Cell phone stress

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Cascade

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Cell phone stress
« on: January 24, 2020, 01:10:40 AM »
When my husband sends me texts, he'll ask me if I received them once he arrives home. He makes it sound like every text he sends is so important. And instead of telling me what the text is about, I'll have to pull out my phone and read the texts. About 99% of the time they are about something that could have easily waited till he arrived home. Last time he even accused me of hearing my phone go off when other people texted but not when he did. Which of course is not true, I often miss hearing my phone go off because I have the volume low. I know cell phones come in mighty handy but sometimes I long for the days of landlines only, when you could get relative peace from phone calls and texts when you or your spouse left the house.

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athene1399

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Re: Cell phone stress
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2020, 10:03:04 AM »
I am sorry, Cascade. This sounds incredibly frustrating. I think too many people have the expectation that just becasue you have a cell you are on call whenever they want to get a hold of you. uPD M used to ask me why I had a cell if I never answer. I told her it's there if I need it and I check my messages when I am available. I keep my ringer off.

With that being said, I don't know how to help you navigate that with your H. It's different for me because I don't live with M.


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HotCocoa

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Re: Cell phone stress
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2020, 10:25:18 AM »
When my husband sends me texts, he'll ask me if I received them once he arrives home. He makes it sound like every text he sends is so important. And instead of telling me what the text is about, I'll have to pull out my phone and read the texts. About 99% of the time they are about something that could have easily waited till he arrived home. Last time he even accused me of hearing my phone go off when other people texted but not when he did. Which of course is not true, I often miss hearing my phone go off because I have the volume low. I know cell phones come in mighty handy but sometimes I long for the days of landlines only, when you could get relative peace from phone calls and texts when you or your spouse left the house.

I had a landline my ex would call me on.  Everyday.  If I wasn't there or didn't answer, it was, where were you?  What were you doing?  Why aren't you home?  Are you out spending money?  Who were you with? 
Cell phone or landline, its just a means of control on their part.  If you want peace, shut the thing off during the day. 
Sometimes my ex (then husband) would call, I would be standing by the phone and wouldn't answer.  I never asked for a minute by minute update of what he did during the day and he didn't need a minute by minute update of mine.  I was doing nothing wrong and that intruded on my space.  You have to decide your boundary with this. 
The smarter you become about narcissistic abuse, the crazier the narcissist will say you are.

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losingmyself

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Re: Cell phone stress
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2020, 12:25:38 PM »
I am expected to answer his messages immediately.  If I don't answer or if it takes too long, I must be having sex with someone.  Or telling everyone how terrible he is. It's always about him.

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ICantThinkOfAName

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Re: Cell phone stress
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2020, 01:18:37 PM »
OMG... yes!!!  Did you get my text?  Hello???  One time he called me 15 times in a row.  I had the phone on vibrate.  Every message was, "This is call number X".  I was in tears when I called him back, I felt like a complete idiot.  And it was literally in a 10 minute period, he had to wait 10 whole minutes.  One time I confronted him on the issue and said that I feel like I'm on-call for you.  He replied, it's your family you should always be on-call for your family.  Which worked because I felt such horrible guilt that my family thought that I wouldn't always be there for them.  What I failed to realize is that for my work, on-call only happed during certain times and the calls I got were for "emergencies".  His emergencies are, "what are we having for dinner?"  It also made me realize that I was more of a servant to be on-call for him, rather than a partner who deserves peace. 

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clara

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Re: Cell phone stress
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2020, 01:54:16 PM »
Honestly, cell phones made my life a lot easier in dealing not only with PDs but everyone.  When I had a landline, I couldn't reasonably ignore it because I would never turn the ringer off (because I didn't want to miss calls I needed to answer).  And having an answering machine with number ID didn't help because I'd still have to look at the machine to see who was calling.  Since I got rid of my landline and have given special ring tones to all of my regular callers, when I decide to ignore a caller and they ask me why I didn't answer, I just say the phone was somewhere where I couldn't hear it, and since I no longer have a phone that "beeps" constantly when there's a message, I say I just didn't check for calls because I wasn't expecting any, or some such excuse.  But I got tired of those nuisance folks who wanted me to be "on call" for them (mainly my uNPD friend) so took the passive-aggressive route and so far it's worked out.  I told them no, I don't carry my phone around with me when I'm in the house; no, I don't answer the phone when I'm driving; no, I don't have it on vibrate during those times when I turn the ringer off, etc.  They get the hint.

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SparkStillLit

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Re: Cell phone stress
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2020, 11:22:36 AM »
I feel like you really have to set a hard line. I used to be a dispatcher for air EMS. For 9 years, so this wasn't NEW to my family. I had my cell with me, but I was only to be called if it was an emergency. You could text me, but if I didn't answer I was obviously busy. Everyone knew my shift, it was 12 hour shifts and I had the same one for YEARS!!!!!
Guess who called with non emergent nonsense. Well, my mom for one, but guess who else. I'd not answer, or I'd answer and realize it was drama and pretend to get a flight (or actually get a flight), or just get rid of the call. It took me AGES to stop taking calls on shift all together, and to get over that "what if it's an emergency!" idea. They were super upsetting, and hello, my job was stressful ENOUGH!!! I would listen to the voicemail in case it was an emergency (it never was. In all those years one of the calls was kind of an emergency and it was one I took. The crew offered to fly my little son because I lived so far away but I said don't be silly.) After I stopped responding, the calling stopped. They WILL ding you with everything they've got unless you just....shut the door. If they can't get supply off it, they quit.
Also, I notice this theme of how if we don't respond or whatever we're "having sex with someone" and that has been a weird subtext here, too. WHY is that such a pervasive theme across the board???
I had this thought; somewhere in LotR either Gandalf or Elrond says something to the effect that Sauron judges everyone by what he would do, so their hope lies in the fact that he would never expect them to be trying to destroy the ring.
My nerdy correlation was, is that what the PDs think? Why do they all say the sex thing? Would THEY be out having random sex? Are they judging us by what they would do?

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Whiteheron

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Re: Cell phone stress
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2020, 03:09:53 PM »
yes! I also was expected to answer immediately. I was constantly being monitored. If i didn't answer right away, you guessed it - it meant I was with another man.

I remember him complaining about this in joint T. I responded that I don't always have my phone with me - I don't have my phone on me when I'm at the gym (I keep it in my gym bag during classes), I could be in the middle of vacuuming, using the toilet, laundry, I may have left my phone downstairs and went upstairs to do something, I may be wearing pants without pockets and have set it down somewhere...
He wasn't buying any of it. The T pointed out that I had valid points and that I couldn't be expected to respond immediately every single time, that it may be a bit before I realized he had texted. Sill wasn't buying it. T pointed out that it was another method he was using to try to control me. He disagreed and insisted I should be eagerly sitting by the phone ready for his text/call.

He also used to do this thing I'd think of as "phone pounding" where he would call repeatedly, back to back, until I answered. It was maddening.

I remember, quite often I wanted to run outside and just throw the phone as far as I could. I would get so angry.

Towards the end, he gave me three reasons we were roommates, not husband and wife. #2 on the list was "because you don't text back right away. It can be minutes, hours, if you even respond at all."  :flat:
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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Hattie

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Re: Cell phone stress
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2020, 11:35:01 AM »
Yeah, my most recent narc ex wanted me to be instantly available by text ask day long. I work in a lab, so I could be handling dangerous chemicals/radioactive substances /delicate samples and obviously can't be texting away at those times! I set a strong boundary around this and I honestly think it is one of the main reasons he cheated and dumped me  :blink:
Love is patient; love is kind.
It does not envy; it does not boast.
It is not proud. It does not dishonour others.
It is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered.
It keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

1 Corinthians 13: 5-8.

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StayWithMe

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Re: Cell phone stress
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2020, 11:57:25 AM »
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He also used to do this thing I'd think of as "phone pounding" where he would call repeatedly, back to back, until I answered. It was maddening.

My grandmother was like this with my mother.  Starting around 5pm everyday, my grandmother would call her until she picked up the phone.  Before that, my mother was IT ignorant and damned proud of it too.  But, when she became her mother's carer, she learned how to work a voicemail.

On a visit to my mother's I picked up the phone and tried to entertain my grandmother as my mother was busy doing something.  she kept saying "I can't hear you, where's your mother."  I gave up trying to amuse her and gave the phone to my mother.  My grandmother could magically hear and understand everything my mother said on the phone.

My grandmother was in her late 80s and sometimes wasn't all there.  And yet, they can still use subterfuge to get what they want. I was annoyed that my grandmother lied to me since that was one thing my mother told me to never do.  instead of some commiseration, my mother acted as if she had no idea why I should be upset.  That was the last time I ever took the phone in her house.  Let her answer her own damn phone.

There are so many ways to weaponize a phone call.

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blunk

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Re: Cell phone stress
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2020, 01:27:02 PM »
This was a HUGE issue with my BPDxh. I was expected to answer right away every time, even when he was working the night shift and I was sleeping.

