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I Can Relate     Print Topic    
User Topic: N P D Thread - Part 12
cantaccept
♀ Member
Member # 37451
Default  Posted: 8:02 AM, January 23rd (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The lack of empathy is so hard to understand, my lack?

I have to keep reminding myself that he is different, very different from me. Maybe if I compare it to being blind, I would not expect a blind man to see the colors that I see.

Feeling for others, wanting to soothe others pain, wanting to help, being careful to consider others with my actions and words, it comes naturally, I do not have to work so hard to achieve it.

We had conversations about empathy and compassion. It seemed like a foreign concept to him. I tried to explain to him about imagining how something makes you feel even though you have not experienced it yourself. His reaction was one of disgust, "that is sick! I can't feel that, it didn't happen to me".

It is hard to remember but I am working on it. Every time I remember something or realize something now about how he was deceiving me, I want to tell him, ask him, but then I remember. He cannot understand, he does not feel for others, he gets fed by my pain, it builds his ego.

No contact. Contact will only bring more pain.

The story, jjct of your friend, people can be amazing, so resilient. That is such strength, such character, to enjoy life, laugh at yourself, to show love. That is a goal worth striving for.

I have found myself wondering lately if I will never be the same. I suppose I don't want to be the same but I worry about not being as kind. I don't like the irritability that I feel lately towards those that don't deserve it. I try to keep it inside, but I feel it and don't like it. I hope it is temporary.

Anybody else go through that?

Also, sleep deprivation. I have not slept well for so long, since October 21, 2012. I fall asleep but the nightmares wake me every night. I am up most days at 4:30 after waking several times. I wake up with my head already going, my teeth clenched, my jaw aching, heart pounding.

Anyone go through this? Did you find a way to over come it?

It really is so helpful to read of others that have been here and come through. It gives hope.

Is there a way to get to the older threads? I can't seem to go to the pages after 1, nothing happens.

Going to be productive at work today. I do not need to create more problems for myself. This I do have control over.

(((TRIBE)))


Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.

I would now like to be known as Can!

dday October 21,2012
dday December 20, 2013

attempted R, it was all a lie

divorcing


Posts: 1096 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: Connecticut
Quakingaspen
♀ Member
Member # 41153
Default  Posted: 10:41 AM, January 23rd (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

(((Can)))

I am having a hard time with the lack of empathy too. I keep somehow expecting to be able to get through to him, but then I remember so many times over the years, practically bleeding in front of him, and him giving me this "sucks to be you" stare.

I also don't sleep well at all. Your pattern sounds like mine, I wake up all alert and panicked. If I can get back to sleep, I wake hourly. My C has suggested sleeping pills, but I'm hoping that cutting down caffeine and being more active will help first.

I think you have so much love in you that you will recover those parts of yourself that you are missing right now. One little step at a time, we'll all get there.

Yes, keep no contact. I'm working on that too. Hope you're having a good productive day.


"You're going to catch a cold from the ice inside your soul. Don't come back for me. Who do you think you are?"

WS (him)-SA/NPD
D-Day: Too many to count. LAST time: 16 October 2013.
Separating on the road to brighter things.


Posts: 89 | Registered: Oct 2013 | From: A little bit closer to Reality
jjct
♂ Member
Member # 17484
Default  Posted: 10:47 AM, January 23rd (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Older threads:

ICR>>>p.6(bottom)>>>NPD Part IV

Part V and so on are in the back pages too.
Part IV:
http://survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=196693


Posts: 6027 | Registered: Dec 2007 | From: texas
sadtoo
♀ Member
Member # 2027
Default  Posted: 12:31 PM, January 23rd (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

No sleep, exhaustion, nightmares, sore jaw, clenched teeth, etc. etc.

Raising my hand.

I know prescription sleep medication and anti-depressants & anti-anxiety meds are not an attractive option to many, but I believe those prescriptions saved my life & my sanity.

You can't remain sane and remain clear headed if you're not sleeping. And this NPD stuff is so overwhelming. The anti-d's can help keep things in perspective. And the anti-anxiety meds will ward off those annoying panic attacks.


It is what it is, not what we hope it can be.

