I’m thinking about having my tattoo removed. You may have seen it. Well maybe not it’s invisible. It is there none the less. Right there, in great big letters on my forehead. Can you guess what word it is? One word (maybe two), such and innocent word but when placed across one’s forehead takes on a totally new cryptic meaning. Have you figured it out yet?
My tattoo must say doormat! And truthfully I’m growing a bit tired of it. So it may be time to have it removed. I’ve heard it’s rather painful to have a tattoo removed. Sometimes it requires multiple procedures to fully remove it. Probably a lot like teaching oneself to no longer be that doormat. Guess I’ve found another thing that I can add to my list of things I have to work on. Realization is so much fun!
You know I was really feeling pretty lucky, maybe even guilty, that my husband never left after D-day. Not one night did he stay away from home. So when he expresses his wishes to remain together and work on things in our relationship. I take it at face value, benefit of doubt thing I guess. Because I truly expected him to leave. Ok, sounds good, let’s work on things. I decided early on that I would forgive him. Not that he didn’t deserve to have his dick cut off. More so, so I could move past the intense anger and emotions that ran wild through out my body, brain and heart. The only way I could move forward was to forgive him. Then I could focus on being positive. I didn’t want to dwell in that nasty spot too long. I’ve read writing from women who are still in the “on fire anger” after many, many years. It would’ve eaten me alive. I accepted my portion of responsibility for my marriage being in hell. I accepted none of the responsibility for his affair. Besides I kinda figured that maybe recovery wouldn’t be quite so long and drawn out if we looked forward, and tried to treat each other with love and kindess. I believe that we both needed an opportunity to show one another that we mean what we say and our actions demonstrate that. To regain some trust between us and heal from this nightmare. I wanted to believe his words otherwise why wouldn’t he just leave.
Since my husband is a very successful stealth narcissist and really hadn’t owned anything, taken responsibility, or really shown remorse for his affair. ( On top of that, I knew he was also having a mid-life crisis) I thought by being the first one to step up and demonstrate that our life together could be better that he would see how his perception was skewed and begin to demonstrate this more openly. Give it some time I said -don’t rush into any decision. And in many ways things did improve. We are getting along better, spending time together, making plans and it felt like progress. I worked (continue to) on my personal areas needing attention and he seemed happy with improved upon me! (I have to do these things either way so I say that sarcastically).
But I kept getting the feeling that I am the only one initiating any changes in the routines of our daily life. I wasn’t seeing any hints of remorse, understanding of how his affair affected our marriage, or seeing that there were changes he needed to make, as well as me, to make this marriage work. I mean I really thought that he should of realized “how fucking lucky he was” that I didn’t want to be one of those bitter, stuck betrayeds that I often read about. I accepted that I had not always been good to our marriage in the past. But I don’t know if it was the lack of any remorse or the phony feeling I get from some of his behavior. But ya know how you see things and they just seem, well, authentic, yes I think this is the word I’m looking for, UNAUTHENTIC. Gives the appearance of being real but lacks certain qualities to make it 100% true fact, that’s my interpretation. Well you know that old saying “walks like a duck, smells like a duck, quacks like a duck, then must be a duck. Well it walks and quacks like a duck but something smells fishy you know. But I don’t say anything. I realize I would probably get some stupid story. So I began to really start observing his behavior. Occasionally I would bring up an article I had read or about possibly of working through a program to help heal from this, come out stronger on the other side. Or how to tackle one of our problem areas at our house, or anything, so we were working together, towards a common goal. But he would always rebuff any suggestion of this. So I thought be patient – give it time girl.
A narcissist must have a constant supply/s of this adoration and I guess conquest mode of searching for new supply. When I first met him, we had a pretty instant attraction. (We were introduced by my sister who said “got this guy I want you to meet your perfect for each other I just know you’re going to fall in love and get married”.) And as we got together and began dating, it was the first time I felt secure, not jealous at all. It was a new feeling, never experienced before I had always had some jealousy in previous relationships (and marriage -yep married for 10 years before I met this one). I had always heard that when you didn’t experience the feelings of jealousy it meant your relationship contains those elements to make a healthy relationship. So I never once felt jealous of his friendships, work relationships, time out with friends. Because he felt secure, & loving. He always said (me too) that we were soul mates. As bad as our marriage was, I never once, thought he would cheat on me. Well you know how that went-BIG MISTAKE!
