October 16, 2019 at 1:34 pm #141914HRC915Participant
Wow! Sounds like my marriage! Everyone loves my CN husband and I really liked him, too, when we were out and about, visiting friends, traveling, etc. He was really at his best during those times. But at home, although he never said mean things, it was the sighs, the smirks, the silent treatments, the abrupt getting up and stomping away when something irritated him that made me walk on eggshells to prevent him doing those things, which really do make you feel like an idiot, like you’re being tolerated and not loved, guilty, etc. I know you know what I mean. He did occasionally snap at me when I dared put my foot down and state an opinion strongly or even a fact, if those things made him feel I was questioning him. In those instances, even though he never called me names or said outright mean things, he spoke to me in words and tone as though I were a child.October 17, 2019 at 3:21 pm #143251
In all my reading and research (and counselling) regarding narcissism, your comments are the first time I feel like someone else really does understand. Thank you.
And I’m also sorry you are now going through this stage in your marriage / divorce. The “saving costs” sounds so familiar to me. Because of these perceived “nice guys” you and I are married to, I would worry he would woo his way into gaining support from the shared lawyer…and perhaps use some specific examples (out of context of course) to paint a slightly unsteady picture of you.
My husband and I went to counselling twice. Both times the counsellor seemed to like him and they seemed to connect. I wanted things to progress so I let him speak about him wanting to help me be more happy, while also talking about my “nagging”, thinking he was putting in an effort. Turns out he was pretty much putting on a show. He was memorizing words to use, but didn’t understand the underlying feelings or perceptions behind the communication.
In one of my more heated discussions with my husband, we spoke of divorce, and he agreed with me that he would probably be very vindictive if that were to happen.
Have you thought about downloading a recording app for your phone in case you need it? It probably wouldn’t go well if you start looking at your phone in the middle of a conversation, but perhaps you could start recording, then delete what you don’t need?
Eggshells….I know those too well. I told him about this once, and he became a martyr about it.
Speaking to you like a child…yep. It feels demeaning, and so much like there isn’t a partnership at all.
I wish you much luck. Take some deep breaths. Do activities that make you happy, make you smile. And keep talking it through with those of us who can understand.October 17, 2019 at 7:36 pm #143253HRC915Participant
It really is nice to feel a kinship with someone whose CN (ex)partner was so similar to mine. I fully support and empathize with everyone who has had an abusive partner. Absolutely no degree of narcissistic abuse is okay. But my experience seems so mild that I sometimes question if I’m making a mountain out of a mole hill. Then I think of my sister telling me that she can think of all the times over the years I told her about things he was doing and how she says she completely agrees that it was abuse and that he has a very strong element of narcissism to him that goes undetected by almost everyone.
I talked with a lawyer on the phone last week and decided to use him for myself. I told my husband that I was doing this and that he ought to do the same because it doesn’t matter whether a single lawyer says they’ll be fair. If the $*it hits the fan, they have an obligation to side with one party, and it’s usually the one who made the first contact. He was okay with this and continues to appear to want to be fair. We. Shall. See.October 20, 2019 at 4:59 pm #143260SusannaParticipant
Hi, I’m new here 🙂
So refreshing to read so many posts that resonate with me. I sometimes question whether I’ve been married to a CN for the last 32 years as the abuse is so subtle most of the time but reading your posts has confirmed I’m not making something out of nothing. We just get so beat down and used to it don’t we?
I started therapy 2 years ago as figured he would never change so I needed to be the one to change. I had to change the way I reacted to the abuse and the effect it was having on me. I was diagnosed with Cptsd during therapy. Therapy saved my sanity and quite possibly my life.
