Seriously... I read that before, and it's good advice. Plainly put, too.
Except for the damn elephant in the room, now.
For those of you who are still struggling to get out, your NPD's are probably like most and were probably wonderful in the beginning. The beginning of a relationship with a NPD is so wonderful it's almost intoxicating. The problem is, it doesn't last.
And it's not like other relationships that go from people being on their "best behavior" to just seeing a bad mood every now and then. With an NPD you go from being placed high on a pedestal, treated like a queen and referred to as "perfect" to nit-picked to death over every little flaw you have and having every mistake you have ever made pointed out and disected since and before you met him. The criticisms begin in a subtle matter, but soon become cruel and constant. They can be about everything from how you look, how you dress, your weight, how you cook, how you keep house, how you do your job, how you wear your make up, etc. And many times these things he is critical of, are the VERY things that only a short while ago he was PRAISING you about!
It can be so confusing. And many times we keep hoping, praying and thinking that somehow, some way the guy we fell in love with will soon reemerge and everything will get back to "normal." But soon we realize that years have gone by while we have been waiting for the "norma guyl" to reappear. The sad fact in this situation is that the "real" guy is the one we've been dealing with for the last several years. The fake is the one who was putting on the show to reel us in from the beginning.
Denial is a very powerful thing. Denial is a very comfortable place to stay. We know our place of denial. We know what to expect there. Even though it crazy and hectic and out of control, it's familiar.
Doing something different is scary. It's uncomfortable. And when we come out of our denial we are faced with some tough stuff. Try not to beat yourself up. Get into IC. Get on some anti-depressants to help you get through the most difficult times.
This is tough, ugly stuff. You are in reality coming to terms with the fact that you have been conned in the most personal, emotional way possible. This is like some stranger came into your life, made up a personality, pretended to fall in love with you and tricked you into marrying him in order to scam you. Only instead of scamming you for money or the usual scam, this was just for "kicks" or for the "attention" he got from being in your company, because you're a fabulous person.
What a CREEP, huh??
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
Remarried 2008 (New Guy)
Sadtoo's said it well:
All of the "mixed messages" are what we call the crazy making of the NPD. The walking on eggshells. You don't know if you're coming or going, or rather if he is coming or going. But this is how they like it. They WANT you off balance.
First think of a very small person, who needs a huge amount of attention to make them feel big. And in order to make themselves feel less small they need to make another look/ feel smaller. So at least they are bigger than someone else. And then they can also despise that 'smaller' person.
And they cannot 'ask' for that attention that they so desperately crave in order to feel they exist, because that would be giving power (bigness) to another person. So forever demanding attention (through absence and withholding as well as other mechanisms), and rejecting (denying) that need in themselves by rejecting the other rather than the need, because cannot admit to need. And enjoying the effect of that rejection because it proves their 'power', and the disdain for that other because this very small person has managed to make another shrink. A cycle of the slap and the hug.
Or put it another way - through solipsism. Everything in their orbit somehow merely an extension, reflection, or projection of themselves.
So that need they feel? project it onto you and despise you for it. That quality they might admire in you and be jealous of because they don't have it? Take it from you and claim it as their own, by stealth, mimicry or more overtly. That adverse quality in themselves they need to deny? Project it onto you and despise it that way. That painful bile building up in what is usually an empty interior? Vomit it over the other and feel immediately better, and magnanimous therefore, because can then be forensic about the vomit's constituent parts.
Thank you all for posting as much as you do, I am always amazed at how helpful and hopeful your stories are for me.
Sadtoo's long definition post back on page 7 made me say Holy Shitake and Gimminy Crickets so many times I think my coworkers were skeered.
I am sorry I cannot help as much since you all have helped me. I am constantly reminded of how lucky I am to have an NPDXGF who threw me away like I was a peice of trash. I got off easy. It still hurts like heck but the pain now is more self-inflicted, both literally and figuratively. I miss what I thought I had and start to miss her. I have taken the simple-minded approach recently to diminsh these thoughts by using cheap aversion therapy on myself. Borrowing from Larry Hagman's old anti-smoking comercials, I have started to wear a rubber band around my wrist and whenever I find myself thinking of her I give the rubber band a long, hard pull. Snap, dang that hurt, what the bleep was I thinking?
I wish all of you a peacful day and a happy NPD free future. Stay strong, protect yourselves and do what is right for you.
Thanks again to the Tribe.
p.s. I need to recaulk my shower, can anyone spare a tube or two?
eta:We are on page 15 and no one has posted a zebraduck pic. Ahem, I thought that was supposed to be on the first post.
[This message edited by Jpapageorge at 3:47 AM, March 9th (Friday)]
JPapaGeorge, I will send you the caulk once I am actually done with using it. There are so many tubes, and so much caulking yet to be done. He even bought some weeks prior to leaving, never opened, never to be used.
So he went from a text stating we just hate one another now to he does love me???/
It is all so crazy.