While we are out somewhere together, either shopping or out to lunch, I began to notice something about him. Something I hadn’t previously noticed, his mannerisms, his voice, how he interacted with others, specifically women. Nothing that an outsider would view as out of place but it was just – I don’t know. Very subtle, but really strange to observe from outside looking in point of view. I always knew that he wears a different face when he’s not at home, so others will see who he wants them to see. So I simply observed, not as a wife but as an outsider who knows his little secret. Nothing so obvious that he would notice me. He is slyly working it. He behaves just shy of flirting, but a little more than cordial. Like he cares about them. Every female store clerk, the bartender when we went out the other afternoon, basically ALL women who he had a casual contact with. He seemed so sure of himself, casual, yet charming not quite flirting. Not limited to only young beautiful women but ANY woman. I could see it now. How his radar is scanning for potential new supply. It was a creepy feeling, not jealous just creepy! Maybe that’s why I occasionally find a business card with female name but on back a “home” number. Why would he need this # if he’s only doing business with them. Oh boy is HE ever good at this.
Watching TV together is another place I’ve observed this. He is so intent on commercials and programs with women in them. It so frickn creepy! A blog I follow recently posted about how TV programs have become too difficult to watch with their unfaithful spouse. Programs that were once loved are looked upon with a different frame of mind, so many glamourizing infidelity, men always after a female conquest, that one both should not be persuing. It’s appalling to me how society has learned to think it is a joke, to harm, control or take advantage of people (especially women). Frankly it discusts me! Demoralization of women is the main ingredient in many of these so called story lines in the entertainment industry . Music is just as guilty. It really is sad that after all the progress for women’s rights that hard earned gains have become an achielle’s heel of sorts. Be careful what you wish for it’s coming back to bite us in the ass!
So I feel a bit differently these days as I interact with my husband. Between the constant double speak, distorted truths, stories or reasons made up to be somewhere. (You’re not going to believe a comment that was added by someone on a blog but her spouse had even said that a good friend had died to use as an excuse to escape.) OMG! Last year my husband told me about his good friend who passed away. At the time I wasn’t going to things with him very often and since they were his friends from past he went to the services alone. I never checked up on it- did he make that up too? (Added update: his friend DID pass away from sleep apnea.)
I feel his unauthenticity even more now. I have given him every opportunity to approach this recovery delicately and slowly. To allow him the right to come to these realizations at his own pace, not mine. And I think a healthy person would have started down that path if they were sincere, but my husband is not a healthy person in that aspect. I did know this however before I choose to try to work things out. So please don’t say “I told you so”. But there are so many unanswered questions that I still have and as much time as gone by he should be coming round a little bit, not working me like narcissistic supply.
The spying hasn’t been that helpful because the results are not 100% accurate. Out in more rural areas where we live it works best, but still not conclusive enough. Sometimes just gives me more questions. So do phone records and finding receipts for either purchases that don’t make sense or the best one; a receipt showing he was in a town when he should not of been at that time of day. Then when I checked my phone I received a call from “his desk” when he was heading home that evening, but obviously he wasn’t there. Can you say spoof call app! He doesn’t know I know these things. I’ve gotten better at holding my tongue.
I also wonder about how his previous severe anxiety attacks, vertigo and his ” poor me” attitude had ended as abruptly as it had started. Pretty obvious now, probably eating cake again!. I don’t know if it’s the same flavor or a new variety or if it’s lots of cupcakes. But pretty sure cuz I think see some frosting on his lips! When I subtly question him about his behavior or lies he just denies the validity of any of it. Then continues to state I’m seeing something that is simply not there. I’ve heard it all before. But it’s harder to not believe, when you don’t have any conclusive evidence.
I do think I’ve become too patient with his behavior. I really don’t trust him yet. Recently, I read an article about when you give them too much time AND by never confronting the subject directly, it sorta backfires on you. They begin to think that the won’t have to fess up or deal with any consequences. Without my seeing any real remorse seeping into him, I realize this is what I may have allowed to happen. MY BAD – just too nice for my own good.
I mean we couldn’t figure it out before why in the hell does he still think we could do it now by ourselves. I want to do a recovery program but he’s not interested, so I asked what’s your plan for making sure this doesn’t happen again. No answer that had any substance to it. I always said that time will tell. And time may just be beginning to learn to speak. This is a work in progress, a road I stumble down as I search for answers. Answers to questions that would help heal my mind. But he isn’t offering any answers today. My horoscope said “don’t tell anyone any information if they’re the type that might use it against you to ruin your reputation”. Guess I don’t want to confront him tonight-LOL!
Maybe i’ll just get a new tattoo, to replace the one I want to remove. Something like “doorway to the bakery”!
Links to articles I’ve referenced: