Living Rural with an unpdh...Yikes!

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tragedy or hope

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Living Rural with an unpdh...Yikes!
« on: May 09, 2020, 08:45:38 AM »
I wish I had found this site before I ventured off with my unpdh 5 years ago to a small rural town, far from a very large city 2500 miles away. We followed a son who moved after retirement.

I am now faced with the most isolation I have felt since growing up an a very disordered family. I can't seem to make friends. Small towns are full of people who have their niche. Coming here with a city mind and personality... I am the outsider.

I found a group for newbies here in town, but this group is very cliquish and issues there caused me to set a boundary. I don't go there anymore.

Religion? Lots of churches. "We" can't seem to stay at one. Unpdh thinks in his 70th year of life he is "pastor" material so each new church brings me to have to say no to many of his schemes to get into the inner circle and be known. I am at that point an appendage of his. An assistant in his mind to his plans to be the center of attention.

I will no longer open my home for bible studies only to be treated with contempt at other times or watch him manipulate discussions so he is the only voice in the room. He then finds the most attractive or youngest of the women, who all seem to adore him, and in my face engage them. 

Women love him. He appears so spiritual. And he is handsome and charming as many unpdh's are. He has made friends here. His standards for friends are much different than mine. I would not want to know most of the people he "leads" in his bible study. Early on he let them know HE was the leader. Many flying monkeys continue to come. All retired, they too need to get out of the house. Most don't study but go anyway. I digress.
I feel lost, and sad. I had many supportive groups to belong to in the city. This rural environment is lovely and I am very happy with my home and location, but I just can't seem to connect. I know it is not me. I spent my life in ministry with women but here, it's as if they cannot step out of what their comfort zone might be. I am located in the bible belt.
I just wanted to put out there the circumstances that can happen moving away from what you know. I thought... how different can people be if they believe in God? Surely I would find friends. Then... just recently I found OOTF. Now I have to work with what is.

 When we moved I promised myself I would no longer get walked on by unpdh in social situations. I say no to him about most things because I get stuck with his selection of what he calls "friends." I am tired of his worn out stories. He also sets up conversations so he can talk about himself. It is diabolical. I see it before my eyes. Everyone is suddenly deep into him when we were all conversing. In the end, people seem to walk away hanging on to his every word.

At home he acts like he knows nothing. Really. He is constantly telling me he does not know what a word means. He wants me to tell him. I told him to look it up. Now he is always doing just that. If I mention something in the news or that I read... he says he does not know anything about it or does not understand it. But in public, whatever I have talked about at home, he is an expert on. He steals my thoughts and my original interests to serve his purposes socially.

So for today, I feel alone. I have no real friends here. He is on the phone all the time cultivating his crew and talking to people we/he left behind. Because of his weirdness and his mistreatment of me over the years I have been very cautious with friends.,

If I bring them home, he interferes until he has made them think he is special.

I could go on... I am just feeling defeated today. And sadly alone with my real thoughts. this will pass I know. I know a couple of people, as I started a bible study (which unpdh then copied with men) but it just doesn't seem to be clicking as I am used to though we have met for 4 years.

One more thing... since the "lock down" I have developed a skin rash I have never had in my life. I could only have gotten it at home. Could be food allergy, which I am working to identify. I twisted a knee working in the garden...  I think it is the ill affects of being with a unpdh for a month alone. Everything I do, he has to be there or participate in.

No wonder I feel like I do as I re read this.

I feel better already. Thanks for being here y'all.
"When people show you who they are, believe them."
~Maya Angelou

Believe it the first time, or you will spend the rest of your life in disbelief of what they can/will do; to you.

Family systems are like spider webs. It takes years to get untangled and you still have bits of web on you. T or H

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Bloomie

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Re: Living Rural with an unpdh...Yikes!
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2020, 01:10:21 PM »
tragedy or hope - the isolation that comes from living with someone who may not have a fully developed sense of self, who intrudes and mimics, is very hard to hold up under. I am so sorry that this move has proven to be a loss of autonomy and sustaining relationships for you.

I can't imagine there is a single option for connecting with others outside of your home and your H's intense scrutiny that you have not already thought of, but just in case - what about an interest you have that he doesn't or wouldn't share that you could explore meeting others through once we are out of quarantine?

In terms of your health, it makes so much sense that your body is showing signs of prolonged stress in these ways. I am so sad this is happening and pray you find ways to get some distance and relief even in your own home. 

There is something parasitic in the behavioral patterns, level of scrutiny, mimicry and intrusiveness with a close family member that I have who is eerily similar to your H. It is incredibly uncomfortable and draining. I have felt like a donor person for them. And ime, there is no effective way to set a boundary around someone harvesting like this other than physically distancing.

