He's being nice, it's totally thrown me

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CagedBirdSinging

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He's being nice, it's totally thrown me
« on: February 11, 2020, 07:46:27 AM »
After the holidays I was totally set to leave. I won't go into it again, but I'd had enough of the emotional abuse. Now, the last month he has been like a different person. It has totally thrown me off course. Now I don't know what to think or do.

He's helping around the house, doing his fair share, being great with the kids, talking to me, being generally in better form...

If things stayed like this, I feel like there would be no real reason to leave. Things are not amazing, it's not exactly the romance of the century, and conversation isn't great (it's all about him... there is no fun, very little laughter) BUT there is no abuse.. things are OK... the kids are happy... we are financially secure.. if I leave now it would be purely for selfish reasons and because I've seen what he is capable of.

I know about the cycle of abuse  I've lived with it for 5 years. This sounds crazy but I feel like I have to wait for things to get worse again before I can be justified in leaving. But how long do I wait... perhaps he will keep up this good behaviour for years, then suddenly turn nasty again in a few years time. By then the kids will be older and it will be harder to leave. Really I need to make a decision NOW while they are too young to know what's going on.. and while I am young enough that I have my life ahead of me (I'm only in my mid thirties).

Has anyone else experienced this? I don't know why but his 'niceness' is actually making it harder.

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Whiteheron

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Re: He's being nice, it's totally thrown me
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2020, 09:19:57 AM »
Yes, I've been where you are before. In my case it seemed like anytime there was the slightest shift in our relationship, he would start acting like the ideal partner. It made it very difficult for me to leave and caused me to question my sanity on more than one occasion. One of the last times, stbx actually bragged to me about how nice he was being...he needed a pat on the head for a job well done so he could take off the mask. It was exhausting for him.

When I went MC, he offered to buy me a new car (any model except for the one I had my eye on) and to put in the kitchen flooring I'd asked for five years prior. He also tried to pitch in with the kids, but that didn't work. They saw him as acting "scary nice" and didn't trust it one bit.

I would take this time to get all of my ducks in a row - make copies of documents, speak to counsel, therapists, etc. I did this with the expectation that if it got worse again, I would have a plan in place. It really helped my peace of mind.

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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CagedBirdSinging

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Re: He's being nice, it's totally thrown me
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2020, 09:39:16 AM »
Thank you, that is a good idea. I hate the feeling of being trapped, just waiting to see what happens with him. You're right, I could use this time to do my research, get things organised.

'Scary nice' is a great description! Kids have a great way of articulating things. I read a post on here that talked about the difference between niceness (superficial) vs genuinely kind. Now I can't remember where I read that! I read so many insightful comments on here and then forget where I found them.

I just find this niceness hard to get my head around. It's like he can choose when to turn it on and off. Why couldn't he be like this before?! And yes, seeking constant validation of how nice he is being. Will text me on a Monday saying 'thanks for an amazing weekend, we are so close again now, our marriage is amazing etc etc...' To which I think: really?! Things are 'ok' but I wouldn't go any further than that. He is making me question my perception of reality, definitely.

If I leave now, he will say it was 'for no reason because everything was going so great,' and will use that to his advantage in terms of court. I can't say he's being abusive, because at the moment he isn't.

If anyone else has experience of dealing with this type of thing, I'd love to hear from you.
Thanks

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rubixcube

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Re: He's being nice, it's totally thrown me
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2020, 12:02:04 PM »
Yes, I've been where you are before. In my case it seemed like anytime there was the slightest shift in our relationship, he would start acting like the ideal partner. It made it very difficult for me to leave and caused me to question my sanity on more than one occasion.
:yeahthat:
Absolutely. My w begins cleaning the house, spending time with our daughter, becomes cheerful, cooks interesting dinners, etc. It's truly bizarre. I get the sense that she senses my pain and is, in perfect correlation, energized by it. Is this a characteristic of envy somehow?

CagedBirdSinging: I find that over the ups and downs of her moods, one thing has been concretely unchanged: my uCovertNPDw's lack of accountability for her behavior. There's this brick wall inability to recognize that her negativity, cold glares, reticence, aloofness, sighs, victim playing, and loss of temper hurts me. With literally no way to address and resolve behavior problems and abuse, we're stuck just riding, or watching them ride, the waves of their moods as intimacy is slowly destroyed.

