Really? But They Seemed Like Such A Nice Family, So Normal

Once during one of our “discussions”, he had said to me that “everything is not all about you”.  While on the surface this could be seen as a hurtful statement, I understood (I think) what he meant by that even though he may not realize it.  Doing so would mean he must acknowledge the dysfunction in his family of origin.

Sometimes people mistakenly believe that all abuse is mean, direct, straight forward, name calling, drunken beatings in a lower, deprived class of people.  That is so NOT TRUE at all .  Sometimes it is blended into what is basically a warm and loving family.  This family wants what is loving and nurturing and healthy for it but (for whatever) reason in their history something stained it .  Sometimes it goes outwardly bad, easy to recognize.  Other times it grows inwardly, causing it to be sickened despite still wanting what is good.

To own this means you acknowledge  what was always presented as “perfect”, simply is not so. It is not the truth. It is a facade, all for outward appearances  It hurts to realize that your behavior was (albeit unintentional) detrimental to yourself and the one you created. If you refuse to accept this as part of your reality, you deceive yourself.  When you finally (maybe) see a glimpse of it for what it is, it’s too painful so you push it away.  Don’t acknowledge ,then it won’t be true.  Otherwise people will recognize it for the facade it was. To cover up the pain that sometimes comes along with the love, within families.

My husbands’ inability to acknowledge any of this (in our family or his FOO), is ultimately what was the cause of his affair/s. However I feel like I do see moments of a little understanding from him.  I think I’ll call it vague recognition, like when you know but you really don’t want to know. If you never acknowledge it then it can never be real.  He doesn’t want it to be that he grew up in this type of family. Who would? But not acknowledging it is catching up with him, and that is what he meant when he said “It’s not always all about you”. At least that’s what I think because I see hints of recognition from him every now and then.

Maybe I am trying to read his mind.  I have to . He doesn’t share whats going on inside very well, if at all.  This is the life of a covert narcissist.  Wishing that everything is perfect (who doesn’t) but can’t accept that life is just not really that way. We are all human with flaws and imperfections.  I think one of the most appropriate descriptions of this is from Christopher Leasch in a book he wrote a long time ago about Narcissism (can’t remember exact title).  He describes a covert narcissist as someone who;

“Although perfectly capable of lighting candles, prefers cursing the darkness”

But people pretend (families pretend, sometimes for generations) and when it eventually catches up with some of them, they try to cast that away.  Which causes hurt , to them, their significant other and children, basically their immediate family.

I guess that’s where the saying “you only hurt the the ones you love” may have come from.

That’s what I believe he means by the “it’s not all about you” statement.  That he is recognizing that much of the strife between us, was not always about us.  It was about him.  And he knows that deep inside. Even if he refuses to outwardly admit that and accept it.Heck my family of origin was pretty screwed up as well – I admit it is the root of a lot of my own issues.  I don’t like it but I acknowledge.  I know I brought baggage from childhood into my family. I know that husband and I are the ones responsible for the problems that our kids deal with.  He does not like when I say that. I don’t either but you just got to own it to change anything, ever.

I am glad to say that not all betrayeds are dealing with a narcissistic spouse.  Many may not even know or have come in contact with this type of person. If you have, I’m pretty sure you couldn’t tell, you were on the outside, looking in and weren’t privy to such behavior.  It is not uncommon for this type of spouse  (narcissistic) to go on undetected by others for a long time.  One of my good friends (who knows of my husband’s affair and is very supportive of me) even said to me recently,  “I believe you, but I just don’t see it”.

It made me realize that there may be others who cannot see it, for what it is-COVERT ABUSE!  The link below is an excellent website about understanding Narcissism written by Michael Samsel MA, LMHC. The specific article titled Narcissism as ‘Difficult behavior’  explains it so well   If you don’t have time (right now) to read the entire article (although I reccommend it )– PLEASE scroll down to the last paragraph or two that are specific to covert abuse.

It’s time for people to understand this about our society, in hopes of making changes so we educate young people on how to prevent this from happening.  We Must break the generational cycle somehow, someway.  It is destroying what are basically good people and their families. No one deserves the pain abuse causes. Sometimes, affairs can be a symptom of underlying abuse.  We need no reminders of how painful the discovery of an affair can be.  If you’ve been there you will know what I mean.

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A private investigator-answers once and for all???

I realized that I might not ever let it go until I knew if he was still in contact with her. I knew I couldn’t get the answer I needed from him.  What alternatives did I have? I’m certain many BS have had the thought of hiring a private investigator.  But I’ve never seen anything that indicates anyone on any of the blogs I follow actually had actually done so.

I had thought that hiring a private investigator would provide me those answers.  It really did not, although the PI seemed to think he was not still involved with her.  But how could he say that with the service he provided me. Besides if it is only an emotional affair- tracking really wouldn’t show that.

