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Narcissist musings

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AbandonedGuy posted 5/3/2019 13:26 PM

To be fair to that POS, when she and I were leaving that final encounter and she brought up "being in touch" about legal shit, I did tell her, in an upbeat tone, "Don't ever call me. If you have to send me legal documents, send them to my mom's house. If you need anything from me, put it in a letter and send it there, too." So maybe by blocking me on everything and putting me clean out of sight out of mind, she's really doing it for me to help in *my* healing. God bless her.



This really is the only way to deal with these people.

[This message edited by AbandonedGuy at 1:27 PM, May 3rd (Friday)]

ThisIsSoLonely posted 5/3/2019 13:30 PM


OptionedOut posted 5/3/2019 13:40 PM

Read about Covert Narcissists. I'm convinced WH is one. He claims to always forget what they're called and calls them Cozy Narcissists no matter how many times he's shown or told otherwise. I think I should try calling them by their other known name: vulnerable narcissists and see if he minds that I slip and call them venereal narcissists.

But yes. There are a few types of narcissists.

[This message edited by OptionedOut at 1:42 PM, May 3rd (Friday)]

AbandonedGuy posted 5/3/2019 13:54 PM

It's certainly a spectrum. In the first few months after DDay, I stayed up many nights in bed reading articles on my phone about narcs: their behaviors, spotting them, dealing with them, covert ones, etc. It didn't even occur to me that she was a narc the whole time we were together until I did a postmortem on the relationship. These people are very good at downplaying the massive blows they deal to the relationship--even if you still subconsciously feel the effects. They put you in your own little fog. I only got lucky because my narc has lapses in common sense and can't see the big picture, both of which benefited me in the divorce.

hopeandnohope posted 5/4/2019 08:25 AM

After reading here, I thought exwh was a narcissist but my lawyer called him a sociopath. There is something wrong with cheaters that we can't understand no matter what the label is.

This irresponsibility includes a complete refusal to take ownership of his actions. Denial and blame are prominent sociopath traits. Sociopaths can hurt someone and feel nothing. When accused of anything, the sociopath shrugs it off in cool denial. He is acutely aware of his actions and has neither shame nor remorse for what he has done. He just won't take responsibility, ever, because he genuinely believes his actions are always justified. Victims deserve what they get, thinks the sociopath.

WhoTheBleep posted 5/4/2019 09:00 AM

Anyone have constructive ways of handling their Narcissist partners?

No contact. You could also try no contact. I've also heard great things about no contact.

Gumdropped posted 5/6/2019 10:26 AM

Whothebleep I'm in R with my WH. Although I don't believe that he is a full blown Narcissist he has some traits. So no contact isn't possible. I was more asking on how others manage to cope, and not let our SO get away with their behavior

unspecified posted 5/9/2019 07:33 AM

"Good luck with the move tomorrow." 

My STBXW, also at the close of a 12 year marriage, and in front of the kids: "Can you move out tomorrow instead of Saturday?"

Cooley2here posted 5/9/2019 08:02 AM

Use the word “No”. Just no. No explanation. Nothing. Narcs pull you in with talk. So don’t talk. By that I mean don’t explain. It falls on deaf ears. You need to deal with factual issues. “I can’t get home in time to feed the dog. He eats at 6”. The narc will whine about why is it always them having to do everything. Stop the conversation. Your dog can wait until you get home. You can never be first with a narc. Accept that. It makes life easier.
Sociopaths are a different breed. Dangerous. You are a thing to them and can be discarded when no longer needed or wanted. Get away ASAP. Shanann Watts was married to a sociopath and never knew it until he killed her and their children. What read flags could she have seen? There might not have been any. That is how scary sociopaths are.

With narcs the red flags are there because they aren’t chameleons like sociopaths. They demand attention. Sociopaths work under cover.

Furious1 posted 5/9/2019 08:28 AM

Always the hero or the victim, never the villain rings true here as well.

