Question regarding the NPD relationship

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Rocket Girl

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Question regarding the NPD relationship
« on: March 25, 2016, 03:28:25 PM »
Folks, maybe you can help me understand something.  I was involved with my xn/bpd for a little under a year before he tossed me to the curb. 

A characteristic of the narcissist is  idealization/devalue/discard.   So why do THEY stay in long term marriages?  I read of people being married 10-20-30 years.  That doesn't seem consistent with the pattern of the N.  Do they typically cheat during that time?

Observations/learnings?   Just wondering how my ex was in a 30 year marriage, which he claims was wonderful most of the time. She died and he has no friends, so I cant validate that.  I have a hard time believing it, but what made it last?

So, does the topsy turvy behavior come in spurts, are they calm and "normal" for periods, then the illness rears its head?   I know it's part co-dependence and or kids/financial reasons we stay with them, but why do they stay with us?

my ex was also bpd and ocd.  I hit the jackpot with that one.  I'm co-dependent so I just KNEW with love I could fix him.  Fortunately he discarded me before we married.
- Rocket Girl

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blackberry wine

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Re: Question regarding the NPD relationship
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2016, 03:42:42 PM »
If he firmly had her where he wanted her, (her with little or no power in the relationship) it would be easy. At least I think that's why mine lasted so long. In my case, the question is actually "why did I stay with him".

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Hopeful

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Re: Question regarding the NPD relationship
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2016, 04:39:45 PM »
I was only married to my uNPD husband for 5 years, so maybe I am not the best one to respond. But I was the one who left him. And I think that if I hadn't done that, we very well might have been miserably married for 30 or 40 years.

I think my uNPDwent through the whole idealization/devalue/discard cycle without actually divorcing me. He would "discard" me by completely negating my worth. Saying he wished he never married me, I do nothing for him, he's better off without me. Then he would completely ignore me and pretend I wasn't there for a few hours or a few days. Then he would start talking to me again as if nothing had happened, and the cycle would start over. I think he stayed because it was in his best interests to be married. He had a vision in his head of what a perfect life looks like, and it was essential to him that he portray that image to outsiders. And that image included having a wife. If he divorced me or left me, he'd be worried about looking like a pathetic, single loser to his colleagues and friends. He couldn't have that.

He used to give me pathetic little speeches starting "Some day, when you leave me...", and one day I turned it around on him, and said to him "Some day, when you leave me..." And he responded "I would never leave you. It took a long time to train you and I wouldn't want to have to start over." I looked at him shocked that he would say that, and he said "What? You know it's true. I had to train you how to deal with me."

So I think my husband didn't leave me because I was part if his "image"... part of his "mask." And he also didn't want to have to "start over" training a new person. Also, as long as I kept accepting his behavior, he was getting exactly what he wanted. He had me spinning like a top, jumping when he said jump, and catering to his every need. So what motivation did he have to leave? As far as I know he didn't cheat on me. But he lied about a whole lot of things, so I wouldn't put it past him.
"The first step toward getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are."

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Rocket Girl

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Re: Question regarding the NPD relationship
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2016, 06:24:10 PM »
Thank you both.  Hopeful, how very painful. How are you doing now?  5 years of that is extremely painful.

Having trained you makes a lot of sense.  It must be exhausting for them to train someone to put up with their bullsh**.  No wonder they don't want to leave. We are a lot of work.

Also the comment about how he looks to the outside world is key to the narc.  To my ex, I was never skinny enough, needed to dye my hair, dress in colorful wild clothes (although that has never been me), etc.  I bugged the hell out of him if I spoke too loud, or heaven forbid, one time I bent over and my jeans slipped a little low.  I really got chewed out for that one.   He definitely let me know I was never good enough for him.  Like he threw me a bone by getting involved with me.  He told me once that he did consider himself God's Gift to Women. 

I find it painful to face my friends and family.  To move on and be happy means I have accepted the fact I have failed in this relationship.  I know that is messed up, but I think it may be true.  The reality is they would like nothing more than for me to laugh again and care again.  My house is run down as is my appearance.   The ex is just fine.  involved with a new woman.   So, I continue with therapy and hope the day will come I truly don't care anymore about him.
- Rocket Girl

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unnamed

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Re: Question regarding the NPD relationship
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2016, 08:12:20 PM »
For me personally, I think it’s all about living by example.  I’m adopted…and I was raised by an abusive adoptive mother, and enabling [weekend alcoholic] adoptive father.  They were 40 years old and unhappily married, when they brought me into their lives.  NM was - and still is - controlling/demanding, never hugged me, praised me, or said she loved me.  She discouraged me, berated and belittled me, punished me heavy-handedly, made me feel overly fearful, obligated and guilty.  And ENdad just let her do her own thing, while he stayed out of her way as much as possible.

Dysfunction was normal to me.

Even though exH often upset-hurt me, I was used to feeling “worthless.”  Just 2 months after we exchanged vows, he cheated on me.  Deep down, I was convinced that it had to be my fault.  Why else would my new husband sleep with another girl?  Because I had almost no self esteem or confidence, I stayed with exH and put up with more of the same, for 20+ years. 

During that time, we had 2 children [who I love more than anything].  ExH’s behaviour went from bad to worse, he became more self-centered, more verbally, mentally and sometimes physically abusive.  He did what he wanted, when he wanted, with who he wanted.  I poured my heart and soul into being the best mother I could be [nothing like NM], but at the same time, I felt hopelessly stuck.  My world was small and dark.  I’d completely lost myself…but in all honesty…I never really knew who I was to begin with.

Having grown up with such a distorted view of myself [and other's], I was an easy target to someone like exH - who is almost a male version of NM.  I’d never seen a happy-healthy-loving relationship, so I had no idea what one looked like.

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RunningFree

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Re: Question regarding the NPD relationship
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2016, 01:05:00 AM »
Some literature splits narcissism into 2 categories - overt and covert.  For overt, think about the Trumps of the world and the idealize/devalue/discard cycle.  For the covert narcissist, rather than pumping themselves up they live in fantasy, pretending they have perfect lives and perfect marriages.  I think this is where the long-term marriages come from.  Especially when they partner with someone like me with a completely messed up FOO and codependency.  For 20 years I was numbly going along with her fantasy, working towards her goals and ideals.  As I started to become aware of the FOG, I remember the feeling that I was merely one of her appendages.  That I didn't have any other reason to be other than supporting her needs.  Even now, after trying for 5 years to make her understand this, the key issue she and I have is her inability to accept that I might have a different view of reality than she does.  And she maintains that idea that not only did/do we have the perfect marriage, but that I'm completely at fault for giving up and running away and not trying anymore.  There's no acknowledgement that she contributed to any of our problems.
When going through Hell, keep going.

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irkmandu

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Re: Question regarding the NPD relationship
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2016, 02:34:39 AM »
I agree with RunningFree.  My wife's manipulation was so covert that I spent 13 years in the FOG believing that she would love me more if I were a better person.  All the while she was putting on a mask of being happy.  She only showed her true self to me, and she really only raged when I slipped up and showed my imperfections to her.  I really messed up bad in the last year, and that's when the mask really came off and everyone could see.
“Rings and other jewels are not gifts, but apologies for gifts. The only gift is a portion of thyself.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

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divorcedfromnpd

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Re: Question regarding the NPD relationship
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2016, 02:47:06 AM »
The long term marriages are likely a covert NPD paired with a codependent or care taking personality. That would describe my 17 year marriage.


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Zaghtoura82

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Re: Question regarding the NPD relationship
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2016, 04:11:45 AM »
My soon to be ex husband is a narcissist (7 years marriage but only 4 where his narcissistic behaviors surfaced) and I am pretty sure his dad is too. His parents are married for almost 40 years, my mother in law is pretty much like a maid to her husband, her life is fully dedicated to please him, cooking, cleaning and staying home, he has zero empathy for her, they have been living in separate rooms for 15 years. Whilst she has been pretending they are having a great marriage, when she knew about our divorce, she stated: "you should be happy that you have the power and will to live your life without depending on him, only God knows how many times I wanted to leave but I was a mother of 4 kids and jobless". He will definitely tell you he was having a great marriage, that is the least to expect, he will also pretend that he is happy with his life without you, this is called hoovering, I was briefed recently about this term, if you look at my previous posts, you will find a link from a member which can be useful.

I was unhappy in my marriage and my husband left 3 times and came back begging to give him another chance, now I know it is because i was feeding his narcissism and he missed that. Since I moved on, he is constantly trying to convince me that after the separation he is happy in his life and he knows what he wants and he will focus on fixing his mistakes (he acknowledges he has abused me), a typical hoovering technique to mess my mind and make me feel guilty that I didn't know how to treat him.