I have had to learn to emotionally detach from the head spinning contrast between private and public personas. It's not easy when they are everywhere but nowhere all at the same time if that makes sense.

I am so glad you shared what you are going through and hope that knowing you are not alone helps lighten a heavy load. :hug:




« Last Edit: May 09, 2020, 01:12:23 PM by Bloomie »
"You can understand and have compassion for someone and still not want a relationship with them."
Amanda E. White, LPC @therapyforwomen

Bloomie 🌸

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tragedy or hope

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Re: Living Rural with an unpdh...Yikes!
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2020, 04:52:48 PM »
  thank you Bloomie. Always helpful to be validated.  :sunny:
"When people show you who they are, believe them."
~Maya Angelou

Believe it the first time, or you will spend the rest of your life in disbelief of what they can/will do; to you.

Family systems are like spider webs. It takes years to get untangled and you still have bits of web on you. T or H

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Andeza

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Re: Living Rural with an unpdh...Yikes!
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2020, 07:10:20 PM »
I guess it's kinda sad as I was reading that my mind started saying "Oh, sounds like she's somewhere in the South..." then yup. Bible Belt.

I grew up in the heart of it, in nowhere essentially. Many of the communities are very cliquish, and many of the churches are the same way. Instead of welcoming newcomers, they look over their shoulder at you like you don't belong. This is not the love of Christ at work. It always angered me. I'm sorry you're having to deal with it now.  :-\ Sadly I don't have any advice concerning getting into a good church. Theoretically you could find one you like with a Wednesday night meeting and just tell your H you're going out someplace and he's not invited. With narcs... it's hard to figure. I don't like that even without the whole lockdown situation it sounds like you're a prisoner in your own home because he wants to insert himself into every situation. It's not good for your health, not physically nor spiritually.

I might venture to suggest, since you mentioned gardening, that you could pop over to local roadside markets and strike up conversation with the "vendors" there. They would be local gardeners and small farmers, and possibly in that setting more open to socializing. Talking about plants is a nice way to start to make conversation and get to know people. In small communities it also starts changing how the locals look at you. That's the best I've got, not much, I'm sorry.

I hope you feel better and recover without issue. I'll be praying for you as well.


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1footouttadefog

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Re: Living Rural with an unpdh...Yikes!
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2020, 12:18:46 PM »
I am in a similar location tonthe OP and many of my homelife dynamics are similar as well.

I have been involved in a multi denominational Church for years and was enjoying it.  It was a pleasant change from the other options that consists mostly of Bible belt churches wjere people dont seem truely interested in the bible.  Church more of a cultural thing for them as they dont live what they preach and their broken families and lives indicate as much. 

In the past few years my current church has morphed into a narc club.  The elderly are dying off and being replaced by baby boomer aged and younger folks who are very narcissist.  They mutually admire each other and at the same time out do each other on this and the other topic.  A lack of commitment to church activities if anything else is happening in a 100 mil radius.  This out more and more work on the doers.

Between my spouse and losing my church due to folks dying ir moving away i am feeling isolated.

I had started using the meetups app with sucess before the virus shut down.  I olan to resume.

I will also be seeking a new church even If i habe to drove an hour away to a mid sized city.  I will not be attending with my spouse.  I like the OP dont need the interaction of my spouse with other women in my face.

He gets n supply from it and we as a couple get written off socially. 

We live as roommates now anyway. He can handle his own spiritual life. He never took a leadership role in ours so maybe he can handle his own.

This shut down has served to show me I was already quarantined.  I will be changing that.


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Cascade

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Re: Living Rural with an unpdh...Yikes!
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2020, 04:44:32 PM »
That sounds really difficult. I have wondered if my husband was turning people off from me at our church, by seeking "counsel" or asking for prayer and trying to look like a victim. So I pulled myself away from volunteering at our church and I found another christian organization to volunteer with. It has become like a breath of fresh air to go there and be in a healthier atmosphere for a few hours a week. If you do this, I think you'd need to find one that your husband wouldn't have any interest in joining, or better yet wouldn't even be allowed to join.

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1footouttadefog

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Re: Living Rural with an unpdh...Yikes!
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2020, 11:38:43 PM »
Yes, I will be doing things as a lone soul.

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tragedy or hope

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Re: Living Rural with an unpdh...Yikes!
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2020, 03:28:28 PM »
I am working on this. It is hard to find something that I can do alone. I started a non-denominational women's bible study and he copied me. Now he is competitive with me and thinks I am interested in everyone in the group. N's don't get it. He is retired but thinks he is pastor material. wants a bible study at our house. keeps manipulating, love-bombing... and suddenly out of the blue more than one time has suggested it.

