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Living With A Narcisstic Personality Disordered Spouse

 
 
Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 12:02 pm
@blackwidow,
Oh definitely. And no matter what happens, when something goes wrong, it is someone persecuting them. I get so frustrated talking to my husband sometimes. I will be talking about something important to me and somehow he always turns it around to him and what he is going through. I just sit there and listen. Arguing about it with him has never helped. I think the hardest thing that I had to get used to was understanding his first priority is always going to be him. That is difficult in a marriage.
blackwidow
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Aug, 2009 01:57 pm
@Arella Mae,
it is always all about them and the only time they are interested in what we think, say or do is if directly impacts them atherwise they dont care we are just there to pander to their ego
mm25075
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Aug, 2009 10:41 am
@blackwidow,
and heaven forbid you don't agree or don't have the energy to boost them up when they are feeling sorry for themselves.
Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Aug, 2009 08:30 pm
@mm25075,
Oh isn't that the truth! My husband will be upset about something, okay, for instance. Bellsouth changed their layout of their homepage. He was absolutely livid! How dare they do that! How dare they inconvenience him! Good grief! I know they really can't help it because of the disorder, but geesh, it seems like the small stuff is what they get the most freaked out about.
mm25075
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Aug, 2009 11:25 pm
@Arella Mae,
heh, yeah don't ask me why but one day he came to me and had an absolute fit because there were salad forks mixed in with the big forks after I emptied the dishwasher. Gesh, you;d think the queen of England was due to come over and inspect the utencil drawer Very Happy
roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Aug, 2009 11:30 pm
@mm25075,
And. . . ?
roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Aug, 2009 11:32 pm
@roger,
Oh! My bad. I've been trying to get Finn past a little domestic crisis and got on the wrong thread.
Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Aug, 2009 02:43 pm
@roger,
Laughing Roger!

Like I said, the hardest thing to get used to is that this disorder is really unpredictable. I never know what or who is going to set off his "poor me everyone is against me" or his "I am so much better than everyone else" attitude.

He is not like that all the time and, in all honesty, he has gotten much better over the past few years. The thing about that is, hmmm, if he can get better about it, why is he that way at all? Or is that also part of the disorder? Being able to put a mask on? It makes me wonder if the "getting better" is just another part of the manipulation they are so good at?
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 01:17 am
@Arella Mae,
I apologize, Arella Mae. I was trying to present anger over mixing big and little forks as being perfectly normal. Of course, it isn't. I should be carefull of which topics I try joke in.

Anyway, the subject isn't one I can add anything useful to.
0 Replies
 
JWH
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 10:33 am
arelle may

I have been married to a NPD for 20 years. We are soon to be divorced but he has changed me in ways I dont think i can ever fix. He left me in finacial ruins with three daughters to raise on my own. He thinks he is a grat father, the furtherest thing from the truth. I am trying to move forward but am having so much trouble while he continues on his merry way without a care in the world. Do these people ever get the pain and devestation they have cause?
Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 10:47 am
@JWH,
JWH,

Honestly? No, I don't think they ever get it. As a matter of fact, I am convinced they are convinced they are the ones receiving the pain and devastation. I am sorry you are having to deal with this. You must be pretty strong to deal with it for so long.

I am beginning to believe my husband has a rather mild form of NPD judging from what others have been posting. I am going to have to remember that when I get all upset about him again.

It is so difficult not being able to understand, at least for me it is, how in the world can they not know!? I mean c'mon, it's common sense to me. If you are in pain, like in the ER, and they are complaining about being tired? Huh? It's like they have some nerve endings cut off or something. It just doesn't get through!

But, then again, they can take their stepmom to the hospital and spend hours there without complaining? This is the part about NPD I do not get. If they can, at the very least, fake it for some, why can't they fake it for others?

I am sure you know what I mean JWH? To the outside world they are kind, compassionate, and would do anything for you? But when it comes to you and your kids, it was different? Did that happen with you?
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 11:51 am
@Arella Mae,
Quote:
Do these people ever get the pain and devestation they have cause?