Notoriously selfish especially when I am medically vulnerable or sick. I had outpatient surgery last year. XWH took off of work for the day of surgery and two additional days to take care of me. While at the hospital, XWH made a big show of being attentive and helpful. The next day, I asked him to fix me something to eat because I was starting to get my appetite back. XWH totally lost it and flew into a massive rage. He screamed at me for expecting anything at all of him. Then to punish me, he went outside and set the front lawn on fire. I was out there putting out the fire with surgical drains in my chest while he was using a rake and doing everything in his power to make the fire spread faster. This past Christmas Eve, he once again set the lawn on fire as punishment for me not giving him yet another second chance.

So whenever I dared to go against his selfish and lazy expectations, he acted as though he had the right to punish, humiliate, degrade, criticize, and dehumanize me. Another big thing is that XWH consistently held me to an impossible standard while balking at any attempt to hold him to that same standard that he demanded of me. To hear him tell it, me asking him for anything at all was an insult to his humanity and dignity (victim status) so he had the right to protect himself by punishing me (self-defense instead of being the villain).

Anyone have constructive ways of handling their Narcissist partners?

Use the "I refuse" method. Dr. Les Carter put out a YouTube video that describes how to do this perfectly if you want to find it. I think it was made under the "Surviving Narcissism" channel.


barcher144 posted 5/9/2019 08:57 AM

I got myself one of those fancy "covert" narcs.

Abandonedguy can you elaborate on the behavior of your partner?

I have one of those fancy "covert" narcs too. I haven't read Abandonedguy's responses yet, so his answers don't influence mine.

Here is what I have been dealing with:

1. She does a lot of stuff in the community so that she looks altruistic. It's about getting the attention, though. She loves coaches my kids' athletic teams.

2. She often dresses inappropriately provocative. This week, she wore yoga pants (hello, camel toe) and a tight shirt (hello, augmented breasts) to soccer practice for 10-14 year old girls. I am sure some of this was to make me jealous, but it was also to get the attention of soccer dads.

3. She never, ever admits a mistake. Forget to a pay a bill? Didn't receive an invoice. Have an affair? BH is grumpy. Do something that hurts the feelings of DD12? Well, DS7 asked me to do it.

This is where a lot of gaslighting happens. I woke up one morning with chest pains... she refused to allow me to call a doctor (we had to do something with the kids first). When I asked her about it later, she said that I was always complaining about something and so she didn't think it was serious.

4. She never compliments other people, only criticizing them and often about stupid stuff. The criticism is not continuous, often subtle with a lot of coded language. She's tall and thin. There's always a subtle hint that people who are not tall are inferior. I am literally average height for an American male and I am told that I am short on a regular basis. DD12 is not thin (slightly overweight) and she is told that she has barcher144's body-type (I'm not thin).

The lack of compliments is insidious because you almost don't notice. DD13 has spent a lot of time in therapy dealing with low self-esteem because she feels like her mother is not proud of her. I wonder why?

5. She creates a fiasco during events (like your birthday) that doesn't focus on her. I rarely received birthday presents. On a trip for a nephew's baptism? Oh wait, we need to go to the emergency room for a kidney stone.

6. She hates it when I bring up the past. Narcs absolutely hate to be reminded of their past mistakes. When STBXWW told me that she wanted a divorce, it was because she determined that I would never trust her again (see #3; it wasn't because she had an affair). When I responded that I had just caught her in another major lie, she responded with "Why can't you let that go?"

7. She would subtly ignore me during joyous and other occasions. One year, my STBXW and her parents sat down and began having Thanksgiving dinner without me. I was still in the kitchen, carving the turkey. When I asked about it afterwards, I was told that I was taking too long (see #3).

If we were in the same room and someone called her on her phone, she'd always ignore me and take the phone call. If I called her and she was with someone, she'd tell me to call at a later time because she was with someone.

8. Nothing that I did was ever good enough. I worked my ass off trying to please STBXWW. My psychiatrist knew of all of the stuff that I was doing (but not why) to the point where my medical records suggest that I might have obsessive compulsive disorder. My STBXWW, literally, is claiming in our divorce proceedings that I never did anything around the house or with the kids, such that she should be awarded primary custody of our kids (there's an element of gaslighting to this too).

edited to add, after reading Abandonedguy's responses:

1. A really weird toxic shame, no shame dichotomy. If she ever did admit a mistake, she was the worst person on the planet. For about a month after discovered her affair, she described herself as "a complete piece of shit."

