Know this, I am proceeding with extreme caution. Absolutely.
Regarding did he understand rules when he was fucking other people, clearly no, but that hasn't been an issue in R. He honestly has changed many things in R, that was never a question to me, grew up 10yrs in 6mos, but it just wasn't enough.
There were a TON of still very selfish behaviors (defense mechanisms of AvPD such as withholding and withdrawing anytime he felt rejected, and trust me, every little thing can make someone with AvPD feel rejected, so add in my abandoment issues and PTSD lashing out and it's a steady mix of a nasty cycle.).
That list takes into account many of the things we already had in place during R. Most all the walls with others was already in place, transparency was already in place.
An example of something added in was regarding his ex-wife. There was a HUGE blowout over calls with her a month ago. She would rather call than text, and he didn't see a problem with that, as it was about the boys, but mundane stuff, like "Did you send in their lunch money for your week next week?" All that would be fine and dandy had he not been fucking her for 3mos in 2011 when she was engaged and he was supposedly in a monogamous relationship with me. So now, I couldn't give a flying fuck less if it's inconvenient for her or him to text/email all communication that I can see. And I lost my mind over that. Lost my mind over the fact I even had to bring it up. How could he be so fucking inconsiderate of my feelings on that that it just didn't occur to him I'd be raging pissed about that?! Meanwhile, he truly hadn't had ill intentions when he picked up her call for 2mins. (This is where the NPD traits get into AvPD, it's not NPD but especially already having had to deal with this once in life, it's easy for me to immediately see the similarity) So, when I was losing it on him, of course he felt rejected, shamed, and like he had failed me, even with all his willingness and desire to do better for me, all his changes, he felt as if he'd just never be capable of being enough. (This is where AvPD differs from NPD. NPDs do NOT have that moment.) So he shut down, withdrew, didn't want to come here for 18days. He didn't go anywhere, didn't see anyone, didn't talk to anyone, still talked to me daily, but was VERY depressed, near suicidal.
Another thing added in was the porn/masturbation thing. I'm not a prude, and it wouldn't have bothered me pre-As, but it sure does now. I fight off enough mind movies with real OW from all the As, last thing I need to feel is his head is off in fantasy land of pornstars. Plus, masturbating is a defense mechanism again. It's avoidance, something he goes to when he feels worried I'll reject his needs. It'll make me more aware of his needs, and help him begin to feel safe to come to me without feeling rejected or shamed because he's a man, attracted to his partner, and wants to have sex. I've pretty much made him feel he doesn't have a right to ask me to have sex, he needs to wait until I initiate, after all the As, he just doesn't have that right anymore. Our first years together, he never did that, never watched porn, we were just enough for one another, and he never felt rejected by me. So, it's definitely possible, and something after a long discussion about, we're both anxious to return to a state of.
So that list is for both of us. Some are ways to keep him safe from my doing that to him, keeping my reactions in check. Some are ways to keep me safe, making it easier for him to KNOW what will trigger/upset me.
[This message edited by windowsnotwalls at 9:33 PM, April 15th (Monday)]
Following it will be a challenge... Sending hope and prayers it works for you.
The court order we just had revised specifically states on days he has him:
"[WNW] shall receive telephone contact with the parties' minor child daily between the hours of 7:30 - 8:30 p.m. at the telephone number referenced above."
Well of course, he's not doing this consistently. DS has only been allowed to answer phone once in the past month. Most the times, I call, leave a message, and DS will call back later. DS never gets to hear the messages, asks me why I never call him, why he always has to call me. Other times, I just never get a call back, like tonight, but it's happened only a few times this past month.
NPD dad and I live 5hrs apart. (THANK YOU!) However, that means a 5hr drive each way to court. The court won't just do contempt even if I file the motion and provide all the evidence. They require a fricking hearing for every single motion, and they "don't have the technology" for video or phone conferences. I have to appear.
So, do I file a motion of contempt? Wait til there's more violations? I'm afraid of the expense and time of that drive just to have the judge say, "Well, it's only been a few times, MR [POS NPD Asshat] please follow the court order or you'll be held in contempt next time."
I want to send some text. Something along the lines of "Is the 7:30-8:30 not good for you? Is there a better time to reach DS?"