I’m 53 and in the middle of divorcing the STBXCN. The nisi is done, we’re in the middle of sorting the finances so we can get a consent order before I file for the absolute. He has been co-operative throughout (which completely threw me as I expected a war) although like some of the posters have already mentioned wanted to do everything on the cheap. I wanted the security of having my own solictor but after much research by myself I capitulated and filed for divorce in just 20mins online. So easy and no extra costs, only the court fees to pay. I won’t be able to fully relax until everything is settled. I’m still half expecting him to blindside me with something, but it’s reassuring to read of others experiences where they have been cooperative with a 50/50 split. It makes total sense really. They fly under the radar with other people, how they appear to others is all important so it makes sense that they don’t want to show their true colours during the divorce process.
So, since your stories all sound very familiar I have a question. Did your CN reign in the abuse as soon as they realised you wanted a divorce? It’s been 18 months since we decided to divorce (a lot of things needed to be taken care of before we could progress with it) and in all that time there hasn’t been one silent treatment or anything too extreme. Weird!October 21, 2019 at 8:55 am #143263
Welcome to the group!! I am so glad that you are getting the help that you need. This type of abuse is SO subtle, and it makes us doubt ourselves for years!
Once I told my husband that I wanted a divorce, he became incredibly cooperative and stopped all the abusive behavior. We had some of the most productive conversations we had ever had in 21 years of marriage. If we had been able to do this more throughout our marriage, we just might have been able to work through it. But don’t be fooled by it, for sure!
I strongly believe that there were two reasons that he was so cooperative through the divorce process. One was so that he would look good to our boys and the rest of our little world. He even told me, “As crazy as this seems, I still feel that it is my duty to take care of you.” He can still convince himself that he is the victim here and in his wonderful greatness he is doing the “right” thing by caring for me.
The other reason is that he always functions better if he has a project or a mission to accomplish. The project became the divorce and the division of assets and stuff. He had a purpose and could focus on that. Anytime he had a project in life, he left the boys and me alone so much more. I guess these gave him a purpose in life that wasn’t antagonizing us.
Keep pushing forward! Just because the abuse is calmer now does not mean at all that he has changed. That abuse can come back in a heartbeat and usually comes back 10 times worse!
I wish you much peace on this journey!
ReneeOctober 25, 2019 at 7:16 pm #146170CoyoteParticipant
Hi, Im 52 and just starting to try to navigate through this. I hope I can join your group! I live in Canada, anyone else? 4 years ago my husband got in my face and terrorized me so bad I called 911. He ended up arrested for DV, and there was a no contact order put in place for a few months. Well, he contacted my adult kids (his stepkids who he always hated) and became very tight with them to get to me. Well, long story short, he pled guilty to avoid a jail sentence (says he had to lie just to keep from going to jail) so that he would only have probation. He came back home but needles me constantly about why I said he put his hands on my throat when he certainly did not, all he did was gently touch my face to “comfort” me and said “Look into my eyes….calm down….”. HIS adult kids think Im a liar and wont come to our house or be anywhere near me. (Im ok with that) I feel paralyzed…like I don’t work, I have no income, my elderly mom lives in a granny suite in our house and I take care of her. I have a horse and a few dogs. I feel like I will lose my house, my animals just everything. Oh…and now that he is back in the house, he has no use for my kids anymore. My daughter called and asked if her 4 yr old daughter could spend thanksgiving weekend with us, I said “sure”. I told my husband and he said NO, if MY kids and grandson cant come to this house, neither can yours! And then 2 days later he says sweetly “Oh so what time is Caleigh coming over?” Im like she not. “Oh? Why not?” and then the usual, oh my god, you are twisting things, I NEVER said she couldn’t come, all I said was it wasn’t fair…..blah blah blah….. Im so sick of this.October 26, 2019 at 11:49 pm #148546
Welcome to the group! It is amazing how they can twist our words around. They are so incredibly good at making us look like the problem and them the victim. One time, when I leaned on my husband to give him a kiss, he abruptly pulled my hand away from his stomach. Thinking that maybe he had a bruise or sore that I had accidently leaned on, I said, “Oh, I’m sorry. Are you ok?” He responded, “I don’t like it when you make a fist and put it on me.” What!! A fist? As I had leaned from the side, it was the back of my open hand. When I said this, he strongly replied, “I know a fist when I see one.” I was stunned. Never in my life have I ever laid a hand on anyone.
