I told my husband over the weekend that I wanted to separate. Since then he has acted like I never said it. Being sweeter then normal. I have been playing cool because I don't want to give the wrong message. I'm sure eventually this will get old to him and then I don't know what will happen.
What is the consensus on what to do about leaving? Should I play nice and act along while I'm here so I don't piss him off, wait until I am really ready/able to leave before I push that too much?
And this is just a psychological question that I can't wrap my brain around:
Is it normal for people with NPD to exaggerate their talents or when good things happen (yes, right?). If that is the case, don't they recognize that the story they're telling (and ultimately leading to whatever recognition/praise they may get) is a lie or fabrication and doesn't it make the compliment they get not worth anything?
Not sure if I'm explaining what I'm trying to ask right so instead, if I made a quilt and relied heavily on the help of an experienced quilter, help with cutting and making squares, coming up with my pattern, and I then presented the quilt as "mine" and one that *I* had made, I would feel terrible about that. Any compliments that I received would not feel "good" like a compliment should, because I would know it was based in a lie.
Is this not the case with someone with NPD? Do they just convince themselves of the lies? Or do they realize and is that why they keep exaggerating, because the compliments they get are not ever enough because they are never based in truth, so the NPD person knows they are not getting real admiration or praise?
[This message edited by thenon-goddess at 3:36 PM, January 25th (Wednesday)]
Go to this link:
It is a sublink from one of the ones I posted earlier.
I would suggest getting the book of Dr. Sam Vaknin "Malignant Self Love: Narcississm Revisited". You won't be able to put it down.
You will have so many aha moments.....
Status: S & D'ing
Are we married to the same guy? I jest, but only a little. Like SVB, I was nodding, saying, "Yes, honey, he is NPD, all right."
Almost every word you wrote is what I have lived with for nearly 25 years. Seriously, you deserve a ((((hug)))) for all you've been through. There are differences here and there in our stories, of course - football vs. basketball, etc. - but the overall image is of life in MY marriage. As a for-instance, my WH brags to this day about being better at basketball than his brother. They played in his barn several years ago. Yes, WH beat him by a landslide. Of course, my BIL weighed 200 pounds more, and could barely run, but to WH, that is beside the point. He is better, and always will be.
I was torn between laughing at the similarities and crying for you, me and everyone else who lives with these soul-sucking vampire leeches. It is so hard to comprehend how a person can NOT have compassion or empathy... when WE have loads of it for anyone and everything. Personally, I am having the hardest time with that, at the moment.
My decision has been made to leave; it's just a matter of getting to that point of being able to and having it all worked out. I will not live the rest of my life on eggshells for ANYone, let alone the man who was supposed to love, honor and cherish me and did everything BUT that.
There have been a lot of things I've learned in the last week and a half or so. One of the most important, to me, is something Frank said: The A takes a backseat to finding out we have an NPD in our lives. Somehow, that is more devastating than the A could ever have been. It just doesn't compare... because all she was, then, was a supply source. SHE doesn't think so, or know it, and although I can find it in me to have some sympathy for her, I still have moments of gleeful meanness thinking about explaining it to her. Not nice, I know, but I think part of living with an NPD is that we don't get to heal from the A, and it holds us back. NOT in the NPD handbook, of course... we should have been over it in the 10 seconds after we found out.
But all in all, I've begun detaching my emotions from him, and seeing him as a monster in human form. He makes THAT part easy. All I have to do is make him mad, and I see it plain as day, like an xray. There, under that skin, is the malignancy that was supposed to be a man.
Sometimes I think that, in some ways, going through what I have has made me so much stronger than I ever would have been. Maybe I'm defiant, or have some personality disorder of my own... I know I'm all screwed up. But the bottom line is, I WILL find a way out, and I WILL go on without him, and be glad of it. I WILL be living my own life, in my own way, without the eggshells and chaos.
This doesn't have to be the end of ME, just the end of US. HE DOES NOT WIN. I DO.
When I had my hysterectomy and nearly died, then had my gall bladder out, my WH was SO unhelpful and wanting to have sex again ASAP after. He was a pig.
But when I had my ACL reconstructed, and had to go take care of my aunt while my brother had his pituitary tumor removed, I fell off his porch and ruined my knee. WH was PISSED that they wanted me to do something SO SOON after my surgery! He is STILL angry at them and calls them all kinds of names.
But he wanted sex two weeks after I nearly died.
Any information will be used to manipulate you and you must minimize the info they have to minimize the manipulation, sexual advances, rages, etc.
N's play a good game of acting like there's a "you" that matters, but it's really about threatening the loss of their vital supply...you are just supply, not meaningful in and of yourself.
