NPD Husband: Finally leaving him.

NPD Husband: Finally leaving him.

After 35 years of marriage, I am finally leaving my NPD Husband.  It has taken me years to differentiate his bad temper from the fact that he is a "N."  I wish I would have known about this much earlier in my marriage.  We raised 2 kids together and I was always intervening as he demanded that they perform at levels far beyond their age and ability levels.  I protected them as long as I could, and now they are both grown and out of the house.
That means he has turned his full attention on me.  We startes seriously arguing about 6 years ago.  I have suffered from depression and now realize that he is the cause of most of my problems.  His constant criticisms,  his put-downs, and his failure to even answer me on occasions made my depression very severe. 
The best way to handle him, was just to say nothing, so through the years I have become very compliant.  Now that I have finally found the "right" therapist, I am learning all about NPD and I know he will never change.  We separated in Oct. of 2011 for 6 months, each saying we would work on our own issues and then return to the marriage.  But in December he became truly mean-spirited and told the kids about some personal information  that belongs only between a husband and a wife.  Once I found out I became enraged.  I confronted him about it telling him he had permanently damaged the relationship I had with the kids.  He said they were both adults and deservedd to know why we were separated.  From there a couple of huge fights ensued.  I had learned about setting up boundaries, so when he began yelling at me, I packed up and left.  But he continued the argument, threatening to blackmail me by telling my family.  Then he followed me out to the car and stood by it with his hand on the antenna, appearing as if he would snap it off.  By Valentine's Day, I was still foolish enough to think we could work through things, so I went over to the house while he was at work to drop-off his Valentine's gifts, flowers, and a card.  I found myself locked out.
I confronted him about this and he said his lawyer had told him to do it.  So I got myself a lawyer, found out he was very wrong and told him so.  I even called the police and they told me I had the right to break into my own house.  When I told him that he went ballistic, but then backed down and decided to change the garage door lock back so I could come "home." 
It wasn't long after that, that I went to my attorney to file for divorce.  Things moved along quickly until I sent him an email asking him if this was what he really wanted.  He replied "No," so we called our attorneys and put the divorce on hold.  During this time frame he opened up to me, telling me how he was going to contest much of our marital assests and claim they were "his" alone.  This just angered me more.  He has done nothing during the last two months to show that he is truly interested in reconciling and is putting all the blame, as usual, on me for the problems.
He won't get therapy for himself, nor will he go to marital counseling.  I have determined that the true reason for his wanting to call of the divorce is that the realization  of the full financial loss finally hit home with him.  My therapist agrees.
So tomorrow I will be seeing him to explain why my depression and anxiety  are so bad, and that his lack of willingness to work with me to save the marriage, his despicable behavior over the last 6 months, and his failure to financially support me while we have been separated (I have been living off my savings and my SSDI), are cause enough for me to take our divorce off of "inactive status," and put it back on the table.  I will get my lawyer to set-up our first court date asap, and wash my hands of him and his narcissistic ways.
I cannot believe how stupid I have been all these years.  How much criticism, blame, coersion, and outright deceit I have put up with.  How compliant I have become as my self-esteem and confidence have been lowered to a point of almost non-existence.  How many broken promises I have let slide, and just how much verbal abuse I have taken in stride while my depression just kept sliding further and further down as my anxiety rose to very unhealthy levels and my intake of anti-anxiety medication rose to new heights.
Tomorrow is the day.  Tomorrow I talk to him about how vulnerable I am and that living with him just makes me worse.  Tomorrow I tell him I have been looking into buying my own home, and that I am restarting divorce procedures.  Now that I know so much of how he was going to treat me, I definitely have the advantage and I will take it.  He has already cried and whined about his financial losses, now he will see his worst nightmare come true as I take away the most important thing in his life, his money.
I am finally going to be free of his tyrannical ways.  I am going to be able to return to being the person I was before I married him.  I will be able to socialize with my friends and family much more often, and my depression and anxiety will improve.  All of this is, of course, after the long, drawnout divorce proceedings which he will fight every step of the way.  So in the short-term my life will be getting much worse very soon.  But in the long run, I will be free to be me once again.
Wish me luck tomorrow.  As most of you who know N's, they don't take confrontation and blame too well.  I know he will try and turn it all around and blame me, but this time I'm ready for it.  This time I understand NPD and know how to deal with it and him.  This time it will be different and I will see the divorce through to the bitter end.  Yup, this time......
Angel5

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Re: NPD Husband: Finally leaving him.

