Help assessing my husband's PD

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bkelly2442

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Help assessing my husband's PD
« on: January 27, 2020, 03:24:35 PM »
Hello all - new here and hoping to get some insight and clarity to my situation.  A little background before I dive in.  I'm a 53yr female, married 30yrs, 2 kids - daughter(21) and son(14).  I've recently (in the last year or so) come to the realization that something just isn't right in my marriage.  And when I say "just" come to the realization, what I really mean is that I basically admitted it to myself and a couple close friends.  Prior to that, I just overlooked all the red flags and issues that kept going on for all these years and moved along.  I've done tons of research and I'm pretty convinced that my husband is a covert narcissist.  He displays many of the characteristics.  The problem I'm having is that some of the typical characteristics he does NOT display (lying, unveiled verbal abuse) and some of the things I see are not as overt or significant as what I've read about others.  I don't want to put characteristics and faults on him where it's not true, so I'm hoping that people here who have dealt with this can help me feel a little more solid about it all. 

Throughout our marriage, he has been less than a partner, and more of another child.  Very self absorbed and self centered.  He believes his opinions and perspectives are correct and thinks people who don't believe the same as him are sub-standard, stupid and insignificant.  He never accepts that he could be wrong.  He doesn't accept responsibility for much of anything and if he does, he either puts some of the blame off on someone else, or it's something so small that he's not feeling any suffering if he does in fact admit fault.  He wrote me a letter last summer that began with "I know I've done things to hurt you, but it was probably in response to something you did"  He can be rude and unsympathetic to friends, kids, family members if they oppose him.  Sometimes this is something they can see - most times it's hidden and only I notice it - which is why many others don't even realize it's going on.

He hasn't worked in 11 years.  I make a very good living so financially, we are doing fine.  I recently mentioned to him that he needed to do something with purpose.  That our son would see him doing something that means something.  His response "You want me to get a job?   I thought you made enough money that me working didn't matter"  I said "It's not about the money.  Our son needs to see you doing something outside our house that means something"  Obviously he doesn't think that is necessary, as he still doesn't have a job and hasn't even attempted to look for one.  I support his mother financially - and he does not recognize at all that he should take on that responsibility if nothing else.

He doesn't seem to see that the very fact that I shoulder the burden of our entire life is weary and demoralizing.  I have made excuses for him over the years when he doesn't attend a family function, go with me to hang out with friends, or go to a school activity.  He complains about anything and everything including the dog, our childrens school, the way people drive, etc.  All related to how it interrupts his comfort.  If it doesn't affect him, it's never an issue.

Now - the thing that causes me to question that there is a problem is that he doesn't exhibit many other symptoms of a narcissist.  He's not openly mean or hateful, he does give me space to do some things I want (although is constantly pouting because I'm "not wanting to be around him").  He's withdrawn and stays mostly to himself but can interact as needed with others at a reasonable level.


This, of course is just a bird's eye view of things, but would like to get perspective from others. 

« Last Edit: January 27, 2020, 03:29:58 PM by bkelly2442 »

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Lauren17

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Re: Help assessing my husband's PD
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2020, 02:44:10 AM »
Hello. And welcome. This forum is an awesome place for validation, recommendations on how to cope, and the tools are great.
When I first started to realize that something wasn’t quite right in my marriage (after almost 20 years) I first thought H has a passive aggressive type of BPD. Lately I’ve been leaning more toward covert narc. 
Some similarities to what you’ve mentioned.
He lies, but quite openly. And if challenged, admits to lying with no remorse.
No unveiled verbal abuse. (Gets angry, but silently. Doesn’t  rage. Or even raise his voice.)
Doesn’t accept responsibility for his actions.
“Apologies” consist of “I’m sorry but it was all your fault”
Doesn’t attend social functions.
Is very withdrawn. 
So, yes. There’s at least one person here who has a similar story.   :)  You’re  not alone.
I’ve learned that PDs traits manifest on a scale. I think that most literature is written on about those on the more extreme end of the scale and my H is probably on the more mild end.
I’m also trying not to focus on a diagnosis (after all, I’m not a medical person) but am trying to focus on his behaviors and how I can best protect against them.
Have you found Debbie Mirza’s videos? They’ve been very helpful for me.
Learning Medium Chill and not to JADE have also worked well for me.
“You held me down, but I got up.
Get ready, ‘cause I’ve had enough.”
-Katy Perry

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notrightinthehead

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Re: Help assessing my husband's PD
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2020, 04:25:09 AM »
Welcome! You have come to a good place.

Check out the TOOLBOX tab and the PERSONALITY DISORDERS tab for a lot of helpful information.

Whatever your husband's diagnosis is, he seems an extremely difficult person to live with and not really a good partner for you. You might have to accept that. While you might believe that your marriage would be so much better if he could just change a few things, you might have to abandon that hope and start working on yourself and how you enable him to behave whatever way he behaves.
For example, if you want him to get a job you might have to be brave enough to withdraw some comforts if he does not. And the secret lies in acting. Not talking. (Took me decades to understand that, so be patient with yourself!) See you around on the boards!

