My spouse doesn't care much about me...that's okay because.......

used2bsexyAugust 15, 2007

My husband has lost interest in me in MANY ways. Why?? Well it is always my fault...I am too nagging.......too mean......the list could go on and on. What he doesn't "own" is that he precipitates it on many occasions. The truth is, in MANY ways, it is just plain something wrong with HIM. He has no interest in making things better at all. If I bring up anything about our relationship then it is either all in my head or all my fault. He doesn't want to deal with HIS issues and I am TIRED of trying to make things better. The purpose of this posting is for those of us who are trying to slowly move on by first having an "emotional divorce". Until then, they control us in so many ways because we still CARE. For those of us trying to move on let's try this out and see if it helps! I know this may be corney! It is a way for us to realize how much good we have in our lives independent of them. They overshadow so many things in our lives by their lack of compassion, etc. I say NO MORE!!

So today........ I know my husband doesn't care much about me, but that is okay because

1) I had fun today with my kids shopping for school clothes!

2) I am enjoying hearing/watching my kids play together this evening!

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I think you are right in focusing on what is good in your life, thats a good step towards creating an atmosphere of contentment, for yourself.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2007 at 3:33AM
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I know you are in a similar situation to responded to my posting in *Sexless Marriage*. I try to find joy in my daily life as well instead of always hearing the fault finding complaints and being blamed/punished for everything that's wrong. It doesn't matter weather it's money, child or that it is between 10:30 PM - 12:30PM (you can time it as you can see it building) and he's in a snit and disrupts my quiet time reading before bed and I'm trying to possibly get some sleep....and then wonders why I cannot sleep and so I leave the room! I walk the floors and hang out on the sofa and daily I can barely function (I am so tired) but I push through cause I have to...BUT...So today........ I know my husband doesn't care much about me, but that is okay because...
1. Today is Friday :)
2. I have a job to go to next week.
3. I have a child I love.
4. I have beautiful flowers growing in my garden.
5. It's showtime!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2007 at 1:59AM
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I remember how I felt when I realized my husband stopped carrying about me. It was a very long time ago but I still remember how I felt. Awful feeling. I could tolerate it for about a year. I made attempts to discuss it and make some changes about it, but he was not willing. So I left.

Overall I observe that men think it is all in women's head. Well, it is not all in our head.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2007 at 4:37PM
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No, it is not all in our head. You are exactly right. They try and convince us of that because then they don't have to face THEIR issues. I say fine, don't face your issues........but YOUR issues are NOT going to be MY issues any longer. The world still turns, the sun comes up, I still have friends, I have healthy children, a good job, good support network,etc. He CAN NOT take any of that away from me. He can not take away my sanity. He can not take away from the things I enjoy. He can not anymore. I will not allow it one minute longer. Will I have days that this will be more difficult than others. You bet. This is a process and processes take time. If he chooses to change for the better then he does. If he doesn't then I WILL survive. So today, I know my husband doesn't care much about me (the sob), but that is okay because...

1) Today is Friday and I have a 3 day weekend.
2) I am doing some fun things with my kids this weekend.
(Whether my husband goes or not has no bearing on the
amount of fun I will have.)
3) I am seeing a concert on Sunday with my sister and her
4) I am fortunate to work with some good people. (That
can make or break a job!)

Good luck far as I see is just starting a new beginning...........

    Bookmark   August 17, 2007 at 8:26PM
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Maintain your pride and dignity.

Hold your heads up girls !


    Bookmark   August 18, 2007 at 3:36AM
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Okay, I sounded all tough in that last message. I was going to have a good time whether he went or not. We did a family thing and he was a jerk. It wasn't so much fun. He can sense a change in me. The indifference angers him so much. What I have figured out about him is that although he doesn't want to show hardly any intimacy towards me ( all my fault according to him) it really ticks him off if I DON'T SHOW HIM INTIMACY. Isn't that funny. It is like he NEEDS me to want him so much just so he can just barely give me what I want. It is like a control thing with him BIG TIME. He ended up sooo ticked off at me. I wasn't starting conversations with him and just seeing if he would talk to me first. He didn't but was pissed off that I wasn't talking. When I would ask something ---no conversation starter ---just had a question about something--he would bite my head off. Now why wouldn't he start the conversation with me??? You guessed was all my fault. He had been an jerk all week and when he would act that way I would show no emotion. Normally I would get upset, but no .......those days are gone. Ticks him off. I ended up staying very very calm ......he was just so mad that I have to laugh because it is such a control thing for him. No touching on his talking on his part. He is so used to me doing all of it anymore. I ended up APOLOGIZING TO HIM. What a joke. I did it just to try and calm him down so I could have some peace. Of course it wasn't sincere. I told him I was sorry that I had just been distracted all week -- alot on my mind, but that he had been rude all week long. Of course he didn't think that was true at all. Hilarious!! The change in me this time is that I was in complete control over my emotions. I wanted peace and that was the reason for the apology. He can't get to me now in many ways. IT IS LIKE HE KNOWS HE IS LOSING THAT CONTROL HE HAS HAD OVER ME FOR SO LONG...........
I told him (very calmly) that maybe he was on edge more than he realized because of a job interview he recently had.........I knew damn well that wasn't it. All I can say is one thing I have noticed about men...........they may not want you, but they sure want you to want them.......and they damn well never want anyone else to want or have you is like you are their property. It is laughable. know my husband doesn't care too much about me .....but that is okay because.....

1) I am learning how to deal with it by caring about myself more and he no longer controls my emotions. I know my kids and I will be okay no matter what.

As I said before .....this is a process and processes take time. Good luck to everyone else out there trying to not let the man in your life control your emotions -------negatively!!!!
MY LIFE WILL GET BETTER.................

    Bookmark   August 19, 2007 at 8:01AM
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used2bsexy...Thank you for the encouragement. Ditto to you as well! Taking one day at a time, step by step and staying positive. It is hard to show my feelings in real life to others. I noticed today when it is in business or trying to making friends I get uncomfortable, shy at times because I am waiting for the rejection to come rolling in...and I just noticed today how really starved I am for proper *attention* and *acceptance*. I realized how limited in friends I now have to do things with, and how deprived I have been at enjoying my life! I have been told in my marriage to always *sacrifice*, *do without* and I think it has become a kind of *fear* based thing that if I allow myself to vier off a designated road I will fail at everything. Many times I feel as if I haven't been able to get fresh air and that I am going to faint and I get really scared...and now tonight I really grasped (a light bulb moment) how much I have been neglected as a woman and wife from doing social things or that I am really worthy or can do it. I went out to dinner with a female business associate and it was the best time I have had in so long! Someone wanted to go out with me and cared! Great conversation, food and laughter! I realized tonight I really do need to have fun and take care of me...not only physically, emotionally but mentally thru all of this. I have lost so much for so long! I feel like I have stuffed way down inside of me who I really am and my needs have been lost and put on a shelf somewhere. I have to find me all over again! Tonight, I am on that quest... Never to depart from *me* ever again...I am not a *nobody*...I am me! I am a original! :)

    Bookmark   August 21, 2007 at 10:32PM
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You sound great. "Light bulb moment".....sometimes that is all we need to really get the ball rolling. "Lost too much for far too long" --that will hopefully become a distant memory. Hey, do you like wine? Nothing like a good glass or two of wine with a nice meal!! Be prepared for your man to be somewhat threatened by the new you. Maybe he won't be, but a lot of times they are. You know...that will be his problem so don't make it yours. He might sulk or become outwardly angry. I don't know what his method will be. My advice. Pretend you are oblivious to all the anger,etc. That is what is happening with me and I am choosing to ignore it. You know. Similiar to the way he has ignored my feelings. Too bad for them that the tables have to turn. We aren't doing it to get even. We are just respecting ourselves. Because why??? We are somebody......somebody worth having, somebody worth paying attention to, and they are just plain lucky that we ever and I mean ever were remotely interested in them.......

so today....I know my husband doesn't care much about me....but that is okay because:

1) I just plain don't have the time for him anymore.
2) Fall is just around the corner--my favorite season!
3) I had a great time at my concert with my sister and niece.
4) I am off for a couple of days and get to take my child to her first full day of kindergarten. I am excited for her.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2007 at 11:14PM
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quote from used2besexy: "The purpose of this posting is for those of us who are trying to slowly move on by first having an emotional divorce."

used2be, I am so sorry you are going through such pain. I can't imagine how hurt you must be...but I wonder if your approach to this situation is unhealthy. Clearly you have great hostility toward your husband, so moving "slowly" toward divorce may only serve to poison yourself further. I know you are trying to focus on the better parts of your life in this post as well, but there is no hiding that you are in serious pain, anger, and misery. If you are truly at the point where you don't want to try to salvage things perhaps it is time to leave *now*. Please don't misunderstand----I am not trying to antagonize you or minimize what you're going through. Maybe there are financial or other reasons you can't get out now, but please consider what staying in this situation is doing to your mental health and peace of mind.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2007 at 3:16PM
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This situation is why there is marriage counseling. When you get to that point where he is unable to "hear you" and respond in a way that brings about change to bring new understanding to a situation. This is a situation that many, many people find themselves in, as in everything you try to bring up only creates an argument, where a neutral 3rd party, they will very often "listen to" and hear. The marriage counselor must be very good, and someone who he will "listen to".

You have a daughter just beginning kindergarden, so you have a long road ahead to parent your child (children). If you take the time to actually read the step parent forum to the end, you may come to the conclusion that it may be worth fighting for this marriage and trying to turn your marriage around. At the point you are at, it is very difficult to do on your own. Find someone who is excellent in marital counseling and see if this person can help you. I wish you the best as you seek a happy family for your child(ren).

    Bookmark   August 25, 2007 at 5:24PM
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Am I in anger,pain, and misery? Yes, that is why I am trying to distance myself. I figured trying to focus on the good things in life was a step in the right direction. It is not that I am not listening to what you are saying because I am. It is just that it has been sort of fruitless to focus on the issues so intently. Both people have to see the role they play. Do I want things to be better? Yes absolutely!! I am just sooo tired. I still really believe that focusing on other things will be beneficial. Counseling? Tried it a couple of years back. Counselor said he wasn't ready to listen. His issues come from youth......overbearing mother.....non involved father. This is his problem and he really needs to learn how to deal with it. He replays issues that he has with his Mom with me and I am sure any other woman he has ever been with. His whole family has serious relationship issues. I didn't know all this until after marriage. They have such a phoney front. He is the least phoney. It is a really strange situation....mother likes to keep them under her thumb sort of . He has never been as "close" to her as the other sons. ---which I believe is why he has the "least" issues. I try and make him see all this but no one can see things if they don't want to;however, I do believe he sees more all the time even if he doesn't admit to it all. Scheduling counseling would be VERY difficult ---at least to keep it up on a continual basis----because of our schedules. This is not an excuse it is for real. I am sure once a month might be possible and that is a big might. From my experience, counselors don't work on weekends......however, I could check further ...maybe somewhere some do. I would love to someday be able to say we made it through it all........but...I am just sooo tired of it all. Things can only go so far if the other person is not open to how they have contributed to the problems. So much has been said ----I admit----negatively and meanly by me that he won't listen to much. I wish I could say things nicer. I seriously feel that taking this step back and not talking so much and taking some emotions out of it all has been beneficial for me. Sometimes you can beat things to death know. Thanks so much the the advice. Any suggestions on books I could read and far as how to talk to a man??? Let me know.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2007 at 6:38PM
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Hello everyone! My nme is Clarice and I'm 26 years old. Two years ago me and my exboyfriend broke up. Since then, my life changed completely. Not my life, but my way of thinking. I thaught that I was ugly, old and nobody will get marry me. I was anxious very very sensible... I lost the my self confidence... I lost control over my life. I hade a huge depression. I thaught that I will never get better. The things got better one year later one I met my actual boyfriend. Now, I'm seeing things in another way. I see that my actual boyfriend doesn't really care about me... I mean he cares, but not in the way that I want to. I'm 26, he's 28. He doesn't pay me too much attention. He's very focused on his work. We see eachother not very often, and we we do we fight... He doesn't have attraction for anything like: museum, opera, walks in parc, make trips together, make sport together, make plans for eachother. He only knows computer, and computer and career and computer and again career. I explained him that we are so young and we should enjoy this years... but no... he said that he must make a huge plan for everything... to get prepared... if we are in house, and nothing to do but TV, and I say to him let's go for a walk... he says no... we do this tomorrow. He is not spontaneous and he likes to plan everything. That's killing me!! He is always tired! I'm I that bad? Are we the ones who don't understand men?? A week ago we got fight because he always got something to do, but not seeing me. And he said that the only solution for us is to broke up! I said ok. Two days I didn't called him. He called me, and he said that he miss me, and he doesn't want to broke up with me... but he needs some space. When we were in that 2 days brke, I got scared anxious and everything. Now that we are back together... I'm fine... I analyzed what is working and not, and now I know that he is not the one. But there is THE ONE? DOes he even exist? Or is just our stupid imagination? Why do we got panick when we are alone? I had one year depression!! Why can't I see the things in a good light when I'm lonely??

Now, I stay in this relatioinship, even if we don't see eachother very often... but later? What we would do? What if we are not compatible? We got married and it;s not working.. and then I say... oh... I lost my best years with you... and the hole bla bla stuff...
Now I'm happy beacause:
- I have a beautiful car
- I have my own place to love
- I'm an engineer to a great firm (SIEMENS)
- At work I have wonderfull colleagues
- My parents are healthy and still young

What about later? How can we take care of our future?

    Bookmark   August 31, 2007 at 2:26PM
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It is rather exausting always trying to make things work and men just sitting on a side curb and women are the ones who are always to blame!

Let me tell you about my Friday night.

My bf got himself drunk last night (he is almost 50 years old, professional and not a bum). He first started looking and smelling discusting and when i pointed out that it really smells bad whatever he drinks, he got angry at me that i nag. Then he got so drunk that food was falling out of his mouth. Now he saw it got to be too much so he went and cleaned up, showered and looked OK. I in order to be nice pointed out how nice he smells. At this point alchohol kicked in and he passed out on a bed for 2 hours (according to him: took a nap because of being tired -no, there is a difference between passing out and falling asleep).

When he woke up at 9PM of course we could not go for a planned walk etc. I ended up crying and today he is angry at me that i cried. All i told him that spending Friday nights drunk passed out and your gf sitting around miserable is not the way to spend Friday nights. He is angry with me! Yeap, we spend our lives accomodating men and then we are the ones blamed for everything. Too funny.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2007 at 4:50PM
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My suggestion is to find something else to do on Friday nights---at least some of your Friday nights. Let him do what he wants. That is just where I am at these days. The statement about "we spend our lives....." is so true. At least it used to be true for me. When I see the thoughtfulness, kindness, etc. is not extended in my direction as it should be,then I just make sure and never put myself in that situation again with my husband. Before long, we probably won't ever really spend time together. And of course, will be all my fault. Now that is.........too funny.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2007 at 9:14AM
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I realize it has been a bit since I voiced myself on this thread. But, people always think counselors are the answer to everything when it comes to Marriage Problems...we have seen 12 over the years. No results. We have seen the best and the worst, they can suggest everything in the world, but if your partner/husband isn't interested in the follow thru...tell me what do you do? He rolls up his welcome mat a few weeks into the sessions (a pattern). As with most women, finances and children are always the issues as to why not to leave. A platonic relationship is not what I bargained for...but it is what I currently have had for close to 20 years of marriage. I am taking care of and forever, and am starting the process to moving on, with or without him. Sexless...emotionally distant....and loveless is what I have lived with, and lucky to have 1 child who is now a teenager. It is a very lonely walk and quest...but I am determined to make the most of my I will do what I have to is showtime!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 12:33PM
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You sound very determined in your quest for happiness! That is great. Hey, if he wants to join you then great and if he doesn't then too bad for him. Not that you won't grieve for what could have been or what should have been. I am quite sure you have done plenty of that already over the last 20 years. Good luck to you. You are absolutely right when there is only so much you can do when they don't want to give 100% on their end. In my case, I have distanced myself from my husband for myself. Does he like it...........NO WAY! It actually makes him angry. No loving talk about concerned "honey let's work this out...what is going on here"...just anger. It is funny because I used to believe he was so open because he was such a TALKER.....much later I learned he was just that --a talker and not a communicator. He really wants me to give and give and he will never give to that same degree because I truly believe he feels insecure if he does so and does not feel a sense of control that he NEEDS TO HAVE. He has a lot of walls built up which I could never see before. It is just all a replay in some way or another of his family dynamics he saw and experienced growing up. Yeah, I know people hate to hear all the psycho babble but it is so true with him and understanding most of it has been very beneficial for me. I can not change him has to come from within him. If he is not getting what he wants out of life and marriage, he needs to see what he might need to change and work on. Only he can come to these conclusions. My hands are tied. I am not the same person I was 3 years ago........1 year ago........heck not even 3 months ago. I have been changed because of him and all the lack of compassion on his end. Now he has to deal or not deal with it. I can not go back to who I was ........ever.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2007 at 6:28PM
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My husband came on to me pretty strong sexually over the weekend. We have not had sex like that since well xmas time. We hadn't had sex period for at least 3 months. I never ever make any advances toward him anymore. I started that a couple of months ago. It is a new thing for me. I can take it or leave it......whatever. It seriously seems to have peaked his interest a little. Anyway, I thought about turning him down...because that is my new method of operation to do that sometimes. I didn't though. You see, as I have said in earlier posting I have changed. He can't control me emotionally like he used to and he knows it. I will not be available to him on any level like I used to be ......ever. It just isn't there in the same way for me anymore. Can't help it. He took me for granted for far too long and there is no going back for me. He senses a change and he was really pissed off for a while. (I expected that really). I am guessing that since the sex he thinks things are back to normal........the old way. They are not and never will be. I told him the other day that I have changed and I am never going to go back to the old me and that I don't even want to. Maybe acting aloof or rather being aloof about the situation has peaked his interest a little bit. Not sure. I do not need him like I used to, I do not love him like I used to, I do not respect him like I used to, I do not trust him like I used to....he did this to us. Sometimes when things change they are changed forever and you can never go back. I keep a little teeny tiny bit of hope that we can still move forward in a different good direction some day; however, I don't let it make or break my life. Sad but true. I can't really lean on him for emotional or physical intimacy the way a woman should be able to do and I have gotten to a place where it doesn't matter too much to me. I have a lot going good in other areas of my life independent of him. So I know my spouse doesn't care about ......( you know the rest).........

1) I feel good about me...........

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 10:31PM
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Wow, u guys have stuff 2 fall back on at least.I've only been married for 4 years, & the whole time we've been married,I've been pregnant. Now,with a 2 yr.old,3 yr.old, & due in 2 weekss,its hard 2 say BUT...anything. He has brought me down sooooo hard I can't function. I was away 4 about 2 months,& he cheated on me. But once I found out, he decided 2 stick with her instead. I chased her away b/c I'm very dependant on him now.We were living seperate at the time,& when she stopped talking 2 him b/c of me, he decided 2 give me a call. I was dumb enough 2 accept them tho.With me having a baby very soon, I begged him 2 come stay with me 4 just a few weeks 2 help out with the 2 toddlers. He's been here 4 a few weeks now,but is he helping? Hell no,thats 2 easy. I don't have my own things 2 fall back on. I have no money,no place 2 live, no job, no childcare 2 get a job etc. And my kids r beyong out of control. I have no idea how I'm going 2 b a single mother of 4! (I also have a 10yr.old) How r u guys doing it? Well,I'll give it a go anyway...."I know my husband doesn't care much about me...but thats ok b/c...
1)I need 2 figure this out without him
2)he's just slowing me down anyway
3)after having 3 boys,I'm finally getting a girl

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 12:32PM
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I remember reading your posts on other threads. I hope you can once and for all get away from your bad situation. I don't know if you've exhausted all the government leads and programs...if you have, I would highly suggest you call churches (of all demnominations) asking for some help or if they would know how to direct you. You really do need some help at this time of your life. All it takes is the "right" helping hand to get you out of your rut and into a productive and positive situation for your family. Good luck to you; I am happy to hear you are having a girl.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 4:51PM
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My Birthday is this coming weekend, and *I* bought 2 tickets to a Broadway Show that is running currently in my city for tonite. He thought I was out of my mind to buy them, everything I do is a negative. For the record, he hasn't taken me out on a date in I cannot remember or paid for a Dinner unless it is Mother's Day (my child would be in attendance) I pay for everything when it comes to being social. I realized today as I was walking away from him going to work (after he was berating me about my seat belt problems *they lock on me, and it is very annoying*, plus yelling at me)that I could walk away and not look back! Say nothing, and not care anymore, it is very strange feeling. I have been told that it happens when the *love* stops. He called my behavior like I am a *Lion getting it's teeth pulled*, *why should I listen to you*, etc. He angers me, and seems to go out of his way...I'm the target, and does this before there is something important taking place in my life. So...My Spouse doesn't care much about me...
1. I really don't care anymore
2. I can walk away and totally not look back
3. I can pay for things myself (I work hard, he has reaped the benefits)
4. How really, really cheap, nasty, unfeeling he is and blames me for it all...and know in my heart *it isn't me*
5. I do not love him anymore.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 4:51PM
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I just wanted to say that it is easy to be stubborn with each other and neither of you give in to the intimacy.I dont think it should be about "who gives in first" or "who desires who more".
Why not let your love for him overwhelm him one day as you look into his eyes and say,"It's been long enough,hasnt it?
I'd really love to spend some time alone with you~right now"
I bet if you did that,he would respond eagerly and happily.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 10:53PM
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plasticgarden---if only it were that simple with guys like this! That would be so great.


You sound determined. It sounds like he is getting angrier now because he is just beginning to realize just "where" you are now--(not completely though as guys seem to be very slow to catch on--sorry to the men out there, but I feel this is true much of the time!) You don't seem as sad about it now. The emotional ties are slowing dying and so is his power to make you unhappy. What a good feeling in ways......sad, but good. In a perfect world he would realize that it is almost over and he is going to change,etc. What I have noticed about men (again, sorry to all you men out there, but it is so true much of the time) is that they don't really "kick in" until it is much too late. They get used to all our nagging and complaining and think it will go on like that forever with no major changes. Men should really really pay attention when women QUIT talking. Often times that point it is too late.
I think he is angry because you aren't as angry anymore. You don't care anymore. It sort of scares him I think. Keep living your life and do what makes you happy. What ever happens with him just happens. He either changes and cares more or he just doesn't. There is really nothing else you can do. Good Luck!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 10:40PM
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Plasticgarden...your response of **Why not let your love for him overwhelm him one day as you look into his eyes and say,"It's been long enough,hasnt it?
I'd really love to spend some time alone with you~right now"
I bet if you did that,he would respond eagerly and happily.** YOU ARE KIDDING RIGHT??? You have to be...what you wrote is sheer fantasy, an not a reality in my life at all. Thank You, used2bsexy!

    Bookmark   October 8, 2007 at 3:57PM
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It appears to me that your DH is equating love with sex. It also seems that he is not a sexually-driven man. Accordingly, your lack of sexual desire for him would mean nothing since he doesn't understand that what died in the marriage is far more important than just the physical.

When you were the one doing the apologizing and trying to fix his "emotions" it drew attention away from him fixing himself. He might know that there is something wrong with him but he is not willing to do the work to fix it. I, like you, was once guilty of the very same practice. So repetitious. It almost became a script.