I'm happy you're leaving him and finally getting your life back!

"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." -Albert Einstein
mariac
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Re: NPD Husband: Finally leaving him.

It seems as if you are still seeking validation, acceptance and permission to get divorced from your N husband. My suggestion would be to treat your words as money, and don't spend too much. If you are truly empowering yourself to move on then there is no reason to share that power or give it to him by listening to his response when you "talk" with him. Let your lawyer do the talking and your actions speak for themselves. Change can be scary, exciting and fullfilling but it can only be successful when you stop looking back and keep living forward.

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Re: NPD Husband: Finally leaving him.

Once again I chickened out.  I am just not strong enough to stand up to him. 
I believe that Rondarita is right about me.  I don't truly feel empowered, but I can write a post that says I am.  I seek validation from others, and coming from a conservative Christian background I have not received it.  I do also seem to be seeking permission f rom my H to get a divorce.
After I wrote that post I went back again.  This time with notes I had found on the results of  feeling rejected for long periods of time.  It read like a biography.  I showed it to my therapist and he agreed that someone like me, who has been so badly beaten down mentally and emotionally would have a very difficult marriage with a "N."
I showed my H the list and he looked up in awe and said, "This is YOU."  I also had in my possession a list of what I considered to be his personality traits, the point being to show him that we would never be able to get along.  But he was oddly encouraged by my list, saying that now that "the problem" had been pinpointed he could learn to deal with me more nicely, knowing what I needed.
But by the next time we met, he was telling me what a damaged person I was and if he had known how damaged I was he never would have married me.  I tried to explain to him that I wasn't all that damaged when we got married, and that his constant belittling of me made me more depressed and anxious.  He didn't seem to be buying my explanation, no it was all due to my past and other people, not him.
Since then we have only gotten together a few times and I still see no effort other than empty words without action, as he tries to hold on to the marriage.
I talked with him today after being upset with what he said about me being damaged, and then him telling me that he had joined one of my old depression forums, obviously to keep an eye on me and to know what I was saying to others.  I cannot believe his invasion of my privacy, which is hes not consider to be a part of marriage.  According to him, he should know absolutely everything about me, what I say, where I go, who I talk to.  I was horrified by his actions and had him sign in to the website under his name.  I then posted some things which I knew the moderators would catch immediately, and then delete the posts, and then they kicked him off, which was my plan all along.
He still thinks things are fine and my body is reacting to the stress of a very busy month in May taking care of my parents after my mother''s knee surgery, and the stress of not being able to end the marriage.
Frankly, I just don't know how to do it.  I have become so very compliant that I end up agreeing with him.
I need to find another way out.  I need to just be blunt and spit it out, then leave and call my lawyer.
Where do I find the strength to do this?   I have tried and failed so many times.
I am hopeless.

Angel5
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Re: NPD Husband: Finally leaving him.

Honey, you are not hopeless in fact you are full of hope and desire for something you really want to believe in. It's not easy to turn away from something that has been your reality for so many years, healthy or not. People walk away for many reason and others stay put despite abuse and adversity. Learning to love yourself more than the person you trusted to do it for you is a challenge. I can relate to personal/religious convictions. It wasn't until I sought advice from a strong Christian woman that I admired and trusted who asked me, "Is this what you believe God had planned/promised for you? Is this his will?" When I realized the answer was NO, somehow I felt relieved and at peace that the decision I would make was the right one.  I believe you will to when you are ready. I think it's time for you to pull a Stella and get your groove back. Take a vacation, alone, and discover who you are and what you want for the next 35 years of your life.More of the same or something new and fullfilling?

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Re: NPD Husband: Finally leaving him.

