I doubt, and I wish. Even though I have all kinds of evidence in front of me, with the fights we've been having and the way they always go, I sit here wondering... what if I'm wrong? What if I end this marriage, and I'm wrong about him? Then come the wishes. If only things were different. If only I could stand to live this way. If only... ad nauseum.
That's part of the reason I keep reading, over and over, the lists of symptoms, the hallmarks of the disorder. Because every time I do, I end up believing even more that I'm right in thinking he's NPD. This is not something I want to deal with. I don't want this FOR HIM. But I can't change it, either.
Doubt, I think, is part and parcel of our lives. For one thing, they re-write and call us liars and make us believe that their version is what really happened. So when it comes to having to be SURE, we are going to doubt, naturally. We've had our judgement questioned so many times, it's ingrained in us. We've been trained BY them to accept that there's nothing wrong WITH them. I'm don't know that that's true of EVERY situation with an NPD, but I'm finding it hard to see that it couldn't be.
I read, read, read and then I read some more. Because when my strength is failing me, when I start wanting that "old normal" back, it's the only thing I have to show me what's true. The facts speak for themselves.
What I wish most of all is that, somehow, I wouldn't have to take the next steps. But I also wish that I was done with this part, so I could be on the other side of this wall, finally, and see what so many others here are seeing... that there is a better life without NPD sucking us dry of every ounce of will to live.
I long for that day when I can finally breathe free and have a life that doesn't include walking on eggshells, worrying that he might get angry, wondering how much more I can take... I long for that day, and God willing, I will get there. But not without plenty more bad days, I'm sure.
It means either living with it or walking away. Intellectually, I understand that they have no emotions, so it doesn't really hurt them. It hurts US. But my heart, my compassionate heart, does not want to accept that, yet.
It's easy to get scared and think, "I gotta get away!" DOING the getting away is hard. BELIEVING that they won't be hurt is hard. UNDERSTANDING that it is necessary for our own survival is hard.
What if we're right?
so I think the question might be for you and I "what if we're RIGHT?". because then you have to DO something and walk off this path and go find a new one.
This is that "oh shit" moment....This is the point where you start doing something to get yourself free.....it happens in incriments.
Status: S & D'ing
Getting out is the hardest, staying out when time has gone past get harder still, but stay strong, learn that you will hold onto that sliver of hope, but be wise and as frank says, read, read, read.
It is so very hard to stop wishing and hoping for the man/woman we fell in love with but you have to remember that person wasn't REAL. They wear a mask to rope us in and then once they have us tied down and broken down they show us the real THEM!! And man is it scary. They can do this because that is the facade they show to everyone else. My stbx is "Mr Wonderful" to everyone but me. To me, behind closed doors and with some of his friends, I am horrible. He punished me by using the silent treatment. He raged at me for what seemed like an innocent comment or question. He threatened to kill me or beat me when I asked about his cheating. That was my REAL husband.
When they get to the point of threatening to hurt you, look into their eyes. What I say that day in May 2011 was a man with no soul, cold eyes filled with hate. I am not kidding when I tell you that I thought I was looking into a black abyss. I had NEVER seen anything like it and I was scared to death. I was so sure he was going to beat me or kill me that I moved 1 week later and slept with my door locked and blocked so he couldn't come in. He tried to talk me out of leaving but I knew then he really did want me to move because he had his new supply.
Since I have left I have found joy in coming home to a peaceful home. Now that I can't work I find joy in waking up and doing what I can without worrying that I will get yelled at. If I am too sick to get out of bed I do not worry, I rest. I no longer fear the sound of the garage door openning. It wasn't till I left stbx that I even realized that I was in fear with the sound of the garage openning. We become so programmed that the life we have is normal that it isn't until we are away or read about the NPD that we say "whoa, wait you mean I am not supposed to be walking on eggshells"? Talking to a therapist who tells you DO NOT EVER GO BACK TO THAT MAN doesn't even do it. It all comes from doing a "post mortem" on your marriage and looking at all those times you felt something was off. That is when you begin to realize that you are living with someone who will never be able to love you the way you want and need to be loved.
