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Too many doctors in the house

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mommabear1010 ( member #79915) posted at 4:56 PM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

Why are you finding words like gaslighting and toxic so troublesome, especially when they are clearly being used by posters who are describing their real life experiences that are very much actual gaslighting and toxicity?

Gaslighting is also not a "medical diagnosis".

Patient: What is it doc?

Doctor: Looks like you've developed a severe case of....gaslighting!

laugh

I think that it's important to understand the differences between someone having narcissistic traits and someone actually having NPD. I've read/researched quite a bit about NPD and it gave me such clarity into understanding my WH...not because of a meme but because it actually describes the cluster of unhealthy/toxic/abusive behaviors he exhibits on the DAILY.

At least in my opinion, I became so conditioned to tolerating his personality and behavior that you don't know how to identify behavior as abusive (and also ingrained in myself if it's not physical it must not be abuse!). It wasn't until I finally revealed to my brother what has been going on he literally broke down in tears and told me this is abuse. It can be hard to admit to ourselves we got roped up in an abusive relationship and don't know how to safely leave.

[This message edited by mommabear1010 at 5:00 PM, Tuesday, June 21st]

Dday- 1/19/22
Trickle truth
Dday2- 2/8/22
Dday3- 3/10/22
Divorcing

posts: 60   路   registered: Feb. 9th, 2022
id 8741236
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Wiseoldfool ( member #78413) posted at 5:24 PM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

I've been a trial lawyer for thirty years. I handle dozens of divorces a year, at least.

Every single week I get a call from a prospective client that goes like this, "my spouse is a narcissist....."

I interrupt them, and politely tell them that I don't need their diagnosis, I just need them to tell me the behavior and the events.

That seems to help us focus and have a productive conversation.

Especially when I tell them that some people are, in fact, merely married to common assholes.

Every secret you keep with your affair partner sustains the affair. Every lie you tell, every misunderstanding you permit, every deflection you pose, every omission you allow sustains the affair.

posts: 227   路   registered: Mar. 1st, 2021
id 8741238
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Tanner ( member #72235) posted at 5:44 PM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

Especially when I tell them that some people are, in fact, merely married to common assholes.

I鈥檓 No Dr but this is a true diagnosis 馃ぃ

Dday Sept 7 2019 doing well in R
BH 55 WW 48 M 31 years, 4 kids 2 grown 2 grandkids

posts: 1498   路   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019   路   location: Texas DFW
id 8741240
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Dkt3 ( new member #75072) posted at 5:50 PM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

narcissist gets thrown around alot, while I'm sure very few who are being called that is actually one. The Cleveland Clinic estimate that around 5% of the population is medically diagnosed narcissist.

I believe its akin to being taken by a conman, there is shame and embarrassment in being cheated on. So to make it easier to stomach narcissist cames flowing out.

The reality is more likely the cheater was a untrustworthy person whom we betrayed bet big on, mostly ignoring the signs and red flags early on.

Infidelities rarely happen in a vacuum and is often accompanied by a long line of build up behavior.

The disconnect, in my opinion, is not everyone views love, sex and commitment through the same lens.

Don't quote me on this but, I've seen statistics that stated upwards of 2/3 of unfaithful partners saw Infidelities growing up. Had parents who were in and out of relationships. Thier die was cast early, doesn't make them narcissist, and sometimes they love the betrayed as best they can, or know how.

posts: 49   路   registered: Aug. 3rd, 2020
id 8741242
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 movingonward (original poster new member #78412) posted at 5:51 PM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

They are all just buzz words that have taken off in the last few years and are overused in todays conversations. Some of this may be political, some of it may be the widening gender divide (I see it used by females more than males on this site). While I understand people are coming to terms of what was done to them and maybe it gives them relief saying "he/she was just a narcissist", I caution that all cheaters aren鈥檛 narcissistic just because they cheated. Flawed yes, narcissists, maybe not.

posts: 15   路   registered: Mar. 1st, 2021
id 8741243
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Dkt3 ( new member #75072) posted at 6:07 PM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

Logic and emotions often don't cohabitate well.

Far more then 5% have cheated, so not only is most cheaters not narcissist few actually are. Logical many know this, emotionally its hard to explain the behavior any other way.

I've seen this be a hot button topic, mainly from those in the mental health game.

I'm not sure its gender based, just a way for some to deal with the emotional fallout from feeling taken advantage of.

posts: 49   路   registered: Aug. 3rd, 2020
id 8741246
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OwningItNow ( member #52288) posted at 6:27 PM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

The Cleveland Clinic estimate that around 5% of the population is medically diagnosed narcissist.

There are 335 million people in the U.S. alone. So 5% of them are narcissists, right?