Deal with how you allowed yourself to be treated this way later...and don't expect any kind of sensible answers from them.
Just get safe.
The lies they tell others about the quilt they made, are really lies they tell themselves first.
(That's why they're so convincing to others, btw)
They are tragically stuck on *must believe* what is false, that by the time we're here, there's no there there.
Now that it's out you want to separate, you can answer future inquiries with; "I just need time to deal with me" stuff, vague, "need space" platitudes.
Any focus trained on him and introspection is likely to bite your butt. Might as well play the part of an incoherent lost soul (not that hard, eh?)- and don the persona of *it's your fault you can't get over it* soonest.
It's clever because it feeds right in to what he wants to believe anyway about you.
He will choose you, disarm you with his words, and control you with his presence. He will delight you with his wit and his plans. He will show you a good time, but you will always get the bill. He will smile and deceive you, and he will scare you with his eyes. And when he is through with you, and he will be through with you, he will desert you and take with him your innocence and your pride. You will be left much sadder but not a lot wiser, and for a long time you will wonder what happened and what you did wrong. And if another of his kind comes knocking at your door, will you open it?"
From Without Conscience - The Disturbing World Of The Psychopaths Among Us by Dr. Robert Hare
From the website Frank posted. You know, I do feel empathy for them. I feel for my husband. It makes me so pissed at his parents...at his dad. That fucker...he broke him. I know my husband knows he's different in some way. He has expressed his frustration over it before. Said he knows he has no heart or conscience. He says these things sometimes and it makes me feel so much love for him. That's screwd up, isn't it? Once he was a sweet, innocent little boy and someone mind fucked him. I want to see that person hurt.
I am frightened by the fact that my WH is so very calculating and selfish. So heartless. You know, he used to tell the kids, after they'd done something he didn't like that would call for a minor time out or whatever... "I WAS going to take you to McDonald's for dinner. Now I'm not. You shouldn't have been bad." WHO DOES THAT? He never intended to, or if he did, was glad of the justification (in HIS mind,) to keep from treating them to something special.
Yes, I empathize... and HE NEVER CAN. I have to live with what I allowed to be done, and that's a bitter pill to swallow. One I don't know that I'll ever get over completely.
SoHurt- that last story you told, sounds very much like my husband. I have asked him so many times, "You do realize that when you say/do XYZ you are totally contradicting when you said/did ABC" and he never gets it. It's maddening.
jjct-thanks for the tips. Funny you mention about not trying to get them to be introspective. I have tried that before and it's maddening. In fact, I tried a few nights ago. We were talking about MRI's and how people with depression or certain personality disorders have different looking brain maps. He goes into how "normal" is all relative and who is to say who/what is normal. He then debates the science of the MRI's and when I asked him "Do you believe you are smarter then the neuroscientists who study this stuff, he says "No, maybe not about neuroscience, but I definitely know more then them about human psychology." OMG!! Maddening, I tell you.
VG- I'm sorry your ex was so heartless as to start messing around while you were dealing with breast cancer. I am reading that they can be so very convincing, so I can understand how she was able to dupe your friends, but that certainly doesn't make it any easier. Any of those "friends" who left your life over the ex, probably didn't deserve to be in it to begin with. You have the right attitude on that one. ((hugs))
How is your treatment going?
[This message edited by thenon-goddess at 1:00 PM, January 26th (Thursday)]
phmh-thanks for the book rec's. I'll definitely be looking to get my hands on and read anything I can on NPD. The more I understand, the better. Even just reading here, there are so many "Aha's" It takes away that feeling I had wondering if I was the one that maybe was crazy or just a bitch. I would ask myself all of the time "Why can't I just get along with him." The last 11 years are actually starting to make sense.
That's the exact same thing that happened to me. It also made me realize that he is permanently broken and there is no chance we can ever reconcile. And it's made me look at myself and try to understand why I dismissed so many red flags over the years. I don't want to ever find myself in such a relationship again!
I think that's something that SOs of NPDs need to understand.
Right now, I don't exist to my WH because he's getting his N supply from MOW. However, as an N, he can't stand to be alone, and since he also suffers from anti-social personality disorder, he's got no one else to turn to except me to get his N supply from if MOW were to dump him.
I'm hoping their relationship lasts until after we sell our house and our divorce is final, otherwise he'll start trying to get his supply from me again.
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
Right now you are having "aha" moments because of the relief and understanding you are getting. Things that just did not make sense are now starting to make sense as you understand the characteristics and traits of the disorder. The next thing you will do is start doing the "post mortem" on your entire marriage as little things that you remember that were once confusing.....suddenly come into focus. You will be able to attribute so many things to his disorder.