I tell him no. I don't think I would like that. I am older and had done that for years. (I don't bring up history but his behavior toward me was very abusive when we did these things and I had no courage to speak to anyone, as most told women it was their fault etc. And I was too proud to ask for help.

He told one person we had problems and then he and his wife asked us to dinner with our children. I was waiting for "counseling." it never came. He continued to be close to him and spent lots of time talking to her alone when he went to early morning studies at the guys house before she went running while they "studied."

So I sucked it up and kept owwing and ahhhing him in public. That finally got old, so I let others oww and ahh him to me. Then I learned to change the subject, and never respond to their words. It was always women. He would pull my chair out for me and get me something drink... act as if he was doting over me. In the car if I brought up his flirtatiousness he called my a jealous b----- and told me I was sick and he was sorry he married me.

Now I will do none of it with him. He will not take responsibility for his behaviors and I have as much told him what a flirt he is. This is why he wants a home study. The men seem to get bored with one another and the women are much more chatty. I think he thinks he is losing his flying monkies and wants to use me to increase his feed. He can starve.
"When people show you who they are, believe them."
~Maya Angelou

Believe it the first time, or you will spend the rest of your life in disbelief of what they can/will do; to you.

Family systems are like spider webs. It takes years to get untangled and you still have bits of web on you. T or H

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Cascade

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Re: Living Rural with an unpdh...Yikes!
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2020, 03:22:25 AM »
Good for you, let him starve! My husband interacts with women a lot more than he ever interacts with men, especially on Facebook. I think maybe women give better narcissistic supply, though enjoying  flirting could also play a role.

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tragedy or hope

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Re: Living Rural with an unpdh...Yikes!
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2020, 01:36:39 PM »
Cascade,
 I have a theory. Women are often considered rude if we do not smile, or in some way approve of the old guy trying to get attention. Some men use manipulation to make women sense some kind of rejection. Women are aware of this. We are intuitive. So we go along to get along sometimes.

No one likes rejection. Manipulation is a common rude behavior and it can be used by all people. However, women who want to do the right thing, who love God or are faithful to their religion are seemingly less likely to ignore wrong attention because they are taught to get along and some are taught submissiveness from childhood. A wrong kind of submissiveness.

To not be rude, they give N's attention, feeding the sickness rather than causing them to address their insatiable need for feed. These are observations, not necessarily correct, but as I see it, this is how things happen.

 Find a man who oozes some kind of religious/biblical authority and you will find women following him. Doesn't even matter if he is right or wrong. He is in "leadership," either by self appointment or ordination. I see the term, "commanding attention," having meaning here.

Thank you for your ideas. Most people like some sort of attention. If these women only knew it wasn't about them and that he will drain the well and move on... because it's never, never, never, not about HIM.



"When people show you who they are, believe them."
~Maya Angelou

Believe it the first time, or you will spend the rest of your life in disbelief of what they can/will do; to you.

Family systems are like spider webs. It takes years to get untangled and you still have bits of web on you. T or H

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Cascade

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Re: Living Rural with an unpdh...Yikes!
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2020, 11:42:53 PM »
Yes, I think you may very well be right, tragedy or hope. I know I was taught to be submissive though I canít say I ever took to that very well.

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Mary

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Re: Living Rural with an unpdh...Yikes!
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2020, 03:30:48 AM »
Wow, some of the things you wrote are soo familiar. It is so confusing to hear uPDh talk/be so religious, but live so ungodly. I am constantly second-guessing myself/beating myself up about being critical of his faith. Does he really love God as much as he says-prays-reads? But then threaten to abandon me or force us to change churches on a dime? So confusing. I just don't want the kids to get their faith messed up over it.

Sounds like you surely need fellowship he can't touch, probably something he doesn't even know about. I got involved in the women's prison ministry, and it is a good, safe outlet for me.

 Thanks for sharing. I was really needing someone to identify with on this tonight.

I think sometimes even very good church people just cannot concieve of life as we know it. It really helps to connect with eachother here at OOTF. Not as a substitute for f2f fellowship but as a very helpful emotional strength.
Blessings,

Mary
For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. (Isaiah 54:5)

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tragedy or hope

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Re: Living Rural with an unpdh...Yikes!
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2020, 12:27:44 AM »
Thank you Mary. Agreed, just to know we are not alone is really helpful. You are right. It is almost impossible to find church people who could even understand what we experience. Maybe because emotional disabilities are not spoken about. However, we know bad behavior and narcissists are all over the bible.

Thanks for responding. Blessings! Tor H
"When people show you who they are, believe them."
~Maya Angelou

Believe it the first time, or you will spend the rest of your life in disbelief of what they can/will do; to you.

Family systems are like spider webs. It takes years to get untangled and you still have bits of web on you. T or H