Far more then 5% have cheated, so not only is most cheaters not narcissist few actually are.

More than 5% of the population has cheated? Ummm, ok. If you say so.

So we can agree that at least 16,750,000 people are cheating in the U.S., same number as narcissists? Since this is a global site, we can double that to 33 million (at least)?

Well, damn! No wonder we are talking about narcissists non-stop! That's a whooooole bunch of them crapping all over people's lives. And by the way, a narcissist would never just mess up one person's life. They frequently have multiple victims, so about 66+ million people have been victimized by narcissists. And many of them will come here to talk about it.

Imma keep spreadin' the word. wink

[This message edited by OwningItNow at 6:29 PM, Tuesday, June 21st]

me: BS/WSh: WS/BS

Reject the rejector. Do not reject yourself.

posts: 5555   路   registered: Mar. 16th, 2016   路   location: Midwest
id 8741247
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Unhinged ( member #47977) posted at 6:30 PM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

They are all just buzz words...

My only response to this is "buzz off."

Married 2005
D-Day April, 2015
Divorced May, 2022

"The Universe is not short on wake-up calls. We're just quick to hit the snooze button." -Brene Brown

posts: 6457   路   registered: May. 21st, 2015   路   location: Colorado
id 8741248
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3yrwait ( member #29907) posted at 6:38 PM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

Personally, I did not know the term "gaslighting" until I joined this club, and it was far more than 5 years ago.

Unfortunately, it is very common in this club.

Me: BH (early 50s)
Her: WW (early 50s)
Married 25 years
1 daughter, under 10
DDay July 2007

posts: 532   路   registered: Oct. 21st, 2010   路   location: 3yrwait
id 8741252
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 6:42 PM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

The Cleveland Clinic estimate that around 5% of the population is medically diagnosed narcissist.

This assumes that all narcissists have been evaluated by a therapist. I would imagine that number is much higher, because most would never go to IC,because they don't believe anything is wrong with them.

While I understand people are coming to terms of what was done to them and maybe it gives them relief saying "he/she was just a narcissist

My dday was 12 years ago. I've long since come to terms with what he did. It's only been in the last few years that I've realized he is a narcissist. And it gives me absolutely no relief to say that.

posts: 4386   路   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   路   location: The Midwest
id 8741255
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landclark ( member #70659) posted at 6:50 PM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

I'm sorry you've gotten beaten up in the responses to your rant.

I think somebody coming here dismissing a bunch of a people鈥檚 experiences as nothing more than a cliche meme should probably expect to be beaten up. 馃し鈥嶁檧锔

Me: BW Him: WH (GuiltAndShame) Dday 05/19/19 TT through August
One child together, 3 stepchildrenTogether 13.5 years, married 12.5

First EA 4 months into marriage. Last ended 05/19/19. *ETA, contd an ea after dday for 2 yrs.

posts: 2041   路   registered: May. 29th, 2019
id 8741259
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WhatsRight ( member #35417) posted at 7:01 PM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

I鈥檓 not sure that so many people on this site consider themselves "Drs" if they are not actually doctors.

I think the issue is more about how a person and their behavior fit into a certain set of characteristics that are characterized by a certain term. Of course, that doesn鈥檛 equal a diagnosis by professional.

I believe most people in the world have characteristics of many different personality types. "Thinking of yourself first" is sometimes characterized as being narcissistic. I have been told many times on this site that I am codependent. Because I think of others first. It is a very different statement to say a certain behavior is codependent or narcissistic, than to actually label that person as the noun. Narcissist. Which in my opinion, is more appropriate on a site like this.

I have also thought that sometimes certain labels are overused. But in light of why we are all here, I think it is understandable that we want to put a name with a behavior. It doesn鈥檛 seem to me like anyone on this site is trying to make an actual diagnosis.

"Noone can make you feel inferior without your concent." Eleanor Roosevelt

I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy

posts: 7403   路   registered: Apr. 23rd, 2012   路   location: Southeast USA
id 8741260
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emergent8 ( member #58189) posted at 7:10 PM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

OP - I agree with you that it's common to see terms like narcissistic, gaslighting, toxic and abuse around here. I disagree that these are medical diagnoses (or anything close to resembling a meme). That said, I agree with OIN that in light of the content matter of this site, there are very practical reasons why these words are likely overrepresented here as compared to the general population. I don't think any of it is clich茅.

A question, why do the words that people use to label their OWN experiences, bother you? I can see it being frustrating if someone was labeling you or your relationship in a way that you didn't feel was appropriate (you are the best person to speak to your own experience, after all), but why does it matter to you how OTHERS define their own experiences?