Let me explain.  Hired the PI in November.  He was to place a gps tracker on husband’s vehicle and then send  reports, to my Mom’s e-mail (didn’t want to take a chance he could see my e-mails).  I also had some other questions (did he purchase any property without my knowledge?  Does he have an child with another?  Hidden financials?) The amount I paid ($500.00) didn’t cover that but he said he would give me info on how to do that research myself. So I waited for the first report.

And I waited, and nothing, no report, no call.  Contacted him, says will send report.  (Had to ask three times). Finally something arrives Mom’s e-mail.  But it says file too large or something and I have to contact him again and ask to resend.  It arrives, print it out and then begin to deceipher.  The pages had to be matched and taped together just so I could read it. Very difficult to read, the times seemed off (he had not set it to pacific daylight time and I had to adjust all times by two hours.  It was somewhat confusing.  And after figuring it out it appeared it had not tracked after a certain date.  Why?

Finally get a hold of him and the battery had died over two weeks ago – no tracking.  WTF!  Oh he says he’ll get a new battery in asap.  Actually took about a week .  I stressed to him the urgency as I felt during the holidays would be a time he would be in contact with her, and since we were to be gone at the end of Dec.  There was only a little time that would actually track since we would be on vacation.

I waited again for the next report, nothing.  I contacted him- was to send -then nothing again.  Finally got a hold of him and he tells me gonna send report again.  I start to complain.  This is bullshit.   I wanted the next report NOW.  So I pleaded with him, PLEASE let me access the livewire site directly.  It would be January before we knew it and I had hoped to have answers BEFORE my anniversary at the end of Jan.  After a little back and forth he finally agreed and gave me the code so I could see reports on line.  This was much better.  It was live tracking and gave me access to much more information than just the print out.

There didn’t appear to be one place that he went regularly or that he had left work early and not told me.  But with less than two weeks of consecutive tracking, how could I be sure.  About the third week of January, I hadn’t checked report for about 10 days and when I went to assess, it again appeared that it had stopped tracking.  OMG are you #$%@* kidding me? Again? It was very easy to check the battery life on the livewire site- why was he not checking it? I could tell that he basically put charged tracker on but again never went back to check the battery life.  I was blown away.  Almost three months of his services and I still couldn’t get longer than a two week record (with much time unreported due to his negligence.)  REALLY NOT HAPPY. Attempt to get a hold of him, I continue to get the answering service leaving messages -no return call. I took the tracker off the car myself and was holding on to it until he would return my calls

I finally got irate with the service and said that if he didn’t contact me today all hell was going to break loose.  Oh yeah called me right back this time.  Apologized again, and was to put another charged tracker on (takes like a week).  So much for having answers before anniversary.

A couple of weeks into Feb.  he contacts me and tells me he needs to get tracker back.  Really?  You can’t even provide the service I paid for ( uninterrupted tracking or the extra information he had promised) and you want to end the tracking?

How professional was that? What kind of PI are you?  Then he gave me some cock’n’bull story about ordering a new one but needed to start this other client and would get a new one to me asap.  Well I think you can guess how that worked out.  Basically he blew me off.  AUUGGGGHHHHH!!

Finally I sent a letter expressing my total disappointment with his services, I felt he had not lived up to his obligation to me and my case was handled totally unprofessional.  I never heard from him.  I told my Mom that if she wanted to sue him it was up to her (her credit card was used).  But that I was done with him.  I reported to the BBB and will never recommend him ever.  As a matter of fact I would like to expose him as a rip-off.  But I haven’t yet.  I had needed a break after this two-year long nightmare that had become my life.   Was I back to square one?  Does this nightmare ever end?

P.S.  I’ve learned a lot on my own about effective surveillance and I will share those tips in another post.

Can a person forgive too soon?

Fairly soon after I discovered my husband’s affair, I made the decision to forgive him. He’s human, he makes mistakes. So many (both men and women) once discovered simply walk away and don’t look back. So when he said he wanted to stay together and make it work. He said he had ended the affair. He said he was sorry. So I took what he said at face value, decided to be the bigger person and offered forgiveness for past transgressions and tried to move forward positively.

Squarely thinking we would be working together at this reconciliation. It seemed like it was working, for a while. But everything just started not to feel right. I didn’t feel better, everything seemed to trigger me, and I was always feeling like shit. Apparently I wasn’t supposed to share those feelings with him. I was always told I’m over thinking it, or just get over it already. I thought maybe it was too soon to have forgiven him? But I did. I couldn’t just take it back. My thinking about it was I need us to be on the same page about this working together to put it behind us. I knew it wouldn’t be easy but I thought it was the right thing to do. And in many ways I still do.

I forgave him also for myself. I thought if I just let it go, it would fade away, not bother me and I didn’t want to dwell on it. If he had been genuinely remorseful I think it could of worked. But here’s the thing:

it’s difficult to be in a place of forgiveness without taking enough time to process your feelings and emotions about all of it, even when they are remorseful. Especially when you don’t have all the information needed to understand the severity of it all. If husband had exhibited any of the behaviors of a truly remorseful spouse, and meant what he was telling me I think early forgiveness could of worked. We could of moved forward in a healthy way.