I thank my God every day that he took the decision and I found this website. Nothing will convince me now to go back to him. You should also be happy he made the decision on your behalf, otherwise you could have been stuck with him...

Please focus on you and not on what he says or do  :-*

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RiverOfGrace

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Re: Question regarding the NPD relationship
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2016, 05:45:59 AM »
Im so so thankful I found this website. This thread has been so interesting to read. I dont know if my stbxh has NPD or just passive-aggressive PD but I have a feeling he has a combination of several PD's (lol, he's still living here, he's asleep on the couch right now, and I just heard him say 'shut up' in his sleep :o ). I see SO many things in common in this thread with the things my stbxH/uPD would say or do. Ive been reading thru several threads this morning so I might get a few things mixed up from the various threads but Ill try to stay on topic.

My stbx and I have been married for 17 years. We have 3 beautiful teenage children together. His main issue is that he needs to be seen to have the perfect life. Ive seen him appear to struggle with the knowledge that he is doing/saying something wrong and with what he really wants to do or what he really feels. Its like he's mirrored me over the years (Im learning all these new terms here) and knows the right way to respond but, its like he cant maintain the facade anymore. My stbxh and I started out when he was heavily dependant on alcohol and he ended up in a mental ward then alcohol rehab after 2(give or take) years of marriage. I thought he was going to get better. I thought the alcohol was the problem. Then I discovered he smoked weed, I still had hope. I was so dependant on him, I was from the states, he was british and we lived in England (still do) and I had 3 babies, I was so scared and I had no one else. All throughout the duration of our marriage, he'd basically be a bastard, with neglect and only moments of fained remourse in between. He'd cheated on me and for weeks after even before I found out, he seemed to feel genuine regret and remourse. So I think he's capable of feeling, he owns up to these big things, when caught. He told me that he had an affair. The guilt weighed so heavily on him and at that time he really did seem to feel something like guilt. I look back now and I think he saw something in me that he's not familiar with. Emotions. I think he studied me, he was curious as to how it felt to feel. I think in his case, he knows there is something wrong with him, that he wrestles with being a dick. He doesnt want to be an asshole but he also cant help it ...but he also doesnt want to be seen to be an asshole. I think part of it is the facade he wants to keep, but I do think that part of it is that he knows something is wrong with him. I dont hold out hope that he'll change, or if he does that it will save our relationship. He's done a little bit of changing. He's managed to stay off drugs for 3 years now.

There are just so many things you guys have said in this thread that hits so many nails square on with my stbx too.

Quote
Since I moved on, he is constantly trying to convince me that after the separation he is happy in his life and he knows what he wants and he will focus on fixing his mistakes (he acknowledges he has abused me), a typical hoovering technique to mess my mind and make me feel guilty that I didn't know how to treat him.

When I read stuff like that it makes me question what I said about my stbx, those are my observations of him. Then I read something like this and it makes me question he has a sincere bone in his body. If he were to read this or be confronted with this he'd feel indignant, aghast that I would suggest he doesnt feel anything really.

So back to the title of the thread. He stayed this long in the relationship bc he believed it was what he was supposed to do. We're both christians (well I am, he professes to be, but ... idk) and we've been on the brink of seperation many times before now. Each time he'd show remorse, I dont know if he ever sincerely apologised, or said the words sorry without any 'buts' thrown in there... it doesnt matter the point is that he never wanted to seperate when actually faced with it. He'd then seem to try to change for a short while. He was aggressive, and sneaky. He would be very nasty to the kids but he didnt want me to find out. He did NOT want me to leave him. In fact, in a drunken state, he confided in my son that he's very fearful that Im going to leave him. I got to the end of my rope recently with him and on two occassions he said something to me that made me respond with veiled threats that I wanted out. One time we were arguing about me always defending our son. He belittled me, insulted me and then told me to shut up. I said 'Tell me to shut up one more time and you've had it... you'll be sorry'. He said 'Shut... up'... stormed off and said 'Whatever...' but turned right back around and said 'Wait! What do you mean by that!?' This happened on two occassions. The first time I meant that Ive had enough and I wanted to leave, but I told him that they were just words said in anger. The second time I told him to leave me alone. He's been scared Id leave him this whole time. Now its happening, he seems to have accepted his fate. For him, being in this marriage, with our beautiful children, idk, it did something for his ego. If I didnt leave him, he'd have stayed forever but continued to put no effort into the relationship.