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Poison Ivy

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Re: He's being nice, it's totally thrown me
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2020, 03:37:22 PM »
"If I leave now, he will say it was 'for no reason because everything was going so great,' and will use that to his advantage in terms of court. I can't say he's being abusive, because at the moment he isn't."

Does your state or country have no-fault divorce?  Most do.  Basically, no-fault divorce means "everything was going so great" and being or not being abusive are irrelevant. 

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notrightinthehead

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Re: He's being nice, it's totally thrown me
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2020, 04:18:40 AM »
I agree with Whiteheron, this is the time to get all the information you need. You also could start a 'leaving fund' that he doesn't know about to help yourself financially in case you decide to leave him. It is also the time to strengthen your emotional resources. Find a therapist or a CoDA group or whatever is available in your area. Start building a social network for yourself and your kids only. And continue with the tools you seem to be applying successfully that are making your marriage calmer and more pleasant.

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BeautifulCrazy

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Re: He's being nice, it's totally thrown me
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2020, 05:24:28 PM »
Oh my gosh, yes, DO use the calm to get some things done!! I find the "nice" time (I am also in a nice phase right now) is the best time to move things ahead.
When things are awful I have less energy and less self esteem to do anything toward leaving.
I read my journal and talk to my therapist to remember why I am leaving when I begin to feel a bit too comfortable or confident. The reality is that this will not last and it could come to an end at any moment.  It is difficult at times to think of that when things are so "normal" and he is more like the man I couldn't wait to marry. It does feel like more of a betrayal somehow (and he will definitely see it / play it that way).
But I know how dangerous he is and how ugly it can get and that the bad gets worse and lasts longer each time.

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Lauren17

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Re: He's being nice, it's totally thrown me
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2020, 12:57:02 AM »
Iím experiencing something similar. And another person posted about calm and kind a week or so ago.
Maybe our PDs are in the midst of New Years Resolutions? 
Iím only partly joking.
I like the idea of using this time to line things up. And Iíve been doing that. But Iím feeling guilty about it.
Also trying to appreciate this time while it lasts.
ďYou held me down, but I got up.
Get ready, Ďcause Iíve had enough.Ē
-Katy Perry

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CagedBirdSinging

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Re: He's being nice, it's totally thrown me
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2020, 05:49:05 PM »
Thanks for replies everyone. Rubixcube, yes lack of accountability, always. And as for erosion of intimacy.. yes, to the point where there is no emotional intimacy anymore. I can't be truly vulnerable with him, because I don't trust him. Anything I say can and will be used against me in the future, so I am very guarded with him. This is the reality I have to remember during these nice phases.

Lauren, beautiful, notright - yes it's a good time to research and make plans. I have been doing that,  although the guilt is something I too have to contend with.

Another realisation I had today is that his behaviour has become so normalised after 5 years of marriage, that my idea of 'nice' would be someone else's idea of hell. My standards for nice are so low at this point. He is still being sullen, moody, miserable, moany, self centred, attention seeking, two faced... but because there is currently no silent treatment or ranting, things seem 'better.' In a normal relationship with a non pd this would not constitute as nice at all. Does that make sense?!
 :stars:

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Poison Ivy

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Re: He's being nice, it's totally thrown me
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2020, 06:01:00 PM »
By the final few years of my marriage, the "good" times were when (1) my husband was not communicating with me, and (2) I was not aware that he was actively breaking the law or cheating on me financially. 

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ICantThinkOfAName

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Re: He's being nice, it's totally thrown me
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2020, 06:31:44 PM »
CagedBird.  Someone else's idea of hell.  Yes indeed.  I feel like I am right there with you.  It's funny how we can be, "well it's not that bad".  What is your definition of bad?  And this gets further corrupted by your upbringing.  PD parents who normalize bad behavior as well.  I was in that honeymoon phase in my previous relationship and boy was he super sweet and nice and then bam the minute I was back to "all in"... it all went back to ugly and worse.  I think what finally snapped me out of it was the fact that he was "choosing" to be nice also meant he was "choosing" to be nasty.