I find myself at times so sad because he is rejecting me and walks to walk out on me and start new, when I loved him and stayed to work this out and then BAM he is out of the affair(yes he is) and now he wants to leave me? Okay I am okay with that but it is the rejection that hurts the most, makes you feel like shit!
I don't know if I am explaining myself correctly here.
It is like you love, support, willing to work through everything, you are the mother to his kids, you bend over backwards to make everyone happy, you fight for the family, you get treated like shit, but you stay, you still love, you still forgive, your still willing to work it out even though you did not do anything wrong, How does one not want that in someone? How does one just say well I love you but it just isn't working so bye bye???? Leaving you bewildered as to WTF just went on here? I did what you asked of me? How can you not see the great woman in front of you? Don't you think all woman would be pissed about a cheating husband, don't you think all woman want more out of a man (love) then crumbs?
Then on the other hand, I see the reliefe I will get and he even said that/ He said you know once I leave you will start to feel better and relieved. You will see that we just werent working.
Maybe I am the one that is looking at this all wrong.
Maybe I am the one that is the NPD that is trying to hold on to another NPD, shit I don't know. Actually I aknow I am not NPD but rather it is I was comfortable with my NPD because that is all I have known.
I know I will be okay and maybe it is that I wanted him to chase me? meaning come to me with remorse and say I will do anything that I need to make this up to you.
Do you know he use to do that after one of his fits?
Sadtoo, you are correct, I was on that pedestal, I was the queen he would always say that but then he would always put me down also on my cleaning, sex, or something... you hit right on the target there for me.
We over look those things because they become normal.. Then when it is happening actually we say wtf is wrong with you... we cry get upset, then they hug us and tell us sorry, or buy us something, and then it is good for awhile then back to the wtf again and the cycle continues.....
I see it, I just don't know how to get myself out of that toxic comfort zone and stop engaging and try to detach.
here is the problem I have with the 180, when I do it, I get all this crap of me cheating, I get called names that I am being a bitch, and it turns ugly, I find what has worked for me is being NICE and saying... okay, fine, ohhh, really??? and putting on a fake happy.
I knew something was off but I could not place it as this.
I was "stuck" in this very same place for a long time too. And my XNPDH gas-lighted, lied, told me how I felt, thought, etc, and kept me totally off balance. I too remained focuses on HIM.
"Why is he doing this?"
"Why does he act this way?"
"Does he do this because his mother was an alcoholic?"
"Does he do it because his former girlfriend abused him?"
"Is this how alcoholics act ?"
"Maybe he's bipolar,"
I drove myself crazy with this stuff. It was hard for me too to wrap my head around the fact that he did NOT have any real feeling toward me, nor did he care how bad he had hurt me. He only cared about himself and what he wanted. My mistake was to ASSUME that he had the same level of care, concern, and empathy for me as I did for him. That was a critical error on my part.
Again, try to ignore his gibberish. If he says "we tried", just nod in agreement. Don't engage or try to point out that he didn't. You won't get anywhere. And he will never admit the truth.
My concern for your situation with him playing up Mr. Niceguy and "the affair-is-over" and "let's be friends" is this: I'll bet he talked to a lawyer. I am willing to bet that he found out getting a divorce is not going to be so favorable for him. Are you in a fault or a no-fault state?
These NPD's are so damn manipulative and so selfish, they would lure their own mother in front of a train for $5. I would be HIGHLY suspicious of his intentions right now. But DO NOT LET ON that you are.
Are you seeing an IC right now? You might fight that very helpful in dealing with some of this.
[This message edited by sadtoo at 2:47 PM, March 9th (Friday)]
You see, they don't have that level of self-awareness. They know what they want. They know how to get what they want. And that's as far as they go. They're afraid of introspection, afraid of lifting the tarp over their shitpile of a brain. Because, snakes, you see. Lots of snakes in there. And one big one named "insecurity."
Edie, just so you know, I wasn't married to mine either. From the age of 20 to 24, I was engaged to an NPD who had me snowed but good long-distance (5 hour drive) for the first year. Then I moved to his city, and soon thereafter he became a cheating monster. Or, well, showed that he was a cheating monster. He definitely had cheated while we were long-distance, but I didn't find that out until after the relationship was over from one of his oh-so-helpful friends.
So 18 months in, the abuses started. At 4 years, almost to the day, I tried to suicide. Waking up in a hospital bed brought a sort of clarity (it helped that I overheard him asking the doctor why the pills didn't kill me with a tone that I can only describe as disappointed) and I determined to get. out. now.
So I did. We continued living together, as he provided excuse after excuse, for a bit over six further months. It was Hell. I shake whenever I think of it. I think those six months of cohabiting without being a couple were more damaging than the entire rest of the relationship, and that's cheating 4 known times included.
If we'd have been married, I probably would have just tried suicide again. I can say that unflinchingly, honestly, because I don't think I was (or ever will be) strong enough to put up with that level of abuse while divorcing. As it was, a domestic abuse advocate had to help me get out, and the afore-mentioned two therapists both diagnosed me in 1996 with "trauma" and believe it was a result of those six months. It wasn't until 2003 that it got a more formal diagnosis: PTSD.