Talking around in circles is just what it is....a circle with no beginning and no end.

I would pray to G_d that DH would change. One day, I got my answer.

I had to change myself.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 2:40AM
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I am changing. I know he never will. He gets more and more bizarre in my eyes all the time. Twisted logic, mind games, etc. are just all a part of his game. Anything so he doesn't have to face what he is and what his problems are. I used to care and now I don't and I AM A BETTER PERSON FOR NOT CARING. I feel better now. I can focus more.
What do you mean exactly when you say that he appears to be equating sex with love? What in my postings made you say that? Just curious. I say he uses sex as a weapon and he is weird when it comes to sex. It is not about love at all to him. Just an act that he enjoys until he, for whatever reason, needs to punish that person. He then can take this away. That is where porn comes in as a replacement....I believe. No, I disagree it is not connected to love at all. Please respond with some thoughts on this. Thanks!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 1:03PM
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Hi Used2bsexy-

Love and sex are intertwined in relationships. His "love" seems to be conditional. Like a vengeful deity. He punishes. He uses it against you. It is also an invisible force. Outsiders don't get to peek into that part of a couple's relationship. How do you show someone else how convoluted and twisted the nature of your intimacy (for lack of a better word) is? He is a coward. Think about how trust comes into play. How more vulnerable can you be in order to share yourself with another? To be totally naked and engage in an act that is so private and personal. Intimacy is at the very core of it. Porn is easy. It is all about him. He does not have to share any part of himself with the objects of his eroticism. You, on the other hand are a whole person with a history you share together. You know about him and he knows about you both with strengths, weaknesses, feelings and emotions and needs.

I think that people who learned to meet their own needs grow hard shells. They learn to "take care of themselves". Their inner world is dark and bleak. When you ask for intimacy he probably perceives you as weak and puts you down with inuendo and jibes. He has learned to trust only himself and not ask for help from others. He has walled himself into a tomb. He is no longer in touch with his real self. It is buried deep inside.

You posted on the sexless marriage thread so I have some insight into that part of your marriage. Sometimes, the rejected partner tries to figure out why the refuser is that way. It isn't necessarily all psychological. They could just have a lower sex drive. Other people might think the refuser is cheating or doesn't find them attractive. It could also be a combination of things.

Because you mention porn, I see it as a clue to it being psychological because he is still interested in sex.

Food for thought, perhaps?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2007 at 3:22PM
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I stumbled on this website while at work not being able to function and think of nothing else except how utterly miserable I am and have been for some time now. I am presently in a situation that sounds so much like used2bsexy's situation that I never have joined something like this to voice anything, but felt an urge to do so in hopes that someone out there can possibly "help" me through this situation I'm in. I know that I am supposed to find strength within myself, but so far not being able to do that. A short version of where I am at.... Married for just one year (this past week) have a baby turning 1 year old (figure that one out) I am 42 years old and have two grown children from previous marriage. My current husband is 10 yrs. younger than I am, great looking (every woman in town almost know him or stare at him and throw themselves at him) that alone drives me crazy, but he knows how nice looking he is and sometimes tries to say in a kidding way how lucky I am that I am with him. My low self-esteem drives him crazy but he does absolutely nothing to help with that. He says that that is not his place, this may be true, but he doesn't have to do things that damage it either. He works out 6 days a week, also takes enhancements (if you catch my drift) for his "big" muscles that he loves to show off. I haven't been able to go to the gym and my baby is almost a year old now. I am afraid to go to where I am a member because he goes and I hear things from him like don't get jealous if you see me talking to women there, they know me. He has even talked about personal issues with some of them which makes me feel uncomfortable. I don't think that he is a cheat only because he would see that it was a flaw in himself, not because he wouldn't cheat because he loves me or it would hurt us, it is all about him. Everything is all about him. He barely notices that I'm alive unless it is to order me around about things. He acts like my parent instead of a husband. Forget bringing any problems I have to him, it ends up in a fight and usually a lecture from him of how right he is and how stupid I am. When he gets mad he has the ability to just not speak or even look at me. I could be screaming and standing on my head in front of him and he won't even blink, this drives me insane!! I tried to stop him from leaving the other night and it got physical. He hurt me and he truly believes it is my fault that I have now learned a lesson to just let him leave. I could go on but won't you get the idea. Do you have any advice??? Anyone?? I just want to get to the point where I can be happy with me and my life separate from giving a damn about what he thinks. I don't want to CARE what he thinks about anything. I don't want to feel hurt because he doesn't want to kiss me or be close. I am not in shape like the ladies or girls at the gym. I just want peace of mind!!! Thanks for listening!!! My spouse doesn't care much about me and it hurts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   October 25, 2007 at 3:25PM
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Searching -- It sounds like you are married to a class 1-A Narcissist. And despite what he may say about low self-esteem, that's HIS core problem, and why he needs to work out 6 days a week and 'enhance' his muscles. That's why he needs constant admiration from the girls at the gym, and why he's constantly putting you down -- so he can be 'better' than you. If that is the problem, it's not a problem with YOU, it's a problem with HIM, and you can't fix it.

Do some research into Narcissistic Personality Disorder (it's been a hot topic here for a few weeks) and see if the shoe fits.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2007 at 6:41PM
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HE had to have been that way before you married him.
Did you not notice, or not care?

Either way, don't expect HIM to change...

    Bookmark   October 25, 2007 at 7:27PM
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searching4peace -

Hi! Sweeby mentioned he might have Narcissistic Personality Disorder. He seems to have some of the traits of it. That does not necessarily mean, though, that he has it "full blown". From what you say he isn't stepping out on you? He just goes to the gym every day. Probably likes the attention. Funny that the same place he goes to pump up his body is also the place where he receives the attention!

I doubt arguing with him will change him. He rises to the occasion and uses it to his benefit. Don't play into it. Let him be the one who looks like a nut!

You gotta to be the one to do the changing if he won't or can't. Emotionally, you will still feel hurt and cheated out of the kind of relationship that you want. I know it isn't fair but it is not a fair situation that you are in. He doesn't play fair. After a while it will become second nature to you. First start with changing your reactions even though you are indignant, then the repetition itself extinguishes your old behavior. In time, your mind set will also change. Of course, you can try to reason with him to get help but he doesn't think anything is wrong with him. Or, consider divorce, but you have a child now.

Considering your child, think about how the way you interact in your relationship can impact your child. It is better to have one rational parent with emotional intelligence then two parents who are constantly engaged in combat!

It is tough but there are benefits. If DH is going to get himself into trouble with his self adoration, let him do it by himself without using the marriage battleground as an excuse.

Good Luck.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2007 at 10:14PM
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Just wondering how lael00 is doing? Haven't heard from her in a while.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2007 at 4:47PM
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Thanks for the input tenderchichi. I swear sometimes he gets me "thinking" that it truly is my fault that "he" acts the way he does. He is mean because he "has" to be. He also tells me that he does not ever repeat himself. Imagine being married to someone that if you don't quite catch everything he says the first time and being too afraid to ask what did you say for fear of getting your head snapped off. So I'm learning to "pretend" to hear it all. Of course that has backfired on me a few times when I get I told you that already and I guess he did, but I didn't catch it and pretended I did. This is just one small example of how difficult he is to deal with. Someone mentioned didn't I know he was the way he was before I married him. I did. I suppose I thought marriage would "change" things. The only if theory. I'm old enough to know better too. He is not a total ogre all of the time so those times when he is being decent and can almost rationalize some of the things he says and does to me I go with if for awhile and I do try to change my mindset like you suggested but that only lasts for so long and I'm back to my old emotional thinking. I wish I knew of a way that I could turn off the emotional rollercoaster. My baby is almost a year old now so you would think my hormones would be back to normal by now. If they are..... I'm in big trouble. I realize that it is somewhat okay to flirt even, and to enjoy being looked at, but when it consumes you as it seems to do him, that is where I think it crosses the line and he refuses to see it. It is just normal for women to speak to him because of the way he looks. He told me that by the way. He knows that women like him and like the way he looks. We have been out before and for example.. a woman at McDonalds walks up to him and makes like yummy sounds like she is eating something really good and looks at him and asks him if he is married. I'm not really sure what he said, but he smiles and speaks. I'm thinking he should just walk away. I wouldn't feel like I had to be nicey nicey to a guy if he did that to me. He is Mr. friendly to all the women. Even to some unattractive ones so that leads me to believe he just loves the attention of it all and not necessarily looking around. He has told me that he has had many women before he met me and that he could get p---- anytime he wanted unlike his other friends. What kind of a-- tells his wife this???? What was my response supposed to be, great honey!!! These are just a few things that go on so you can get a clearer picture of what I deal with. Oh, and the ex-girlfriend who he did not marry and has a little girl with works at Hooters and has boobs the size of watermelons or close. Says he is over her but she calls all of the time of course about their daughter, but who knows, I'm just supposed to "deal" with that and everything else and it is just feeling like I can't deal anymore. I want to be taken seriously and not pre-judged everytime I open my mouth about anything, especially our relationship or other women in general. I don't want to be made to feel like I'm not as attractive as the women who work out. I'm not big, I need to tone up, I agree, but for my age I'm not too bad but he doesn't appreciate that part, it has to be perfect!! I'm just finding myself sooooo tired and like my user name says, searching for a little peace of mind. I would love for this to work for the sake of our child and for us, but I just wonder, if I am the one to change and so much so that none of this bothers me any longer, can I do this????

    Bookmark   October 29, 2007 at 2:39PM
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Thanks for your input also. You are right. Maybe all of that cockiness of knowing and saying how good looking he is and how he can get women anytime is just low self-esteem on his part. He could possibly suffer worse from it than I do!!!!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2007 at 2:46PM
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Searching - Have you looked up Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) yet?

The more you write, the more it sounds like it -
the contemptuous way he treats you, the constant ego-massaging,
the 'refusing to repeat himself' as if he's too important to bother and you're not 'worth' the trouble...

Seriously, if that's what it is, you're in a NO-WIN situation.
If that's what it is, no amount of changing your reactions will even be able to make a dent into his problems and get him to treat you decently.
Because he's not basing his actions on you, your needs and your actions - he's basing them on his own needs.
He needs to demean you, so he will - no matter what you do or don't do about it.

And the way he treats you will be the way your child learns to treat you -
the way your child will grow up thinking you deserve to be treated.

If your husband has NPD, the only thing ahead of you is more pain and further erosion of your sense of self-worth.
You need to find out if this is the case.
(I'm done.)

    Bookmark   October 29, 2007 at 3:16PM
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searching4peace -


He may look "good" but he sounds really yucky.

I didn't mean for you agree with the way he treats you. His attitude towards you is not right. I appears, from what you say, to be very unloving. I don't know how you two interact so I'm not sure if you instigate some of it. You might be in a cycle of playing off on each other's negative remarks. Sometimes, it just leads into that direction because people usually defend themselves when they are being picked on.

If you could back off from the situation and look at it from a third party's point of view, you could see how the two of you would look from the outside. The person viewing it would not be able to ascertain who the instigator is. The behavior becomes so ingrained after a while.

Consider feeling sorry for the man. He simply does not know how to related to his partner and mate in a loving committed manner. It is not your fault! Getting intwined with trying to change him by pointing out the "wrongness" of it gets you no where. From that point of view, you can let go of trying to defend yourself. He is not coming from the same place that you are. For him, it is an egocentric trip. The more you point it out to him, the more he fights to maintain homeostasis. If you start to breach his wall of defense which is about maintaining his "self", the harder he fights.

That is why I feel that letting go of the pain his indifference causes you is important. Love you first and then care about others. You can spend a lifetime trying to change other people. In the process, you lose yourself. Every person is responsible for their own mistakes. When you put your energy onto changing others you then deter your own growth as a person. He will continue on as he is while you live your life in the shadow of his negativity.

