Is my wife a covert narcissist or am I just a bad husband?

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  • #443789

    We are both working professionals making above average income but I’ve always felt like we’ve struggled finacially when we really shouldn’t. Like we have never been on the same page. At first we had seperate accounts but she always wanted to do a joint account and it wasn’t until I was laid off from work 6 years ago that I relented and joined her account.

    During that time of unemployment it was like a living hell with her. Constantly insulted and berated for not having a job for no fault of my own. Every person in my labor category was laid off, not just me. I had already gone back to school years before working full time and taking 3 or 4 night classes. I had to take pre-reqs for a lot of courses because I had been out of school so long. I used my GI Bill money and received money for living expenses as well. She always expected me to spend all of my money first, mortgage, insurance, car payments. Then she would shuffle over a few hundred dollars here and there as I pleaded my case that I lacked the funds and she made sure to berate me for eating lunch here or buying a coffee there. For that reason alone I wanted a divorce, Im a stubborn prideful person who recognizes when something is unjust so instead of begging I stopped asking for money. I can still remember her bragging about having 10 thousand dollars in the account and how proud she was to have so much money and how wise she had been. So I told her wow, I must be the biggest fool in the world, because the bank froze my account and I’m 10,000 dollars in the hole. She was so angry at me for not coming to her with justifications for every dollar and I finally just gave up and joined her account.

    Now after graduating and starting into a new career I want my own banking account. Its been six years and she tells me I need to be a man and pay bills. That shes tired of taking care of everything. I used to buy a nice cellphone every other year, now its all cheap 25 dollar walmart trakphones. She gets the iphone, or samsung, apple watch, fitbit, every electrical gadget you can imagine. She “needs” it because shes special, she works out or monitors her sleep or w.e. Heck she has everything she wants delivered directly to the door. Amazon boxes just about everyday and more than one or two boxes. Water, delivered, gatorade, delivered, groceries, delivered. Thats another reason Im inferior, she does all the shopping. If I spend 100 dollars at the grocery store buying ingredients for a few nice meals, she gets upset “Im wasting money on myself”. Literally cooking dinner for her and the kids…

    I try to prepare 2 or 3 dinners a week, I cheat too with the easy microwave prepackaged foods because hey life… But its nice to sit down to a real meal once in awhile. So if I ask her to cook 2 or 3 dinners a week as well shes offended and Im attacking her making her feel guilty or Im shaming her.

    She wants me to feed the kids breakfast, if Im working from home, feed them lunch and yup dinner too. I literally go to work so Im not stuck doing everything. She complains that she wants a job like me and she cannot go to school but Ive tried to allow for her to take a course or encourage her by sending her links for training certificates but she has no interest or motivation. She merely wants me to acknowledge that my life has improved and she is stuck and miserable and because my job is less demanding I should give her a break. She works 3 days a week, 12 hour shifts as a nurse in a drug rehab. Its a tough job, Ive done work like it before. Anyway here is her routine which strikes me as very odd..

    She wakes up almost everyday at about 2 or 3 in the morning, always because I “wake her up”. We sleep in seperate rooms but somehow a stray light or floor board magically caused by me wakes her up everyday and she cannot go back to sleep. I suggested taking melatonin and laying back down, but she counters with “I need time to myself” she plays games in the bathroom for about an hour, does meditation, listens to podcast self help stuff all positive OK things no issues with that personally. She goes downstairs does the same daily ritual everyday, runs on the treadmill, does 2 or 3 excercises from youtube. If I join in, she always does another one to make sure I know just how much harder she is working out than I am. She gets compliments on her weight loss which is great but it just drives her to lose more and get more compliments. Anyway she complains that I do not allow her the time to get more sleep. She complains that she needs more time to herself. Every morning from 2am until about 7 she has no interaction with the children. I usually feed them breakfast and then get ready for work, but I have to be careful and not get in her way. If shes in the bathroom, she hates being interupted just because i need to take a shower or im just needing to use the restroom. Ive literally waited an hour to use the restroom. Weve got one on the top floor and one half bath in the basement. Kids probably do not even know it is there. She tells me to use the basement bathroom or “ive only been in here five minutes”. Its like I cannot tell time or I somehow have no concept of time according to her.

    Intamcy, completely dead to me, not even worth enduring the abuse just for basic pyhsical contact. Shes always bargained for more than just sex. If she were to give me something there needs to be some other exchange to her benefit involved, I need to owe her a back massage. Or a night off with the kids… as if she didnt already have every night off now. Like now if she wants to display her willingness to engage in intimacy she will say something like, I really could use a back massage. So I will rub her shoulder or back because hey if thats what you want its not unreasonable to me. But then she will say “youre only nice to me when you want something” and that right there just triggers me so bad. I dont get mad but the back rub stops, Im not pavlovs dog. She literally will not engage unless I admit that I am seeking something in return. Its not true, I mean my back rubs are pretty good and one thing usually leads to another but we have had sex a handful of times throughout our marriage. Shes always with held sex as a means of controlling and manipulating me into getting her way. Im just tired of it, the shark has been thoroughly jumped.

    Its little things that make me question my own sanity as well. Like I used to sing songs to my daughters and put them to bed. I made up cute little diddies and she would tell people she made them. She was so insistent that she made up every song which I knew wasnt possible that I started to make up really long elobarote songs with origins only I would recall the origins too. I only did this because I literally thought man… maybe I am wrong and she did make up all these songs. So sure enough she tried to cop my songs and I caught her. I just asked how she came up with the idea and she had no explanation. When I told her my origin story so like the tempo and beat to opening credits of spiderman from the cartoon from the 80’s she relented but still insisted she made up the others. Its just ridiculous but unrelenting and constantly twisting anything I say back to me.

    I tell her she needs to put the kids to bed 2 nights a week and cook 2 dinners, Im trying to shame her or she needs a break. She gets no sleep and I dont allow her to sleep, she just goes on and on about how she pays for everything and I belittle her because its all delivered prepackaged food and if it was so easy then I should do it and I need to pay the bills. So I say fine I will get my own account and pay my share of the bills to which she vehemently refuses. Because she has it all figured out and I will mess everything up…

    I literally feel like a fool having wasted some much time and effort being sucked dry by this emotionless black hole of self pity. I do not know truly if she is covert narcissist, sometimes I question myself like maybe it is me. There are just so many little petty things to list. I want to do my own laundry seperately. She calls me selfish because she wants one big pile of laundry where she has the majority share of clothes needing to be washed and she has the washer and dryer completely full all weekend just to be sure I am cycling them in case I need to wash my own clothes. Just to be clear, I will help carry clothes up from the basement, help fold clothes, etc. But its never enough, she wants it all done for her by me. Everything must benefit her and if it doesnt I am selfish. She just talks and talks the whole rubber and glue, throws anything I say right back at me.

    Today she cried and said she had plans to end it all and of course, I gave her a break because no matter what thats a red flag and I dont want to be responsible for that. She tells me Im emotionally abusive, I dont understand how because I do not put her down. Shes pulling up terms and throwing them at me, accusing me of gaslighting. Constantly sending me links of what I am and how I need to change to satisfy her. Actually have her to thank for learning about covert narcissist because I had no clue until she kept accusing me of beijg everything under the sun. I just want her to do things for the kids or Im leaving. But she will not change, I stood my ground and she pulled her trump card to get me to do everything today so she could rest and I could tell she was happy with the results she secured for herself. Just this one victory was worth all the struggle for her…

    So is she covert narcissist or am I just an asshole?

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  • #446057

    She is definitely a covert narcissist based on your description of her behavior. She sounds similar to my wife, if not worse.

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