Im very early in the stages of seperation and even understanding PDs, so Im typing this all out mostly to help myself. I dont even know if my stbx has NPD, but there are similarities that I see here.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2016, 05:51:11 AM by RiverOfGrace »

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waking up

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Re: Question regarding the NPD relationship
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2016, 06:11:09 AM »
Rocket girl
Iwas with my H for close to 30 years. Started dating when we were 21/22 and I knew him since we were in jr. high.

I agree with Running free that my H would be more of a covert N and since I grew up with an alcoholic and abusive M I was use to that type of treatment.

I am the one who wants to end the marriage. My H is still trying to hoover me back in. Has he cheated? Probably but he strongly denies it. However I have had enough strange things happen throughout the years that makes me highly suspicious, including finding hair that was clearly not mine in my hairbrush...not there in the morning but there after work. I was so under the impression that he would never cheat that I found a  way to dismiss this evidence.
This should have been a red flag that perhaps all was not normal with him:
My husbands ex girlfriend that he was living with just before he and I began dating left him without as much as a good bye. He came home and found that she had packed her bags and moved out without telling him. Smart girl.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2016, 06:17:30 AM by waking up »

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Sunny

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Re: Question regarding the NPD relationship
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2016, 09:52:03 PM »
Married 19 years to dxN/OCPDstbexh. Why for him??
--All "our" friends are actually people I maintain meaningful r/s with; he never so much as has lunch or a beer with anyone
--Him: unemployed 6 years; Me: worked continuously (granted often 1/2 time, and I'll include grueling grad degree) since 1986
--HATES to be thought of as a "failure" (perfectionism, may pertain more to OCPD)
--DRUMROLL PLEASE!!! He now has to "give up half his money"!!! And as a corollary, he didn't want to ever "live in an apartment", which is probably why he finally agreed to take turns with DD in our family home.
Many more reasons I'm sure...his parents frown on divorce...he loves to show off in front of my FOO (his latest "projects"; they have given him TONS of narc supply the last 19 years...they fawn over his hobbies and look bewildered that I am bothered by his refusal to work, as we have substantiL savings)...
--Oh yes, and our 2 teens think he is pretty cool and he'd have lost THEIR N supply 50% of the time!!!

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Rocket Girl

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Re: Question regarding the NPD relationship
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2016, 09:17:32 PM »
Thank you to everyone that posted.  Thank you for your support as well.  It does take a village, and those damn PD's better prepare themselves for a revolt!  Enuf of the bullying.  Freak shows.
- Rocket Girl

I will take my broken heart any day over his lack of one.

You don't have to be hit to be hurt.

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blackberry wine

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Re: Question regarding the NPD relationship
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2016, 07:31:11 PM »
Rocket girl
Iwas with my H for close to 30 years. Started dating when we were 21/22 and I knew him since we were in jr. high.

I agree with Running free that my H would be more of a covert N and since I grew up with an alcoholic and abusive M I was use to that type of treatment.

I am the one who wants to end the marriage. My H is still trying to hoover me back in. Has he cheated? Probably but he strongly denies it. However I have had enough strange things happen throughout the years that makes me highly suspicious, including finding hair that was clearly not mine in my hairbrush...not there in the morning but there after work. I was so under the impression that he would never cheat that I found a  way to dismiss this evidence.
This should have been a red flag that perhaps all was not normal with him:
My husbands ex girlfriend that he was living with just before he and I began dating left him without as much as a good bye. He came home and found that she had packed her bags and moved out without telling him. Smart girl.


This whole thread has so many comments which ring true for me. This comment in particular echoes my current thinking about their ability to lie. The ability to deny, to lie without so much as of a trace of it on his face, astounds me. It's made me realise I can't trust what he says about anything.

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Rocket Girl

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Re: Question regarding the NPD relationship
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2016, 08:13:17 PM »
Thanks to all of you. I know this is painful to discuss.  I was really confused how my ex n/bpd could have a marriage for 30 years, then only tolerate me for 6 months.  It helps me understand she probably was not happy a lot of the time.  I'm not sure either one of them had many friends.  I know he doesn't.

I pushed a lot of his buttons because I am so compassionate and family/friend oriented.  He just couldn't take that much love around him.  It freaked him out.  Whatever.  Ain't the right guy for me.  I want to love and be loved.  And not that fake love they throw out there.
- Rocket Girl

I will take my broken heart any day over his lack of one.