When another woman takes your husband,
sometimes the best thing you can do for
yourself is to LET HER HAVE the worthless
bum.
OC born 2001
Divorced 2003
Remarried 2008 (New Guy)


Posts: 7927 | Registered: Aug 2003 | From: Iowa
ChoosingHope
♀ Member
Member # 33606
Default  Posted: 12:43 PM, January 23rd (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I haven't done meds (maybe a mistake) but I've also found the following things helped me immensely:
Fresh air, even 10 minutes a day
Exercise (running, walking, yoga)
Picking up the phone and talking to a friend
Meeting friends, even if you're a mess at first
Confiding in people, telling my story and receiving empathy back (I didn't expect the empathy I received because I had never received any in my marriage).

Later on, once the initial shock wore off, and I started to heal a bit, these also helped:
Mindless tv
Reading Brene Brown
Writing/Blogging
Training for something - 10k, half marathon
Trying something NEW even if you don't want to do it (art night, tennis, hiking, knitting, anything)
Meeting other divorced moms, esp. those ahead of me in this journey - their stories are all different but each one includes pain and empathy for others. I have yet to meet a divorced mom I don't love.
Just putting on some lipstick and SHOWING UP to things again. (this took a while)

The day I started reading the NYTimes again, I knew I was getting better. I could finally concentrate again on things outside my immediate world.

(((Can)))

[This message edited by ChoosingHope at 12:44 PM, January 23rd (Thursday)]


Posts: 1433 | Registered: Oct 2011
determinata
New Member
Member # 42124
Default  Posted: 1:21 PM, January 23rd (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hello Everyone. I'm new to the tribe but the NPD diagnosis just fits my SA WH's worldview perfectly. Entitled, insecure, mean-spirited, petty, etc., etc. When he's not straining to approximate the appearance of contrition, he's ragey at me because he is a sexual deviant with a taste for prostitutes. He himself admits that he scored off-the-charts when he did a NPD self-inventory.

Here's something I cannot figure out. My WH does any number of considerate things and I'm wondering where this fits in with the disorder. Some examples:
- When we met, I had about $17K in debt and he had none. He worked overtime to help me pay it down. Never complained nor threw it in my face. Told me he was happy to help.
- For almost 2 years he would drive 1 hour out of his way to pick me up from work just so I didn't have to commute home at the end of my exhausting work day. He hates driving and I can't figure any discernible benefit he got from it. He told me that he did it because he hated to see me so wrung-out from commuting.
- During my pregnancy he would get up 30 minutes early every morning to give me a massage and help me stretch. (I had severe body aches for much of the pregnancy.) I never had to ask for it and he didn't seem resentful.

So what am I missing here? Is this just a narcissist's manipulation? Is it a degree of empathy? I feel so confused as to how someone can be seemingly kind when he is getting away with his lies and a hateful snit when he isn't.


Married 2007
DDay #1 Sept 2008
Married to Sex Addict WH "ActionsOverWords"

6 years of TT and false R. Separated and on road to D unless SAWH shows change.
I am determined to be happy, whole, healthy.


Posts: 34 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: New York City
Quakingaspen
♀ Member
Member # 41153
Default  Posted: 1:51 PM, January 23rd (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Welcome Determinata,
I had the same issue in figuring out how some of my SAWH's behavior fit with the NPD until he told me exactly what he got out of it inadvertantly one night. He told me, "Everyone thinks I am a great husband but you. I buy you these great gifts and do all these nice things for you. They think I am a relationship expert." He was telling people (OAP, coworkers) about these things so they would think he was GREAT, and I had to admit that he did those things. It was all part of maintaining his illusion for himself and others. What it cost him was way less than the mileage he got out of it in terms of self-esteem, esteem from others, and my gratitude. I don't know about your SAWH, but that is what it is for mine. I feel like he was buying my pain with empty acts of caring.


"You're going to catch a cold from the ice inside your soul. Don't come back for me. Who do you think you are?"

WS (him)-SA/NPD
D-Day: Too many to count. LAST time: 16 October 2013.
Separating on the road to brighter things.


Posts: 89 | Registered: Oct 2013 | From: A little bit closer to Reality
Quakingaspen
♀ Member
Member # 41153
Default  Posted: 2:00 PM, January 23rd (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

ChoosingHope or anybody,

How do you respond to empathy? Like what is the appropriate response? I am still so shocked when someone responds to me with empathy that it sort of shuts me down. I want to dispute the pain and anger and everything because I don't want anyone to feel that badly, even in empathy. I'm afraid that once I open that bottle, I won't be able to close it. I feel like I need a padded room to go into and hurl these jagged feelings around where they can't hurt anyone else until they go away or make sense.