All the Best to You!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2007 at 3:30PM
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Hi used2bsexy! Sorry I haven't posted in a bit, business has been a major priority. So, it has been work, work, work! Update Husband wise is, nothing has changed. I am frustrated as I cannot continue in this vain, he makes it out that the both of us are dysfunctional! He was the one that came from the Family that showed no affection or emotion, not me! He has told me that it is a fantasy to search for/or be in *true love* and that it isn't a reality to have that feeling or desire and live that way for the rest of your life. I totally disagree, I want to *be loved and to be a beloved and to give love to my beloved*...and I know I am not crazy. I see couples, all ages who hold hands, kiss, show affection, romantic what is wrong with that? Isn't that *LOVE*? What you come together for and get Married for? He keeps telling me *I am his Wife*...but I do not feel like one. Presently, I guess I am looking for acceptance in other arenas. But, my self esteem has taken a real beating, and only time will tell I guess whether I can have another relationship, as I feel so alone, even in business and friendships. I have to make an attempt to reach out in other areas, and I am scared plus burned...and there is nothing left to give (right now at least), I feel very empty and haven't been replenished in years. So, today, I am starting on: Confidence...I can do it! I will make my way in this world, no matter what my age or circumstance, I will succeed and not be robbed anymore!

    Bookmark   October 30, 2007 at 9:05PM
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Men.....they just don't get it (at least most of them--not all). It is amazing to me how they are. Don't they want for more?? Your husband is scared to death to face his real emotions. He never really learned how...not your problem. I know you would help him if he would just open up a little. My guess is that in ways he will be very hurt when you leave eventhough it should of no surprise to him. He won't really get it even when you leave. Don't you wonder sometimes why they bothered to get married at all. What were they really expecting or wanting? I wonder this in my marriage a lot. Anyway, continue working on yourself (that is the only person that you can really change!!) He is who he is and nothing can change that except him. Good Luck and remember that you deserve happiness.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 8:02AM
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You said it, men! I shouldn't say it is all men, but at least "our" men seem to all share the same outlook on love, romance, and sex. I have actually been trying to see the better lately and was even back to the old ways of convincing myself that is might be all "me". I'll run this past you and your honest opinions will be appreciated. My husband and I went to bed last night around 10:15 p.m., he always sleeps nude, I usually do not. I made it a point to remove my clothing and when he got into bed after I did he made a comment to me that something like "someone is sleeping naked tonight". I remarked, yeah, I felt like sleeping this way tonight and kind of snuggled up to him. He has a way of (he calls it playing) biting and pinching at me that leaves bruises and actually hurts and if I don't go along with it he gets mad and says that I am no fun so I played along and when he was all finished with this type of play (bit or pinched no where intimate) he just lays there. So I start to stroke his chest and arm and then ask if he would like to mess around? He makes this noise of aggrevation and says I was relaxing and about asleep. He had only just stopped pinching and biting the heck out of me 60 secs. prior. I then point blank asked if he was interested in me sexually anymore. He says yes, he is. I said then what is the problem. He says that I waited too long and I didn't touch him right and when he asked me about being nude I shouldn't have said what I said. I asked please tell me what you want so I will know because this sort of thing happens all the time and that I had needs and he just basically told me that I was the one with the problem that I wasn't making myself clear and not letting him know soon enough that that was what I wanted. Am I crazy, but rubbing on him and just being naked I would think most men would "get it". To me that is just an excuse. He sure didn't need all of this coaxing when we first got together. I realize nothing stays new forever, but this just seems ridiculous. He told me the next morning that it is my mouth that ruins things for him. I don't get it, I asked if he wanted to mess around and got turned down, then I tried to talk to him. I'm I missing something, was it my mouth as he calls it that is the turn off or is this man just so in love with himself that if I don't practically rape him and kiss his "entire" body and tell him how terrific he is he just isn't going to make the effort? I admit that I do not perform some duties that I used to (I think you get it) but he hasn't done anything like that for me in over a year. I guess I just feel like withholding some things because I don't get what I need either and there just is NO talking to him. Afterall, he doesn't want to hear my mouth. So any advice, please feel free. Otherwise, I just feel like totally withdrawing putting myself into my baby and my work and just getting through my nights home with him. The only really unfair thing is that he will get mad if I even act indifferent towards him. I am supposed to "want" him no matter what and just "get over" my low self-esteem because it isn't him it is me! Argh!!!!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 1:24PM
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Of course it's your fault!

Because it if isn't your fault, it's his.

You went to bed nude in an attempt to entice him into some intimacy, right? You said it should have been obvious -- Well it was - that's why he reacted the way he did. The snarky comment about your being nude didn't seem to discourage you, so he tried the biting and pinching -- he knows you don't like it. But this time, you didn't protest. (Rats!) So he just rolls over and lies there. (Talk about passive agressive.) But you still don't take the hint. (Jeese! You must be really dense.) You snuggle up to him and basically force him into a corner. (Why'd you have to go and do that!?) Now he has to come up with a reason for not wanting to have sex with you. And it has to be your fault. So it's your mouth. It could just have easily been your toenails. Or your hair. Or the little freckle on your left elbow.

Searching, I walked in your shoes for 10 long years.
My first husband also worked out at the gym 6 days a week, had his clothes custom-made and monogramed, and, when finally backed into a corner blamed my 'cottage-cheese thighs' for the near-total lack of sex. (I was a size 8 - how bad could it have been?) All of my attempts at any type of intimacy (verbal, emotional) were met with amused derision, deflection, contempt, or even thinly-veiled disgust. Like your husband, my Ex would deliberately hurt me, then accuse me of taking it too seriously or not having a sense of humor. By hurt, I don't mean hit or shoved (I'd have had him arrested) but little things exactly like the pinching and biting that were designed to get me to change my mind if it looked like I wanted sex.

I have walked miles in your shoes Searching, and have the battle scars to prove it.
If you want the answer, I know what it is.
Or you can vent away - that's your right.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 3:05PM
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Thanks for that insight sweeby. I get what you are saying, except why IF they don't want to have sex with you except once in a while when it his asking (something like do you wanna get naked)? That is supposed to spark me to rip my clothes off and be ready (ready all by myself of course)do they stick around at all or on ocassion initiate sex at all. Is that so they don't look like total bad guys? Give us what "we" want. Big of him!!
Venting helps, yes, but I want to take a stand, one where I won't come off like I always seem, emotional and just all "mouth" where I am not taken seriously. Oh, and I am to NEVER think for him. Even when the obvious slaps me across the face like a freight train, don't dare think for him!!!!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 4:04PM
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It's a big time CONTROL issue too... He may even want to have sex with you, but he doesn't want YOU to be able to dictate when. Plus, turning you down or making you feel worthless by not having sex with you, can keep you in line, insecure, and even more in his control.

It's not your fault in the least bit. Some men are sort of thick, but it sounds like your husband has a lot more problems than the typical "Men are from Mars, Woman are from Venus" thing.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 4:37PM
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Carla35 I think you may be on to something. His whole life is about being in control of everything! I'm sure sex is just one aspect of his feeling like he is control. What I can't for the life of me figure out is how he acts so digusted when I act like I have low self esteem, he hates that in fact, but what he does and he doesn't even seem to realize is that he is tearing my self esteem apart even more. How can I be confident in myself I my husband rejects me for what I voiced to him ridiculous reasons. I told him that it was obvious I wanted sex and if he doesn't that is fine but I wasn't going along with his "rules" and protocal just to have it and I wouldn't bother him anymore and he says to me Oh, I've heard that one before. So cold showers here I come, but I am not giving in to his pathetic "do you want to get naked" when he is so horny he can't hold out anymore. Maybe that sounds like a game, and I guess it is, but at least maybe that way I will feel a "little" more in control of myself and not so stupid for giving in and feeling empty afterwards. Our baby is only 1year old, I hope I can hold out and things can truly change for the better for her. I have a strategy for me... I want to start going to the gym (will ignore him there) even if I make twice in a week that is better than nothing, maybe excercise at home and start eating better, at least I think I feel like I am "doing" something for me and who knows maybe even start to look better to him and things could turn around.
It is a longshot, but worth trying for my little one's sake and ours too.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 5:03PM
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Sometimes he does want to have sex.
Not the slight difference in semantics -- I said he wants to have sex, not he wants to have sex with you.
In fact, he probably prefers to have sex without you. Nothing personal. (Re-read that -- nothing personal.)
And it could be the reason he "asks" in the charming manner he does is so that you'll say "no" or respond less-than-enthusiastically.
And then your response will be the trigger.
Believe me Searching, it's not anything YOU'RE doing. Or NOT doing.
My Ex used to ask for it every six months or so at 2:00 a.m. (Yeah, he was dreaming about me all right.)
And he actually said to me once (after about 30 seconds) "I got mine - now you get yours!" and laughed like he genuinely thought it was clever.
But it was clever actually, because I didn't ask for sex for a loooong time after that, which was, of course, exactly what he wanted.
What you want is intimacy -- and that is one thing he is INCAPABLE of giving you. Ever.

So why didn't it seem that way before marriage?
Because he wasn't that close to you then. Or rather, you weren't that close to him. Before marriage, maintaining his "perfect facade" was realistic. You were oh-so-lucky to have 'won' him; you knew it and maybe even were 'appropriately grateful'. But now you know too much. Now he has to do damage control. Now he has to convince you that your perceptions are faulty, that your judgement is inferior, that he is right and you are wrong. Always.

Sad to say, with him you will always seem "emotional and just all "mouth" where I am not taken seriously" because that is how he will frame your actions. Unless you manage to NOT get emotional, in which case he will frame you as "robotic" or "frigid". Or if you're serious, you could be framed as "melodramatic" or "paranoid". And why should he take you seriously when you're obviously "stupid" or "silly" or "ridiculous" -- or whatever else.

The thing is, you're trying to change his behavior by changing yours. And generally, that's not a bad idea -- it even works to some degree with most people. But it won't work with him, because his behavior isn't really being driven by your behavior. It's driven by his own needs, which unfortunately, can't be met (for long) by another human being.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 5:03PM
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Hi -

Sweeby said:
"The thing is, you're trying to change his behavior by changing yours. And generally, that's not a bad idea -- it even works to some degree with most people. But it won't work with him, because his behavior isn't really being driven by your behavior. It's driven by his own needs, which unfortunately, can't be met (for long) by another human being."

A right on analysis. Everything seems to be pointing to a personality disorder. He would have to submit to therapy to find out plus, his therapist would never tell you and would avoid telling him, too. He would probably rebel against such a diagnosis and a therapist knows that and would be careful.

When people are young they are not very "wise". They don't pick up on it. I also think that when a person grows up in a home that is dysfunctional (not necessarily abusive) they are not aware that anything is wrong with their prospective mate. They may be a co-dependent or rarely an inverted narcissist.

When I would run across a person when I was younger who was pushy, insensitive, demanding, selfish.....etc., I would just think that they were mean or "I" hurt their feelings. Now, I know better.

Your DH needs you a lot more than you think! He gets his cake and eats it too. You are his captive audience. He reminds me of a little child who enjoys the power he gets from killing or torturing a small mouse. A little...tin....g_d. That is because somewhere along the line he came to feel that he was even smaller than a mouse. He doesn't like himself. He is a person who rejects being a part of a club that would allow him to join. That is to say, "if you like him them something must be wrong with you".

That is why you have to see him for what he is. Once you do, he will start to disgust you and you won't feel so rejected anymore.

It is difficult to process it because we usually feel that everyone thinks the same. Believe me, your DH already knows that is not true.

For him there are probably only two kinds of people.

1. The people he can abuse and;
2. The people that can abuse him.

Once you come to the understanding that it is all in him and not you, then you can sluff him off until it reaches the point that it is second nature. "Like water off a duck's back".