You are so understanding of where I am at.  If I hadn't  been feeling so poorly I was going to give my H the dog and head up north for the week, but I realized on Friday that I couldn't drive for that long.  Plan 2 was to just go to a motel here in town with a super nice room, a pool and a spa, then just relax in my room, get room service and read or work on some of my needlework projects.  I  just felt so awful by afternoon that I knew I couldn't go.  I still have tomorrow and the rest of the week, so a vacation right here in town might just be what is in store for me.
As for the Christian woman you were lucky enough to talk with, my therapist also is Christian and believes the same as you and I.  Many of my daily devotionals recently, the Scriptures I have read, the sermons I have run into onlline all keep telling me that leaving is the right thing to do.  I do feel I am doing what God wants me too, I just have to lean on him for more strength to tell my H I can't be his wife anymore.  Too many broken promises, too many criticisms, and not enough faith or trust in me, or respect for me.  These last 6 months have truly shown his lack of integrity and character flaws (not that we don't all have our moments!).  I am certainly not without fault in the marriage and he never fails to remind me of my shortcomings in that area.
But I am ready for a new future.  One where I can do what I believe God is calling me to do.  One of those things is to start a new forum for depressed and anxious folks out there.  My first forum shut down and the two I tried after that were not to my liking.  I've even bought a book entitled, "The Wounded Healer."   It was a recommendation from my therapist.  He believes if I feel called to do this I should, but he would like me to wait until I am more healed myself.  The time away from my husband has given me some good insight into the fact that I will be just fine without him.  Of course, there is the divorce to get through, which he will make as awful for me as he can.  So the forum may be a while in coming, but it IS one of the things I feel called to do.  When I told my H about it, he wanted in.  You see, he won't let me be involved in anything anymore that doesn't include him.  How he managed to "let" me teach at a college where he did not baffles me now.  But those were great years filled with fulfilling work and they gave me the competence I didn't feel at home.
Anyway, just wanted to say thanks to you.  It seems like you are in my head with every word you write.
Now I am just waiting for God to show me the right time and give me the right words.  I know he will.
God Bless

Angel5
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Re: NPD Husband: Finally leaving him.

You found of list of personality traits of someone long suffering from mental abuse.  It read like a biography.   You found the corresponding list for NPD that molded the (co-dependent) victim list.
Then you showed both lists to your N/H.  What was the thinking here?  What did you imagine would happen?

Herein is the problem. 
Imagination.
Living with NPD is a world of make believe.  It’s all about agreeing on the game of pretend.  Today we will pretend we are a happy family.  Today we will pretend that our marriage is a mess and it’s entirely the victim’s fault.  Depending on the mood of the dominate personality, things are bliss or torture.

Did you imagine it would be a wakeup call for H?  Did you think that having those pieces of paper (reality) would alter the game? 

Understand the N is the Author Of His Reality.  If he did not script it himself, it does not exist.  Presented with pieces of paper, he becomes aware of nothing more than a hole in the overall plot development.  The N can quickly patch the storyline.  Do you know what the storyline is?

It’s all about HIM.  Define his Supply. 
When he casts himself as the hero then all reality must reflect his heroic feats.  If he casts himself as a victim, then all reality must reflect his suffering and misery.  Your role is determined by his mood of the day.  Today you have to be the victim, so that he can experience his role as hero.  Today you have to be oppressor so that he can experience his role as victim.
Look at the Karpman Drama Triangle.   The three steps, persecutor, rescuer, and victim, are the waltz you and N have been dancing.  Stop.  Do not dance with him.

By showing N these pieces of paper you are making damaging assumptions.  You assume that N is human; capable of empathy, understanding, healthy guilt, and corrective action.  If N was capable of any of these human characteristics he would not have abused you.   Not once.

Ask yourself:
Why would a reasonable, rational, healthy person (fill NPD trait here)? 
The answer is simple: 
That person is not reasonable, rational, or healthy

Flip it.  Look at it from your point of view.  Knowing the pain of being degraded, would you ever degrade another person?  No. 
Re-read the narcissist list; Ask yourself if you are able to inflict any of those treatments on another human being.  No, you wouldn’t. 
That is what makes you such a perfect target for an N; you have a heightened sense of empathy, love for others, compassion, acceptance, honesty, and decency.
Your virtues are what N plays against you. 
Your insecurities are what imprison you.

Know Thy Self.
Reclaim your virtues as Strengths.  Do not allow them to be used as leverage against you. 
Understand and forgive your insecurities.  Do not allow them to be used as leverage against you.