"You're going to catch a cold from the ice inside your soul. Don't come back for me. Who do you think you are?"

WS (him)-SA/NPD
D-Day: Too many to count. LAST time: 16 October 2013.
Separating on the road to brighter things.


Posts: 89 | Registered: Oct 2013 | From: A little bit closer to Reality
cantaccept
♀ Member
Member # 37451
Default  Posted: 2:56 PM, January 23rd (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My IC used to role play with me, he would pretend to be wh and respond to me with empathy and validation. Every time I cried. I don't know if that is how you are supposed to respond but that is how it hit me.

I have a coworker who has know about my struggles since last October. He has so much empathy it floors me. He never questioned me when I could not stay at work or criticized me when I made a mistake. He is so supportive of me. Now he is careful about showing empathy because he knows I am going to cry. He makes sure we are alone and that I will have time to cry and recover.

I guess that is my standard response right now, I cry at kindness.

Do you feel angry at the person expressing empathy? or is it when you express your feelings of anger and pain you are afraid of the intensity?

I know I try to hold it in until I am alone, at least the really deep raw pain. It came out the other night when I was alone.

I felt like I needed a padded room. I was doing my primal scream, it seems to help in some way, the pain it causes me? It feels like a release. My 3 dogs were howling along with me and that made me sob and scream more. My dogs had more empathy for my pain than the man that was supposed to be my husband.

I think maybe it will take time to adjust to others responding in a "normal" way. Just guessing, this is all new to me.

I know that I hid the reality of my life from others for so many years. I felt like I was being disloyal if I talked outside of the marriage. I also think on some level that I knew if I said it out loud, admitted it, then I would have to do something to change it. I just did not want to believe.

Damn there is a lot of crap in my head. I feel like I could just write about this forever.

Determina, I witnessed a similar behavior from my wh. The difference was his kindness was always for others, at least after the first couple of years. He liked to do things that showed, that he would get praise for. It confused me because he could be so kind to virtual strangers but be so cruel to me.

Another thing he did was to praise me to others, talk about how talented I was, how good at whatever, how sweet and then come home and abuse me. I think he was using me to make himself look better, to raise his value by having a good wife.

Just a mind bender.


Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.

I would now like to be known as Can!

dday October 21,2012
dday December 20, 2013

attempted R, it was all a lie

divorcing


Posts: 1096 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: Connecticut
jjct
♂ Member
Member # 17484
Default  Posted: 3:18 PM, January 23rd (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Welcome determinata!
Since we were just talking about NPD's posing on here, it's interesting...
It's also interesting that I posted a link to the oldest thread I could find. ^^^up there...

I read and read and read some more, to really get it, and soak in the incredible knowledge and stories. Start there. It helped me.

Gang, get this.
I am not kidding.
I bring you,
The Zebra Duiker!


Posts: 6027 | Registered: Dec 2007 | From: texas
Kajem
♀ Member
Member # 36134
Default  Posted: 3:19 PM, January 23rd (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My XH did things for (what I call ) his public. He views me, our kids, his family as a prop to his stage show. He's the star of course. His public only knows what they see. He gives them a small window into his life and none into his reality. In fact he is a master at leading someone to assume something without ever (technically) lying.

((((((Can)))))) it gets better. I promise.

(((((D))))) welcome to the Tribe.

Hugs,
K


I trust you is a better compliment than I love you, because you may not trust the person you love, but you can always love the person you trust. - Unknown
Relationships are like sharing a book, it doesn't work if you're not on the same page.

Posts: 4037 | Registered: Jul 2012 | From: Florida
cantaccept
♀ Member
Member # 37451
Default  Posted: 3:30 PM, January 23rd (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

jjct, thank you for the link to the old threads. It is the only way I could go there. For some reason on the main page of I Can Relate, I can only open the first page, it says the others cannot be found but your link brought me there.

Thank you, I started to read, I will again tonight. It was almost too much to take in, especially as I am at work and wet cheeks are noticed.

Reading the stories breaks my heart. There was one that really hit me, one line actually about having seen this on TV but not thinking it would ever be in real life.

I was thinking that this morning at 4:30, that I had seen movies with this type of person but always believed it was fiction, dramatized. Then I thought, these are the type that could do real damage, really hurt you, these are the kind that kill.