2. Major entitlement. Now that we are divorcing, she is pissed that the money that I make is no longer hers.

3. Major jealousy issues. One of her favorite phrases was "must be nice." As in, a friend would take a vacation to Hawaii and she'd say "must be nice." Forget the fact that we had just taken a 2-week trip to Norway last month.

[This message edited by barcher144 at 9:03 AM, May 9th (Thursday)]

Cooley2here posted 5/9/2019 09:16 AM

Read the book GAMES PEOPLE PLAY. It is not about fun it is about someone constantly keeping you off balance because they get to keep power over you. Here is how you know you are being played. Knots in your stomach, dread, walking on eggshells, trying constantly to please, losing self esteem, constantly questioning yourself. I could go on indefinitely. A relationship should make you content with life. If it doesn’t then take a very good look at your partner.

This can happen in a marriage, at work or between “friends”. I hung out with a group of wives. One of them “accidentally” broke things of mine, spilled things on my stuff, and always acted so sorry. So, I was always suppose to say, “That’s ok” and let it go. She did it all the time. I would have looked like a jerk if I confronted her because she would cry and the other women would think I was mean. I got rid of that so-called friend.

[This message edited by Cooley2here at 4:45 PM, May 9th (Thursday)]

sisoon posted 5/9/2019 09:36 AM

Games People Play was a best seller, on the NY Times list for 2-ish years back around 1964-66.

A little bit of searching will get you a PDF copy for download at no-cost. It's an easy read, in terms of the words. You may have to stop frequently, because Berne, the author, hits home.

Gumdropped posted 5/13/2019 14:34 PM

Hard to believe but this weekend m WH was discussing someone he knew and stated that he had a narcissistic personality............ wow I really was a a loss over that. They really don't realize that in themselves do they.

AbandonedGuy posted 5/14/2019 00:13 AM

barcher, 3 4 6 7 and 8 all ring true for mine as well. She would ditch me at events even after I asked her politely not to. She knew I was a bit socially anxious (something I thankfully got over during the divorce) but had no regard for what I might be feeling or going through at any given time. I'd be stuck by myself and she'd be off chopping it up, sans me. Very little compassion (probably feigned), almost no empathy.

Still amazes me that I was sincerely happy for large chunks of our 12 years together despite the stuff she pulled, the periods of fighting, the awful stuff we went through together. Talk about settling.

EEguy1412 posted 5/14/2019 06:19 AM

AbandonedGuy: Exactly what I got. At a party or at a reception, my W would immediately dash of, leave me standing there, and for the rest of the evening keep a distance from me. I raised that a few times, more bemused than anything but she found it utterly baffling that I would comment on it. When I reflect on it she never understood somebody else’s emotions, including mine, when they were communicated to her. Somebody else’s emotions, expressed through language, did not register.

Adaira posted 5/14/2019 06:43 AM

I can still vividly remember the first Christmas I went to his (very large) family’s celebration and within five minutes of getting there, he disappeared and I didn’t see him again for probably an hour. Didn’t introduce me to anyone, give me the layout of the place, nothing. When I finally saw him again, I expressed my disappointment at being bailed on and he just shrugged and said “every man for himself.”

When I look back at moments like these (and there are many), I think, how did I not see allllll these red flags?? But they’re isolated and subtle and narcs are fantastic at gaslighting. The problem, of course, wasn’t that he ditched me - it was my reaction to it.

MalibuBayBreeze posted 5/14/2019 08:00 AM

I also suffered from social anxiety. Thanks to the IDGAF attitude born out of becoming a BS along with anxiety meds it's not an issue for me anymore. I simply don't care what people think of me for one and secondly my stock has risen significantly since DDay. I realize that I am smart, funny, can hold a two way conversation as opposed to a narc who must repeat "I" "Me" "My" "Mine" and myself dozens of times in their notoriously one sided soap box diatrades. It's not a normal give and take flow of a conversation you have with other people who actually ask about you or give you the respect of talking about things you like or need to talk about.