I am going to take the advice with just saying... okay... and not try reasoning with him. It has not worked in nearly 3 years so it will not work now.
what I am afraid of is what he will be like once he moves out? Is he going freak when I get my own life? will he be checking up on me? Will he be crazy or will he be like he said? He will not bug me? I can't worry about that but I dont want to worry about looking over my shoulders.. you know?
I am so so glad I finally got with people who understand me and can see what I am actually going through. I love the other threads but I almost felt like no one understood because they have not been through this type of crazy making. it is a different ball game.
As far as mine and seeing a lawyer, I found where he had called one way before me, said he had lunch and he was a friend. Surprise when I found out later that he had him on retainer way before I filed. Sneaky no good bast... he was going behind my back from the day I found out about howorker up until I told him not to come home. Don't underestimate him, don't look for answers, you have it, NPD. I still look, still want remorse, but it would kill him to put anyone but himself first. He says he is remorseful, I don't see it, and my close friends who have seen his emails, texts, and have heard all about his treatment of me since day 1, know that this man is probably the meanest, nastiest person they have ever encountered. And one of these people would never support divorce if there is a chance.
He wants the house, he feels it is his all the way and it is not
In my situation, (I'm in a no-fault state too) I owned the house BEFORE we got married. And he was screaming at the top of his lungs that this was HIS HOUSE. There was NO reasoning with him or trying to explain to him that I had invested the downpayment and made several years of payments prior to him, but it was like talking to a wall. And he was not going to settle our divorce until he got everything and I was left with breadcrumbs. He fought for everything, right down to the candlesticks. He spent $50 fighting for a $5 item. Absolute craziness.
I think the house and his truck repesent him if you know what I mean.
Yours will have to pay you child-support and maybe even spousal support. Since you are the primary care giver of the kids, you most likely will get the house.
I don't get what his thinking is with moving out for 6 months and then moving back either. But again this is stuff he "says". But if I were you once he's out, I wouldn't let him back in.
Try not to worry too much about how he will act once he's gone. You can deal with that when the time comes. You can take precautions when he leaves to insure your safety. We can help you with that.
[This message edited by sadtoo at 5:22 PM, March 9th (Friday)]
Ignore, ignore, ignore. No kibbles for him today.
He may have read his bible, may have purchased many bibles, but that doesn't make you a man of god.
My XNPDH was very much like this too. All week long he would lie, cheat, get drunk, be abusive, etc. Then on Sunday he'd run off to chuch. I usually didn't go with him because I couldn't stand the blastphemy.
Then upon arriving home he would announce what a good Catholic he was because he just went to chuch and how I was going to hell because I didn't.
Sitting in church every Sunday isn't what makes a good Catholic anymore than sitting in a hen house is going to make you into a chicken.
It sounds like you had a good weekend. Are you beginning to see how empowering it can be for you when you don't engage?
I was never seen with that girl...
Interesting choice of words. He's not denying that he was with her only that he was SEEN. to me this says that your WS is extremely sneaky.
Try not to worry so much about how "he" will handle his mother dying. Your job is to help your son, not your WS.
But I did not answer his 3 emails. Getting easier now. The only kibbles in my life today will be me feeding the dogs.
I have to send him a business related email, but I think I will wait until tomorrow.
I am so sorry you have a fuck head on your hands also. The blaming is so disgusting, but you get to a point of WHATEVER you say you sick fuck...
I am learning very quickly from all of you what I am actually dealing with here and it is no wonder I have been driving myself batty because I just could not see that he was or could actually be NPD, we will never know for sure because he does not need therapy, so he says.
I am starting to think that we will never be able to have a normal life again together. IT is so different now, almost like two strangers but I am the one listening to him talk because it is more important then what I have to say unless what I am saying is about him in a good manner. I did notice this lastnight and this weekend. Actually I have noticed it long before this, the conversations are about his work, him, the kids but him, the house but him, the bills but him, he is always in the mix if that makes sense, in how it effects him good or bad. Never about us or nothing about me..When he does ask about my job or day somehow we are again talking about him. Weird shit!.
Oh I love you guys so so happy I found this thread.
It is a great help itself to see that life is possible after living with an NPD.
There are still things i do not understand:
I thought I would be relieved after the divorce date in court, but I am extremely sad/depressed.
Then when all the posts came up from people that thought their partners might be NPD but wanted to reconcile and everything ..... it made me wobble. I thought: could it be, that he is not????? I so much want it to be just pure narcissistic behaviour in the fog (could that last 2 years?),
He was altruistic and quite generous (praises himself to be amaterialistic). He didn´t fight really but played the poor victim. This doesn´t seem to be typical NPD??!!
But then after having read narcissistic lovers you just know and all his behaviour tells me I did the right thing getting out. To see how my daughter blossoms after he is gone was worth all the pain......
BS: me 41 yrs
WH: him 67 yrs , married OW (39yrs) 5/13
2 kids aged 7 and 9
married for 12 years
Divorced, final 03/12