....but then that's having me not following the order, as the order specifically states 7:30 - 8:30 and does so because that's the time he just said a month ago was most convenient! And he's already tried to get me to step outside the order a few times this past month. He's sent me texts between 9 and 10, telling me where DS is and that I can call him there, but by then my time window has already passed legally. He's baiting me to argue, baiting me to violate the order, just baiting me constantly. I barely communicate with the guy at all, but then the judge gave me hell about that last hearing, "Why, just because you don't want to talk with dad?" (I so WISH they'd make judges have a mandatory training on NPD abuse.) Meanwhile, DS suffers, as they tell him I just don't want him, don't love him, etc. I'm so lost.
Ugh. These childish alienation tactics began in 2011. I fight every day of my life just to make sure my DS knows he is loved by me, and I have him half the time. What do I do?
[This message edited by windowsnotwalls at 10:02 PM, April 15th (Monday)]
I alleviated that problem by getting my kids a phone. I called the phone at the time I was supposed to. I had my conversation with them and hung up.
X does the same.
No going thru dad to get to my kids.
It really did work better than I ever thought it would.
the only glitch was him calling whenever he felt like it... like after bed time. I ended up taking the phone and charger and keeping them in the kitchen at night after 9pm. XH was pizzed... but he learned to call earlier.. like before the kids went to sleep.
the only glitch was him calling whenever he felt like it... like after bed time. I ended up taking the phone and charger and keeping them in the kitchen at night after 9pm. XH was pizzed... but he learned to call earlier.. like before the kids went to sleep.
Really creeps me out how similar they are. XN used to do the same with me, even when DS was only 2 and 3yrs old! KNEW I put him to bed at 8, would call 8:15, 8:30. JUST as I had this toddler falling asleep. For awhile, I'd wake DS up, let him talk to him. I did the same as you eventually, put the phone on silent from 8pm to 7am. He learned as well to call before bedtime.
[This message edited by windowsnotwalls at 10:15 PM, April 15th (Monday)]
They all say, it is a gamble of whether the judge would even do anything for only a few minor court order violations. That it's best to continue document every single day like I have, just say nothing, keep contact with NPD dad to only totally necessary, nothing that can be perceived as a passive aggressive taunt or anything. That NPD dad will make his own bed, and continue to do these ridiculous things, making the case for me. Then this summer (I have him all but 2wks of the summer), do as planned, put DS into counseling, get a solid professional report backing all the documentation, and then file not just for contempt but a modification, requesting we return to my full sole custody and his back to only one weekend a month, demonstrating the detriment to DS of NPD dad having half time with him. So that's the plan. Just gotta put up with all the nonsense a few more months. After 7yrs now of his antics, I think I can withstand another few months. Not looking forward to it though.
Yes document everything. Keep your contact with him to something that can be time and date stamped..ie -email, text that can be printed out for court if necessary.
Keep your contact with him to something that can be time and date stamped..ie -email, text that can be printed out for court if necessary.
Been that way for years. I haven't had to hear his voice on the phone since DS became old enough to answer himself, even before that really. I'd hit "Talk" and put it to DS's ear as a toddler. When he went away or refused to talk anymore, I'd just hang up. It's been email/text only for a long time.
In my experience with NPD/STBX and guidelines or boundaries, even the smallest and most simple things were there to be tested and proved. He would either cross the line covertly to see how much he could get away with, or when caught doing wrong, feign ignorance because I somehow failed in my duties as his moral compass. He would also use my boundaries as a way of *locating* me, and keeping me under *control* because he knew there were/are lines that I just would not/will not cross (In my case, it was classic abuse of sympathy/empathy).
Gently here, the list is rather exhaustive, my advice would be to keep it simple.
Love me (us), honor me (us), respect me (us), and live your life undeniably showing it.
Hugs and hope
[This message edited by CharlieFoxtrot at 8:53 AM, April 16th (Tuesday)]
At first I found great relief in finding that someone really believed me. We had been to other therapists in the past, and they would focus on me not coping, while he looked like Mr Wonderful. I also felt relieved that I was then able to recognise his behavour and responses, and actually feel indifferent to them.
I think I did go through a time of grieving. Finally accepting that this is as good as it gets - forget that deep wish that one day he will wake up and be shocked by how he has treated me.
My therapist said there is no point in telling him that he is NPD because he will just get angry and never go back. But hell, sometimes I really feel like telling him. She said it may be better for me financially to remain with him, but in order to do that I would have to be like a Mummy to him - praise him all the time, be agreeable basically forget my own needs and be indifferent. Hell, I have been doing that for most of our married life. And I don't think I have the patience for that anymore. I am studying this year, so hoping I can stick it out to the end of the year.