Think about it, daaaarling, if you were really so bad, why doesn't he pack his bags and leave?

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 9:57PM
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It would be beneficial to you if you would read the book --Living with the Passive Aggressive Man by Scott Wetzler. You would find some answers here ---I am almost certain.
It is MUCH easier to confront a passive aggressive man when you can emotionally distance yourself (a learned art!) They see uncontrolled emotions as a sort of weakness. They depend on you to be strong --they need that security and they also despise it at the same time. Also, when you are emotionally out of control (even if warranted) you are NEEDING something from them. It is something they CANNOT handle very well. I would love to know his family dynamics. What are his parents like and his relationship with them? I know it is just psycho babble to some people, but these dynamics are at the very root of PA behavior. My husband is passive aggressive and I --over the past three years ---have learned that is a big problem for him and have studied it a lot, done counseling,etc. He won't own up to it (surprise) but I am convinced he knows he has issues with it and I am convinced he knows his family has issues with it. PA people have a hard time being close(intimate) to someone....they feel they are losing control over themselves. When they start getting close then they have to "shake" things up to feel in control again. It is rather sad. Sweeby was right on in many didn't see it before marriage because you weren't that "close". It is exactly what happened in my marriage. He could no longer have sex the way we used to........he was too close to me. You really opened my eyes to that Sweeby. I was missing that puzzle piece. So obvious; yet I couldn't see it.
you should go to the gym and work out........for YOU. Do things to feel better about you. Don't count on it making changes in him. Take care of yourself and don't let yourself go by the wayside in all of this. You have friends,etc. Do things that matter to you. Focus on your baby/friends/family. Areas where it is more give and take. DON'T LET HIM DRAIN YOU. It is his problem and he makes it your problem by rejecting you. Channel these energies elsewhere. You'll be a better person for it. Let me know when/if you get the book.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 10:49PM
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By the way:

A therapist once told me that Passive Aggressive Disorder sort of "bleeds" over into the Narcissistic Disorder. They can go hand in hand. He said that my husband was not a full blown Narcissist but he did have some of the signs and this is not uncommon when dealing with PA behavior.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 11:05PM
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Thanks, used2b, for another wonderful depiction of a "personality disorder"! Helpful information. Passive aggression makes no sense to me cause the initiator gets hurt as well.

I am attaching a link to an article about Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Not very long and kind of interesting.

The follow is an excerpt from the article, "Abandoning a Narcissist":

"The narcissist's partner is perceived by him to be a source of narcissistic supply, an instrument, an extension of himself. It is inconceivable that - blessed by the constant presence of the narcissist - such a tool would malfunction....."

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 11:39PM
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Just so you know, I think most professionals would think passive agressive behavior is a trait ...not a personality disorder. I don't think it has been recognized by the DSM Committee. Just don't want you barking up the wrong tree. Many, many people have passive aggressive qualities... eye rolling, giving the silent treatment, spitting in someone's food when they don't like them, stomping off, being late when they don't want to go somewhere, etc.. are all examples of passive agressive behavior. It sounds like a trait he has, but what he is doing goes way beyond just being passive aggressive.

I know you're not yet at the stage of understanding what is really going on to truly believe this yet, but, loosing weight and getting in better shape will not help at all. He will only find something else to pick on you about. IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT AND IT IS NOT YOUR WEIGHT! Sadly, you probably will not realize that until you actually lose the weight and realize things are not better.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 12:12AM
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From what I understand PA is no longer considered a personality disorder in the "books", but it used to be. You are correct when you say that everyone exhibits PA behavior sometimes. The problem is when someone continually does it and it affects their life--job, marriage,etc. I think it is well worth reading up on the subject. You can find lots of info on the net also in regards to it as a personality disorder because it used to be seen as such. I still kind of believe that it is. Some of the info that you read will talk about why it is no longer declared a personality disorder. When I have time I will attach some links. The professional I went to DID feel that my husband was passive aggressive. He never really got into whether it was a personality disorder or not he just simply talked about him being PA and he talked about narcissism and how they coexist a lot of times. It was in my other reading that I found it was no longer a disorder on the books. Whether in the books or not it is still a big problem. I encourage searching to read the book I suggested. It can't hurt.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 9:13AM
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"but, loosing weight and getting in better shape will not help at all. He will only find something else to pick on you about. IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT AND IT IS NOT YOUR WEIGHT! Sadly, you probably will not realize that until you actually lose the weight and realize things are not better. "

Actually, losing weight and getting into better shape probably WILL help --
It'll help YOU regain what he's taken from you, your confidence, sense of self-worth and personal power.
There's nothing like working out to dissipate the rage you are rightfully feeling (or will be).
And frankly, there's nothing like the admiration of other men to help you feel attractive again.
(And I'm betting you're very attractive or he would never have married you.)
But it probably won't help your marriage. In fact, he might not even notice!.
Mine didn't -- And I went from a size 8 to a size 4. (Remember, it was my 'cottage cheese thighs' that were the 'problem' in my marriage?)
Anyway - Losing weight helped ME. Because when I finally kicked him out, I looked the best I had ever looked in my life; and I felt the most empowered and determined I had ever felt in my entire life. And frankly, it was one big catharsis -- the ridding of nearly everything that was toxic and dragging me down and causing me to be miserable.

But - you may not be there yet.
It can take a long time to go from hurting and constantly questioning yourself, apologizing, and trying to repair or prevent more damage, to disengaging and insulating yourself, to disentangling. And you have to get there at your own pace.

I'd like to suggest therapy for you --
NOT because you're the problem, but because you need an impartial expert in your corner to help you evaluate your husband's actions, your responses, and the future of your marriage. You need help and support for you. And as someone suggested earlier, it is unlikely HE will go, or if he does go, admit that HE has a problem. Then there are those nasty HIPPA laws that would probably prevent his therapist from disclosing his "confidential medical information" (a.k.a. diagnosis) to you -- which I am very, very sure will be 'Narcissistic Personality Disorder' or a 'close relative'. But YOUR therapist, who works for you, not him, would be able to evaluate his behavior (and yours) from your reports, and give you a pretty good perspective on the problems and your options for handling them. And if the therapist is YOURS, she has no duty or privacy to him. She probably won't be able to 'diagnose' him unless he also comes to some of the sessions -- but she'd be able to tell you if it does or does not sound like NPD, and help you evaluate your own options.

I wish you the best Searching. It IS out there...

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 9:43AM
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used2be - I'm curious, you don't have to answer of course - did your professional counselor ever meet with your husband?

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 11:35AM
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Yes a counselor did meet with him. We met together and separate.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 12:28PM
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But she's not loosing the weight for herself. She's really hoping and thinking it may help her relationship with her husband and that he will accept her if she's in better shape. Heck, a boob or nose job, or liposuction could even make her feel better about herself. And, yes, I had a friend in an abusive relationship who thought a boob job would help. It didn't; although I'm sure it attracted more men- LOL

Don't confuse the issue. It's not about getting her to find outlets or make improvements in her body, or to get her to feel more attracted to other men. She is perfectly fine and doesn't need any improvements! Telling her loosing weight may indirectly help her insecurities is really only feeding more into her insecurites that she needs to loose weight. It's really about her realizing that it is not about her, that it is all about HIM. Her insecurities are coming from how he is treating her. None of these self improvements are going to help her marriage or help her with insecurities because he will just go onto something else or will still find something wrong with her body.

I'm just wondering, if she were flat chested and thought a boob job would help her marriage, would you recommend she go ahead get one if for nothing else than to help her insecurities and be attracted to more men (when you fully know her insecurities are coming from her husband)?

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 12:41PM
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Good points Carla -- I agree with most of it, but I'm going to respectfully disagree with part as well.

Losing weight has only a TINY chance of improving her marriage, because her weight isn't the problem. Her HUSBAND is the problem, and he won't treat her decently no matter WHAT she does. He might toss out 1 or 2 tiny compliments - or maybe even more, because he might be happy that HIS WIFE looks better. (He deserves it, right?) But you're right that it won't help the marriage, and you're right that there's probably nothing at all wrong with Searching's weight.

Weight IS NOT the problem and losing weight is not the cure.

But rebuilding her shattered self-esteem IS part of the cure, and losing weight probably CAN help with that. Who among us doesn't feel better about themselves when they're at they're ideal weight? I know it was enormously empowering for me, and every time I walked past a full-length mirror (there was a huge wall-o-mirror I had to walk past on my way to work), the reflection I glimpsed was one of victory, not defeat. The reason I lost wieght was NOT because I didn't feel good about my previous weight (though actually, I didn't). Rather it was to 'prove' to my husband that it wouldn't make a whit of difference, and to make him all the more sorry when I finally left him. It was totally a "revenge diet", and very effective, psychologically.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 1:52PM
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Wow, I must thank all of you for your input. The low self-esteem is most definitely "my" problem. I have always had a problem with that. My weight even after baby at my age is not bad, I mostly need to do some toning but am NOT an excercise nut like my husband. It would help to do something though, it does feel good to be healthier. One thing I should let all of you in on, my husband had an alcohol problem and lost some things that were important to him and he stopped drinking completely and has not had a drink in over 3 years. So some of this excercise and must have big muscles and so forth could be that addictive personality he has. If it isn't drinking beer, it is obsessing over his body. I suppose that is better than drinking. It is just his lack of compassion he has for me and well, most things in life really. It is strange though. He treats almost total strangers nicer than he does me. I asked him one time why he treats other people so well and he told me that is because he expects more from me. What kind of crap is that??? We tried to "talk" last night because he is going off to some fire class, that's right ladies, he is a fireman, go figure! Anyway, I asked him about what is going on with our sex life and he basically blamed it on me not ever being happy with what he does and he feels like it is a chore now. He said that because I mentioned a few weeks ago that we never kiss anymore and there is no foreplay between us. So that was being too critical of him I guess. I thought I was doing a good thing by expressing my feelings and might get a kiss. Boy was I stupid. I just thought he could be a little more enthusiastic and less matter of fact. He can plug on to his computer regularly and look at porn until his eyes pop and God knows what else so I'm not thinking getting worked up over your wife is too much to ask. He also explained why men, not just him look at nude pictures and other women in general. He used this analogy, it is like a car show. If you have a 2001 mustang and there are shiny new 2007 and other newer models there he would want to look at them because they are "different" from what he has. Meaning I'm the 2001. Well, I must have been shiny and new looking at one point or he wouldn't of bought the 2001. Is it time to just give up? Granted, a lot of men think this awful way, it is just man, but mine carries it too far. I at least give him credit for being brutally honest.
I want to make sure I'm understanding all of the advice correctly? It is okay to "work" on myself, but do not expect things to get better in my marriage because he will just decide that whatever I have improved on needs more improvement or it will ultimately be something else wrong. I could go to counseling, the time factor with baby and job and possibly gym a couple of times a week it would be tough to fit it in and I'm not so sure that they could say anything more meaningful than most of you have said. I realize not to take this all and act solely on your advice, but I do "listen" and honestly hope to "get" something out of the advice you are giving. Even if it is just to know that I have someone out there rooting for me and not saying that I'm an idiot because I stay and "try" to fix things or stay with him. I'm obviously not ready to do that. If I didn't leave after he hurt me physically a few weeks ago, I'm not ready to do it. That also was my fault, I made him do it. I do KNOW better than that. I'm ashamed of myself for staying and overlooking his behavior. I was standing in his way and he wanted to leave and I wouldn't let him. Now he knows I have learned my lesson and won't stand in his way when he wants to leave the next time. Good dog. One of you said a while back that he has to have control, that is the BEST way to describe him. He must control it all. The conversations, he claims that I cannot communicate and HE has to pull us through things and it is ALL him. I look at him as he goes on and on like this with this look on my face that you would think most normal people could detect that I'm thinking you are full of s---, but he continues like he is just doing me this big favor by even talking about it. After his lecture last night he asked me what solutions I had because he said I never have any, I do, but he discredits them so therefore, I have none, anyway, I told him that we needed to take sex out of the equation and just concentrate on our communication and other things in our marriage. He acted ticked off and said he didn't think that was the solution, I almost felt that there was a glimmer somewhere that he actually "did" desire me, then late thought on it and it probably was just more of the control thing, that I couldn't be the one to turn that off, that was his right. I won't go on anymore, you got the picture. I just thought I was on to something when thinking I could exercise, work on me and get a non-concerned about him so much attitude and that would make him wake up a little. Now I'm thinking that was a silly idea.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 3:39PM
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It can only make your life better if you do the things that bring you joy as long as it's not hurting other people. If exercise is one of those things, then DO it! However, doing it to change someone else is a recipe for disaster. Plus, it's not doing it for you.