Prepare yourself for the next phase.....the "oh shit" moments.... That is the phase of acceptance.....accepting that he truly is disordered. Accepting that he can NOT change. He will NEVER be the person you need him to be. It hurts terribly.....almost as bad as dday. The depression and despair will return briefly from time to time. It is part of letting go.
It would be soooo simple if we could just say "oh well, he is broken.....I am done."
But if it was that simple.....that would make US NPD as well. He is not a toaster that doesn't work anymore. He is a HUGE part of your life that you have to remove. And it is not that easy to remove them from your heart and soul. You just have to keep repeating to yourself.....It is over, there is no point, I need to let go.
The reality is that this is going to take on a life of it's own....completely seperate from the infidelity. Trying to work through the infidelity with NPDs is frustrating because we have HOPE to hang onto. Which leads to despair after we try sooooo hard and get sooooo little back.
With acceptance of NPD we have to let go of HOPE. Hope is the reasonable expectation that something is possible. You will still be left with WISHING. WISHING is the knowledge that there is no possibility that something is possible but longing for it anyway.
I wish the affair never happened. I wish I had done things differently. I wish I had reacted differently after dday. All these things I wish for are undoable and impossible to change.
I wish she were not NPD, And I wish I could have my marriage back fall into that category as well.....Neither has a possibility of ever happening......Just wishful thinking.
I hope you come back and read this again when you move through the "oh shit" phase. For right now.....just enjoy the relief that the "aha" phase can give you. It feels like a huge burden has been lifted....doesn't it???
Hang in there and it really helps to come here and blurt out the "aha's" and we will hold your hand when the "oh shits" start to come upon you. You are amongst a very special and strong group of people here. We have to be a little extra strong to carry the weight of THEIR disorder.....as well of the crap from their infidelity. Healing from both is an excrutiating journey.
NC is your best friend at this point. If you are in contact you will find yourself trying to reason with him.....there is NO HOPE of that ever happening.
(((Group HUGS))) to everyone unfortunate enough to be here.
He has to pay me monthly SS for the next 24 months and so in order to "prove" that he sends me the money he actually got a cashiers check from our bank and mailed it certified. I can't help but giggle everytime I think of how much money he wasted doing all that. Plus I know it is going to eat him up to do that every single month for the next 23 months.
I'm LOVIN IT!!!!
I'll bet he made a big production of it though....I am sure the bank now knows what a blood sucking vampire you are.....so does the postal clerk!!!
It only helps to know if you learn about it....just knowing is of little value. Understanding it helps clear a lot of confusion of all the shit that just don't make sense. It helps you figure out that there was nothing you could do to stop the affairs.....It wouldn't help to be prettier, skinnier, given more sex, kissed their ass.....nothing. They are just wired and preprogrammed to infidelity as much as a drug addict is programmed to step up the drug usage....
Most of us have been made to feel like we are the broken ones.....we are defective....because after all they are always right and they are always good. We have lived our lives like that and after someone tells you that you are green for so long.....you believe you are green....or at least pretend to be green....just to avoid the arguments. KWIM???
So yes it does help to know as long as you understand what you know. A lot of the links I posted deal with antisocial and psychopath as well and have more links leading to other sites. I would suggest the same....read, read, and then read some more.....and when you have read everything, go back and read them again....I get so much more out of the stuff when I go back and read again. Because the second time around the writings make more sense since you are wiser and more attentive and can relate more to what they say.
Yeh it sucks that this thread is so big.....It is estimated (I think it is a low estimate) that at least 1% of the population is NPD....not sure about all sociopathic disorders combined....
Just since I have learned about NPD, I have identified at least 3 other NPDs in my circle.....including my daughter.....learning to detach and avoid.....it helps.
When you realize your desire to know it all (completely understandable - it's ok to try to understand 'what's happening in my life?') produces head-banging results, time after time... the realization 'knowing it all' takes 2nd place to self preservation...
I know enough.
I'm a survivor.
My head-bangin days are over for a simple reason.
I'm not in contact with my soon to be ex
because I know enough
And yes, right now it does feel like a certain burden has been lifted. I have told my H before that talking to him is like beating my head into a brick wall. I have never felt such frustration before talking to someone. I understand now. That part does feel better. But certainly it's that removal of hope that is hard. I don't think I'm fully accepting yet. I find little things that seem to contradict NPD and want to find them a sign that he is not NPD.
Like, our son was born with a heart defect. He had open heart surgery as a baby. My husband cried when we got the dx. It seemed to break him. Later, when we were in the hospital after surgery and we coded, my husband was so shaken. Literally freaked out. When our son was finally extubated and things were looking good, I remember him holding him so tenderly and looking down lovingly at him. Is that possible with NPD?