After there is some distance between you and N, you will see that he never really knew you.  Sure, he knew you well enough to play you against yourself, manipulate you, and torture you. 
He didn’t know YOU. 
Sadly, you also didn’t know yourself.  If you knew yourself and knew your worth, you would never have let yourself be treated so badly.  You would not have made up excuses or shamed yourself into compliance.

It is time to use that amazing imagination to benefit your life.  Imagine a secret friend you have had since childhood.  Someone the N never knew about.  Someone you admire, cherish, and love.  Imagine she was in this relationship.  Imagine what you would say on her behalf.  Feel the outrage at her treatment.  If she doesn’t know her rights, research them for her.  If she doesn’t know her worth, tell her every day.  If she is desperate to be loved, love her with all your heart.

Tabula Rasa. 
The wife he had is a figment of his imagination. 
You tried to play the part.  (Forgive yourself and whatever virtues and insecurities lead you there.  No woman/human can be what his constantly changing supply mandates.)
He does not know you. 
He has no right to claim to know you.
The information he thinks he has (the dirt on you) is out of date, inaccurate, bias, corrupt, and fraudulent to begin with.  Even if the information is praise, compliments, appreciation, or sounds similar to what you believe about yourself; he has only acquired this data as a means to manipulate you. 
He does not know you.  (You are only just beginning to know yourself.)
Any comment about you is a fantasy.  It is a (Freudian) projection of his self contempt.  It has nothing to do with you.  You don’t need to feel it, analyze it, argue it, defend against it, or rationalize it. Do not return to his make believe world.

It is time to use that amazing imagination to move into your own world.   Picture your future.   Start bringing it into your reality now.   One small step at a time, you will become that secret best friend as you learn to cherish and love yourself.

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Thank you for some very spot on analysis of my situation.  You seem to be very well read, very knowledgeable about many of the psychological theories and therapies.  While your analysis is very good, it is also very harsh in that it seems to be presenting me as being not very intelligent.  I appreciate your ideas, but your style is not in the supportive or compassionate vein.  As an example, you asked me "What were your thinking?"  That is definitely a cutting remark and so while your ideas are good, the presentation only makes someone who is suffering feel that much worse.
I see you are an admin., and so have been doing this for quite awhile.  I hope you will consider my remarks as they are intended.  Not as mean-spirited, but, perhaps, a learning experience for you so that you realize such direct answers which are devoid of compassion while helpful, are also harmful.
I mean no offence, just am hoping you can temper your responses with more support and compassion as you continue with your excellent advice.

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Re: NPD Husband: Finally leaving him.

Oh wow…  yes…  I see that!  I am so sorry it came out that way.  It was seriously not my intent.
Those two questions have become a sort of short hand for my adjustment disorder.   I have become accustomed to using them as tools to realign myself to my well being.   I forget how they sound to others and I definitely see that they came across as cutting.

I asked “What was the thinking here?”  I did not mean for it to sound like a reprimand.
I was wondering about the internal dialogue…  what was your personal introspection.
What do you tell yourself when you are receiving mistreatment?

My internal dialogue is very belittling.  I can convince myself that I deserve the worse kinds of abuse, disrespect and disregard.

The other part of my internal dialogue contains messages about my N.  I elevate him.  He is flawless, trustworthy, decent, honest, and there must be something terrible wrong with me for hesitating or being suspicious. 

I had to look very carefully at the thinking going on; the self debasing and the elevation of him.  I spent a long time separating the beliefs that were based on reality, and the beliefs that were based on his propaganda.   Even with undeniable evidence that he was not honest or decent with me, I still had to work to break the belief.

I asked “What did you imagine would happen?”  also not intending to reprimand,  but asked as an invitation to compare the beliefs (he will see what he is doing) with the outcome (he used the information to degrade me.)  This question is crucial for dismantling the illusion and belief system. 

The illusion is a shared belief; I added to the fantasy of who he was as much as he did.  By continuing to believe he would act with compassion, I kept setting myself up to receive his cruelty. 

I will temper my responses in the future.   I see how right at the beginning it sounded insulting.  I appreciate that you can glean my good intent despite the way I express myself.  Thank you.