Maybe exercise isn't the thing. Maybe counseling is. Maybe getting a sitter so you can go for a walk is. Find your passion.

How does the porn make you feel? If it hurts you, did you tell him? So lots of guys look at it. You aren't married to "lots of guys" - you're married to him. Guess what, lots of guys don't look at it. If it hurts you, tell him. If getting sexual gratification outside of the relationship puts a negative effect on the relationship, then we have a problem.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 4:05PM
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It's not a silly idea -- Because with a normal person, that might have a shot. But sadly, you're not dealing with a normal person. You're just not.
And when you asked if "he will just decide that whatever I have improved on needs more improvement or it will ultimately be something else wrong." -- You nailed it on the head there. Trust me - if you were in any way "not measuring up" to his unrealistically high standards, he would have told you by now. Loud, often, hurtfully. The simple fact is that he is MAKING UP FLAWS for you to have! A common tactic for narcissists is to project their own perceived flaws on to you, so don't be surprised if he calls YOU controlling, withholding and demanding.

Why does he treat total strangers better than you? Because he can impress total strangers. They will walk away thinking "He's so Hot! I think he looked at me! or Wish I had HIM for a quick romp!" You - too late. No point wasting his energy on you.

Controlling you is key - totally. If you 'disobey' he will punish you - severely. Yet if you 'obey', he will disrespect you. He needs you to meet all of his endless needs with no gratitude or appreciation in return. And your own needs? Your own problem!

The car comparison? Trust me, the "subtle" comparison to you as the older, used model was totally intentional. If he meant you were a Mercedes and he was lookking at BMWs, he could have said that. He wanted you to feel inferior so you'd be happy to still have him. He may even think, somewhere in the twisted corners of his subconscious, that having that new Mustang might cure what ails him.

Empathy and compassion? - Never. He is actually incapable of understanding how you feel. Truly incapable of it except *perhaps* in an intellectual capacity. The fact is that for him, YOUR feelings have no value. The fact that you feel something is of no interest to him, and the very idea that he should sacrifice something of any importance to him because of your feelings is ludicrous. (When I asked my then-husband for a cell phone because I frequently worked late and walked to my car alone in the dark, I at first, used my feeling unsafe as my reason. That was my reason! He couldn't have cared less. But when I pointed out that if something happened to me, then who would care for our baby? -- Then he reluctantly agreed, so long as it was a cheap one. His OWN cell phone had all the bells and whistles, but was necessary for his business. Yeah, right.)

"I could go to counseling ....and I'm not so sure that they could say anything more meaningful than most of you have said. "

Here is where I disagree -- Over the years, my good friends had given me some pretty good insight, and I had come to realize that my Ex was was incapable of genuine love, that he blamed me for everything and thought all of our problems were my fault. But hearing an official "diagnosis" from a qualified expert with a clinical prognosis (not good) made all the difference in the world. She help me realize that he would *never* change because he couldn't admit he needed to, that *every* problem would always be 'my fault', that my feelings, thoughts and opinions would *never* matter to him because he was incapable of empathy, and that I would never be truly loved or valued because he just couldn't do it.

I saw how it was and how it had been -- She helped me see why it would stay that way and that I couldn't fix it. (He could - but wouldn't.) I saw why he did it and that it wasn't his fault (mother died when he was very young, absentee father, etc.) -- She helped me see that this didn't mean that it OK and that he did have the power of choice. I saw 'stand by your man', honor your committments, don't want to fail at marriage -- She helped me ask "Do you want to sink with the ship?" and "Is this how you want your child to grow up?"

Yes - you have to be ready.
Just understand also that the damage will continue until you stop it, and that your chances for finding future happiness are better today than they will be next month or next year.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 4:32PM
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Patricia Evans is probably the best author I have studied on verbal abuse. She may help you understand and come to terms with what is going on. You can do a search and find a lot more info on her and her books.

It scares me that you seem to scrug off his physical abuse. Although often the emotional and verbal abuse is worse, it's harder to pin point and understand as abusive. You really don't need to put up with his verbal or physical abuse.

Here's some easy reading, see if you can relate...

Here is a link that might be useful: Patricia Evans

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 5:28PM
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Hi -

This is a difficult concept for a person to wrap their mind around. If you are basically a "normal" person and married to, working for, living with a parent or sibling or have a neighbor who is one, it will rip you up as you try to negotiate some kind of peace with them.

People with NPD (narcissistic personality disorder) are at risk of stalking, drug/alcohol abuse, brief psychotic episodes, deep transcient depressive states when their "pride" is injured, criminal activity, promiscuous sex,(if somatic), no sex (if cerebral) etc. It depends upon their level of sophistication, financial resources, their profession (g_od forbid one is in law enforcement) etc. Their lifestyle is the medium by which they express themselves. Everything and everybody is a prop used to buoy up their self esteem.

People are no more than tools to them. When you get embroiled with one of them you soon find out that saying no or rejecting them in any way can be very dangerous (depending on how sick they are). They don't let go and not because they Love you. You are their possession. You have no autonomy. They wouldn't expect their TV set to start to change the channel on them. You are no different than the TV set. How dare you tell them how you feel! If the TV set were to stop working, they wouldn't feel bad about replacing it. It is an annoyance that would put them out and TV sets have no rights.

It is difficult to understand because there is a grain of truth in a NPD'S complaints and convoluted logic. However, the bottom line is that they are not humane.

They don't care about how a significant other feels. They don't care about how things are. They mostly only care about how things LOOK to the outside world. They only exist because of the reflection they see of themselves thru the eyes of other people. They can't exist without casting their reflection off of someone else.

If they are intelligent, they are often seen in positions of power and authority. They like to be in the limelight. They are our politicians, actors, CEO' other words, often times "big shots". It is difficult to assess that you ran across one until they drop the bomb on you. If you have ever been stalked, as I was, by one of them, (in a position of power) you would realize just how vulnerable we all are to their ploys. They are sadistic in an off handed sort of way. It is horrible enough to be married to or be closely related to one and according to statistic one out of one hundred people have this disorder and they are usually males. They are out there and you never know when you might run across one. You can become the target of a prolonged interview before they decide to strike.

I hope the OP can wrap her mind around what it is. Once you shed some light on one of them, the good news is that like a cocaroach, they run for cover. They will let go and move on to their next victim. Don't bother trying to get even either. They enjoy the attention. Remember, you are not dealing with a normal person. It would be the same as trying to reason with a "space alien". Hopefully, a person can escape before too much damge has been done.

All my best to anyone out there who is dealing with one!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 10:29PM
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All good points and helpful thank you each one. I am definitely down today, what else is new, this has pretty much become my everyday thing, to just feel lousy because I've failed again. Sweeby kind of comes almost too close with her insight, and even how her ex acted towards her and others. I did look up the Narcissistic Personality Disorder info. and surprised to find that a lot did not fit him, some traits did, but wasn't overwhelming conviction for me. Is there such a thing as " Just A Big Jerk" Syndrome? Seriously, not sure how to label him or his behavior other than just relentless and unbearable most of the time. He was out of town last night and he called this morning and we weren't on the phone 60 sec. before he made a snide comment about the trash not being taken to the end of our 8 acres of property. I mentioned that he was home the afternoon before he left town and could have been done then, he hung up on me. I of course, as I always do... chase (wish I could control that urge) finally got an answer and just hatefulness so I returned fire and needless to say, no contact now and it is a recipe for a miserable day and another evening. He left all of his uniforms for me to wash and have ready for him to go on duty early Sat. morning and he won't be in until very late this evening. I told him on the phone this morning that I was leaving his laundry in limbo and not finishing (still wet in dryer-turned it off in anger) he just very calm and casually says "no problem" hangs up and we haven't spoken since. How can he just be so calm??? Why can't I just let it alone, not care about his snide comments and move on, I just can't overlook the things he does because he comes down soooo hard on me about when or if I do that to him. He refuses to see that he does NOT live by his own rules. I will NEVER win. I know this so why can't I help myself???? So should I just leave laundry to sour and the heck with it, or do I be the "big" person and do it and just shut up about it and I will definitely receive to thanks for it (not that i look for that every time), I just don't want to be a game player (way too old for that and not good at it) like the name says, I just want PEACE. I really need a break from all of this mental anguish. It is taking a toll. Would it be immature or even MORE damaging to the marriage if I just refused to speak to him at all or answers his calls for a while? I just really think I'm at my breaking point and can't deal with any more of his crap!!!!!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 11:04AM
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Your husband didn't really sound Narcissic to me, but he does sound verbally and emotionally abusive. I am in no ways trying to push Patricia Evans on you but her insights into dealing with abuse may really help you. I posted a link for you a couple posts above. Did it not seem to fit? I know it seems like a catch all term and simple answer, but I think if you look into it a little further, you really may be surprised and educated. It's at least somewhere to start.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 11:18AM
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thanks carla35 i will check it out. I looked briefly and saw the verbal abuse but if it deals with mental also (which is mostly what he is all about) then it definitely could help.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 12:00PM
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Leave this guy now searching. do yourself a favor. It sounds bad. I am sorry, you deserve better

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 12:20PM
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Here's the 'official' diagnostic criteria for NPD:
A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

1 - has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
2 - is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
3 - believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
4 - requires excessive admiration
5 - has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
6 - is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
7 - lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
8 - is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
9 - shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

Whether NPD fits your husband or not, the Patrcia Evans section about verbal and emotional abuse certainly does. (Excellent link, Carla)

As to the laundry and garbage, it'll certainly be easier for you to just do them than to suffer the consequences of not doing them. But then, he'll abuse you if he feels like it, whether you do those chores or not. It might be safer just to go along with it until you're ready to make your stand.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 1:18PM
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Verbal/Emotional abuse IS mental abuse. It's NOT just about calling you a bad name or two or yelling ... way worse... it's about degrading you and trying to make you feel inferior and insecure with words and actions and even inactions. Many say it is the worst kind of abuse there is.

I really, really think you should look into verbal and emotional abuse. I think you would understand what is going on in your relationship.

Here's one of Patricia Evans books, but please read my link above. It should give you an understanding of what this kind of abuse really is.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Verbally Abusive Relationship

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 1:26PM
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I found something that may or may not be helpful for you.
Look into it. There may be something in there you find applicable to your situation.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 10:06PM
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Sorry I messed up when trying to attach the link in my last message!