I will continue to be cautious, overly cautious, this is real.


Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.

I would now like to be known as Can!

dday October 21,2012
dday December 20, 2013

attempted R, it was all a lie

divorcing


Posts: 1096 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: Connecticut
sadtoo
♀ Member
Member # 2027
Default  Posted: 4:17 PM, January 23rd (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

He has so much empathy it floors me. He never questioned me when I could not stay at work or criticized me when I made a mistake. He is so supportive of me.

Can, I am a long ways out. my divorce began in early 2002. Although it dragged on for many years, and I dealt with stalking and harassment for years after, my perspective is much clearer today. But I remember many of your same struggles.

I am also remarried. The quote above describes my current DH. He has never called me a name. Never yells at me. He is so normal, it's shocking. I remember thinking when I first met him; "Is he f'ed up? Or is it me??" Obviously it was me.

I know that I hid the reality of my life from others for so many years. I felt like I was being disloyal if I talked outside of the marriage. I also think on some level that I knew if I said it out loud, admitted it, then I would have to do something to change it. I just did not want to believe.

YES! This is part of the NPD brainwashing of the victim. I did the same thing. Never told anyone. Partly for the same reasons, but also because I was so embarassed that Ihad gotten myself into such a horrible situation.

Determina, I witnessed a similar behavior from my wh. The difference was his kindness was always for others, at least after the first couple of years. He liked to do things that showed, that he would get praise for. It confused me because he could be so kind to virtual strangers

I noticed this with my XNPDH too. And it also caused much confusion. He seemed to be completely unable to show empathy for me or anyone for that matter. But if he saw something on the news about a complete stranger, he seemed to be able to express sympathy/empathy. But I think that he was simply "copying" what he heard other people say in similar situations.


It is what it is, not what we hope it can be.

When another woman takes your husband,
sometimes the best thing you can do for
yourself is to LET HER HAVE the worthless
bum.
OC born 2001
Divorced 2003
Remarried 2008 (New Guy)


Posts: 7927 | Registered: Aug 2003 | From: Iowa
Quakingaspen
♀ Member
Member # 41153
Default  Posted: 4:21 PM, January 23rd (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

It is the intensity of the feelings that gets me. I too cry if someone shows caring or empathy toward me. I do not like to cry in public either, so that does not help.

This:

I know that I hid the reality of my life from others for so many years. I felt like I was being disloyal if I talked outside of the marriage. I also think on some level that I knew if I said it out loud, admitted it, then I would have to do something to change it. I just did not want to believe.

Yes! Me too. I actually developed such severe anxiety about it that I had panic attacks, including a seizure that my doctor believed was caused by anxiety. I was so terrified that I would be disloyal because I was THAT lonely. Even now, here, I feel like an imposter, blowing things out of proportion, doubting the reality of my experience.

Thank you guys for validating the "public" persona bit.


"You're going to catch a cold from the ice inside your soul. Don't come back for me. Who do you think you are?"

WS (him)-SA/NPD
D-Day: Too many to count. LAST time: 16 October 2013.
Separating on the road to brighter things.


Posts: 89 | Registered: Oct 2013 | From: A little bit closer to Reality
cantaccept
♀ Member
Member # 37451
Default  Posted: 4:22 PM, January 23rd (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

sadtoo, yes! he would say that he could feel when he saw others suffer on the news or watched a movie but that with people close to him he did not feel it.

Another thing that I keep thinking about, he will send an email now or even before this dday he would tell me, I need to say this quickly before I lose it. I kept wondering, WTH??? if you feel something that important, how do you lose it?

My God, where have I been???


Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.

I would now like to be known as Can!

dday October 21,2012
dday December 20, 2013

attempted R, it was all a lie

divorcing


Posts: 1096 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: Connecticut
cantaccept
♀ Member
Member # 37451
Default  Posted: 4:27 PM, January 23rd (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Oh Quaking, I struggle with that feeling also, like I am exaggerating, seeing things in a distorted way, too sensitive, making too much of it.

I started, very briefly to read here last year, but I thought I was being overly dramatic.

Now, I see that I am becoming clearer, this is real, I was seeing things in a distorted way before.

I keep telling myself over and over this is real, this is who he is, he is a monster. His words are lies remember the actions. This is real.

Time for Margaritas and sunshine. A hug.


Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.