After my therapy session I found it amusing when he would respond in his NPD ways, now I feel tired when I see it. I really find it hard to think he will never go out of his way for me, and yet I am supposed to do that for him. Seems unfair really.
Anyway, I'm not sure how long this will last. Now that I know for sure he is NPD, I think I am at risk of more of the same from him. It is getting me down. And that is where he likes me to be. So I'm not going to fall for his sudden caring and concern. I know it is false.
Anyone here still in a relationship with NPD? Anyone tell thier SO that they were NPD, and what was the reaction.
Many hugs to you. Sounds like your therapist is on board to be supportive of you. Who else do you have in your life as a support? Can you focus the rest of this year as you ride things out for your studies to make sure you surround yourself with healthy people that will help you and support you if you do ultimately decide to venture out on your own until you get on your feet?
At first I wasn't sure, because he's so quick to help, me, you, anybody that needs it. Well, lo and behold, he's an altruistic narcissist. Just read it this morning. He will help anyone if it makes him LOOK and FEEL good. It's also very important for him to control people this way. Without that undying devotion to his wonderfulness he is a very cruel man.
Cruelties from our past are popping into my head and saying "Seee! You knew something was wrong!" Melanie Tonya Evan's writing has helped me immensly this week. My eyes are open wider than I wish they were. I almost wish I didn't have this knowledge, even though I'm more than aware that knowledge is power.
It's made me give up any hope I had. I had the tiniest sliver of hope that he'd get help. Not going to happen in this lifetime. That has made it easier for me the last few days. I'm resigned. Now I just have to stay on top of the finances he's destroying to be the altruist for strangers, junkies and whores. I stay awake to grab the money and transfer it before he spends it.
Then he cries he has no money. Although the bank account is overdrawn every month before the direct deposits even get in there. Crazy making at it's finest.
Keep reading, knowledge is power.
Kookaburra, can you keep up the act of being his mummy till you reach your goal? I know it's hard, but if you can do that (without jeopardizing your safety-of course) you may be able to escape without loosing everything you have earned. Although.. just be warned, the NPD usually think everything is theirs.
Wiz... I did the same thing you did... often running out in the middle of the night to get to the ATM before he left for work that day... otherwise their would be no money for food. And we have kids.
^^I forgot about doing this..and he accused me of cheating on him.. well I guess I was cheating him.. out of his hard earned money!!!
I feel so stupid because I've known or suspected NPD for a very long time but every time I came to this thread it seemed hopeless so I'd go read elsewhere. I even question my own thoughts because he was never formally diagnosed. Years ago in MC I asked her if she thought he might be NPD or a sociopath and she dismissed it. Of course that was before she found out he was cheating through 18 months of weekly MC. She even said she couldn't believe he could keep two lives going like that. I thought, why not? He isn't emotionally involved with anyone, not even me.
I have so many examples rolling around in my head that it makes me dizzy. I have abandonment issues, too, and I wonder if that is what the NPD person hones in on. My NPD will always try to "teach" me lessons. I'm seriously embarrassed to even admit what I've put up with. You just wouldn't believe that I used to be a strong and capable woman. One that comes to mind happened after dday 2 when porn and sex were an issue. I was devastated and not interested in daily sex and I had turned him down that night (a no-no when you have a dx's but untreated SA) He knew I didn't like him watching porn (since dday2) so one night I woke up to the playboy channel on the tv in our bedroom. When I flipped out he told me he did it so that I would realize he needed more sex since, after all, he wasn't going to cheat anymore.
January 9th of this year we had a huge fight. He is very controlling and it came out in a big way. I stood my ground (we were in the office and had employees just outside the building). I told him I was tired of him treating me like hired help and things got very heated. He got this animal look on his face and looked around for whatever he could find that would hurt me the most. He saw my laptop and grabbed it and smashed it in half against the desk. I went numb and calm and just did what he wanted but moved my things out of our bedroom and into a guest room when I got home. Usually when we fight I am the one to try to communicate and reach a resolution. This time I didn't. I decided to see how long it would be until he reached out to communicate. It hasn't happened yet. We work together 6 days a week. We live in the same house and, aside from normal interactions, he hasn't said one word about the January issue. It took about 6 weeks of him ignoring the situation for me to decided to move out. I finally realize that this is how the rest of my life will be if I stay. I am actively looking for a house to buy. We still interact daily and run our business, almost as if everything is normal. He is showing his normal signs of trying to goad me into an argument, probably hoping we can start a dialogue and get to the bottom of the January fight. I refuse. He will come to me and ask my opinion about his grown kids (he doesn't use my suggestions, ever, so I think it is just him trying to stroke my ego). To the outside world everything is great. Last week we had rats in the attic and one apparently died up there. The guest room got the worst of the smell (he claims he couldn't find the dead rat) so he told me I could sleep upstairs if I wanted. I found it ironic that I had a choice of which rat to sleep with. I chose the dead one!