By definition, to the narcissist, he/she is the center of the universe. So no, not only don't those people "get it", if sthe impact of something that they have done is logically explained to them, they will either become angry and/or defensive.
0 Replies
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Aug, 2009 01:06 pm
@JWH,
JWH wrote:

Do these people ever get the pain and devestation they have cause?


I asked Arella Mae awhile back if she was dealing with any kind of addiction in her family and she said no. The reason I asked was that one of my various avocations for several years was working with families of addicts, most usually alcoholics. This thread prompted me to read up on NPD and there are remarkable similarities. The addict also puts himself/herself at the center of the universe and is largely unconcerned about anybody else except for whatever affects him/her or whatever he or she thinks will enhance his/her image and magnificence.

Other common denominators:

1) A great face forward is presented to the outside world and these folks can be pillars of their communities, much beloved and admired. The more eccentric, more disagreeable, more unpleasant self is reserved for one's immediate family who are of course the reason for the eccentricity, disagreeableness or unpleasantness.

2) The spouse/children etc. are so often accused of being the problem they often begin to believe it. But even if they don't, they feel ashamed that they haven't been able to control the situation, continue to try to find just the right formula so they can control it, and meanwhile they shelter, defend, and protect the addict (and the NPD) from exposure, thus enabling him/her to be even more of a jerk.

3) The spouse/children subjected to such stress sometimes act out their own frustrations and this even more reinforces the addict (or NPD) in his/her belief that the problem isn't them--it is these others he/she is forced to deal with. In the world of addiction it is called 'creating a crisis' that provides the addict with an excuse for bad behavior, as if he/she actually needed one.

Solution:

1) The extreme of course is separation or divorce.

2) Short of that, however, group or individual counseling with others in the same boat can do wonders to restore ones sanity and serenity. You learn not to focus on your loved one but rather you deal with yourself and learn how to build an emotional barrier that allows you to detach and not be so vulnerable to the other. That will change your behavior and response patterns in positive ways, which invariably changes the other person in positive ways too as the stuff they normally use to manipulate you will no longer work.

Remember that you fell in love with this person so there are redeeming qualities there. There are no guarantees and the same solution doesn't work for everybody. But it would sure be worth a shot.

JWH
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Aug, 2009 12:53 am
@Foxfyre,
Foxfire
You describe my situatuon when you say a great force is presented to the outside world. My NPD husband was so cruel to me and our three daughters and so kind to everyone else. When I asked him about this he said that other people made him feel special and we didnt. Wow this is coming from a man whom I bent over backwards to please and make happy. I was going crazy for years trying to please him. I even posted a poster saying "Don't expect anything and you won't be disappointed." in my kitchen. Finally, after years of trying to please him I went to an MD lost, defeated and wondering what was wrong. My husband refused to go because in his mind everything was fine. I did everything in my power to make this relationship work. Finally after 17 years I walked away. He never skipped a beat and replaced me, moving another woman into our home. She lived with him for nine years and just moved out a couple of months ago. My story is unbelievable. What he did and how I stayed. I am still 9 years later trying to get myself back together. I was a strong, independent. educated woman. Now, I feel liked a dog who has been kicked to the corner.
JWH
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Aug, 2009 01:01 am
@Arella Mae,
Arella Mae

I understand every word you said. I lived it for years. I will never understand as long as I live the behavior my NPD husband showed. I never even knew people could be so cruel to someone who loves them and they claim to love. I wish I could have his brain for a day to see what its like to only care about myself. I left 9 years ago and still am working on getting on with my life while he has moved on and is quite happy. Although, from what I have studied about NPD...he is not happy. I am sad for what could have been and how I spent years trying to make something work that was all about him.
Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Aug, 2009 03:12 am
@JWH,
Girl, I feel so for you. My husband is not that extreme and I feel kind of bad for even complaining at all. You can get back to that independent woman you once were. I am sure it will take time but I know you can do it. There are some really nice people on A2K that can give you advice, encouragement, and support. Sometimes, it's easier to talk to people that you will never see face to face about some things.

Fox, thanx so much for posting that! It really helps to see it in black and white sometimes.