I would now like to be known as Can!

dday October 21,2012
dday December 20, 2013

attempted R, it was all a lie

divorcing


Posts: 1096 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: Connecticut
Quakingaspen
♀ Member
Member # 41153
Default  Posted: 4:30 PM, January 23rd (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

he would say that he could feel when he saw others suffer on the news or watched a movie but that with people close to him he did not feel it.

Ugh! He bawls like a baby at some movies. It really blows my mind.

On later reflection, his real concern about the girl in the drive-thru's opinion of him while we were dating should have probably been a red flag...


"You're going to catch a cold from the ice inside your soul. Don't come back for me. Who do you think you are?"

WS (him)-SA/NPD
D-Day: Too many to count. LAST time: 16 October 2013.
Separating on the road to brighter things.


Posts: 89 | Registered: Oct 2013 | From: A little bit closer to Reality
Quakingaspen
♀ Member
Member # 41153
Default  Posted: 4:40 PM, January 23rd (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Oh Quaking, I struggle with that feeling also, like I am exaggerating, seeing things in a distorted way, too sensitive, making too much of it.



Thank you Can. That really means a lot to me.((hugs)) back!!

Time to blow this emotional hangover and have some of that sunshine and margaritas!

ETA - jjct - What is the Zebra Duiker? It is cute!

[This message edited by Quakingaspen at 4:43 PM, January 23rd (Thursday)]


"You're going to catch a cold from the ice inside your soul. Don't come back for me. Who do you think you are?"

WS (him)-SA/NPD
D-Day: Too many to count. LAST time: 16 October 2013.
Separating on the road to brighter things.


Posts: 89 | Registered: Oct 2013 | From: A little bit closer to Reality
sadtoo
♀ Member
Member # 2027
Default  Posted: 4:58 PM, January 23rd (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Ugh! He bawls like a baby at some movies. It really blows my mind.

Mine would too. He could really turn the crocodile tears on and off. Like a switch.

But it was always very self-serving or in a weird fantasy relating type of connection for him. Like he could see himself in that situation. But only himself, not anyone else.


It is what it is, not what we hope it can be.

When another woman takes your husband,
sometimes the best thing you can do for
yourself is to LET HER HAVE the worthless
bum.
OC born 2001
Divorced 2003
Remarried 2008 (New Guy)


Posts: 7927 | Registered: Aug 2003 | From: Iowa
Elaine2012
♀ Member
Member # 36099
Default  Posted: 6:25 PM, January 23rd (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Can,

I know that I hid the reality of my life from others for so many years. I felt like I was being disloyal if I talked outside of the marriage. I also think on some level that I knew if I said it out loud, admitted it, then I would have to do something to change it. I just did not want to believe.


There was a time I told a few friends then in therapy I was told I was being disloyal to the marriage if I spoke about him to friends. So I stopped. From then on I kept it all inside and learned to keep my problems to myself!!!

QuakingAspen,

Even now, here, I feel like an imposter, blowing things out of proportion, doubting the reality of my experience.

I just experienced this the other day. I posted about how difficult STBXNPD has been about getting the D finished. It surprised me when I read this:

The jerk can't drag it out forever. Hopefully, you will go before a judge who has some compassion as well as is smart enough to see through this STBX and will rule accordingly. I think it speaks a huge great deal to who your STBX really is that he could put you through this after so many years together. Mine was hateful but not as hateful as yours is acting toward you.

Even now I have downplayed his behavior toward me and just thought that is just the way he is. Minimize much.

Recently a friend has has an experience with some friends who turned on her in a way she couldn't figure out. They had a small business together and she was trying to understand the behaviors from this couple. After listening to her I told her he sounds NPD and a light bulb turned on for her. She remembered her therapist said he sounded NPD. She shared this link with me:

linkhttp://www.slihim deshare.net/jenimawter/narcissistic-victim-syndrome-a-powerpoint-by-jeni-mawter?from_search=1

She knows STBX and what I'm experiencing with him. Here is her thought

I always thought "opposing" was a pleasant and quiet guy when I interacted with him at church. NOT!
I guess that is the unmasking of an NPD.


Me- 53
WH- 57
Dday - Blindsided July 2012
Married 34 years; Sept 2012
Together 37 years
He doesn't want R.
In hindsight neither do I. For me adultery is a deal breaker!
4 adult DD's, 1 SIL, 3 grandchildren

Posts: 278 | Registered: Jul 2012
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