They make everything our fault and our responsibility! EVERYTHING!
I hope you find much peace on your journey of healing!!October 27, 2019 at 9:38 pm #150356
I am Canadian, but I currently live in San Diego. My extended family is all in Vancouver. I plan to move back there after my son graduates high school in ’21, and once I can get a new job up there. I worry how my currently planned timing will affect my son. My daughter is going to University up there right now.
My husband knows I want to move back to Canada in a couple years, but when we settled in San Diego he declared he was living here forever. He has since agreed in words that we will head back up but I don’t trust the words.
Where are you in Canada? It is nice to connect with you here. Stay connected!November 4, 2019 at 2:32 pm #164908Wende KayParticipant
I’m 57. I left in July.
I am so much happier.November 8, 2019 at 2:10 pm #172656
Wende Kay, I feel happy for you. What choices do you make now that helps you create happiness? I’m 52 and looking forward to some different choices.November 18, 2019 at 10:12 pm #181916
So, I’m not sure what is coming down the pipeline.
Yesterday my husband “asked Alexa” why the notification was. Response was “Dealing with the Narcissist was delivered”.
He said, “do you think I am a narcissist?” I mumbled, not ready to answer. He says, “I don’t even know what a narcissist is.” Somehow I avoided that conversation.
Today, he says, “I still can’t believe you think I’m a narcissist.” I said, “still?” He says “yes, we had a conversation yesterday.”
I said, “you said you didn’t know what it was.” And he said he was looking it up now. So I suggested he look up covert narcissist.
Oh boy… he was off before the Alexa announcement. The thing I’ve come to realize is that he can be accommodating and thoughtful for a while – he brought me roses on Friday to thank me for looking after me when he had his knee replacement surgery almost 4 weeks ago. He said he knows he can be a bear. My thought was that he really wasn’t so bad when he was recovering. – but I could tell he was off shortly after the roses. It may be strange but when he starts to leave the toilet seat up, or nitpicks my words, I know something is up.
And then he discovered I think he is a narcissist.
He isn’t violent. I’ve been scared of him twice And told him so, at the time.
I don’t know what the next few days will hold, but in the past I’ve been met with silence, passive-aggressiveness, and an unwillingness to do anything to contribute in the house. Hope that is what it is this time.November 18, 2019 at 10:26 pm #181917
I left something important out to my comment above.
I mentioned at the end that I had asked for closer and deeper communication and now I realize it isn’t something I am going to get.November 18, 2019 at 10:35 pm #1819184LeafCloverParticipant
I live in fear of the next step. In fear of what trick he has up his sleeve… His nickname is the trickster. That should always be your first clue right? What they call themselves? He prides himself on this. It makes me crazy inside – lots of therapy, and unfortunately I seem to need a lot of validation to think that I’m not crazy. I like the fact that this site has two factor validation – I’m pretty sure that he could get into almost anything that he wants to and read my words And the wrath of him has been violent, financially devastating, and socially disorienting and embarrassing. We haven’t lived together for over 3 1/2 years end would see each other intermittently. I don’t even know why I care… I shouldn’t. I just wish the dream that I thought was going to be, was. Reading all of your stories makes me feel hopeNovember 18, 2019 at 10:36 pm #1819194LeafCloverParticipant
Inthemix… hard awful reality, isn’t it?November 21, 2019 at 11:17 am #182765
Closer and deeper communication is out of their reach. My ex also was never physically violent, and I am grateful for that. But emotionally, he was a nightmare. Genuine, peaceful, and open communication was simply never possible. So my guard was always up. I wore my own mind out trying to figure out how to even talk to him, how to find the right words that won’t set him off. This is exhausting and not the way I want to live anymore!
I hope your next few days are peaceful!
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