I do have to say being able to talk to others like this helps me a lot. Changing the way I react to the way he reacts does help. It's easier to do some days than others.
JWH
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Aug, 2009 10:28 am
@Arella Mae,
Arella Mae
No disrespect but when I read your posts I am reading my story. Maybe your husband isn't as bad. But I spent years not telling my family about his actions and making excuses for him. When I finally hit rock bottom, which took years, I knew things would never change with him. I could either live with it or leave. I left. I loved him and still do although he has another now for his narcisstic supply. As long as your eyes are wide open and you understand the situation I agree, what ever makes you happy. For me, love was not enough.

Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Aug, 2009 03:34 pm
@JWH,
This might sound funny to say, but I can hear the pain in your posts and if I could I'd give you a hug, not that a hug solves things, but I'm sure you understand what I mean.

At first, I tried to hide the things he did. I stopped doing that. I flat out tell the truth to the family about it. For instance, we ran a bit short on cash to pay a bill one month. Well, we ran short because he took two Viper trips with his Viper club that could have paid the bill about five times over.

Well, I borrowed the money from one of our relatives but I flat out told him why we didn't have the money. It made the relative a bit uncomfortable knowing it but he got the picture. I am not covering up for him anymore.

I guess I'm getting a bit tougher as I get older. Either that or I am just flat out tired and not gonna take it anymore! Laughing
JLNobody
 
  2  
Reply Wed 19 Aug, 2009 04:39 pm
I suppose extreme narcissts ARE like the centers of the world as are black holes: they take but do not give.
One good thing is that with such individuals I feel no guilt in taking from them and expecting nothing from them. The relationships are less complex.
0 Replies
 
mm25075
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Aug, 2009 05:20 pm
Something I found really interesting in my research about NPD was the way they react when ill.

They cannot stand the fact that they are not in control of their own body.

One time I drive my ex to and from the dentist when he was having some extensive work done. The doc said he could have crushed ice to suck on a bit later and gave me a script which I got filled before ex was done with his appt. Drive him home, get him settled on the couch, take some ice cubes and break them into small pieces, get him some pain meds, his remote control and make him comfortable. That is when all heck broke loose...you see the ice was not CRUSHED. It had to be crushed. Ice CHIPS were not acceptable.

Ok fine, I say I'll head to the store to get it. Before I leave I ask if there is anything else he needs..."yeah...I'm hot can you turn the air down?" "Sure, and walk over to the thermostat and turn it down a few degrees. So I got my shoes on, and prepped to head to the store, no sooner than my hand was on the door knob to go out he SCREAMS "Diety damnit don't you know I'm freezing here! Why is it so F...ing cold in here???Are you trying to freeze me out? I look kind of startled as I had only turned it down a couple of degrees, he had a blanket next to him which he had pulled over him and had it up to his neck. I told him as patiently as I could. "So you'd like me to turn it up again?" OMG, you'd think I was torturing the poor thing at that point. "Damnit, first you give me CHIPS instead of crushed ice then you tell me I'm crazy for being cold!!" From there he went into a litany of how I NEVER take care of him when he's sick and how dare I refer to him as crazy..... yada yada yada. I was in tears as I left the house. I hadn't done anything wrong and yet I was a HORRIBLE nursemaid.

I go to three different stores..no crushed ice to be found. I consider going into a resturant and ask them if they have a bag they can give me but I honestly had no idea which places had crushed compared to cubes. So I go home empty handed. Ex is asleep thank goodness. His sister was coming over later that evening and I call her to see if she can bring her blender so ex can have his crushed ice. He hears me talking to her and wakes up, waits till I get off the phone then says... "I suppose ice chips will do, I'm thristy"

Shortly thereafter he asks for cream of mushroom soup. ...no it can't be microwaved...it must be heated up on the stove in a particular pan. His toast MUST be warm when served and because it is slighty too cold from waiting for the soup to warm, he demands new toast. Then "Did you just wave the butter knife over it? There isn't any on here..."

Yeah...it's no wonder I become severely depressed living with the guy...I could do absolutely nothing right, even when I was trying.
 

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