However being married to a narcissist, I should have realized that much of the conventional wisdom on healing and reconciliation after affairs, doesn’t really work/apply for us. As a matter of fact, most advice to spouses of a narcissist says to run as fast as humanly possible to get away from the harm that these people cause.

Despite the fact that a year has passed since d-day, I felt we were slipping further apart. All our interactions seem superficial and forced on his part (sometimes on mine too) and everyday I was feeling more and more resentment because I felt something was missing from this picture.

What was/is missing? A true heartfelt apology that shows his remorse. Not the excuses, and blaming and justifying type of (non)- apology that I received. But an apology that showed his understanding of the severity of the situation and what it has done to me. An apology that was focused on how his choices had caused me severe trauma and how he would help the healing of wounds inflicted by him. But that’s not what I got, no what I got was basically a non-apology camoflaouged as one. But I didn’t recognize it at the time.

I wish that I had been able to record those very few discussions that we DID have about the affair. That way I could go back and listen to what he actually said (now that my head is clearer). Because I now feel like there never was an apology just excuses and blaming. I understand no one likes to be confronted about mistakes they have made and many times they are upset and feel forced into apologizing. So instead they twist their apology to reflect their lack of responsibility. They will say things that sound like:

I’m sorry you feel that…

I’m sorry but…

I was just trying to help…

If I hurt you, I’m sorry…

If you think…

If I made a mistake…

Fill in any of the blanks and you’ll see an attempt to apologize without it really being their fault. A great apology includes an ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF RESPONSIBILITY, and when it’s lacking, what they imply is they think they did nothing wrong. In my opinion no apology would have been better than his half-ass, piss poor excuse for an apology that he gave me.

“A cheater who refuses to acknowledge and address their failings is a cheater who expects you to accept them as the person they were on the day they decided to have the affair” Wayfarer

http://www.infidelityhelpgroup.com/2014/06/25/once-a-cheater-always-a-cheater-2/

I realized at the moment I read this quote that he never apologized because he doesn’t feel that he has done anything wrong. Nope, not him true entitlement. He will never apologize to me. He doesn’t think he was wrong one single bit. He will take years of a not so great marriage and twist the story to fit his needs. He has re-written our history to fit his behavior, this has become his reality. Twisted as it may be it is now “his truth”.

In my situation by forgiving him too quickly several things happened: I had not worked through any of my emotions and feelings regarding his affair. I guess I was so glad that he hadn’t just walked out the door and never returned giving us a chance to make it through this. I thought it was his way of showing me he still wanted to try so I felt that I should show my willingness to work things out by offering forgiveness. I thought I had established a couple of boundaries and made sure I heard what he was saying about what I wasn’t giving that he needed. Believing he would be doing the same for me. And for a while it seemed like it was working.

And secondly, there really were no consequences for him. Not that him being a narcissist it would of really made a difference. I thought asking him to end the affair, him doing (saying) that he did was a consequence. It should be a given not thought of as a consequence. But you know I really wasn’t thinking clearly those first few weeks. Getting through a day without crying and a new discovery took everything I had. Oh that and trying to be a better wife. I thought that’s what he wanted. That’s what I heard when we had talked. Those few times that I was allowed to bring the subject up.

I would initiate a discussion about our circumstances (which he never wanted to do, but did so a couple of times reluctantly) and I would get these non-apologies, twisted blaming and projecting his bad behaviors back to me. Don’t get me wrong I’m no angel, I have done some pretty crappy things in this relationship as well (not infidelity). He is the one that is the emotional abuser but still cannot, will not, refuses to see that!! But I always have owned my mistakes, took responsibility for my actions or in-actions. Him, Hell I can’t think of a time that he didn’t think that I was responsible every thing wrong in our relationship. It is a classic example of projecting everything that he sees as wrong in our marriage as only coming from me. Unable to see any wrong doing on his part WHATSOEVER!!

So while I tried to forgive him I realize now I am holding a grudge against him. He has inflicted emotional abuse on me for a very long time and this affair is just coup d’grau for his sick little mind. Yes his perfectly charming, twisted emotional abuse, it eats you alive. I have zero trust in him. I know that he doesn’t follow through on things he says to me, even though the outcome is detrimental to him as well. (Like refinancing the house because we have a terrible interest rate, he just refuses to make it happen.) Doesn’t he realize that when he doesn’t keep his promises he is telling me he simply doesn’t care. I mean if he can’t or won’t change his mind why is being honest about it so bad.

