I should know better

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tragedy or hope

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I should know better
« on: May 17, 2020, 10:20:42 PM »
So every so often I loose it. I am usually on top of the unpdh manipulations, but today I caved. I tried to have a quiet conversation about his need to bring up people he associates with, who I do not nor want to have anything to do with.  I will not join the flying monkeys.

His comment... I am the problem;  that he wishes we could ask this person and his wife out to dinner or something sometime. This person he acts like is a nuisance to him when he calls, but he will not miss a call, and basically will keep calling him back if he doesn't get him. It doesn't matter what we are doing.

 I have met the wife and we do not click.  I would rather talk to the men when we go out, as the wives of the men he picks for friends are not very interesting. Very submissive types afraid to speak up etc. These are my perceptions. Don't mean to be offensive.

So, I would rather talk to the men, however, N makes sure to drown me out or take over the conversation and procure the attention of the woman. Whatever he needs to do to be seen as the life of the party. He will be louder and even force his body over the table in front of me to be heard over me.

As long as my unpdh is the center of attention, he's happy.  The other thing he does is say nice things to be shared with the guys wife. Since he leads a "bible study" the wives are tickled to death their husbands are doing "good" things. But this is my unpdh's MO and alway has been. He loves to call their house and just happen to get the wife so he can be preened. He changes the tone of his voice etc. HE started the group and announced HE was the leader. They all went along,

He has flirted with more women under the guise of religion in front my eyes than I can remember. We always argue about it, and of course it is always me... of course.

He behaves as if whoever it is, is the only person in the room. He will ignore me, not draw me into the conversation and not take his eyes off of hers while he is talking. He is charming, handsome and most women don't get much of that from their own husbands. Anything to hear his name mentioned, repeated and to be adored. Including stepping on my soul.

I have kind of shared this before but I am mad at myself because he tried to control the situation and conversation when I was expressing my opposite thoughts. He controls it by saying he is not going to talk about it anymore, after he says something that gets the upper hand. He does not care what I think and feel.

I should have left it there, but I did not. As a result i invited the verbal abuse. I was told what I was saying was just air and meaningless to him. I felt so frustrated. Such disrespect as I told him and walked away.

 He is driven to get people to like him and turns on the charm. Phone calls, texts, all the time. He presents himself as someone who cares but says negative things about them to me.

I am so frustrated. We don't seem to be able to have friends together. It is a lonely life. He spends his days calling people and getting calls. I think I am the sick one but I am also an empath and I choose friends very carefully. He tries to shame me for that because I don't jump at the chance to be part of his entourage.

However, I do want friends. Just any body will not do. I need to trust them.
"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. T/H

Family systems are like spider webs. It takes years to get untangled from them.  T/H

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notrightinthehead

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Re: I should know better
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2020, 04:14:55 AM »
My NPDh did that to me. He would openly flirt with other women while I was standing there. He would also compliment them, sometimes outrageously, while I was starved for a kind word from him.
From what you describe, you are needed as an audience or an alibi, maybe the other men are less likely to become suspicious as long as you are there.
Talking and more talking did not help me in my situation. What really helped was, medium chill, non-jade, and grey rock. It took me a while to learn these strategies but once I applied them, my healing accelerated. I told myself that by letting my h be exactly how he wanted to be, by stopping the attempts to change him, I would show him respect. By taking care of my own wishes, I would show myself respect.
I can't hate my way into loving myself.

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Mary

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Re: I should know better
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2020, 03:22:38 AM »
My question is, How has this tendency affected your children?
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: I should know better
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2020, 12:14:12 PM »
My children are all married adults.

When they were young we had lots of people over and spent time with people from church. They kids always had friends over. We had closed door arguments about his behaviors. Some now I realize were my over reactions to things normal. I have issues too.

I made nice most of the time when they were around. They saw none of what I spoke about. (I am sure they felt the tension, but better tension than all out war in front of the kids, (which occasionally did happen, mostly my doing because I would not drop the subject for a better time).

 When he got involved in bible studies with other men, he took over most of the time. The other men gave him accolades. OF COURSE, they did not live with him! ( I used to think and say..."if they only knew...")

He was all shiny and clean when he was with them. THEY spurred his confidence. Also, Narc. are very good at procuring compliments. This too after years of owning his own business; (which is the only way I believe he ever could have succeeded.) since Narc. are not followers.