I've been here a while and I don't think I've ever seen anyone suggest that all cheaters are narcissists. Some certainly are and narcissistic personality traits are commonly seen in WS but narcissistic is not the same as NPD. For me personally, I was cheated on and lied to (like many others here). While my husband has some flawed and selfish tendencies, I don't consider him to be a narcissist nor do I consider what he did to be abuse (others might, and that is fine). That said, over the years I've read the stories of many many other betrayed spouses here and do not disagree for a minute that those descriptors are absolutely warranted and valid.

Most importantly, this is a site is a safe place for people impacted by infidelity to share their experiences and find support. It is not my place (or yours!) to invalidate the experiences and traumas of others.

[This message edited by emergent8 at 7:15 PM, Tuesday, June 21st]

Me: BS, Him: WS. Mid-late 30s.
Together 15 years, married 6 (11 m at D-Day).
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
5 years (and two toddlers) into R. Happy.

posts: 944   路   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8741262
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BoundaryBuilder ( member #78439) posted at 7:12 PM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

Oh, I can鈥檛 leave out "abuse" either. Very clich茅. Seems like one big meme. Maybe I鈥檓 wrong??

Movingonward, do you believe infidelity is abuse? I do. And I bet most people who've experienced infidelity would agree what they suffered was abuse. Including me.

Abuse is not gender specific. Infidelity is not gender specific.

Interesting that "politics" (writ large) and gender were introduced into the discussion......

[This message edited by BoundaryBuilder at 5:10 AM, Thursday, June 23rd]

Married 32 years w/one adult daughter
ME:BW 63
HIM:WH 65
13 month texting EA with high school X who fished him on Facebook 43 years later
PA=15 days spread over final 3 months
D-Day=April 21, 2018
Reconciled

posts: 117   路   registered: Mar. 4th, 2021
id 8741263
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DailyGratitude ( member #79494) posted at 7:17 PM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

I think the term "narcissistic" has become a word to describe someone who is selfish, lacks empathy, craves validation/attention, etc.
It is not to be confused with Narcissistic Personality Disorder(NPD) which requires a diagnosis by a professional. However, it doesn鈥檛 get readily diagnosed because people with genuine NPD do not seek professional help, and hence no diagnosis is made. If you read published articles by experts in this field, you will learn that NPD is much more prevalent than is actually diagnosed, especially in some professions like CEOs, MDs, politicians, and clergy. NPD is on a spectrum. One need not be professionally diagnosed to have traits of it.

In any case, many of us here on SI experienced our spouse鈥檚 behaviors that are selfish and devoid of empathy either before, during, or after the affair. Therefore, we use the term narcissistic to describe them. We are not making a medical diagnosis. We are not saying we know enough to say they have NPD. We are merely saying they demonstrate narcissistic tendencies.
Is it overused? Maybe. But given the audience on SI, i am not surprised it is used often. People who cheat tend to be selfish and lack empathy.
And they tend to gaslight in order to deflect blame. And being in a relationship with a cheater is toxic to our minds and bodies.

Me: BW mid 50鈥檚Him: WH late 50鈥檚Marrried 25 yearsDday: EA 2002 PA 9/2021Divorce 10/2021 (per wh鈥檚 request) WH left to be with AP

posts: 291   路   registered: Oct. 17th, 2021   路   location: Connecticut
id 8741266
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Chaos ( member #61031) posted at 7:31 PM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

What's in a name?

At the end of the day, I've been [metaphorically] gutted and am bleeding out. Having someone use a name for what specific kind of weapon did this to me is kind of irrelevant at that point.

I'm [metaphorically] dying inside and could give one fu*k about weather it was a butcher knife, steak knife, dagger, switchblade, bowie knife, etc. Forged in Fire experts debating the nuisances of what type of blade eviscerated me isn't going to stop me from bleeding out. And suffering immensely while doing so.

BS-me/WH-4.5yrLTA Married 2+ decades - Children (1 still at home)
Multiple DDays w/same AP until I told OBS in 2018
Cease & Desist sent spring 2021
"Hello鈥揗y name is Chaos鈥揧ou f***ed my husband-Prepare to Die!"

posts: 3477   路   registered: Oct. 13th, 2017   路   location: East coast
id 8741269
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 movingonward (original poster new member #78412) posted at 7:32 PM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

I鈥檓 not trying to invalidate anyone. I鈥檓 just trying to understand in what way people get some satisfaction or healing in coming to a non medical diagnosis that their cheater must have been a narc. But I guess going against the grain doesn鈥檛 seem to fly with most. It鈥檚 okay, I鈥檓 pretty thick skinned. I understand that I may be well past the hurt where other are not.

posts: 15   路   registered: Mar. 1st, 2021
id 8741270
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emergent8 ( member #58189) posted at 7:35 PM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

(I see it used by females more than males on this site)

I suspect the fact that you've noticed (and are bothered) by this is due to several factors, but something to consider is that research suggests that NPD is also more prevalent in men than women.

Me: BS, Him: WS. Mid-late 30s.
Together 15 years, married 6 (11 m at D-Day).
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
5 years (and two toddlers) into R. Happy.

posts: 944   路   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8741272
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mommabear1010 ( member #79915) posted at 7:53 PM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

I鈥檓 not trying to invalidate anyone. I鈥檓 just trying to understand in what way people get some satisfaction or healing in coming to a non medical diagnosis that their cheater must have been a narc. But I guess going against the grain doesn鈥檛 seem to fly with most. It鈥檚 okay, I鈥檓 pretty thick skinned. I understand that I may be well past the hurt where other are not.

This may be a surprise but your initial post and this response don't read as someone who is unbothered and thick skinned. Has someone called you a narc and toxic?

Dday- 1/19/22
Trickle truth
Dday2- 2/8/22
Dday3- 3/10/22
Divorcing

posts: 60   路   registered: Feb. 9th, 2022
id 8741274
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EllieKMAS ( member #68900) posted at 8:05 PM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

Per the DSM, NPD includes:

A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and with lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood, as indicated by at least five of the following:

1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements, expects to be recognized as superior without actually completing the achievements)

2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of success, power, brilliance, beauty, or perfect love.

3. Believes that they are "special" and can only be understood by or should only associate with other special people (or institutions).

4. Requires excessive admiration.

5. Has a sense of entitlement, such as an unreasonable expectation of favorable treatment or compliance with his or her expectations).

6. Is exploitative and takes advantage of others to achieve their own ends.

7. Lacks empathy and is unwilling to identify with the needs of others.

8. Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of them.

9. Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors and attitudes

Relating to my own xwh...

1. He always believed himself to be the smartest/most badass person ever. Always talked about things he knew how to do (when turns out he actually didn't know how to do them). He expected to be treated as brilliant by everyone. Was he smart? Yeah he was. Was he the smartest? Not by a long shot.

2. He was alwayyyyys talking about what he'd do when he became a millionaire or invented something that would make him rich and/or famous. He was always talking about how he'd run things if he was in public office. Problem was he didn't want to work for any of those things. Problem was he would get pissy as fuck when I didn't immediately support these ridiculous fantasies because they were not based in ANY reality.

3. He was always misunderstood, the poor muffin. You see, no one appreciated his genius.

4. Oh I heard an earful after dday about how I 'never complimented him' (not true). How I 'never supported him' (also not true). How he felt invisible because I was apparently a horrible bitch who made his life hell. Funny he never seemed to feel those things when I was paying all of his bills, buying his cars, working my ASS off to keep a roof over our heads cus oh yeah, HE DIDN'T WORK FOR THE ENTIRETY OF OUR MARRIAGE. But sure, of course it's understandable that he cheated cus I was somehow remiss in petting his pathetic little ego rolleyes

5. The best indicator of this one was after he "fell in love" with his 18 year old ap (when he was 30 fucking 7 mind you, so DOUBLE her age) and decided he was "poly", I was told that he "needed to date and have sexual relationships with other women" and that I had "better just get on board with that". *Morgan Freeman voiceover* It transpired that she did NOT 'get on board with that'.

6. Exploitative? I would say being a borderline child predator counts for that, wouldn't you?

7. Lacks empathy.... I remember a fight we had after dday when I was just emotionally reeling and havin a really bad day. I was told that I should just 'stop getting so over-emotional' because it was 'exhausting him to have to deal with my outbursts'. Bear in mind this was said to me 12 days after dday 1. 12 DAYS.

8. Constantly compared his situation with his brother and the 2 or 3 friends he actually had. Bought new cars etc because someone else got one. Or more factually, made his wife buy him new cars so he could feel better.

9. Was always arrogant and holier than thou. I didn't see it so much when I was in it (mostly cus I didn't want to admit I married someone just like my dad I think), but I sure started connecting those dots after dday.

So, am I a doctor? No. Am I diagnosing him with NPD? Also no. Am I saying he was a narcissistic man baby/douche canoe? Yes. And I say that because of the objective reality I lived with for YEARS and my observations of his behavior in those years. Not all narcs are cheaters and not all cheaters are narcs, but it seems to me that a lot of cheaters definitely exhibit at least a few of those traits.

[This message edited by EllieKMAS at 8:11 PM, Tuesday, June 21st]

"No, it's you mothafucka, here's a list of reasons why." 鈥 Iliza Schlesinger

"The love that you lost isn't worth what it cost and in time you'll be glad that it's gone." 鈥 Linkin Park

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id 8741277
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