Yes if he is using this past year as a way to make me leave this marriage (because he is a coward and won’t do it himself) then I’ll have to say he is doing a fine job of it. Because like the song by Lifehouse says:

Halfway Gone
I’m halfway gone

You were always hard to hold
So letting go aint easy
I’m hanging on you’re growing cold
While my mind is leaving

Talk, talk is cheap
Give me your word you can keep
‘Cause I’m halfway gone and I’m on my way
And I’m feeling, feelin, feelin this way
‘Cause your halfway in but don’t take too long
‘Cause I’m halfway gone, halfway gone

Do I know what I am going to do yet? No not yet, but I have hired the private investigator and before too long the truth will be set free. Then I have what I need to confront him, even though I don’t think it will make a difference. His eyes are shut, and I don’t think he wants to open them. Too bad he’s gonna loose a DAMN GOOD WOMAN!!

http:www.infidelityhelpgroup.com/2013/07/22/affair-forgiveness

Don’t struggle, remember it’s quiksand!

I hate this feeling of being stuck. Not in the manner that I am stuck in this relationship because I know I am not. I do possess the capability of leaving/divorcing my husband (the strength I occasionally question but not the option to do so) if I choose, just as he could at any time as well. But here’s the bigger meaning of “stuck” in relation to me at the moment, stuck as in unable to progress.

And I realize that part of the reason just may be that I approached this reconciliation all wrong, forgave him TOO soon, before I had even processed and dealt with any of the emotions and feelings coursing through my body. But then again who would blame me. When d-day happens and you think you now see the problem and try your best to deal with it, you have limited knowledge of what is really transpiring, so you do what you feel you must do to make through those awful agonizing days and weeks following discovery. Sometimes the choices are positive or good and others although thought of as a good choice may over time come to be not so wise choices. Pretty sure thats why they say make NO DECISIONS when your in the throes of initial trauma.

I’ve gone through this last year wondering why? Not why did this happen? No that’s not it at all. It’s “why did I forgive him so easily”? This man who has deceived me (most likely) our entire marriage. He is not well, physically, emotionally or spiritually. It may not be his fault, but it is his to possess as an adult. It is who he is, a man who had an upbringing that wounded his soul, who must now do anything and everything to make himself feel good, feel alive. It is sick and it made him personality disordered. But it is who he is even if I don’t think he realizes it. He has worked so hard all his life at keeping that mask on and making it look perfect that he no longer possess perspective of himself or his behavior.

If you listen to my words as a reader, I would think, “well sounds like you’ve answered your own question girl, just leave him, what’s the problem?”. And my answer to that would be my heart! Because despite being in an emotionally abusive marriage and discovering infidelity, I most likely you still love the man I married (hate him now as well but i think most understand what I mean). The man in front of me now is not the man I married. I know that now. I know that I only know a small bit about him but in spite of all that has happened I can’t quite throw in the towel. Call it Stockholm syndrome or whatever you wish I think most betrayed spouses don’t really want their marriage to end. Im no different. I’ve spent almost 23 years of my life beside this man- I just don’t stand up and walk out when the problems come to surface. So I try and He tries but I don’t think either one of us is giving what the other needs. I’m starting to see how that may never happen.

I’ve really been struggling these last couple of months first having the one year d-day milestone (not that the actual day bugged me just knowing how much time has passed). And secondly the lack of intimacy between us. I don’t mean sex in reference to intimacy as used here, more as I’ve never felt further from him than I do right at this moment. Oh don’t get me wrong, he knows how to do it, make it appear that we are more intimate together. We do things together, we have (almost weekly) a date night, he calls when he’s supposed to without fail, generally greet and hug and are pleasant to one another, we even have sex. But there is no closeness growing between us, as a matter of fact I would say the distance is increasing at least for me it is.

I think the biggest indicator for me is when I realized I no longer really desire to have sex with him. He’s just not turning me on at all. I don’t think I like him much anymore And I’m sure it comes from his lack of REALLY wanting a better marriage, nope he wants things just the way they were. I think that he likes the protection “a wife and family” bring him. He looks like the hard working upstanding man, everyone thinks wonders of him, and we are the perfect scapegoat for the lies and alibis that he uses to deceive them as well. Has to leave work because “my wife is real sick”. Can’t commit to an affair partner because of the “bitch wife at home”. Has no money to spend because his “kids suck him dry”. I can only imagine the things he has said about us through the years

He has improved his game somewhat so to speak, no longer carelessly leaves his receipts and the paper trail that was pretty easy to find before. So I don’t know if he’s just playing games or what but it’s time for the truth to come out. If what I recently have added up, pans out then the discussion is over anyway. I will not celebrate (falsely) a 20 year anniversary milestone with him. I have only a little over two months until that day. I can wait no longer I’ve decided to hire a private investigator. I have to ask my step-dad for the money. I’m nervous because i cant ask to borrow the money – i don’t know when i will ever be able to pay it back, so I’m hoping he will just help me. I know it’s a lot to ask of anyone but I’d rather be honest with him than deceive him into thinking I could pay him at a given time. So wish me luck i’m headed over there now.

I don’t want to feel stuck anymore, it’s like living in quiksand half -in, half -out of the real world. Stuck unable to move. I don’t want to feel stuck anymore.

Two steps forward and 42 steps back

I find it a bit ironic, that for two people who (supposedly) still choose/want to stay together, in this almost 20 year marriage, why I feel so stuck in relationship healing. I’m reluctant to use the word recovery, primarily because I don’t want to recover my old marriage, no way, too unhealthy. I thought the wall had been coming down, a little bit, stone by stone, but it feels like we are headed for that same old familiar spot. Oh hell NO!!

What I’d envisioned, was a better, new and improved version of my marriage. Foolishly I really did think that since so much had been brought to light about all the negative issues (past and current) that we would be able to get past the narcissism crap. Re-create our marriage in a healthy way that fills both our needs. Oh chely, what makes you think you are so special that you could beat the odds?

In many ways, during this last year our actions radiated the feeling that we were on the right path, we have been able to come closer. He has been considerably less abusive. So the appearance of a healthy, loving relationship, that facade from before, is taking shape, because we have reached a sort of an impasse in our healing. I’m not sure where I read this, whose blog it was (but one from a professional), the term used was “flat tire repair” to describe this type of recovery.

I’m paraphrasing here so bear with me; When dealing with infidelity in a marriage, Like a nail in your bike tire, you now have a leak) many partners say they will do whatever it takes to repair the damage. When partners try to work things out, to heal, it does improve some. (you have put a patch on the hole) Yet when trying to talk about these issues your partner continues to avoid the subject (this movement/friction works to loosen the edges of the patch creating that slow leak). It’s not that you don’t wish to talk about the hard stuff. But every time you attempt to, your partner won’t have that conversation. Without this communication about the difficult issues, the air continues to slowly leak from the tire, eventually going completely flat. Oh it may be possible to drive on a flat for awhile. But ultimately this tire can no longer be patched. The term used to describe this behavior is Stonewalling.

On the blog, Anger in the age of entitlement, Steven Stosny PhD. gives the following description:

“Stonewalling is absolute refusal to consider your partner’s perspective. IF you listen at all you do so dismissively or contempously. You stonewall to gain leverage or power. Stonewalling can also be a defense mechanism, a person can feel like they are trying to protect themselves and their families. Stonewalling is an avoidance strategy”.

Criticism, resentment, defensiveness and stonewalling are just a few of the ways a partner may emotionally abuse, all while smiling and putting on an appearance that all of it is for one’s own good, in other words “helping”. Stosny goes on to say it is “Important to note emotional abuse is about the effects of behavior, NOT the words used. You can say the most loving words with sarcasm and silently communicate contempt through body language, rolling eyes, sighs, grimaces, tone of voice, etc.” Other examples include silence, mumbling monotone utterances, changing the subject or physically removing self from current situation, withholding or insisting on sex, or even manufactured aches and pains (medical problems) that seem to crop up whenever the conversation goes into an uncomfortable place..

Yes this is such a perfect description of my husband’s behavior. If you want to make sure that no one willingly co-operates with you then be sure to criticize them regularly. Add some stonewalling to your efforts and you’ve got the perfect receipe for disappointment, which leads to resentment. Being chronically disappointed can lead to constant frustration and stress. “Resentment multiplies stress and the perception of unfairness. In NOT getting one’s needs met. It is so unfair as you realize that there will be NO help, NO consideration, NO praise, NO reward, NO respect or NO affection”, states Stosny.

So Husband just came out into living room, and once again asked what I am doing? “Writing” I replied. “May I see?” he asks. I hand him my notebook and he
begins to glance at my notes. As he reads, his demeanor and body language tell me he’s not liking what he is reading. He comments, “So tell me what does all this do for you?” “It mostly seems like a bunch of drivel”. “I learn why I feel the way I do sometimes” I reply. His response doesn’t surprise me at all, “just seems like a big waste of your time to me”.

This all started the other day, when I came to the conclusion that he does not or chooses not to understand WHY I HAD BECOME THE UNSUPPORTIVE PARTNER and had attempted to leave many years ago. I decided to ask. “What do you think is the reason was that I had become so unsupportive which lead to you seeking attention from another?” I stood silently and finally he answers that he does not know. No real surprises here. I thanked him, emotionally calm and went to leave the room, when he asks if I was going to tell him why? “You have been emotionally abusive to me and the boys for a long time.” I didn’t want to fight, hash it out or seek a solution, just a simple answer. After we stood there for an uncomfortable moment, he just smiles turns and walks away.

I think I finally get it. He does not and most likely never will. My narcissistic husband is clueless or the best actor I’ve met. We will never address our issues (not just his mine as well), we will never even agree to disagree. We will just stumble along, semi comatose still pretending that all is well. The resentment and stonewalling will continue. There is no love between us anymore. Maybe that’s not quite right, there is some love in the familiar we’ve been together so long, we know nothing else. But there is no desire, no passion, mind blowing sex, no dreaming of our future. It’s more a disappointment that his heart probably hasn’t ever been “in” this relationship. So sad, I have been alone for a long, long time.

