTURES or Spontinaity together. We mosly went shopping for things for the house or something. And often that was enjoyable.....to some degree. But we did not share the intimate part of ourselves. The facade of "fun person" was gone, and had been gone for many years. It was a tolerable and sometimes pleasant existance.....but that is all it was at best. I still had FUN, but it was the FUN that I created for myself....not FUN we shared together. She never came up with anything FUN to do and shot down most ideas that I came up with that would be FUN. Yet her reason for the affairs was that we were not a couple anymore and we never did things together. As if to say, it was solely my responsibility to make HER life fun.
Approx. 3 years before dday, and 25 years into the marriage, I gave up on trying to make her life FUN. I started just sharing the responsible life with her but started finding FUN for ME. Hunting, Fishing, hanging out with my son, visiting an old friend. These were things that I liked to do. I did them anyway....by myself. She would only do things with me if SHE wanted to do them. I did thing with her because SHE wanted to do them....even if I did not.
The affairs happened because I stopped being responsible for HER pleasures. I was no longer her NPD supplier. HER pleasure was no longer my #1 concern. She needed someone to FOCUS ON HER. That was no longer available from me....I was no longer the supplier of that NPD need. The OM were. Of course they focused on her......They were focused on getting laid.....hence they focused on her. They focused on her so they could fuck her and she fucked them so they would focus on her.
She got what she wanted and that was the price she had to pay. And to hell with everyone else and to hell with how that would destroy me and the marriage....we didn't matter. All that mattered was she got what she wanted.
And that people is the anatomy of the infidelity in my marriage.
Oh well.....life goes on. Keep working and processing SVB you are sounding sooooo much more aware and sooooo much more like you are healing. GREAT JOB of processing and thanks for the inspiration.
Welcome to hell...NPD Hell. The advice to all newcomers in NPD Hell is to read, read, read, and then read some more. Education on NPD is the best tool to healing and moving forward to recovery. Read as much of the NPD forum as you can and visit all the links posted. Then read all the recomended books. Then you will be able to evaluate your M and your past with clarity and your capacity for coping will increase exponentially. Share your discoveries and thoughts here and you will recieve excellent advice.
When the hell of infidelity takes a back seat to the hell of NPD, that is when you know you belong here. When you realize that the infidelity was only a symptom of a much bigger problem and not the actual problem itself, that is when you begin to heal.
Welcome to NPD HELL and I hope you brought plenty of Ice Water....it is going to be HOT for a while.
I really believe that doing the post mortem on my marriage is helping me see all the crap that I tolerated and how I let it change me. I feel so much stronger now that I am seeing it for what it was and I am no longer trying to apologize for or white wash what he did and who he was. Karma is gonna come calling for him and I am gonna sit back and watch it happen. I stayed way too long in a bad marriage and I am finally seeing it and accepting it. Next comes working on finding out why I let myself be changed and why I stayed when I should have left at year 2.
I really feel like I saw it but refused to admit it to myself because I wanted my marriage to be forever. And I also kept waiting for the man I feel in love with (the fake one) to come back. I know now that that man didn't exist and I am so much better off alone than being married to an NPD.
If you think you are ready to look into you......start learning about co dependence. I believe that is the thread that kept us hanging on and not letting go. Our codependent personalities are what makes us the easy target for NPDs. I am in the early stages of learning about codependence and have been a little lazy about studying it. Sad thing is....It is probably the final step to healing. I will be reading some books when the next paycheck gets here. I just don't think I can sit in the aisle of B. Dalton anymore.