Broken down and confused – can it be real or my imagination

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  • #273893
    Bill Pan

    I am new to this forum and I would like some help. I’m in a relationship for 20 years with a woman, originally from Singapore and I am Australian. Right from the beginning she tended to want to control me and constantly found fault in whatever I did – even simple things like washing the dishes, driving the car – doing the garden and so on. Nothing was ever good enough and she never said thank you or please – and never gave me praise or encouragement.
    When I came home from work and wanted to talk about the projects and what I had archived or what I was concerned about, she would offer a lecture and then go back to watching the television of playing games on the tablet – and not really listen. This happened all the time – so after a while I stopped telling her things – and lived a life in exile almost.
    After retirement, I wanted to set up a business to generate more income but each time, she would sabotage my attempts by being cold, objective and even sometimes be blatantly rude to potential business partners. This happened several times and I thought it was because she just though they were bad opportunities but after a while I began to see the pattern of direct sabotage – like as if she was envious that I might be more successful – or that she would become second best to the business.
    She never seemed to think about us actually working together and supporting each other – it always seemed to be fighting each other.
    The final straw was when I tried to set up a business for helping men to deal with anxiety and depression because I suffered a breakdown in my 40’s and was very close to deaths door, and I made a promise that when I learnt how to overcome it, I would help other men to avoid what I went through. And a lot of people need that help right now.
    I read have studied a lot and we even did courses together on hypnosis, kinesiology, acupressure, massage and several other subjects that can help people – and yet even though we did the training – she never actually did any healing with other people – it was as if she had no empathy or compassion to actually help someone else – including me. Sometimes I would be so hurt by the things she would say to me I would be in tears and she would just walk past me and not even sit and ask me what was wrong. It was and still is just so weird – like I am going crazy – how could a person be so mean and thoughtless and not give somebody a cuddle or a soft shoulder to lean on in their moments of despair.
    The biggest problem is that I spent all of my retirement money trying to set up the business and just found her negative influence – sometimes direct – but always subtle – days of not speaking to me – or putting me down – or being rude and spiteful.
    It wears me down emotionally and I have lost all my self-esteem and confidence – I don’t know who I am anymore and now that I don’t have any money – she wants me to leave – but I cannot because we are in total lockdown – and I feel that I am worthless and nobody would want me anyway – and old man – sad and destitute – no money – struggling to get my mind together – most days mentally and physically so tired I just want to sleep – because I don’t get any sleep at night my head is so full of stuff.
    It is just so strange – when she’s in a good mood – she is so nice to me – buys me things – loves cooking for me – laughs and sings – but then as soon as she gets stressed – she turns on me again.
    What should I do – leave or try to patch it up – again – like I have in the past? The biggest problem is that she hates me for wasting my money as she puts it but she does not acknowledge that she has been sabotaging me. I feel like I am living with a person that hates me.
    Can anybody relate to this – please tell me if this is what it’s like to live with a person that has narcissist tendencies?

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  • #287830
    Alex Delon

    Hey Bill,

    I am so sorry for what you have been through!! No one should ever be treated this way. You are NOT crazy! Yes, this sounds very much so like narcissistic abuse. Their whole world revolves only around them, their desires, their feelings, their opinions, and so on. With a covert narcissist, the abuse is so subtle that many people don’t see it for years or even decades. We just start to wonder why we feel the way we do, exhausted, unmotivated, hopeless, worthless, and like a failure. When we really start to see how they have been treating us, it all starts to make sense. We feel the way we do because of how we have been treated for all these years.
    What should you do? I don’t have an answer to that. What do you want to do? Do you want to stay and continue this game for the rest of your life? Or do you want to get out on your own and try a few new things with the years ahead of you? She is never going to change, so the decision really lies with you. You either leave or you stay. There isn’t any in-between.
    I definitely think you should read up on Covert Narcissism. Check out our other website – I think some of this will ring true with you. As you learn more, it may make your decisions easier and more clear.
    I wish you much peace on your journey of healing! It is never too late to start and you are stronger than you may know!


    OMG bro. Get away from her. You want to help others deal with anxiety and depression? With her? Come on, my dude. You know. Do you want an anonymous stranger to give you permission? If so here it is. Get away from that woman. No bueno mi amigo.


    If you want my opinion then here it is.
    I think she is probably borderline with narcissistic tendencies.
    (Based particularly on, she does act nice to you sometimes, seems like this is mainly just when she is the right mood, or probably so.)
    She could have a mood disorder, or borderline personality disorder, or narcissistic personality disorder, or some combination of the above.
    Bottom line though. Whatever is wrong with her.
    For your own peace of mind, you probably shouldn’t stay with her any more.
    Get out, move on, and find somebody else.
    Preferably as soon as reasonably possible.
    Good luck.


    By the way and to anybody.
    Borderline with narcissistic tendencies is (believed to be probably) more common than actual narcissism.
    Tough to tell, of course, because borderline personality disorder and narcissism are both very underdiagnosed and also are both very often misdiagnosed as various other things.
    (And of course *some* people *with* those disorders do tend to have other things also.)
    Just letting anyone/everyone know.
    (In case, that is, anyone besides me is ever actually *here* again.)


    To the original poster.
    (Or, for that matter, anyone else in a similar position.)
    If you are wondering if it’s your imagination or not, then it’s probably not.
    If you’re being told (habitually, over and over, by a strange person or strangely behaved person) that you’re crazy, you’re stupid, you’re bratty, you’re rude, selfish, stuck up, jealous, mean, cruel, excessively angry or toxic, you’re just constantly making things up, and so on.
    You’re not. *They* are.
    Just so you know.

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