In the 3 months since I moved downstairs he has done numerous things to get a reaction out of me. I am trying to be detached and just watch his antics. dday 1 was public and centered around an organization that he was president of. It was a trigger and I didn't want anything to do with it once his term was over. We got away from it and he really hasn't mentioned it since. Several weeks ago he told our business manager he was going to lunch to meet with (someone involved with said organization). I felt it was to get a reaction out of me. I didn't bite. Later that week I found a shirt in the hamper with the organization's name embroidered on the pocket. I did some digging and found out he was named to the board of directors. So here he sits, a board member of this org. and he hasn't mentioned it at all. I still haven't said anything about it to him but I absolutely know I don't want to play this game anymore. He recently started watching 2 1/2 Men reruns and taping them on Tivo. He knows I hate that show due to the NPD star so we never had it on Tivo. Now he watches it every night. He even whistles the theme song as often as he can. And yesterday (he was working late) I went up to watch my Dr. Phils that I had saved on Tivo and not only are all of them erased but the season pass was deleted. I am pretty sure he has spent these last 3 months just looking for ways to get back at me. Another one, He had porn cd in the dvd player so I pulled my own stunt and traded it out for Benjamin Buttons movie.
I had lunch with his mother yesterday and she is just as NPD as he, if not more. They haven't spoken in about a year due to a long history but she was telling me some of the things he's been doing to her (long story but he is in charge of the trust that pays her living expenses). She doesn't know we are splitting up because I don't feel it's my place to tell her. She thinks I am the voice of reason and will talk to him about the way he treats her so she was using me as a go between. I finally told her that I am no longer able to sway his actions the older he gets and I'm sorry for the way he's treating her. I can somewhat understand why he is so awful to her based on the way she is but I also feel like, as his mother, she deserves at least the minimum respect. Early on in our relationship I recognized that he didn't seem to respect women but I thought I was different (stupid, I know). He even told me I was different and he really respected me for what I had done with my life, how I raised my dd alone, blah blah blah. I bought it hook line and sinker. I was special, different, respectable. Oh, God, I was an idiot to stay for so long. Has anyone else been told that they are the exception to the rule of the NPD just so you can feel special and put up with their shit?
Thanks for reading. There is so much more. So much more.
Welcome to the Tribe.
I was special, different, respectable. Oh, God, I was an idiot to stay for so long. Has anyone else been told that they are the exception to the rule of the NPD just so you can feel special and put up with their shit?
My feeling is that this is normal behavior, their "projection of right emotions" at the beginning of a relationship or in the *in love* and *honeymoon* stages. Who wouldn't believe that their husband/wife thought they were different and special, kwim? I refer to it as truths wrapped in lies. It isn't your fault for thinking you were special to the man that was supposed to love and honor you, or to enjoy being respected for your hard work and accomplishments. Don't beat yourself up too much, it is good to have your eyes open to the sickness and crazy-making inside of them, but not good to tear yourself down even more. You are not an idiot. My sister always quotes to me the line from "Hope Floats,"
"You need to get up and wash that stink off"
kookaburra~ Be careful making this decision. I stayed too long, thinking I could handle things on a day to day basis. As I got stronger, the NPD became increasingly more violent until I literally was on my way to the airport before I told him I was gone. I did tell him he was NPD, and never ever will live that down. He brings it up incessantly and is now trying to prove he is not NPD.
Does anyone have any good book recommendations or general advice for how NPDs interact with their children? I have read on SI something about the "golden child" and the "scapegoat" and I wonder if that is what is going on with my kids.
Just figured I would check in and see how others are doing.
The Tonya Evans stuff is helping a lot, I think in acceptance I must have hit a pocket of grief. My ex is making a big drama scene in the community trying to convince everyone I am an abusive nutjob.