It isn't you it is THEM! They are broken because of something in their life. You deserve better so don't settle for the crumbs they throw your way to keep you hanging on to the hope that they will change. They might go so far as to admit they are broken but they won't do a damn thing about it. NPD's also can not stand to be in a quiet place because they have to be alone with thier thoughts and that is too scary for them. They have to always be around people or have the tv on or music playing. They do NOT want to sit and think.
I hope anyone who is dealing with an NPD will do some research to learn about them. I wish each of us the best in life we can have because we have been so abused by our NPD and we do NOT deserve it. Hugs to all.
Married: 11 years, no kids
The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark. -Michelangelo
You are in a controling and abusive relationship. He IS NPD and the controling is the FEAR of losing his SUPPLY....
I am not familiar with Canada and their resources. Is there any women's shelters you can go get legal advice on how to exit the country and get the kids passports ok'd. He is holding you prisoner in a sense. And he thinks he holds all the cards. It is up to you to outsmart him. If you have made up your mind to exit the relationship, let your IC know and ask her for help in finding the resources to make this happen. And, uhhh, I do believe you will be entitled to half the value of the company as well as CS for 4 children. Not sure about spousal support but here in TX. If the spouse has not worked in the last five years or half the marriage.....the spouse is elligible for up to 3 years spousal support. Yeh, he says you aren't going to get shit so you will be scared to leave....He is feeling you pulling away and getting wise to his act. Now would be a really good time to be worried about some form of radical behavior. If not physical control....probably using kids to control you. Move silently and quickly. Have your ducks in a row. Until then do not agitate or poke the bear. Just keep feeding him ego kibbles and make your arrangments....very very quietly. You can do this. I can tell by your posts that you are a very strong and indpendent thinker.....by the way NPDs shy away from your type....not sure how you got sucked in.....but at least you know you have to get out. That is a huge step.
By the way, his traits are becoming more and more apparent because you are becoming more and more aware. Now that you are reading that will increase to the level that will make it intolerable to spend another minute with an NPD.
Good Luck and keep us posted on here.
Since I have left I have found joy in coming home to a peaceful home. Now that I can't work I find joy in waking up and doing what I can without worrying that I will get yelled at. If I am too sick to get out of bed I do not worry, I rest. I no longer fear the sound of the garage door openning. It wasn't till I left stbx that I even realized that I was in fear with the sound of the garage openning. We become so programmed that the life we have is normal that it isn't until we are away or read about the NPD that we say "whoa, wait you mean I am not supposed to be walking on eggshells"?
Your post touched my heart, as do all the posts here.
XNPDWH was so charming when I met him. He wooed me with declarations of how I was his soulmate, that he'd never loved anyone as much as me, how beautiful and wise I was. He wanted to move in with me not long after we met.
I hesitated about agreeing to him moving in (like any normal person!) but he broke me down with promises.
The fairytale lasted for all of 6 - 12 months. Then his NPD started showing but I didn't have a name for it then.
He started hurting me during sex by being a bit too rough. When I'd tell him he'd start raging about how I was "always" criticizing him. WTF?
So I'd suffer in silence and he never noticed the tears streaming down my face while he pounded himself on me, in his own selfish world. Love making? Not in my world.
Then he suddenly decided to reject me sexually but wouldn't tell me why. I begged, I cried, I pleaded but he'd dismiss me and give me the silent treatment.
I was starting to be devalued but I didn't have a name for it then.
That's when I believe he started cheating.
He'd rage over the slightest things. I once walked past him as I was getting ready for work and he suddenly stood up and shouted with absolute hatred "You're a NOTHING. A NOBODY".
I'd thought he'd lost his mind. I even googled "my husband hates me" trying to make sense out of crazy.
He was always pulling me in and pushing me away. 2 weeks before DDay he bought me a huge bunch of my favourite roses. WTF?
When I'd hear his car pull up my stomach would clench in fear. I was so used to feeling this way, I thought it was normal.
When I discovered his emails to MOW I was HORRIFIED to read he had used the EXACT same words to her as he had used to me 10 years ago. How she was his soulmate, how beautiful and wise she was. It was word for word.
After DDay I asked him why he used the exact same emails he had sent to me all those years ago.