One of my sons sent me a note. He is in his mid 40's. "Mom, I am proud of the way you have chosen to live your life." (This included years of volunteer work in a international. bible group.) They were all given ample foundation in the bible. Not perfect, just ample.

They are all in marriages now over 15 - 20 years. They understand commitment. Of course none are perfect and I see reflections of our shortcomings in our children. What else is new? Welcome to real life.
They have very smart, normal children in spite of the tendencies they got from both of us that are less than desirable.

It was a hard life in many ways. And it was a good life in many ways. Unlike others here I don't believe my goal is to be happy in all of life but to have peace with God. This gives me more than a day of happiness. I have joy even in difficulties when I practice my faith.
(that brings me the ability to have peace myself and even with the PD in my life. Which I do, and all my needs (of any real value) are supplied by my relationship to God and His Word. I take it seriously and look only there for answers of real value. I listen to others, but my final decisions come from what I know is eternal truth.

However, I tend to react so I got some good practice at not saying everything in my head at the moment I felt like it in the past, failing a lot. It is a good discipline. I was not such a great partner at times either. My need to control only brought more evil into my life.

My kids,
They LOVE their dad. They all know he is weird. He knows he is weird. One even has mentioned dad is a narcissist. (I never suggested this in life, I didn't even know about it till recently) But... they respect him and treat him with dignity. Maybe more than he gave them growing up. Even our grandchildren love him, and avoid him when he gets weird or they just leave the room. It's as if their parents have prepped them; I have not been involved in that part.

At some point in their teens I told them dad is different. He cannot BE all they want him to be but he loved them. I told them I knew it would be hard, but he was doing the best he could.

There was some sadness, but it took away the crazy they felt. Later in life when they spent time working with him, they saw for themselves.
They all quit. Could not stand the way he treated them and others who worked for him. It was sad, but they figured it out.

Sadder, dad still cannot understand why they all quit. He had "plans" for them taking over the business.  PD' s just can't face who they really are, but they can be lovable, and they are everywhere in this world. We can't avoid them, even in quarantine.
"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. T/H

Family systems are like spider webs. It takes years to get untangled from them.  T/H

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veritas

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Re: I should know better
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2020, 07:58:54 PM »
Hugs to you. Its hard to deal with this from a non-believer but from a believer it would be even more frustrating. In the end I would have to keep telling myself that just because he believes does not mean he cannot sin.

I totally relate with you on the friend thing. My ex, who was not a PD person like my current partner, he would give me a hard time because I took my time with friendships. Have always had a small group of friends who I trust and love, versus a long list of acquaintances that I may or may not have much in common with.

Just be you. Even if you did get on his entourage, he would find a way to ignore you. Its what they do for their amusement. Sorry to not offer hope he will change since I don't believe those with PD can. It would be like a tall person wanting to be shorter, they cannot  change that.

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tragedy or hope

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Re: I should know better
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2020, 10:57:22 AM »
Sorry to not offer hope he will change since I don't believe those with PD can. It would be like a tall person wanting to be shorter, they cannot  change that.
That's funny and so true. Once I "got it" that they don't change... I began my journey to freedom. Even believers can live unaware of certain bents to their ego and sin. This is between them and God. Once I realized that they have to be willing for God to change their heart, I could let go of expectations.

God will not interfere in one's life uninvited. This includes the sins associated with PD's as the world sees it. All of the weirdos who were judged in scripture could have been"diagnosed" with something. Bottom line, willingness to sin brings more willingness and ego can drive one mad. IE: Nebuchednazzar.

I choose peace with God and man through Christ. Everyone makes up their own mind, or losses it. Their choice.
"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. T/H

Family systems are like spider webs. It takes years to get untangled from them.  T/H

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Mary

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Re: I should know better
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2020, 01:15:14 AM »
My children are all married adults.

When they were young we had lots of people over and spent time with people from church. They kids always had friends over. We had closed door arguments about his behaviors. Some now I realize were my over reactions to things normal. I have issues too.

I made nice most of the time when they were around. They saw none of what I spoke about. (I am sure they felt the tension, but better tension than all out war in front of the kids, (which occasionally did happen, mostly my doing because I would not drop the subject for a better time).

 When he got involved in bible studies with other men, he took over most of the time. The other men gave him accolades. OF COURSE, they did not live with him! ( I used to think and say..."if they only knew...")

He was all shiny and clean when he was with them. THEY spurred his confidence. Also, Narc. are very good at procuring compliments. This too after years of owning his own business; (which is the only way I believe he ever could have succeeded.) since Narc. are not followers.