As far as I can tell that is to try and cover up his own actions.
I just feel confused by all the dust being kicked up.
I watch his facebook page. He takes it up, he takes it down. I have no idea what the guy is doing, except it probably isn't good.
Mine sussed out long ago that my issues were abandonment and being called crazy. So that is what he is doing. I am in a lot of pain, and I feel helpless.
Wish I could keep a sense of humor about it all, but atm can't.
Hardtimes, mine does the same thing yours does. That is it has usually been me to make the approach to try and sort things. If I don't, he won't do it. Then later he starts baiting actions to try and hoover me in and if I go for it, we talk and sort things.
This time, I am not saying a word. I think he is baiting me with the social page thing. Of course maybe I am paranoid.
Every day I cross off the day on the calender after keeping NC the day before. I am hoping along about day 60 I won't care about any of this.
Hugs to everyone here (((Tribe)))
I feel for you Kalli. I have had two ddays and multiple OW's which, while damaging, really drives home the NPD concept. I still hold onto a minuscule speck of hope but now when I recognize it I squash it like a bug.
The pride is what gets me. His pride, or ego or whatever. He can never be wrong. N.E.V.E.R. And yet he will give me a hard time if I say something nice about myself, as if I am being too prideful. He tells me I'm not very modest. Ha!
[This message edited by hardtimesinlife at 4:57 PM, April 17th (Wednesday)]
Oh, God, I was an idiot to stay for so long. Has anyone else been told that they are the exception to the rule of the NPD just so you can feel special and put up with their shit?
I got roped into it with my mother, my father, my (now) XH, and the guy I dated after the marriage ended. The good news is each subsequent relationship is less and less 'special' and more a partnership. Or maybe I am as crazy as my XH believes I am. I don't think so.
Do yourself a favor and write every thing that the Narc did that you went "HUH?" or they hurt you.. every single thing you can remember. I had to do this and I ended up doing something a bit further.. I put his actions in one column and in the other column I put what I would consider a normal persons reaction to the same situation. HOLY MOLY... was that an eye opening experience!!!
Numbandnauseaus Check your PM's.
My XH treats each one of our 4 DD's different. DD2 (22) used to be the golden child.. till she stopped talking to NW. Now she is satan to him. DD1 (22) used to be satan, now she is satan's helper. DD3 (20) stays out of things pretty well. DD4(18) is the golden child... till she pizzes him off. Then she will be in a league with satan.
So much fun reparenting with the NPD dynamic duo....
Welcome... it does get better.
Kalli- roller coaster from hell is an apt description of this ride. Take your time.. I frequently pull back and just sit with new news or triggers...I call it turtling.. stick my head in my shell and hope my world is changed when I come out of my shell.
Hugs all around.
There is no physical safety risk with my partner. He is much too "nice" for such a thing. He has just become angrier since things have not gone his way, and as long as I ignore it and walk away, the potential argument does not go anywhere.
He has become angry because things have not gone his way since I discovered a year ago, that he had lied to me when I returned to the relationship. Oh yes, he was charming and wooed me, and showed he could do all those wonderful caring things. And I fell for it, because that was all I ever wanted. I had no knowledge that he had restarted his email "friendship" with the young woman (half his age) again. That was all concealed, and he lied to me when I asked if there had been any contact. I would never have returned if I knew he was at it again.
So I had great fears after my discovery of the deceit. He was wonderful the first few months, but when I did not recover fast enough he reverted back to all the old NPD behaviour. Being angry at me if I expressed my feelings, turning it around so that it was about him, feeling criticised if I talked about myself. Promising he would do the things I asked to help rebuild trust - but of course, not doing them.
I have moved into the spare room and that is my place of safety (emotionally).
I did get depressed in the past, and I think that is the risk for me now. I do not believe there is much the therapist can do for us, other than he will try to do the right thing to look good. But sooner or later we will stop seeing her - works out to be expensive to keep him on track. After all, there is nothing wrong with him!! I will see her alone if I need additional support and have good support from a close friend. And I feel I can get good support here on SI.
Charlie - thanks for the advise about telling your partner he is NPD. I will definitely keep that in mind. Everything all of you say here is so familiar for me. Only difference is, he is Mr Nice Guy. His style is covert. It all seems good, and you only realise later you have been shafted. But I am getting so much better at it, and even predict his behavour.