He smirked at me (I hate the NPD smirk) and said "Well you use what works".
That's when I realised he was a human with no real feelings. His facade is dependant on scripts. It's all about getting what he wants. His N supply.
When the MOW rejected him after he left me, he started with the emails to me. He used the EXACT same emails! How I was his soulmate, blah blah blah.
They are broken and they are afraid of having to live in this world without their supply. It means everything to them. They will use a well used script to hook a new supply or to drain whatever is left in their old supply before moving on.
The sense of relief I have now that he is completely out of my life is tremendous. I'm slowly putting the broken pieces of my heart back together again. The best thing I did was sever all contact with him.
"Live the best life possible."
When we go to dinner, if I don't carry the conversation, there is no conversation and we look like one of THOSE couples, you know?
I don't know if it's an NPD trait but I just wanted to let you know my NPD would do that exact same thing. It used to make me nuts. I'm sure it gave him some weird sense of pleasure watching me struggle to carry on a one sided conversation during dinner.
I wish now I'd just shut up and taken out a book to read.
I can finally breathe free and have a life that doesn't include walking on eggshells, worrying that he might get angry, wondering how much more I can take
you, we all, deserve this. More than that, it is the only way I truly believe, to live and accomplish what we were meant for on this earth.
soverybetrayed, these are excellent words and speak to the above
I hope anyone who is dealing with an NPD will do some research to learn about them. I wish each of us the best in life we can have because we have been so abused by our NPD and we do NOT deserve it
Dawn, you and your children deserve safety, peace and health. Frank has some good advice, also update your safety plan that you made with your IC. You said that you may need to choose to walk off this path and find a new one. Prepare for that so if you make the decision to do so, you will be able to do so.
We're here for you, and not judging your decisions. Many of us have walked your path.
So I'm wondering if this is another tell that they're NPD? It makes sense, if they're not somehow involved or affected, they're not interested
Its seeming more like a game all the time
[This message edited by gma56 at 8:52 PM, January 27th (Friday)]
SVB, you said
NPD's also can not stand to be in a quiet place because they have to be alone with their thoughts and that is too scary for them. They have to always be around people or have the tv on or music playing. They do NOT want to sit and think.
That was really kind of freaky to read. WH cannot stand to sit in silence. He has to have noise all the time. The TV is always on... now, because of that, I have to put a movie in to fall asleep. In the car, it's the radio. And hardly ever is it at a manageable volume. I go all day with NO TV, but he can't. I really like the quiet... live for it, even. This hit home for me.
((((Dawn)))) I feel so bad for you. I feel bad for all of us that have this kind of disorder in our lives. It's just rotten. I hope you find lots of help here, and get away from him. I'm really new to this, just about two weeks in to figuring out he's NPD, and I'm still going around and around in my head. It's enough to make me crazier than he already does. Just make sure you read everything you can find. That's what I'm doing. There is a lot of good information here, and I've got pages and pages in an encrypted file on my laptop. Keep reading and posting. Every post helps clarify things a little more.
Off to read the link that phmh posted. I have a headache already.
[This message edited by SoHurt at 10:09 PM, January 27th (Friday)]
He's also very sarcastic with the kids. Occasionally he will follow my lead and try talking calmly with them when they have done something wrong, but it often fails for him because of what he says. He is very condescending to them and I don't think he even realizes it. Often he'll stop and say to me "See, I try doing it your way and it doesn't work. But I know if I spank their butts, that's gets them to listen!" or he'll look at me, throw his hans up and say "What am I supposed to do now?!" And this isn't about spanking or not, it's a personal thing, but I believe if you're going to spank, it needs to be controlled and not done out of anger. My H is so unpredictable. One minute running in the house is okay, the next he's grabbing them on the way by and yelling at them or spanking them for it. I have asked him to take a parenting course and he thinks it won't help (and he's probably right, becasue he'd never let any of it soak in).