I will try to clarify one more offense; the way I present my response.  As I write, the response it is partly to you, but also for other people.  There are so many people who are dealing with NPD in their lives and they are at different stages in the healing process.   If it is too basic for you, please understand that it is not an assumption about your capacity.  I cannot assume what work anyone has done on the path to recovery.

If the offense is about the tone I use when I write, I must admit the response is also partly to me.   
To be honest, I wish someone had been more direct, firm and no-nonsense with me.  Instead, I met great ambiguity.  I received platitudes; “Life is a learning experience,” that offered no clear course of action.  I heard co-dependent enforcement in responses like; “look at where he is coming from,” “think about what he is going through,” and “you have to have more sympathy about his situation.”
The answers kept coming back to self sacrifice.  If it was my sense of security compromised, then I should reduce the need to feel secure; “boys will be boys.”  If I felt completely disempowered, I was told that it was my place, my station in life.  This added to my suffering.

There was a voice I needed to hear, one that said very clearly “No more.”
No more excuses, no more alibis, no more justification…  No more.   
I admit that is the tone of most of my posts.  I hope to give other people a way to see the invisible story and the roles we play.  I try to share some of the coping tools I have learned, so that people can adapt.   I did not learn these things gently, and I have not progressed so far in my own healing to know how to deliver them gently.

I completely understand that my voice may not be the one you are seeking.

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Re: NPD Husband: Finally leaving him.

Charu,
You were very kind in your reply to me, thank-you.
I completely understand how you respond in the fashion that you do, we all do that.  I have been told by my family to stop emailing them as they take them as filled with anger and demands, which is not at all my intention. So I understand if what you want to say doesn't always come out the way you want it to,  Me too.
I just came back from an awful weekend staying with my H, trying to work things out.  Once there, or actually even starting before, I was very ill. Sick from anxiety.  It gave me the chills and a temperature.  I sweated it out anytime I tried to sleep.  The next day I felt like I had the flu.  Not so.  It was the excessive anxiety of being around him.  I guess it has gotten to the point where I can't even be around him without the anxiety taking over, so I guess that is pretty telling of what has to be done now.
We talked and really got deep into it on Sunday night.  Then things seemed to calm and we agreed on an action plan of sorts for trying to build a new life with much better communication skillls.
It was after I got home that I thought through everything again and again and started writing down what actually ended up happening.  That way I could see it, and it wasn't pretty.  Just the same old stuff, and I am wrong, and I don't need that, and he doesn't share my dreams for the future as there is work involved for him and blah, blah, blah.   
One of the issues was finances.  I had talked with my therapist on Friday and he had agreed with me that what my H had done by joining my forum and befriending me to follow what I was doing was despicable. He also agreed with me that since my H had agreed to protect my retirement account as I had asked him to do, but failed to follow through, that when I lost a ton of money from it last month, like most people did if they are invested the way HE has me invested, that he should pay me back.  I asked for a check, and his response was, "Like that's gonna happen."
So this morning I took action and took money out of a joint account and put it into my personal account to hold him responsible.  It didn't take him long to find out and he called furious, demanding that I put the money back and then dragging out all of the old arguments.  I held my tongue and we agreed to keep our meeting with a financial advisor on Wednesday.  But later I emailed him telling  him that since he keeps much of our finances hidden from me, he won't even give me passwords to OUR accounts, that fair is fair and the money would stay where it is, which is just a transfer from cash sitting in a brokerage account, into my savings account so it can earn a pittance of interest.  So it is still all considered marital assessts.  I haven't taken the money, it is still our money, and I won't be spending it in any way either.  But he does not agree, what NH would?  His email back to me was basically return the money, he would not give in to my being able to even see some of our accounts
So, I am considering what to do next.  My first reaction is just to email him back and say, "NO."   I could just let it go at that and let him restart divorce proceedings, or I could just go ahead and tell him forget it, I am talking to my lawyer.  Still considering on that one.
Right now I'll probably just let him stew and not answer at all.  I need more time to think about it.
Truly, the smartest thing would be to call my lawyer as we can set-up the first court date in about 3 weeks, so then I could start getting some spousal support, which will bug him to no end.  But I will need that cash I transfered if I go back to my lawyer, which I am, so why put it off???????
HELP!!!!!!!!!!!    Ideas please......

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