How Long Did It Take?

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musttryharder

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Re: How Long Did It Take?
« Reply #20 on: January 27, 2019, 03:07:33 PM »
For me it seemed like 10+ years of "normal" at first (and then 18months of what I'm reasonably convinced is abuse). It's only when I thought long and hard about the preceding years that I noticed some subtle clues, and behavior in her relationships with others. I think that we had mostly wanted the same things up until then, and it was when I stood my ground that things really began to get ugly, but then again I'm not even sure that was the trigger.
When I get confused from trying to diagnose and understand, I try to remember that it's as simple as this - they know it's abuse and choose not to stop, and in my mind that's unforgivable.

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Cascade

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Re: How Long Did It Take?
« Reply #21 on: January 31, 2019, 03:45:11 AM »
My situation was more like yours. The first ten years of our marriage was pretty good, though now I see that there were red flags that even went back to when we were dating. I thought the ups and downs we had were normal, but now I know that they were never normal.

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Summer Sun

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Re: How Long Did It Take?
« Reply #22 on: January 31, 2019, 10:10:02 AM »
Oh my.  With uNPDx, there were a couple red flags.  We lived in different counties, about a three hour commute so initially it was a weekend affair.  He kept pressuring me to move in with him, which meant giving up my job.  I finally gave in.  Bang.  The first night.  I. Knew. I. made. A. big. Mistake. But I had given up my job and flat. I had moved my possessions. I didnít know anyone in this new city, new county. Going back wasnít an option.  Isolated. Vulnerable.  I endured five yeArs of abuse before I left.

Wow.  I read the link about 5 ways of devaluing that NoVoice provided.  This described my Unpdb perfectly.  Right down to hoovering a predecessor.  The abuse was all so covert and subtle and occurred over a period of ten years.  And oh, so very painful at the end. 

And so, we learn.  I choose, like Tommom to believe there is purpose in the pain.  What others intended for harm, God intends for good.  It is just difficult to see the manifestation of the good and directions of growth without hindsight. 

Summer Sun
"The opposite of Love is not Hate, it's Indifference" - Elie Wiesel

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StayWithMe

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Re: How Long Did It Take?
« Reply #23 on: January 31, 2019, 11:46:21 AM »
Quote
Reading as much as I can about Passive-Aggressive Behaviour has helped me detect very subtle forms of abuse I was not aware of.
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/what-mentally-strong-people-dont-do/201509/9-things-passive-aggressive-people-do

This article annoyed because it written in a tone that, perhaps, PA people either don't know what they're doing or that they are emotionally weaker than we are and we need to help them.

I spent -- and wasted -- most of my life assuming that others needed the benefit of the doubt.  It's a waste of time.

I know now that people who "forget" or pretend to be underskilled at something are people that I should avoid.  And I am glad to know that those tactics can work against them.

I was once in a plodding relationship.  I got the feeling that he was sort of stalkerish so I wanted him to end the relationship, not me.  But then he said something to me that was so offensive (of a sexual nature, no less) and I told him to GTFO. 

His response?  "I didn't know what I said was offensive."  He was all of 49 when he said it.  I told him that this was one of the many reasons that we shouldn't be together.  We did not agree on a lot and I had neither the time nor inclination to teach him.

Let him take that PA behavior elsewhere.

these days I am much quicker at dealing with PA behavior.  I will sooner say "maybe this does not interest you when someone is doing that "play crazy" routine.  When I can, I go elsewhere.  When I can't, I try to put as much in writing as possible and alert third parties.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2019, 11:47:57 AM by StayWithMe »

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NoVoice357

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Re: How Long Did It Take?
« Reply #24 on: January 31, 2019, 02:06:31 PM »
Hello StayWithMe,

Quote
Reading as much as I can about Passive-Aggressive Behaviour has helped me detect very subtle forms of abuse I was not aware of.
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/what-mentally-strong-people-dont-do/201509/9-things-passive-aggressive-people-do

This article annoyed because it written in a tone that, perhaps, PA people either don't know what they're doing or that they are emotionally weaker than we are and we need to help them.

I am sorry you misunderstood the article. Nowhere does it say what you mentioned in your post.

This article clearly says that passive-aggressive people often go undetected because they disguise their seething hostility with a pleasant demeanor. It also says that if we recognize signs of a passive-aggressive people, we should be willing to hold that person accountable because allowing them to use this manipulation as if nothing happened only reinforces their behaviour.