Frank, to answer your question to me before, did his crying seem over the top? No, it really didn't. In fact, we were in the room with the cardiologist when we got the diagnosis and he didn't start crying until she had left and we were in there getting the baby dressed. And it wasn't loud sobbing or anything. Just red eyes, pretty silent tears. He has gotten misty eyed a few other times. The one other time I saw him really cry was after dday. He had not seen or spoken to his kids in a couple of months. He was overseas and living it up with his whore. Even skyping her (and her daughter!!) telling me there was not enough bandwidth for that. Anyway, once I finally busted him, we talked and he wanted to set up a video chat for the kids. It was truly heartbreaking. My kids were hugging the video monitor and kissing the screen and shouting "daddy!" over and over and he just sat and cried through most of it. It wasn't over the top, just shoulders slumped and crying. I don't know what to make of that.
As I am done writing the above I am really frustrated with myself! I am hanging my M on my husbands ability to cry. If he can cry he doesn't have NPD...maybe? But so what? He is broken in so many other way and all of the things that are very much like a person with NPD (if he doesn't have it) are still true, so what. Do I need to know for sure? I don't. I realize he is toxic. I know this is going to shape my kids. I know I want to leave, so I'm not quite sure what the problem with me is. Fear of the unknown, I guess?
[This message edited by thenon-goddess at 7:48 AM, January 28th (Saturday)]
Today I started reading about Histrionic Personality Disorder. Holy crap. I think I hit gold. It's like NPD Lite. Just as mindfucking, but without the rage.
Just thought I'd throw that out there in case in helps anyone else.
Hugs to all, Nell
[This message edited by ImNellNow at 9:40 AM, January 28th (Saturday)]
What you read on this thresd....those are our individual experiences. All these manifesations of NPD behavior are so very individual and different. And the combinations are endless. The levels of NPD reactions vary in intensity as well. While one may rage by giving you the "stink eye", a different one will punch a wall, and yet a different one will punch your face. The level of their reaction does not have anything to do with the level of your supposed transgression. Nor is consitantly the same for the same person, same transgression, different day.
In other words...today he may give you stink eye for changing the tv channel without his permission....tomorrow he may throw the tv out the window for the exact same offense....but either way he is punishing you for changing the channel.
In the many different books and articles there are just as many different explanation of NPD "actions" and "reactions". And as I was trying to prove she was "NOT" NPD.....I would read one book and say "see, that doesn't fit with NPD". But then I would read another book or article and it would describe her EXACTLY. It was sooooo exhasperating because it just felt like I was losing every argument with myself....I just could not win an argument with myself, even. FYI....I am narcississtic in that way....I don't like to lose an argument. That stems from the way I grew up and where I grew up....but that is a different story.
The point is that I hung on to denial waaaaaay too long. When I was posting in General about some of the crap she was pulling, even a couple of the mods were telling me "she seems NPD, you need to get out of that relationship NOW", even then I would not admit defeat.... I was going to hang onto my codependence even if it killed me. But every time I lost an argument with myself....it brought me closer to acceptance. Each argument I lost with myself would send me into full blown depression and despair for days....curl up in a ball type of depression.
Those horrible experiences are what brings me here to help others through this phase. And that is precisely why I always encourage people to READ, READ, READ and then READ some more. It not only helps with the "understanding", it also helps with the "acceptance".
If you feel like it is you that are crazy when you start the reading process, it will help you feel sane. If you feel sane when you start.....this shit will make you feel crazy!!! And what makes it even harder to keep your sanity is that NPDs do not HAVE to possess or exhibit ALL of the traits ALL OF THE TIME. The rage may show one day and not the next, it shows at different levels for different times or incidents.
Pinning them down and pegging them is like trying to capture smoke. You know the smoke is there but try to capture it in a jar to prove to someone there was smoke there.....you can't....they just have to see the smoke themselves in order to believe it.
But for everyone here that has doubts.....I truly HOPE that their spouse is NOT NPD. And for those that finally realize that they ARE NPD, I hope some of the vets here can help you throught the devestaition. All any of us can do is deal with it the best way that we can and remove ourselves in the best, safest, and smoothest way we can. The only thing I can really stress is that when you do remove yourself.....you do it quietly. Quietly and suddenly seems to be the easiest, safest, and fastest way out with the least abount of "drama trauma"
God it kills me to see so many new people finding their way to this forum and thread. It is just plain scary.