[This message edited by thenon-goddess at 8:36 PM, January 26th (Thursday)]
What makes them soooo easy to spot now is that they amp up in stressful situations. They act out more and therefore it is easier to see and harder fro them to hide.
In the case of DS (bless your heart for having to go through that), did it seem a little over the top???? A little tooo demonstrative???? Just something for you to reflect on.
I also get the whole thing about trying to find signs that they are not NPD....hell that is what led to all my reading and studying. The psych. at the nuthouse said she was "extremely narcississtic" and had to explain to me what that was. I spent the next year reading and studying everything I could find.....not to confirm she was.....but to PROVE she wasn't. And yes there are always things that don't seem to fit the pattern and yes I hung on to those things for all my worth. But the more I read, learned, and understood.....those things that I was hanging onto were explained.....I did not want to accept it.....I could not accept it.....If I accepted it I knew I would have to let her go.....I had learned that much. I was not ready to let go.....damn....parts of me still do not want to let go.....I still find myself searching things out and questioning. But each crumb I try to hold onto.....education steals away from me.
Believe me.....I understand. I know you have to go through it. You can not go around it, under it, or over it......you have to go through it. Do not be anxious to process this all at once. Do your homework and read, read, read. Do not take anyone's word for it that he is NPD. You have to be reasonably sure in your own mind, before you can let go.
I just wanted to give you a reader's digest version of the emotions and mind fucks that lay ahead so you won't be blindsided the way I was. The way many on here have been. The NPD awareness is a whole nother form of Trauma.....and for me accepting it was more excrutiating than accepting that she cheated.
The cheating I could learn to cope with if I was given the chance. NPD....no coping, no adjusting, no living with it, ....it was the THE marriage killer. I could stay with her, even if she had no remorse, even if she never atoned, because I love her....truly love her. And that was enough for me. But I can not spend the rest of my life with someone who does not love ME. I already spent 30 years with that....didn't turn out so well for me.
Everyone on this thread has doubts....some more than others. Even the ones that got full diagnosis have doubts. That is why I say read, read, read.....because you have to be as reasonably sure as you can be, before you can move forward.
Like I said....we can't just throw them away because they are broken like a toaster. But we can slowly let go and remove ourselves from them emotionally. And hard 180 and NC is the only way. You will be surprised how quickly they remove themselves from your life once you are no longer their main source of supply....then you won't feel so bad for doing what you have to do.....
I know this is hard to hear. I am just telling you in laymen's terms what I have read and learned and experienced, and watched others experience. I am sorry for you that you find yourself in this situation. I wish I could tell you that it will all work out. But that is all it is .....just a wish.
Frank that is what I experienced the first and only time I left my WS. I thought he might be sad or something. Nope, he cleaned the house, bought new furniture, and got on with life. He didn't even tell anyone that I had left him! My one year old was in the hospital having had seizures, he stormed out of the ER room when he figured out I had left him that morning(bad bad timing) and he didn't even call to ask about our son ever! Sorry, went off on a tangent Anyways.....everyone said to me "see , you did the right thing, he's not even acting like he cares that you're gone". For some strange reason I went back, and now I wonder a lot. Like if he is NPD. And he is also very paranoid at times.Is that a part of it? I think it's hard to tell, it's not so black and white but varying shades of gray.
The part of just walking away and not looking back....no remorse, no sadness, no regrets.....normal people just don't and can't do that!!! So that in itself tells you that something is wrong. You would just have to look at all the traits and see which ones apply and make sense. No one single act or even a group of acts determines if they are NPD....it is the overall experience that tells the tale. They act different in different situations and sometimes it is those differences that provide the clues. Sometimes it is the repeat patterns that provide the clues.
As far as paranoia.....have not read anything that includes paranoia. But the paranoia could come from another source....such as schitzophrenia....or even the abuse of meth amphetamines.....who knows.
I know that I have been reading way to much about the subject because I can spell all these words without even thinking about it.....fuck....I think this shit is starting to give ME a personality disorder...
Anyway, I really don't know anything about your story. But if you are suspecting a sociopathic disorder.....and you just need answers for your own peace of mind.....it is worth reading a few articles to see if it strikes a chord. If it does, and you want to really get into the nitty gritty of it ..... start reading the books. Most of these links are just exerpts from the many books or studies. The books get into a lot more detail and really pinpoint some very common, yet insignificant responses to situations or acts of everyday stuff that would otherwise go unoticed. That is where it will start blowing your mind.
What other instances make you think possible sociopathic disorder?