Passive-aggressive people are well-aware of what they are doing. This is why their behaviour is called passive-aggression.

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StayWithMe

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Re: How Long Did It Take?
« Reply #25 on: January 31, 2019, 08:49:52 PM »
Hello StayWithMe,

Quote
Reading as much as I can about Passive-Aggressive Behaviour has helped me detect very subtle forms of abuse I was not aware of.
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/what-mentally-strong-people-dont-do/201509/9-things-passive-aggressive-people-do

This article annoyed because it written in a tone that, perhaps, PA people either don't know what they're doing or that they are emotionally weaker than we are and we need to help them.

I am sorry you misunderstood the article. Nowhere does it say what you mentioned in your post.

This article clearly says that passive-aggressive people often go undetected because they disguise their seething hostility with a pleasant demeanor. It also says that if we recognize signs of a passive-aggressive people, we should be willing to hold that person accountable because allowing them to use this manipulation as if nothing happened only reinforces their behaviour.

Passive-aggressive people are well-aware of what they are doing. This is why their behaviour is called passive-aggression.

No, you're right.  It didn't.  But here are some lines that triggered me:

1. Passive-aggressive people don't believe they have much control over the events in their lives. Maybe some do, but i don't believe all of them do.  My mother and exH are master passive- aggressors.  It's just another tool in their tool kit. 

2. Passive-aggressive people struggle to ask for what they want, and resort to manipulative tactics to get their needs met.   I don't beleive this in all cases.  If they are PA with everybody, I might agree then.

3. Passive-aggressive people don't believe they have much control over the events in their lives.  See above.

PA is just another tool in the manipulation toolkit.  I can see the smirk / wry smile when my mother engages in it.  Her selective sight, memory and hearing.  I have noticed though that more often  now instead of saying "she doesn't rmember haivng said something" she has become more adamant about saying "she never did say that."  Perhaps this a nod to the fact that you can only play PA with people for so long. 

In the long run, people don't want a reputation for being unreliable because then no one will want "to do business with them."

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treesgrowslowly

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Re: How Long Did It Take?
« Reply #26 on: February 08, 2019, 11:26:51 AM »
Staywithme I agree with you, when the passive agressive person is accomidating with some and aggressive with others it seems obvious to me that they are basically a manipulating person I need to stay away from.

I dont know about you guys but I can see a real difference between self-help articles written by people who've been the target of PD abuse and those who have not. The former may have some helpful insights at times but targets really get it when it comes to PDs. After being targeted, the reality of what PD abuse does is something I can't ever unsee. Innocence is gone. ...the trick of it now is to replace the lost innocence with insight and self-love.

This is a super helpful thread. I'm grateful for all who posted here.

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Sullenlady

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Re: How Long Did It Take?
« Reply #27 on: February 08, 2019, 02:16:21 PM »
In my case it took a year. On our wedding night to notice something wasn't quite right. We had our reception and he disappeared from the group without a word , we figured he went to get a drink, few minutes later an angry message bc I was with our friends instead of with my new husband like I should be. Looking at it now,  he was setting the stage to escalate the power, control and abuse right after he married me.

Its only ramped up from there,  now I can't even go to work without constant texts wanting attention or raging at me for ignoring him while I'm at work. Stalking my work parking lot etc.

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Spygirl

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Re: How Long Did It Take?
« Reply #28 on: February 11, 2019, 02:43:52 AM »
Looking back,

I started being conditioned during the engagement. I was sooo love bombed i wrote all the antics off as pre wedding fears. My stbx even called off the wedding  5 months before, said " you'll learn all my secrets". I was devastated.  He showed up at my door the next day with the ring i had given back, and begged forgivness on his knees. I accepted him back.

The next significant episode was the wedding day itself. After the ceremony, we were getting ready for photos and he whispered in my ear " were you suprised i showed up?". I was shocked, and said nothing, but a sheepish grin.

2 weeks later he says " i get mad sometimes, but i will never hit you" out of the blue. I was confused. What was that about?