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 10:39PM
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When you start thinking about all of this it is pure *abuse* period. It is a control issue from the get go...and we are all in it! It is this on going tug o'war and there are no winners (even tho the H thinks he is), and they don't get it that they are the real losers in the end. They have lost the love from the women they have married and bore children with. A reality check for them,as they/you can never get back that time wasted over silly issues and walls that they have put in place, and we (wives/lovers that we are) keep trying to knock the walls down, and they quickly keep laying the bricks putting them back up! It is a on going cycle that I wish would end peacefully, but probably won't. It is the avoidance dance that keeps going on, and nobody is leaving, because we are *trapped*, with kids, finances and stigma... *Be the good little wife and carry on* still is in effect, even though it is 2007! Bottom ain't easy! It comes down to: Take care of yourself, build your nest egg, get a job, friends, confidence and reinvent yourself (I am), and see what is around the corner...2008!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2007 at 10:50AM
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After researching "more" I have decided that H is a P.A. and also very much show displays the characteristics of NPD. Scary that he could be so screwed up!! We had a nice little conversation (because I forced it) about what was going on and how to change it. Basically in a nut shell it was "me" who just doesn't understand him which is what he wants to just accept that he is a man with no empathy-compassion etc.. emotions are useless and serve no purpose. The sex, well, simply coming to bed naked isn't enough, I MUST initiate more strongly and if I'm rejected it will be because I pissed him off earlier in the day and he just can't bring himself to perform. Funny though when I look through his private email (i know, shame on me) he has numerous pictures of women's private parts all over the place that he sends on to his other pig male friends and I suppose that is a turn on that takes no provocation or initiation. What the hell, he says that it is not from LACK OF DESIRE for me, then what is it. Am I truly supposed to prompt him into sex each time and make him "want" to. I can understand that a guy likes to be sought after once in awhile too, but every single time I must put on the full court press and HOPE that it works. If it doesn't, then I'm supposed to just know that it isn't because I'm undesirable. I swear I can't stand it anymore. I suggested earlier last week that when he told me sex was a chore with me (because I said he didn't kiss me or not any foreplay) too much for his ego I guess, so now sex with me is a chore so I guess now I (really before any of this also) must "do" more to earn it. Anyway, the point I was making was I told him that if it has become a chore to lets just take it out of the equation completely for a little while and focus on other aspects of our relationship and then maybe the sex thing would fall into place from there. He said that was a stupid idea, but whatever I can play my little game. He mentioned it in the conversation I forced him in the other morning too. He said that my little sex game he is waiting for me to want to end it and see how I react basically when it back-fires on me. So that is a real incentive to want to seduce the jerk!!! So the rest of the day goes by, we take the baby to the park, eat dinner and watch movies we rented until around 10:30 and things are okay (normal for us anyway) we go to bed and I have to force a good-night kiss from him. I know, why do I provoke any response when it is obvious he doesn't want to give me anything. So I will read these articles passed on and check in to reading some of the books suggested, because I so much want and need to for my own sanity and my children's to just not care anymore what happens with us anymore. I think I have decided though that I am not playing His game and I'm not going to be initiating anything between us, because I DON'T need it that badly. If he can look at porn pictures and pass them along to buddies then he obviously is interested in sex so he can chose to meet half way or he can choose to go elsewhere (which is a possiblity) then that just gives me my ticket out with a clear view of just who he is. In the meantime, good what nest egg I can concentrate on my family and job and to heck with him or his "feelings" or lack thereof!!!!!!!
So I'm going to say it.. My spouse doesn't care much about me....but I refuse to let it destroy me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 9:27AM
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There's something in your post that sounds better today...
Like you're beginning to internalize and accept that it really isn't your fault at all, and that talking to him about your feelings is kind of like talking to a wall. Only worse really, because at least the wall doesn't argue that you're wrong and that your feelings don't matter.

On the sex thing, you might as well forget about it, because for him, it's all about his own needs. That's why porn is so perfect -- it gives him the arousal and release he wants, expects nothing in return, doesn't judge or criticize his performance, doesn't act disappointed or "understanding" if he can't perform (oops - I meant 'doesn't feel like it'), and doesn't expect to be kissed and cuddled either before or after. It's your "person-hood" that's getting in the way, and do you really even want to have sex with him if he can't even appreciate you as a person?

Near the end of my marriage, I had a dream that has stuck vividly in my head every since. It was of two ordinary cans of vegetables sitting about a foot apart on my pantry shelf, and I realized that they were my then-husband and myself -- that our marriage had become two cans sitting on the same shelf. Not touching, not caring, not sharing anything but shelf space - that was the extent of our connection.

Don't know if it helps or not, but putting up your emotional walls can help dull the pain while you build your nest egg and focus on other areas.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 3:43PM
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thanks sweeby for the words of encouragement. I truly want to be strong and focusing on the other areas of my life which CAN be very fulfilling if I allow them to be and to stop making EVERYTHING in life about "him". I very much want to get to the place where I can have my walls up enough to where I can actually NOT care what he does or doesn't "feel" for me. I am a realist though, this will take some time and much effort and lots of discipline on my part to pull it off. I'm hoping that what may start out as well, sort of a game of I don't care see, and before I even realize it, I "really" won't. I liked the canned vegie analogy by the way.
I DO realize that not all is my fault. I will admit as we all must that it takes two to create some problems, but this just goes beyond that now. It is just so frustrating to me and I know you know exactly where I'm coming from that the person you truly do love and WANT to spend your life with can not EVER see that anything is EVER EVER their fault and just maybe they could do a little changing. My H flat out tells me he does not need to change, then I usually get this lecture (that he tells me I'm so lucky to be getting, because he does that because he sees "something" in me) wow, I'm not totally inept I guess. So glad that "he" sees "something" in me. If I would only do this or that this way because don't I know that it is really the correct way??? This is pretty much how he puts it. That he KNOWS deep down that I know he is right and HE is the one who pulls this relationship together, that I am unable to communicate. Of course at this point I am so flustered and my mouth is usually agape that he is right, I can't communicate at that point. How is it that a person can utter TOTAL BULLSH-- out of their mouths and somehow can put it in a manner that as crazy as this is going to sound, sane and reasonable. I come out of things sometimes believing that I am the one who is the idiot. Is that some sort of disorder or is that a gift??? It is amazing. I can't even begin to explain really what I mean, just that everytime he speaks he goes on in a manner that he can almost make it all look like he is totally in the right and justified for it all. He can even justify striking me. He can say it is wrong but in the next breath justify why it was my fault and I made this happen. I don't want to believe in him anymore. I guess that is what I'm really trying to say. So if I need to become a can of some sort of vegetable then so be it. I'm just afraid when he discovers I am a vegetable he will want to be something like corn and make me lima beans that isn't as desirable. This just seems to be how it goes whenever I start to act differently and I swear he senses when I've had enough and when I'm starting to feel stronger. Not playing a game, he sees through that, but "really" feeling stronger, that is when he can CRUSH me and does and the whole cycle begins again.
So if you have any advice or anyone on how to STAY STRONG AND FOCUSED when someone is ripping you apart, please pass it along!!!! As always, thanks for listening.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 4:23PM
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"I will admit as we all must that it takes two to create some problems,"
That's very big of you, but unnecessarily generous. Sometimes, a very serious problem can be caused by only one person. You may shoulder some bit of blame for most of (plural) your problems, but for goodness sake, don't let him off the hook for his share! A dear friend of mine used to call my Ex "Mr. Never-been-wrong" -- and to this date, he has never once apologized to me for anything or admitted that he ever made a mistake. He came close once last year, and caught me totally by surprise -- but he caught himself in time!

"the person you truly do love and WANT to spend your life with"
Important distinction: The person you truly love and want to spend you life with is the person you thought he was when you married him, not the person he truly is. He was acting a part then, playing a role, pretending -- and you fell in love with the person he appeared to be.

The "he sees something in me" is Soooo typical! When you first met him and he was so wonderful to you, didn't you feel like the luckiest woman in the world? Even though he was often critical of others, he put you on a pedestal and told you how special you were...

And the circular arguments with a grain of truth that somehow get twisted into your fault -- NPD classics! My Ex's favorite, on the rare occasions when I decided to stand up for myself and hold firm on some small issue, was to point out how ridiculously small the issue was, and why on earth was I being so silly and stubborn on such a trivial little issue!? I'm embarassed to say, it actually worked for a while, until, in a calm moment, I realized that if the issue was so ridiculously small to him, then he should be able to give in on it, right? Of course, when I told him that, he exploded into more circular logic that never resulted in his giving in and always resulted in me being wrong - somehow.

How to protect yourself? The only thing that worked for me was planning to throw him out, and then actually doing it. Revenge fantasies sustained me for the last 6 months -- and I'm just not that type of person, but the circumstances were just that way. Not violence, or cruelty, but just "he'll get his" and "he'll never actually believe I've done it!"

Finally realizing that just getting away was actually 'winning.'

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 9:39PM
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Hi searching4peace -

When I read yours posts, they come across to me as you being terribly frustrated. I think you are trying to understand "why" DH is this way and what you may or may not be doing that caused it or exacerbated it. Stop, cause you did nothing. At the present time, you are reacting to it which is feeding into his need to feed off of your responses. It makes him feel a vampire. If he is truly a pathological narcissist he is an emotional vampire. He needs to "stir the pot". As soon as things get a little dull, he feels unimportant again. He must play off on his primary source (significant others) to get an affect. This continues to affirm that he is a vastly important individual who can pull the strings of his puppets. I think that these freaks feel like nothings for the most part and the only way they can feel good is to control people. And, not many casual friends, co-workers, etc. will allow someone to screw with them so the NPD people do it to those closest to them. (cause it is easy)

You can also be controlled thru their money if they have it to use. Then they feel that you must worship them. If their money/power doesn't impress and control their targeted victim, then they use what they can to take things away from the person. If they can't get you to worship them by them using money, gifts, etc. to control you, then they do negative things to get your attention. In other words, if they can't gain control thru buying you then they will hurt you. If they can't be Loved they would just as well be Hated. Either way, it doesn't matter as long as they are at the center of attention. In their minds they must think that they are the hub of the universe.

Another poster mentioned her plight with an individual such as described and her lucky escape from his clutches. Some can escape in time. I don't know if children were involved.

However, I am aware that you have, I believe, a young child and are rather vulnerable and fragile at this time of your life. This I understand to be a very important variable as regards to how you might want to deal with your situation. Not so easy to make an exit when kids are involved and finances have to be taken into consideration. You are weak at this point and if DH is really a NPD and you were to attempt separation/divorce he would have the advantage if he is the bread winner.

I had a friend/acquaintance who was married to an attorney. I knew her and her DH since I was a teenager. They got married while he was in law school. He was Catholic and she, Protestant. After a while, he wanted to get married again in a Catholic service but they never took the required classes that precede the ceremony and they also didn't raise their children Catholic. As a result, he applied to Rome for an annulment because the children were not raised Catholic. He, as a result, claims the children are illegitimate. (what a nut!) After twenty years of marriage and three children, he decides that he made a mistake and the marriage wasn't blessed by G_d. He walked out the door and left her without a penny. He (being a lawyer) started proceedings against her. She did not have a job (although she was once a teacher). She could not afford a good divorce attorney. Needless to say, he ripped her apart. She does not understand why. He just wanted out and now dates lots and lots of women with no intention of settling down. She is finally back to teaching and has managed to make a life for herself. My opinion, she never saw it coming. He was a monster all along. That is why, being vulnerable to one of these NPD's requires a good understanding of what you may be up against. So, think good and hard and get help if necessary to prove that he is the "nut" before you jump into any form of retaliation. If he become aggressive, a suggestion might be to call the cops and get it on record. It depends on how crazy he is.

The reason I know a lot about this personality disorders is because I was stalked by one of them. This "professional" then attempted to coerce me into a relationship. I was so confused. I managed to escape from the NPD's clutches in time (Thank you G_d!). I never would have believed it from this person. I know I will never get closure from that person or a rational reason as to why. I had to let it go and not pursue revenge. They feed off of your pain and want to keep you thus for as long as they can. The only way to win is to cut them off. You can't recover the losses. It ain't worth it.

