Awkward and uncomfortable covert NPD

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allsaints

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Awkward and uncomfortable covert NPD
« on: September 15, 2019, 04:19:26 PM »
Does anyone have a clue what’s going on when your covert NPD spouse completely disengages out of the blue, becomes awkward, or goes silent for no reason?

When I began dating my spouse, interactions were sometimes... uncomfortable. It was like pulling teeth at times to get him to talk over dinner. More than a few times, after failing to engage him, we ate just staring at each other in silence. Other times, though, he was very animated during dates. Conversation would flow easily and he could talk my ear off. He mentioned he deals with social anxiety, so I thought that’s what was going on during our strained conversations. I figured as he got to know me better, it would be less... awkward. 

Three years later, we still often eat in silence. I wonder if I was way off base to assume he was just anxious in the beginning. One second we could be  enjoying lively conversation over drinks, and the next second he becomes completely silent. It’s like a dark cloud comes over him and fills the room. His entire mood shifts.

If I ask him if everything is okay, he gives a short “yes.” But then he refuses to engage further. We end up just staring at each other until he pulls out his phone to occupy himself. Sometimes, he inexplicably walks away without saying a word to me. Ordinarily, I just accept that he’s fine when he says he is, despite his demeanor saying otherwise. I go on doing whatever it was we were doing while he withdraws. Once, though, I asked if he was “truly fine” because he seems distraught or withdrawn. He got angry and said: “Why are you putting this all on me?” Then he ranted that I was “making him feel this way” and that I “always put it on him.”  I still have no idea what “it” or “this way” is.

I no longer ask what’s up or if he’s okay when he shifts into one of his dark moods. I dread having dinner with him. Or having any interactions where an activity isn’t involved. He only becomes like this when we are alone together without any distractions. Any idea what is going on here?




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GentleSoul

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Re: Awkward and uncomfortable covert NPD
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2019, 06:24:01 AM »
I relate to what you share, I had a partner very similar.  I think it is simply that their brain works in a different way to yours and mine.  I am not saying it is a matter of right or wrong.  Just difference.  So i think it comes down to compatibility.

I stayed with my partner about ten years but I had enough of it.  I left.  This was about 20 years ago.  I bumped into him recently.

Had nice chat together, I was able to observe how he is with no emotion attached to it.  He did mention he has been diagnosed as being on the Autism Spectrum.  He still lives and acts the way he always has. 

He is married to a lady that I assume is happy with his behaviours.   He cannot work, loses very job he attempts, his wife supports him financially.  This is not something I would have wanted to do.



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Cascade

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Re: Awkward and uncomfortable covert NPD
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2019, 09:35:30 PM »
I have experienced that behaviour from my husband. In our case, I believe it is because I said something that he didn't like so he becomes quiet and I get the silent treatment. It doesn't have to be that I said anything rude or mean, just something that my husband took to be insulting, the smallest little thing. Usually I don't even know why. My husband has a lot of narcissistic traits so he gets offended very easily. Maybe that is going on with yours. Mine won't admit to there being anything wrong either.

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rubixcube

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Re: Awkward and uncomfortable covert NPD
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2019, 09:20:16 AM »
The two words that come to mind are "Curt" and "reticent". Look them.up.

I had to learn them to describe what I experience with my covert passive aggressive
narcissistic wife. Everything you say rings true for me as well.

Deep down narcissism seem to be just a mechanical fight response to shame that gets triggered in them for whatever reason. They are deeply insecure and make up all sorts of reasons for being offended.

To contrast, a codependent reaction to shame is people pleasing. In both cases internal shame is not faced, it is run from.

In my case, my codependence and lack of boundaries didn't begin to heal until I started looking at why I was triggered to feel shame when my narc wife was manipulating me. Instead of running from the shame now, I experience it and invalidate it as being toxic. It seems to help a lot with being overly empathic. I don't want to ride the ups and downs of my wife's moods with her.

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GentleSoul

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Re: Awkward and uncomfortable covert NPD
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2019, 07:36:00 AM »

Deep down narcissism seem to be just a mechanical fight response to shame that gets triggered in them for whatever reason. They are deeply insecure and make up all sorts of reasons for being offended.

To contrast, a codependent reaction to shame is people pleasing. In both cases internal shame is not faced, it is run from.

In my case, my codependence and lack of boundaries didn't begin to heal until I started looking at why I was triggered to feel shame when my narc wife was manipulating me. Instead of running from the shame now, I experience it and invalidate it as being toxic. It seems to help a lot with being overly empathic. I don't want to ride the ups and downs of my wife's moods with her.

Many thanks. I needed to read this in this moment.  Gut wrenchingly true for me.  There are always two parts, two players in the "game".  My role is as big as my husbands.    (I am the codie, he is the PD.)

I grew up in an alcoholic home.  To not people please and to not be co-dependent meant physical violence and a bitter nasty assassination of my character. 

I learnt growing up the PD/alcoholic was in charge!  Full stop.  End of.  Every thing had to revolve 100% around them and their moods.  That everyone else had to cater to that.  I had no sense of self and certainly no boundaries.  I did know we were meant to have boundaries.

In recovery I am learning and growing every day.