What i am getting at is that all the flags were there, and yet i persisted, because after these episodes and many, more violent ones, i was gifted the man i was dating for a period again. That man was perfect. The man i was in love with. He validated me, complimented me, loved me. Until the next episode. And so it went. It went until i had so much fear of his rage that my whole existence rotated around how to placate him so i was praised, instead of verbally abused. Even if it meant that i had no voice in anything he did. So he walked all over me, knowing i would say and do nothing. He had complete control.

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Whiteheron

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Re: How Long Did It Take?
« Reply #29 on: February 11, 2019, 09:07:29 AM »
What i am getting at is that all the flags were there, and yet i persisted

 :yeahthat:
This line struck me this am...I ignored all of the red flags because they didn't match up with who I thought he was. I just passed them off as a weird 'quirk'. They were all there, and became more frequent as time went on, but I buried my head in the sand because it didn't make any sense. (cognitive dissonance??)
You can't destroy me if I don't care.

Being able to survive it doesn't mean it was ever ok.

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Spygirl

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Re: How Long Did It Take?
« Reply #30 on: February 11, 2019, 12:06:47 PM »
Whitheron,

I think we have dissonance as time goes on, as a coping mechanissm. I certainly already had it because of my narc mom.
In my situation, i was SO in love, wanted SO much to excuse the "quirks" because the good part was so good. I wanted to keep getting the good part.  Its been such a complicated journey to understand myself, why i did things. I get it now. I honestly have a very warped idea of what love is, and how it  is expressed. I am only now learning what normal is. Ive been doing it wrong. I didnt know better. It makes me sad. My life is half over. At this point i dont know if i could ever trust enough to be involved with anyone again.

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StayWithMe

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Re: How Long Did It Take?
« Reply #31 on: February 11, 2019, 02:43:57 PM »
Staywithme I agree with you, when the passive agressive person is accomidating with some and aggressive with others it seems obvious to me that they are basically a manipulating person I need to stay away from.

This is a super helpful thread. I'm grateful for all who posted here.

But also, we have to stop giving people the benefit of the doubt.  Those who are intent upon abusing us in whatever personality quirk they employ, they are already miles ahead of us first with their intent and then with the methods and incidences that they use. 

And in fact, some will bait you.  As one pundit on TV said, it takes a whole lot of work for coincidences to occur.

We need to think of ways to protect ourselves and learn not to be cowed by those who call us rude.

For example, I have taught myself when being asked a question that I am not sure is appropriate.  I will very nicely ask "Why do you ask?"  Some people have told me that sounds rude.  I don't care.  If you have a legitimate reason for asking me how much money I make or whether I'm going to some private party (because you could just want to see if the host thought you were worthy of an invitation, then I don't see what the problem is in answering my question.

And well, that's a lot of progress for somene whose parents always admonished her for "acting all stupid" when she would demurred in the face of questioning.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 02:45:54 PM by StayWithMe »

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findjoy81

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Re: How Long Did It Take?
« Reply #32 on: February 12, 2019, 05:54:11 PM »
This thread is very interesting....  for me, the signs showed up while we were engaged.  We dated for about 7 months before being engaged.  And married 4 months later. 

I didn't truly realize the extent of it, and admit to it being abusive, until after reading more about it when I finally moved out (5 years later).

This is what it boiled down to: I thought he was a good guy with a bit of a mean streak.   Later I figured out he was a mean guy, who could pretend to be good for short periods.

He can be so charming, and I remember asking him why he couldn't treat me (his WIFE) as well as he treated his clients at work.  His response is extremely telling, because it boiled down to: I can't pretend for that long.  He said he could keep it up for the short times he was face-to-face with clients, but by the time he got home for the day, he couldn't pretend anymore.

And so then comes the question many others also ask themselves: why didn't I leave? 

I think for me it was the proverbial frog in the boiling water.  I didn't realize it was so bad until I was being boiled alive.

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KFel024

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Re: How Long Did It Take?
« Reply #33 on: February 18, 2019, 07:41:45 AM »
Dear tomtom,

Thank you for starting this thread.  I find it interesting too.

From my end, the entire relationship lasted about nineteen months.  Saw and acknowledged red flags starting with 1st date.  About three months in, began recognizing that there were some serious issues.  About six months in, starting worrying about my physical safety (I literally thought to and even told myself a couple of times that this person would kill me one day).  It took nineteen months and a catastrophic discard phase for me to finally/fully understand/accept the situation for what it was.  I feel blessed to have gotten out and even more so considering we did not have any children together.