Often times naive people fall prey to pathological narcissists. The NPD showers the object/target of their desire with lots of attention. They open doors, pick your food for you from the menu when at a restaurant and make acute observations about your clothing and appearance (compliments) They suck you in and make peremptory demands which seem precocious at the time. An all or nothing attitude. They will want an exclusvie relationship and commitment quick into the relationship. Some people might be flattered by all the attention. As times goes on, though, their true colors start to show. The facade begins to break away and the not so nice parts of their personality/character begin to show. This is a "no no" cause remember, it is all how it looks and the facade cannot break or you will start to see the true them. So, they strike and devalue the significant other first before they become the object of ridicule or rejection. They must reject first! That is the crux of the matter. Actually, they disgust themselves. They do not like to feel so needy for the attention of others and as a result they disqualify themselves before you can do it to them. Yuck!

They are monsters.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 11:35PM
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It is amazing how many men out there have this NPD tendencies. In fact as I think of it every men i knew had something of it about them. It must be all about them and thei needs!
Searching, I wonder if you are better off leaving this marriage now. I am your age and life is not over. It must be tough with a baby, but it looks like everything is better than what you described.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 9:08AM
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yes, it would be impossible right now to leave. Not only do I have baby but have my two teenagers from previous marriage living with us. just adds to the stressful situation!!!! so can't leave when although should not really have to be responsible for the other two (over 18) as a mother, could not leave them hanging like that of course. I do not make hardly anything at my job so even putting money away a little at a time will take TIME! Not saying it is impossible down the road when I have my ducks in a row, just saying that will be a long while. So if my sanity holds out by then it will be a miracle. Plus, as sad as this is to admit..... I still hold out some sort of hope that things will change, of course that would be my way of thinking, i know.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 10:52AM
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"an emotional vampire"
Beautiful turn of phrase Tenderchichi -- and it perfectly expresses a narcissist. They only exist through the eyes and emotions of others, so absolute indifference is the worst you can do to him.

I'm guessing I am the poster Tenderchichi referred to who escaped -- and yes, I did have a young child.

My son was a little less than a year old when I first realized that just growing a thicker skin wasn't a viable strategy. Even though it had 'worked OK' for a while, it wasn't viable for the long term because it did nothing to protect my son. It wasn't just me being abused anymore (though honestly, at that time, I did not realize Ex's treatment had crossed the line into abuse) -- It was realizing that my son was going to grow up watching his father treat his mother the way he treated me that got through to me. It was realizing that my son would think this was normal, that he was likely to think his father was clever and witty and powerful and that his mother was pathetic, that he would probably think I deserved it and grow up to treat his wife the same way.

How could I possibly live with that?
How could I choose that kind of future for my child?

I didn't do it for me, because by that time, I was too badly damaged to realize I needed to...
But protecting my child brought out my inner "Momma Bear" and viewing things from my child's eyes gave me the determination to carry through.

If you do decide to leave him, I have some advice -- because narcissists have some profound weaknesses that you can use to assure a fair settlement. But I'll save that for another post.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 11:00AM
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Sweeby, can you either start a new post or list what you can do to help insure a fair settlement? I know someone that may really benefit from what you have to say. Thanks.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 12:16PM
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as awful as it sounds it is not going to get better. you can either grow thicker skin and let your child to grow watching bad treatment or you can leave now and struggle on your own...

You damage a child though letting him/her watch this kind of relationship.

My father, although not a bad man, was emotionally abusive to my mom. He mellowed down much with age but it did inevitable damage to me. Every man i have been with was one way or the other emotionally abusive to me. Those who weren't I chased away myself subcounciously looking for being emotionally abused again. You don't want this for your child, do you?

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 1:05PM
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It wasn't all that complicated Carla, so I'll list it here -- and I'm only suggesting it for someone married to a narcissist.

1. A narcissist will need to feel like he's won, so my best advice is don't even waste your time trying to "take him to the cleaners" or "make him pay," because to "win" in the traditional monetary sense, you would have to spend more time, money and emotional energy on lawyers than you could imagine. And since most narcissists are so good with their 'public faces,' you are unlikely to be able to convince the judge that they're awful unless you have aLOT of hard evidence. The differance between a "fair" and "you-win" settlement is not likely to be big enough money to change your life. So go for FAIR - not more. Go for half of the marital assets, your state's "standard" support arrangements, and a pleasant, quick, settlement. He will *need* to be able to walk away feeling like he's won. Remember that for you, walking away IS winning.

2. Since he will need to feel like he's won, find out what it is that will let him feel this way. Realize that it *might not* be anything you would even want. It'll probably be something visible - might be money, the house, the 'good' car, artwork, furnishings, even certain child custody provisions that preserve the appearance of him being a good dad. You'll need to know what he wants, and if it's something that's not particularly important to you, don't tip off your hand that you don't care about it. Again, it's not so much that he needs to win -- it's that he needs to be able to *feel* like he won. Let him "win" something visible, and make a loud and visible show of him winning-you losing. (You know how much he likes that.)

3. Deep down, most narcissists feel really lousy about themselves. At some level, they feel they are worthless frauds, and this is why they work so hard to buff up their public images. In my opinion, their greatest fear at this point in time is that you will somehow reveal to the world what a fake they really are. So don't do it! This will be very difficult because you will probably have years of pent-up anger at your abuser, and venting that anger is cathartic. But make a list, build a file, gather your evidence and ammunition -- anything that would embarass him to the world and invalidate the picture he tries to paint. (sexual performance issues are biggies, social embarassments, career slights) Then sit on it. Tell him that all you want is a FAIR settlement with no mudslinging public trial that allows you both to walk away with your DIGNITY, SELF-RESPECT and PRIVACY intact. Let him act like it's you who would be embarassed if all your secrets came tumbling out, because that's important to him. But realize that if you expose him to the world as a fraud (like the world cares!), you've blown your best weapon.

That's my two cents --

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 2:03PM
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I am more afraid to leave and have my daughter visit with her father without me. I have observed him with his son from previous relationship and if I were his mother, would not like it. At least with me around I feel like I can control some of the things he does around her. I don't mean to sound like he would hurt her, he just has messed up views when it comes to raising children also and would hate her being with him on his own and not knowing what in the world was happening. Hoping that through the next couple of years (hopefully not even that long) things WILL get better. Maybe just wishful thinking. If so, then I will cross that bridge when I come to it when she is at an age where she knows what is going on. My teenage daughter sees it and I'm ashamed, because she watched it with her dad somewhat, but I DID after 13 years of marriage leave for mainly the very reason--- did not want her to grow up thinking this behaviour was okay! Want better for all of my children.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 2:11PM
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Talk to your teens... If they've seen you abused before, and are now watching you be abused again -- they're being hurt more than you know! Ask them. Ask them about the way your husband treats you -- and listen to their answers. Admit to them that you may have lost your perspective, and that you'd value theirs.

As for your youngest -- If you stay, she will ONLY have a messed up family to learn from and never have a healthy role model. If you leave, she will still have a messed up family, but she may ALSO have a healthy one where she spends most of her time. That has been the case with my son, who's now 16. He's a young man any parent would be proud of, and his healthy experience growing up in my second marriage has given him a good foundation for dealing with his father's issues. His dad pulled some real doozies with him -- but DS has figured out that his dad has some problems and isn't the best parent, and he's choosing his own path.

I do understand why you'd be reluctant to have your daughter spend time with her father without you around -- But do you *really* think you can control what he does around her? Do you really think you can somehow manage it so that he will verbally abuse you only when she's not around to see it? Or that he will not insist that his own questionable judgement is better than yours just because you're around to protest? (How's it working so far?)

If he's truly got messed up views about kids and parenting - and I don't doubt it for a minute - then your better bet might be getting them documented in a way that will limit his future visitation. Maybe some nice home videos of him and his son? What about counseling? Maybe some discussions on child-rearing with some of your friends? Maybe your older children have seen things that concern them.

But if you think it's going to get better, you ARE deluding yourself.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 4:58PM
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searching4peace -

As sweeby mentioned, things (with him) are probably not going to change. What happens with this NPD's is that they kind of fizzle out in old age. Eventually, they do come to see all of the damage they have caused. Only because they are usually left all alone in the end. They manage to drive everyone away in their relentless need to always come out on top. Anyone that gets too close to one of them winds up hating them, running away, fighting back or cutting them off before they can get their hooks into them.

There is an ongoing arguments as to whether narcissist are made that way or born that way. Do narcissistic parents cause their offspring to grow up and be destined to become one. The professionals think that it is both. An interplay between nature and nurture. So, even if you are born with a temperment which may sway you into that direction, there is hope that the environment may have a mitigating effect. There are people who are raised up in the most dire of circumstances and don't have "personality disorders" and there are people who are raised in healthy homes who have unhealthy personalities. I think that "it is what the mind makes of things" and there is no way to predict the outcome as to a person's personality. People still do have a choice.

The best way to handle it is to do what is right for you and kids at the given time. If you or your circumstances change and jumping ship seems feasible, then at that time it might be the right thing to do.

You've got to look at the odds. Most people hold on, hoping that it will get better. Thinking the worst when it comes to change because they fear the unknown. You are being challenged by all the complications that come along with making such a big change and sometimes it is not in your best interests to do so. Timing is everything.

I hope you can figure out the best way to handle this situation without doing too much harm to yourself and kids.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 1:34AM
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I appreciate the feed-back. I know that you are right, however, not in any financial position to "do" anything at the moment. He is great at ignoring me and treating me as I don't exist so if I can "get through" this period and save, save, save then I can have a better chance of getting out. I also know that living on the streets is not good for your children either. That is just realism. I have a few friends, but they have families and could not take all of us in. I wouldn't ask that anyway, it would be a burden for an extended period of time. So, I put up with the fact that he treats every woman he meets sooo sweet and nice. I just have to tell myself that he thrives on the reaction of their flirting and "thinking" that he is this great catch and he just loves that and eggs them on. This is happening of course because he does not have to "give" anything other than superficial things to these women, they do not require "anything" as stressful as a wife or significant other does. So as the soccer moms (the divorced cute ones) have him mow their yard (has lawn service business) and drool over him and stand and talk endlessly to him and he gives them his total attention-What I wouldn't do for a little of it, I must tell myself as I watch to not be jealous, they simply do not KNOW him and if her were to enter into something real or as real as he can make something, he would ultimately treat them (any woman I think) the same way. I used to think that if I could act just like the woman with all of the qualities he says he looks for then it would be a no brainer, things would be peachy, but funny how I can just never quite "get there". Even a perfect (no such thing, perfect match in his eyes) were to enter his life, don't you think that he would eventually find fault with her too?? I believe this to be true now and hopefully can stop my silly crying-just makes me look awful and feel awful and FIND something for "me" baby or not, she will have to come along, but find something to occupy my heart mind and soul. That is a tall order, but this is what I need to do. I will talk to my older kids and tell them what my plans are, I am sure they will support whatever I do. Surprisingly all they have been through in life, they are great kids and very loving to me. When I start to "look" at things like that, I know that instead of feeling miserable because some man, just some man doesn't love and appreciate me-so what. I have so much more. If I could only live this way everyday!!!!!

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 9:36AM
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wow i can totally relate to you on so many levels my husband is now doing the sme when i confront him he walks away from the situation dosnt want to talk nicely about it just tells me that im wierd and that its all in my head and that im talking stupied the only thing i asked was to have communication back and i couldnt even get that im on the edge of break down i really am but then i read a couple of posts and found that all our stories are so similar to eachother and from now on im not going to let him get to me anymore i know my husaband dosnt care about me anymore but thats ok because

1) today is monday and im going to look at my kids and smile
2) im going to take them to the park this afternoon and watching them smile having fun makes my day even better
3)I think its now time for me too think of me from now on :))

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 8:59AM
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I am wondering if used2bsexy is still a member of this forum. It was started in 07'. I read the entire thread and learned so much from her and the other contributors!!! Are any of you still around????

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 1:57PM
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