John Gottman sums it up this way, “when you are making every effort to address a problem, whether you are attempting to talk about something upsetting you, explain your feelings about on-going areas of conflict, trying to reach a resolution AND YOUR PARTNER IS PRETENDING THAT YOU AREN’T THERE. You are likely to reach a level of upset or anger SO HIGH, that you psychologically and emotionally “check out” as well.”

I don’t think I’ve ever heard it expressed so well.

Take the sunglasses off girlfriend.

Open your FUCKING eyes.

STOP-

This wall needs no more stones I never could climb over it before, what makes me think I can now.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/anger-in-the-age-of-entitlement/201302/emotional-abuse

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/anger-in-the-age-of-entitlement/201212/how-to-ruin-perfectly-good-relationship

http://www.gottmanblog.com/2013/05/the-four-horsemen-stonewalling.html

Labels

Labels……
We put them on bottles…..We put them on boxes…..We put them on files…..We put them on lots of things…..Even people…..They can be flattering, or hurtful, or insulting or a compliment. In relation to people, a label is a word/s that describes someones behavior or actions. (chely’s definition)

Labels. Many times they are used to group individuals into a specific category (positive or negative) and describe them in that same manner. Sometimes the label is accurate, sometimes not. Either way, I still don’t really like using them for people, why? I’ve been labeled before and it has not been pleasant, not positive at all, actually hurtful, down right cruel. So is it fair for me to label my husband? I’ve labeled him several different ways since the conception of this blog. I thought I was getting it right.

However, my unending passion for reading has given me conflicting information as to the meaning of said labels. I have no doubt that he is not without issues. Who doesn’t? But it’s become confusing which term is appropriate. And I’m worried at the same time because I can see some of my own behavior fit into some of those descriptions as well. Not the same behaviors as his but still in the disordered arena (think more like co-dependency). I know how it feels to be labeled unfairly. Don’t like it at all. So I must ask myself, “what makes me qualified to label him….. unless, actually 20+ years of living it, can make one an expert. In that case, qualifications met.

It’s not the label itself but the differing descriptions of these behaviors, under the same label They are many personality disordered Labels. There’s different classes(A,B,C) and then categories as well; (PD=personality disorder) Anti-social PD, passive-agressive PD, bi-polar PD, narcissistic PD, sociopath, psychopath, avoident PD, borderline PD, histronic PD, co-dependancy (and many sub and crossover categories too). It’s mind boggling and become a bit blurred as to which label is appropriate.. While there are many different types of disorder and behaviors, there is one “trick up their sleeve” that is used by all types (various ways) to implement their control and that is mind games.

THEY PLAY MIND GAMES…..STUPID, TWISTED, WHAT THE FUCK FOR MIND GAMES!

The DSM-IV defines mind games as: conscious one-upmanship – “In intimate relationships, mind games can be used to under mine one partners belief in the validity of their own perceptions. Personal experience may be denied and driven from memory and such abusive mind games extend to the denial of the victim’s reality, social undermining and the trivialization of what is felt to be important. Both sexes have equal opportunities for verbal coercion, which may be carried out unconsciously as a result of the need to maintain one’s own self deception”.

Whew! I get shaky just typing the description. When you read it, like that, OMG it really hits home. Conscious one-upmanship- it’s unbelievable that he can be that self-centered and really not realize what is going on. Why should he? This is normal to him, he grew up in it, lived it his whole life. When his parents look happy and like they have it all, why wouldn’t he want to repeat that success? Listen for the key phrase, “look happy”. I do acknowledge that it has not all been bad, there has been much good and love all along. That is what adds to the hurt in some ways because it can be so good, it doesn’t HAVE to be this way. It is was it is and I know I can’t change the past, that would be foolish. This legacy has most likely been handed down for a long time.. How do I know ? I’ve seen the look on his Mother’s face before; the one I recognized instantly;

you stop, suck in your breath, and hold it, then twist it closed and swallow it whole and then the look on her face.

Most would not even see it unless you have lived it yourself. This life of covert emotional abuse. Think of it like a child’s see-saw (or teeter-totter) at the park. The highs and the lows as it moves up and down. It won’t stop, you don’t want to ride anymore, you feel sick to your stomach but can’t get off because it won’t STOP! So you hold on for dear life.

I am not un-guilty of crimes against my marriage. I have done things myself that were not in the best interest of us (not infidelity). I can be unkind with the best of them. So while I’m still here, in this marriage I’ll be doing my everything in my power, not to change him but to make him understand . I don’t want to label him, I don’t want our old marriage back -no, no, no! I just won’t tolerate the crap anymore! I’ve been trying to change what I can, how I react. I think I’ve gotten better (not perfect just better) at controlling my emotions, less outbursts and defensiveness. I don’t have to accept his opinion as my own and I let him know it respectfully. I want us to find a NEW marriage, one that is healthier for us both.