That being said, will pose another question.  How long and/or what did it take for others to get out of a toxic relationship once they figured out what was going on or that something was seriously amiss? 

I personally started to move out on two separate occasions but ultimately decided to stay and hope for the best.  Whenever I felt hopeless, I would think of this picture she had of when she was little girl, sitting on some steps looking so sweet, sad and lonely.  I did not want to be another man in her life who abandoned her.  I thought somewhere inside of her adult body was that little girl and, with proper love, care and nurturing, could be brought back out. 

I was definitely uneducated on nPD and other PDs prior to meeting her.               
     

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stardawn192

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Re: How Long Did It Take?
« Reply #34 on: February 18, 2019, 06:14:45 PM »
I was only with my BPD partner for two/three months. The "golden period" only lasted about three weeks. I think I know what the issue was too, when I got stuck in traffic and showed up to their house late for something, even though I called them and told them I would be late.

It was then a mess of idealization then devaluation daily. If I hadn't talked to some people, I probably would have stayed until they had discarded me and I would have been worse off than I was. I will say, I'm one of the lucky ones because by the end of it, I thought I was seriously in love with this person after only three months of manipulation. That's co-dependency for you  :stars:.

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Whiteheron

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Re: How Long Did It Take?
« Reply #35 on: February 19, 2019, 09:33:37 AM »
He can be so charming, and I remember asking him why he couldn't treat me (his WIFE) as well as he treated his clients at work.  His response is extremely telling, because it boiled down to: I can't pretend for that long.  He said he could keep it up for the short times he was face-to-face with clients, but by the time he got home for the day, he couldn't pretend anymore.

 :yeahthat:
I would frequently ask him if he treated his co-workers the way he treated me. He would answer me with silence, or blame "no, I don't treat them this way because they are smart enough to ... but you..." I once asked if he treated a female colleague at work the way he treated me. His response "no, because I respect her." I was stunned into silence. There were no words. In that moment I felt smaller than a speck of dust.

I remember telling (begging) him - "you are the only adult contact I have during the day, be nice to me!"  :blink: Who has to tell their own husband to be nice to them? Thinking back, this comment was met with a slight smirk - I guess he had me right where he wanted me. Begging him for any scrap of kindness.

This leads me to your question, KFel024 - Right around this time was when I realized he didn't care about me, that there was something seriously wrong with him and our marriage. It took me about 5 years of trying to make it work with him - for the sake of the kids- (including joint therapy sessions) before I filed for divorce...that was two years ago.

I do want to thank clara for starting this thread, and all the posters who have shared their experiences. It's helped me remember some of the things I experienced. I am in the midst of stbx trying to prove the marriage was all great and happy times because he's submitted photographs of our smiling faces to the court (therefore I'm the problem). This thread really helps to clarify, in my mind, that he's off his rocker. No good, kind, loving H tells his wife the things he's told me. No kind, loving, caring H treats his wife the way he treated me. Sometimes, in the thick fog of his forced narrative, I forget that.

You can't destroy me if I don't care.

Being able to survive it doesn't mean it was ever ok.

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findjoy81

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Re: How Long Did It Take?
« Reply #36 on: February 19, 2019, 01:15:24 PM »
KFel024 your question....

It took about 3 months. End of December things got bad and I started to realize things were spiraling beyond our norm...
January became a wild roller coaster of the pretty typical love-bomb, devalue, discard but like the cycle suddenly sped up.  We tried counseling, he would back out or not show up, but I went either way.  I was like, if I'm paying for it, I'm going to use it!  I'd get flowers sent to me at work, and come home to be locked out of rooms of the house or have my phone service shut off because I didn't respond the right way to him during the day. 
February more of the same.
I started reading more, looking at this site, focusing on my therapy, thinking about what I wanted for my kids growing up, going to church, TALKING TO PEOPLE and realizing what was happening was totally abnormal.  (before that, I had a list of 2 of his friends I was "allowed" to talk to about our relationship)
March started the same way, but mid March I signed a lease on a rental and end of March moved out. 

The lightbulb moment happened when he was actively gaslighting me and I knew it.  And I had evidence and was able to prove it.  And suddenly it was like, "How many times have I been here before, but because I didn't have proof, I let it go?"  And I knew, deep inside, I had been many times.