I work in the transportation industry and do technical training. I insist that all of my students have their phones off or on silent. If they are expecting a call they can have it on vibrate and step out to answer as long as they don't disturb the group. It would be hypocritical of me to freely answer calls/texts while telling them not to, so most times I just left my cell phone on my desk. He was well aware of this. We would normally speak at lunch time, but there were days where I was giving hands-on instruction and the lesson ran into lunch time (no big deal just shift lunch later), he knew this as well. Yet if I didn't answer when he called it would be a huge fight...all sorts of accusations. There were also times when I told him my phone would be off, as it is required for certain testing and certifications. I would tell him in advance, and by the time I got to a break where I could check my phone it was blown up with texts and voicemails. Another time I was going to my niece's baby shower (to which he was invited) and was wearing a dress. I told him that I would have my phone in my purse and would check it periodically, but that I may not be quick to respond. I ended up leaving the shower early and in tears because he was angry that I didn't answer to hear about how the grocery clerk had been rude to him...not shocked as he treated service people like trash, but that's another story.

He would also look through my phone regularly. He would compare the times that various texts were received. If he and someone else texted me at approximately the same time and I answered them first, I was a bitch, I didn't care about him, or I was screwing them (didn't matter male or female; friend, coworker, family). And the fact is I usually answered the other person first, because most people will have a brief exchange...I knew once I answered him it would be a barrage of texts.

One time he even went through his text history and counted how many times each of us said "love ya" first. Needless to say I did not say it first as often as he did. The issue with that is that we used that as kind of a sign-off, and indication that the conversation was over. So if I said it, and he wasn't ready to end the conversation then I didn't want to talk to him, I was going to meet up with someone else, or whatever else his mind could come up with. It was a complete no win.

I'm sorry you're going through this. It is definitely a means to try to control us. A strong boundary is going to be your best friend. The only thing better IMO is being able to go NC!

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Jsinjin

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Re: Cell phone stress
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2020, 03:31:33 PM »
Here is what I do with my uOCPDw and phone stuff:   1) I set up my Android phone to auto respond to her while I am at work with a response that I have received her text but I could be in a meeting or on a call and I will definitely get back to her.   I use an app called "Away" that I also use for other contacts and business stuff but I make sure she is in it and managed through this.    2) I state what I will and won't take care of and I don't do it via text.    I make sure that I talk to her specifically in the evening on my terms and I will go through her asks, requests, points, etc but I don't do the exchange via text.    These two rules cover me for the eventuality that I hear "you didn't/never respond to my ..." Or they keep the discussion from centering on the exact nature of the text, the time, the details, the miscommunication, etc.    Sometimes I even write down notes before I respond so that we aren't focused on the times or when and how something was said in context but we just focus on  the ask and the listen or do or action.

I hate to have to deal with a spouse like this but it's the only way I have found to cover my sanity.
It is unwise to seek prominence in a field whose routine chores you do not enjoy.

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StayWithMe

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Re: Cell phone stress
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2020, 04:39:31 PM »
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Another time I was going to my niece's baby shower (to which he was invited) and was wearing a dress. I told him that I would have my phone in my purse and would check it periodically, but that I may not be quick to respond. I ended up leaving the shower early and in tears because he was angry that I didn't answer to hear about how the grocery clerk had been rude to him...not shocked as he treated service people like trash, but that's another story.

I remember dating a guy who always wanted to know what time I would be home.  Even when I went out with female friends.  We were in graduate school so I'm not going to be home much later than 11pm.  But it took me a while to realize that when I gave an answer he saw that as a contract.  And in the days coin operated phones and no cellphones, he would try to act like he was being reasonable by saying "If you're going to be late, you ought to stop and call me and let me know."  I told him that things would be more dangerous for me just looking for and using a payphone that works. 

I really hate the way my parents made me feel as if there was something wrong with me.  "Your head is hard."  My choices were never right.  And this is how I ended up wasting precious time and goodwill giving undue consideration to everyone else's need.

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startwhereyouare

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Re: Cell phone stress
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2020, 11:49:38 PM »
This need to be in contact is exhausting. I am in NC with nPDh right now, and had to do this legally because once I quit responding to the cell that was 24/7, it started to my office line. I finally blocked him entirely. Now, he's transferred this needy and demanding behavior onto our young adult kids. Our DS is a freshman in college, and had to leave the lab he was in just last week because of repeated calls. I'm just trying to give him suggestions as to how to respond on his own terms, but I can hear the FOG coming out of his F's mouth.
They're need for that constant contact is draining, and boundaries for this behavior are necessary. I personally found that he would agree to the boundaries but break them every chance. When the consequences took place is when he deteriorated more and became more volatile. Our kids have not exerted those boundaries yet.
Boundaries are personal and have to be determined based on your circumstances and relationship, but the consequences and follow through are just as important.

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Cascade

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Re: Cell phone stress
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2020, 03:05:24 AM »
Startwhereyiuare, Iím glad you are getting a break from the phone calls but sorry to hear that he has now moved on to bothering your children. Hopefully they will put some boundaries in place for themselves.