One of my sons sent me a note. He is in his mid 40's. "Mom, I am proud of the way you have chosen to live your life." (This included years of volunteer work in a international. bible group.) They were all given ample foundation in the bible. Not perfect, just ample.

They are all in marriages now over 15 - 20 years. They understand commitment. Of course none are perfect and I see reflections of our shortcomings in our children. What else is new? Welcome to real life.
They have very smart, normal children in spite of the tendencies they got from both of us that are less than desirable.

It was a hard life in many ways. And it was a good life in many ways. Unlike others here I don't believe my goal is to be happy in all of life but to have peace with God. This gives me more than a day of happiness. I have joy even in difficulties when I practice my faith.
(that brings me the ability to have peace myself and even with the PD in my life. Which I do, and all my needs (of any real value) are supplied by my relationship to God and His Word. I take it seriously and look only there for answers of real value. I listen to others, but my final decisions come from what I know is eternal truth.

However, I tend to react so I got some good practice at not saying everything in my head at the moment I felt like it in the past, failing a lot. It is a good discipline. I was not such a great partner at times either. My need to control only brought more evil into my life.

My kids,
They LOVE their dad. They all know he is weird. He knows he is weird. One even has mentioned dad is a narcissist. (I never suggested this in life, I didn't even know about it till recently) But... they respect him and treat him with dignity. Maybe more than he gave them growing up. Even our grandchildren love him, and avoid him when he gets weird or they just leave the room. It's as if their parents have prepped them; I have not been involved in that part.

At some point in their teens I told them dad is different. He cannot BE all they want him to be but he loved them. I told them I knew it would be hard, but he was doing the best he could.

There was some sadness, but it took away the crazy they felt. Later in life when they spent time working with him, they saw for themselves.
They all quit. Could not stand the way he treated them and others who worked for him. It was sad, but they figured it out.

Sadder, dad still cannot understand why they all quit. He had "plans" for them taking over the business.  PD' s just can't face who they really are, but they can be lovable, and they are everywhere in this world. We can't avoid them, even in quarantine.
This was a super comforting post. The day to day is so hard, especially being ignored. I think I will try to approach the teens as you did. Thank you soooo much!!!
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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1footouttadefog

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Re: I should know better
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2021, 08:07:30 PM »
I was open with my kids about my spouses mental illness all along.  We went through some of the tools in the toolbox here and other materials here together as part of homeschooling.  We talked about red flags to look for in relationships out side the house and many other things.

One thing I am very glad I did was to empower them to not take the PD bs.  I told them to remain respectful but to feel free to disengage.  To let me know what was bothering them so we could decide if I should approach him or they should.  Often it was a matter of my waiting a few days then saying, it seems that there has been some of this or that and we need to stop it or find a solution.  I would not rat the kids out or describe a recent event If i did not have to.  This work pretty well most of the time. 

I did not want them to thing we had a normal situation. 

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tragedy or hope

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Re: I should know better
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2021, 11:00:42 AM »
Thanks 1foot,
This waiting, which I am not so good at is probably a useful tool with one of my grandson's who he seems to target. often, my grandson will walk away, but at times I see his discomfort as he is not an adult, and is commanded to give grandad a hug and to say certain things... which disgusts me.

I can't change the sick one, but I can talk to my grandson about it, which I think would be a good idea. It's weird. We seem to deal with one aspect of my unpdh's personality and something else pops out. It's like a piece of overfull luggage, you just can't get it zipped up.
"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. T/H

Family systems are like spider webs. It takes years to get untangled from them.  T/H

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Mary

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Re: I should know better
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2021, 12:49:35 PM »
Thanks everyone for your input. And please pray for my wisdom in navigating this with my 22, 14, and 10-yr olds.

22-yr old is out of the house and gets some of what went on in his childhood, but totally oblivious to other things. Thus he blames me for some--rightly so to some extent as I was deep in the fog. But I can confide in him with nothing but a look, and he TOTALLY understands.

14- yr old is her daddy's girl and will rat me out to him in a heartbeat without knowing it...or maybe knowing it.

10-yr old has grown up being a caretaker, trying to keep everyone happy. He loves his dad dearly and is very troubled that dad won't let me come to church with the family right now. He will stay away from going to another church with me just to keep dad happy even when he really wants to go.