You don't have to be hit to be hurt.

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HopefulOne44

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Re: Question regarding the NPD relationship
« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2016, 03:33:38 AM »
Greetings, Rocket Girl... I have wondered about this myself and recently discovering 'covert' narcissism seemed to explain a lot to me.

I'm almost done reading the comments posted thusfar and think I sincerely can relate to nearly every single poster here....

Runningfree, I think you're SPOT ON!  I'm in a marriage dynamic just like you describe.

Almost 18 years together & nearly 14 years married, with two young children (we started late 😊).  Divorce brought up 5 times with 4 instances in last year and a half and the latest one 10 months ago, which resulted in a 1 week separation & subsequent hoover.

I didn't realize what I was dealing with until about 3 years ago and have since then been working my way Out of the FOG. 

RiverOfGrace, I too have a dry alcoholic recently ex-weed-smoking H who admits he's a 'dick', but at times genuinely seems to not want to be mean (yet justifies his behavior) and is (I feel) very attatched to the idea of marriage for what it says about HIM. 

Let me just stop here and say I could have written your entire post!

So, as Runningfree and others have discussed, covert narcissism with caretaking is what seems to drive those marriages that last a long time and it certainly seems to be the case with mine.

I feel my uCovN/BPDh would definitely continue forever in this marriage if I weren't going to be filing for divorce (happening in near future)... Even tho he gets irritated, upset, offended, angry, jealous, defensive and frustrated All The Time, he says he doesn't want a divorce!

I ask him:  "How can you live with/love someone who makes you feel this way (above) more often than not??"

And his answer is:  "I don't know...All I do know is that I love you..I have from the moment I saw you, and I always will."

He certainly *didn't* act like he loved me during the initial phase of our separation back in June. 

Said he was taking the car and to find a way to get to work and kids to school (even tho he had govt subsidized bus pass to get to work himself) saying it was to punish me -  the kids suffering was 'incidental'. 

Said for me to give 30 days notice to our landlord because he wasn't going to sleep on his dad's couch while kids and I are living it up here in our duplex. 

Said "Crap, there goes half my retirement." (we're in a Community Property state).

I tell you, I was feelin' the love.......Not.

Of course I should have known that he was HOOVERING me hours later when he changed his tune and was suddenly thoughtful and gracious and offering to honor my request to separate, and allow us to stay in the duplex, etc...etc...  Sigh..........

The only reason he even thought to be kind was Not because he was thinking of me or the kids....It was because he still had HOPE that he could work his way back home... That I would change my mind.

So here we are nearly a year later with some of the more obvious things on the back burner (rages, weed, and overt abuse), but we have plenty of those incidents and circumstances where he is irritated, moody, depressed  & passive aggressive.  Also, because he can't vent like he used to (because if he does, he knows he's done for this time), there is lots of general tension. 

And..... There are holidays where you the Non, are left having to explain to your kids why Daddy isn't coloring Easter eggs with them, and after putting them to bed, find yourself up til after midnite hiding eggs and putting together baskets!

Whew - Sorry..A bit of a vent there!

Anyway .. My thoughts are with you all... I can soooo relate!!

((((Hugs For Everyone!!))))))

💜 H144 🌼

P.S.  Did I mention that Christmas went similarly as well?? 😒
« Last Edit: March 31, 2016, 03:54:13 AM by HopefulOne44 »

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Rocket Girl

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Re: Question regarding the NPD relationship
« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2016, 03:42:45 PM »
Again, thank you all.  I knew why we stayed, but after dealing with my "full of himself, God's Gift to Women" ex n/bpd, I couldn't figure out why they stayed with losers like us.  (I'm being sarcastic, none of us are losers!)

so here's what I have come up with.

1.  They want the illusion of the perfect home life.  Wife, kids, nice house.
2.  They have trained us to where we are manageable.  By training, I mean bullied, put down,   took away self esteem, preyed on our commitment to marriage and family.
3.  They sponge off us to support their drug and/or alcohol usage.
4.   They cheat but think we won't leave them.

The one that struck the chord the most with me was the training comment.  It just rang so true. 

They mold us, deceive us, frame us into the little box they want us in.  If we step out, we are punished.  If we stay in, there may be peace in the house.  Complying is a small price to pay for peace, as we've been taught.
- Rocket Girl

I will take my broken heart any day over his lack of one.

You don't have to be hit to be hurt.