We would arrive somewhere and if some of my friends were there I was fine. If not I felt uncomfortable. Very uncomfortable. He knew this. I would tell him he didn't need to be by my side the whole time but mix it up between being with me and socializing or just mixing the two and including me.

Always always walked into wherever we were before me. Like he was making some grand entrance. So I got to the point where I just stopped going with him. Then he spun a web of bullshit to people saying I didn't want to go out. I never want to do anything. Meanwhile I was crying that we never did anything outside the home together as a couple. But when you are made to feel like an anchor, like you're cramping their style and they really don't want you there despite insisting they do, you give up and become invisible. Which is what happened to me.

That opened the door wide for him to do what he wanted. The rift was getting bigger this creating more room for his messed up behavior.

Since DDay I almost feel as if I've been on a publicity tour. Joining FB. Not having him go out without me. Meeting people he knows. It's been like "Hey! I'm here! I exist! Invisible wife no more. I exist and I'm fabulous" I'm not being shoved in the background any more.

And all his attempts to grab the spotlight constantly I have come to find annoys a lot of people. They simply can't deal with him. I actually have been stunned to see the actual level of dislike because he had me believing for so long that he was just so popular and I should be happy to be along for the ride.

Yeah, not so much. Now we lose out on countless invites I'm told because of him. But I don't have the heart to tell him that. I have the sensitivity chip lacks.

He set your lawn on fire? Twice? I'm still very concerned for you my friend. He doesn't sound remorseful or even civil. I hope whatever procedure you had turned out well and that you are feeling good. I think of you often wondering how you are. Take care of yourself. ❤

timespent posted 5/15/2019 14:43 PM

Just, wow!! How can there be so many of them out there? The devastation is incredible. I used to laugh and call my spouse's narcissistic tendencies "the red marker society" because it was all about him all the time, let me circle myself so you'll never forget. Not laughing anymore obviously!

Victim, yes. Hero, yes. I was married to this great guy, everyone said so. When I suspected something wasn't right I thought it was me with the problem.

For a while, I thought I'd helped create this monster by accepting these traits and loving anyway. Now I realize that Frankenstein already existed I just fed it for 30 years!!

AbandonedGuy posted 5/15/2019 22:34 PM

Oh yes, I am so familiar with the "it's not what they did, it's how *I reacted* that's the problem".

Step 1: she does something on the scale from incredibly selfish and rude to downright vicious and awful
Step 2: I react like any normal self-respecting person and get angry and point out my problem with what she did
Step 3: I'm the asshole simply because I'm angry (a normal angry, not some over the top angry, just your plain old angry), hammer that point about a dozen times
Step 4: she proclaims that I'm perfect and she's always wrong and always "has to be the one to change" and sulks off like a little kid
Step 5: she repeats the same thing (or another such repeated, terrible thing) over and over again and never stops and, naturally, never changes, and so goes the cycle

Part of me wishes I could remember exactly what she'd say to pin the blame on me for reacting to her awfulness so I had a good story to share, another part of me is glad to have forgotten the majority of our relationship (in under a year! must be a record...).

Edit: Ooooh, another thing which might overlap with others here (whether it's a narc thing, or just a shitty person thing), but I remember various times when she'd be pulling some such awfulness and we'd argue about it. I would argue my POV, then she'd counter with hers. Usually it was a flawed argument which implied that she simply didn't give a shit about what she did or how it affected other people. I explained to her why her reasoning was flawed, then she'd repeat herself using language and in a tone like I was an idiot. I remember telling her a handful of times, "No, I understand your argument, I just don't agree with it." She acted in these moments like there wasn't such a thing as another person's perspective, or the concept of "discourse", but only what she believed and to hell with others' POVs, her husband must just be huffing too much paint to understand.

[This message edited by AbandonedGuy at 10:41 PM, May 15th (Wednesday)]

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