Further input is appreciated.
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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SparkStillLit

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Re: I should know better
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2021, 08:01:11 PM »
I'm so sorry. I'm navigating similarly, and I keep hearing ugly stories I didn't know about because I was in the fog, not present, and too foggy to be aware enough to intervene.
I don't have real suggestions, being in the same place kind of. I can just offer support as Sisters in Spirit.

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Mary

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Re: I should know better
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2021, 03:48:03 AM »
Thank you. We stand together.
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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Matteblak

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Re: I should know better
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2021, 10:42:07 AM »
Thank you all for your openness and honesty in all this. This morning was an "I should know better" morning for me, and I am not good at forgiving myself for not being perfect. I argued back (JADE is still my go to...lots of behavioral muscle memory to overcome). I appreciate all of you so much for your efforts to be faithful through all this. It's encouraging to know that others have been here (and are here now as well).

My son is 9 and just stared at us this morning as we argued. I cannot imagine what he must be thinking as he listens to us (the cause of the argument this morning was that I asked my son to put his socks on for school while PD was in the middle of complaining about...someone for doing something). I struggle to send the message that he is important as his mother yells and says that I am making him an idol...by asking him to put his socks on instead of giving her 132000% of my attention.

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tragedy or hope

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Re: I should know better
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2021, 11:07:11 PM »
Mattblak
Sorry for your unpleasant morning. What they can walk away from we carry in our hearts all day. Not only for the pain it caused us but for what we feel our children are suffering.

Just a little encouragement. Kids are resilient. They are amazingly strong and aware. They see mom and dad fighting like kids at school. They see at times the seeming childishness of all of it. More than anything, they just want peace. What is said and done does have some consequences, but getting a handle on it even later and keeping things calm is important,

I know this from my own childhood, Even when I thought my parents hated each other if they were not fighting, my whole being felt safe. There is always a do over moment for one or both of you if you can get it from them to be willing. Especially in the morning, it seems to set the tone for everyone the whole day, Sometimes this worked/works for me.

I will say, could we/I have a do over?  things aren't going well and I don't mean for the day to start like this. If she refuses, you and your child are free to choose a do over. Actually incorporating them in it lightens the situation, I did not do this often with my kids, but I do it more now, Sometimes I get disappointed. PD's never want to give in and cooperate, but mine comes grudgingly along once in awhile.  :doh: I like this smiley face do over. Good to use in person with kids as a visual do over, and could end up relieving some tension.


"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. T/H

Family systems are like spider webs. It takes years to get untangled from them.  T/H

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SparkStillLit

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Re: I should know better
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2021, 11:53:20 PM »
Also I keep reading, if ONE parent can model decent civilized Christian behavior for the children, they will be ok. They will have a safe harbor. Maybe you can talk to your child in private after he(she?) witnesses a blowup anc have an age appropriate conversation about anger, lost tempers, and forgiveness. And working on what to do better next time. Help model for when kids get mad and yell, too. Oops. Everybody messes up, even Mom and Dad, what can we do next time? Plus not the fault of the child, and apologies for the fright and upset. It's a chance to show how all that works and be the safe and stable parent, while modeling some good skills (apology, forgiveness, coping, emotional management).

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Matteblak

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Re: I should know better
« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2021, 06:18:13 AM »
Thank you for the encouragement. I take him to school in the mornings and have about 25 minutes to talk in private. I can check in this morning as we drive. I feel guilty talking about her with him even though he HAS to know something wrong.

Thanks again.

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SparkStillLit

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Re: I should know better
« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2021, 10:33:05 AM »
Well, you can always put it in light of "we had an arguement. We yelled" that kind of thing.
Or, I mean, there's nothing wrong with identifying BEHAVIORS but not condemning the PERSON. Just the same as you'd do for your kid. "Sometimes adults yell. What can we do instead?" No mention of MOM yells. Kwim?

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tragedy or hope

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Re: I should know better
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2021, 10:29:19 AM »
Spark shares wisdom.
"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. T/H

Family systems are like spider webs. It takes years to get untangled from them.  T/H

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Matteblak

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Re: I should know better
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2021, 05:06:10 PM »

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SparkStillLit

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Re: I should know better
« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2021, 09:39:32 PM »
You guys are making me blush.

I just had to do this with a teenager. Mine, of course. It went well!
It doesn't go as well with the more damaged one in text, because that one can see the thread and the pattern in the response. It's harder to come up with stuff in that format and at that level. I work with my T on those responses, and myself and everyone I know says extra prayers for that one.