I do remember the strong, caring, loving women inside me and he may as well. She got buried, but is digging her way out. So difficult to know what to do? If HE is even in the painting of my future. Heart tells me one thing, head another. Never sure what tomorrow will bring. What I do know is, I shouldn’t be putting labels on him so freely, I know how much it hurts. Maybe we DO belong together. Two disordered people just getting by the best way our twisted youth will allow. I don’t know. I just think, that I better think before I label. We all should. Do you agree?

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Passive+Aggressive

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passive-aggressive_behavior

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/wicked-deeds/2014/how-to-tell-sociopath

http://www.healthguideinfo.com/personality-disorders/p910741

No visible scars?

What type of injury leaves no visible scar?

Do you know?

Need a hint?

It’s silent & slow.

It permeates.

Like toxins absorbed through skin.

It can even be life threatening.

Continues to injure. Leaves no visible scars.

I didn’t say NO scars,

no visible scars.

While not illegal.

A crime none the less.

Still not sure?

It’s not easy to see.

No visible scars.

But if you carry these scars, you know what I speak of.

It is the little spoke of, it is EMOTIONAL ABUSE.

A person who has higher than normal levels of Narcissism is likely to be an emotional abuser. Some are subtle, some are in your face. They can appear to be your friend or in love with you. It can be your spouse or significant other, a sibling or parent. A teacher, policeman, or your boss. A politician, or volunteer. Someone you barely know, your neighbor or your best friend. A child or an elderly person. Someone on the internet or you could be married to one!

How do you prevent emotional abuse?
FIRST AND FOREMOST IS TO TALK ABOUT IT. Unlike physical or sexual abuse which generally is attempted to be kept “private”, hidden in the darkest parts of one’s life, “as a secret”. Emotional abuse can happen right out in the open, in a family, the work place, on the playground, even in our church’s. It can take on a group mentality, or be one indidvidual. It frequently is an unwelcome legacy handed down from generation to generation.

Our world has become more accepting of these abusive behaviors; bullying, belittling, reprimanding, teasing, making fun of someone, excluding them, gossiping, teaching them a lesson, correcting, humiliating, scapegoating or to deny someones right to their own opinion. And then possibly laugh at it all afterwards and say “just kidding” like it’s no big deal. People need to STOP BEING ACCEPTIIVE of this behavior and speak out.

How can we protect ourselves from this abuse?
First Is SPEAKING OUT AGAINST IT. Stop letting the media shove this in our faces constantly making it seem more & more normal to society. The television, music and tabloid type printed material are filled with it. It is permeating our youth daily and they grow-up thinking that this normal. It is not normal to emotional abuse another human being (or animal).

Second is to stay away from abusers. This can be difficult. They are hard to spot, can seem so charming, caring. Possibly a family member or co-worker which can make this difficult. In which case awareness is the next best tool against it. In many, many ways he/she is the proverbial “wolf in sheep’s clothing”. To be able to stay away from or deal with none in our lives, we must first understand what EA is and how high levels of narcissism are a good indicator. This is Narcissism as defined by (DSM-IV):

(an individual who possesses) ” excessive sense of self-importance over and above the needs of others; grandiosity; arrogance; absence of ability to empathize and experience reciprocity in relationships; intense need for admiration/attention to fill very low self-esteem; impaired relationship skills, resulting in parasitic/predatory behaviors designed to fill one’s self-esteem in the form of narcissistic supply.”

Read that paragraph again!

Let it sink in, because this type of individual is often difficult to recognize, until they have you firmly in their grasp, by then it may be too late. Most of the time you don’t even know it’s happening to you until that point. Don’t take this lightly- the most extreme form of Narcissists are called socieopaths and psychopaths. Does that get my point across a little better? Many emotional abusers have high levels of Narcissism. Are all emotional abusers narcissists? No, but all Narcissists are abusers. All of the above disorder wrapped up in a pretty package with a bow on it (at least that’s the way the seem, in the beginning, before they hook you).

Everyone possess some narcisssism within themselves. Normal levels help one strive to do their best, a type of drive to keep on moving forward in life, in the best way. But unhealthy levels lead to attitudes of self-entitlement, grandiose thoughts, needing extreme amounts of adoration, unable to empathize, feeling they deserve so much more, than what they have. Also low self-esteem, jealousy, envy, conceit, a need to feel superior. As the partner of one, you are only there for them and their fullfilment. They will be sure to remind you on a daily basis. They also may physically, financially and sexually abuse you as well.

So why should you read my words? Who am I? I’m not a psychologist or counselor or trained in this…in any way, except through experience. I have experienced emotional abuse first hand for over 20 years in my marriage. I also grew up in a family with dysfunction. So I am only able to relate what I have lived through to tell the story of what emotional abuse (and other types of mental illness) can do to your life, your marriage and sadly your children from said relationship. Which then leaves no visible scars for the next generation to bear.

My family of origin has many EA’s within it (as does his). Since I grew up in one, I am familiar with EA or family dysfunction, experts would say, (although unconsceniously,) I am drawn to this in my relationships, because it is familiar to me . I say bullshit , I may be familiar with EA but I am not comfortable. I may have lived with this growing up but being in this type of relationship is never comfortable.