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GentleSoul

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Re: Help assessing my husband's PD
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2020, 04:55:53 AM »
Warm welcome to you.  This place is a haven.  I found the Toolbox of techniques to cope to be an enormous help.  Also the information of traits very enlightening.

I learnt to step back from my uPD husband.  I learnt that I needed to work on myself, I cannot change him, however I can change my reaction to him.  This in itself has given enormous results.   Not reacting to him has brought peace to our home.   

I had to look at why I was attracted to marry a person who behaves the way my husband does.  Once I understood that, I believe I have a better chance at having a happy life.   


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clara

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Re: Help assessing my husband's PD
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2020, 11:37:21 AM »
Your husband could be covert, BKelly.  Your description of him sounds a lot like my uNPDexh.  However, when I was married to him, I had no idea he was NPD.  I didn't know the term.  All I knew was something was wrong, and it wasn't just with me (which was always how he tried to spin every problem in our marriage).  His abuse was subtle, seldom overt, so for years I went along with it because it seldom fit the description of "a serious problem," just "something off" and therefore something I could deal with/fix.  And that was exactly the presentation he was striving to make--things could change, but I had to be the one to make them change.  When he didn't work, he said it was because I didn't "motivate" him.  Etc.  Your description of your husband being another child is especially relevant, because when I was married to my ex I felt like he wanted a mother, not a wife.  I was there to take care of him, to be his servant and to fulfill his needs, and that was it.  My needs were never of concern.  But outwardly, he seemed perfectly fine. He wasn't one of those NPDs (and I'm familiar with this type, as well) who openly lied or exaggerated or needed constant attention to the point of dominating the relationship.  My ex's approach, as I said, was far more subtle, but the effect was the same  The behaviors may be slightly different, but they achieve the same goals. 

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bkelly2442

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Re: Help assessing my husband's PD
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2020, 01:24:48 PM »
Thanks for your responses everyone.   As I'm sure is the same with everyone else here, it makes a huge difference to know I'm not the crazy one here and that others are experiencing the EXACT same thing as I am. Now to make a plan for next steps.......

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Fortuna

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Re: Help assessing my husband's PD
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2020, 08:03:39 PM »
Quote


 less than a partner, and more of another child.
 Very self absorbed and self centered. 
He believes his opinions and perspectives are correct and thinks people who don't believe the same as him are sub-standard, stupid and insignificant. 
He never accepts that he could be wrong. 
He doesn't accept responsibility for much of anything and if he does, he either puts some of the blame off on someone else, or it's something so small that he's not feeling any suffering if he does in fact admit fault.
 "I know I've done things to hurt you, but it was probably in response to something you did" 
He can be rude and unsympathetic to friends, kids, family members if they oppose him. 
He complains about anything and everything including the dog, our childrens school, the way people drive, etc.


These are all very similar behaviors of my mom who I think is a covert narc. (Remember its all on a spectrum so he may not exhibit some behaviors or only mildly) It becomes especially apparent after an issue has been brought up and they are with you alone. When my mom wanted more days at christmas and booked a flight for longer than I requested for her visit, the simple act of me telling her I think there was a mistake made here led to a phone conversation where she called me names, guilted me and told me horrible thing about what she thought of me to try and get me to relent to more time (after I already had!) She only acts like that when she thinks she's alone with her target, so there's no one to back me up about her tone or her words or actions. The criticisms she has are out of line with what's going on, meant to make you feel small for the slightest deviation of whatever the expected behavior is and the actual behavior is NEVER good enough as the expectation keep growing. You mentioned often it was small stuff that only you would pick up on, that might the point.


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ICantThinkOfAName

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Re: Help assessing my husband's PD
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2020, 12:29:56 PM »
Welcome!  I love this group.  Everyone is very helpful and kind.  As for the financial thing, I was the primary bread winner and he didn't have to work much.  I took a lower paying job, with the hopes of building a better career.  When I did that I thought it would light a fire under him!  See look, I really need your support!  I stopped paying for vacations, his clothes and stuff that he cried about needing.  We stopped going out to eat.  I really cut back and his response.  Oh well it's just a phase we are just cash poor.  No ambition at all!  No urgency to help us out!  So now I have to take on a second job to pick up the slack and still won't have vacations or meals out.  I just don't understand the mentality.  He goes on about how "he" only needs x dollars to survive but doesn't consider that it would sure be nice if he didn't just do the BARE MINIMUM for himself and maybe think about how hard I'm strugging.  I think in some ways he gets off on not paying for anything, like a freegan.  He has no consideration as to how his mooching makes him look or how much of a burden it is to others.  Sorry for the rant... sometimes what other people post just trigger me.  LOL.