Probably one of the main things that makes it difficult to spot this type of abuser is that it can appear to not always be bad. I think of it this way; The vows I took when I married mention “for better or worse”, I realize I got both. Some of our marriage has been wonderful ,going places, doing things, years of family and friends. But pretty regularly I was questioned, punished, ignored, invalidated, belittled, gaslighted, reprimanded, embarrassed, told I was psycho, imagining things or just plain wrong about everything I thought. And all in a way that indicated he was doing it for my own good, helping me. Sometimes with a smile on his face.

He is that wolf in sheep’s clothing. Handsome, successful type that looks so good on the outside you would never think that he is an abuser. He didn’t start out that way. He was kind, loving and giving at first and that is what they want you to fall for. He tells you, you are soul mates. Sweeps you off your feet and places you on that pedestal on top of the world. Then when your deep in a relationship they begin, slowly removing the bricks from the pedestal, unnoticed until you’re balancing on one toe on the last brick, just to save your life. Mine had never been married and wanted to be a father to my young son (son was 1-1/2) whose biological was not in our lives. We met through my sister, he was her husbands good friend. His parents were still married, and lived a very comfortable life.

He came with good credentials so I was not looking for any red flags. Ones that, had I known what to watch for should of given me a clue. Never married in his mid thirties. The two previous relationships he spoke of were short term and he called both of them psycho losers (although in all fairness I’ve met and know both and they kinda are exactly that). With one he had a child, and although he saw her occasionally, he never paid child support (until forced by the state). That one always bothered me and he gave me some story about an agreement between him and her only to find out later- lies, more and more lies in the form of half-truths.

After we were married and have a son together it began. Slowly and meticulously stripping away any self-esteem, any courage, any of the passion for life that I had, until there isn’t much left of the true you. Like a brainwashed step-ford wife, making sure it looked perfect to anyone looking in. According to him, I didn’t know how to cook, drive, shop, or take care of the kids basically don’t know anything. At this point, convinced that you can’t do a damn thing, they realize what a horrible person you are and everything wrong in their life is your fault. They slyly play mind games, twisting every word or action to their benefit. It is difficult if not impossible to argue with them. They are the masters at this game. The continued, unmerciful behavior strips your ability to rationalize, to think clearly. They drive you insane and seem to enjoy every minute of it. Oh yes and they will let everyone know of your problems, how messed up you are. You are their victim, and they play both sides of this coin like a concert pianist -perfectly. Yes they will act like they are the victim as well as a hero.

“I am so wonderful for saving the crazy women from herself, the poor victim who needed to be rescued. Then just when you are about to fall off that cliff they create a new story line as THEY claim to be the victim, because the crazy one is taking advantage of their good will and caring causing all of the problems in their life. They truly believe this bullshit and now seek sympathy from others because YOU are victimizing them. The absolute worst part of all of this is that because they are SO good at twisting the tales they tell, that people actually believe them! Even people and family who know you will fall for their story. It is because they put on such a show of perfection to all who will listen that they must be telling the truth. It is all smoke and mirrors for the outside world to see. A cruel fairy tale of their creation.

The hardest part of being in a relationship of this type of person is to describe to another just what the abuse is. My husband rarely swears at me, has never hit me (well once when we were drunk a long time ago but I had him arrested but they let him out early and never even notified me of it – i’m sure he convinced them I was crazy) but would never do anything that would leave a visible scar.. Doesn’t call me filthy names, he’s much more underhanded and concerned about appearances than that. Actually to see us you would think he is wonderful to me. Because his true nature only comes out behind closed doors. The condescending voice, belittling, invalidating, ignoring, witholding finances, etc. -all of it reserved for only those special loved ones at home. Only me & the kids, and rarely anywhere outside of our home.

Basically everything I do is wrong, unneccessary, ridiculous, a waste of time, self-centered or stupid. I’m lazy, unproductive, can’t finish anything, doing it the wrong way or have no clue. Our house is a disaster and we have no money because of me. I have no good ideas and am basically worth very little to him except be his beautiful scapegoat. ( I do get to go on vacation with him, not because I deserve it but he doesn’t want to go alone). He cheats, doesn’t pay his taxes on time and I think will kick our dog (that he never wanted) when no one is looking. Our children are good for nothing and will never amount to anything- just sponges sucking him dry. Yet no matter how horrible it is you stay, can not leave. If you try, he will bring you back for more of the same (after he lures you back with promises). And still you love him because that is what you are conditioned to do. It can eventually affect your physical health as well.

The saddest part of all of this is, I believe he doesn’t do any of this on purpose. He grew up in a family where this same story took place. His family was perfect on the outside, dysfunctional on the inside. It was all he knew. The legacy was passed on to the next generation.

It is sad and it is sadistic to treat those he “loves” with such behavior. It changes who you are. Oh, it still looks like you, there are no visible scars. Nothing for the outside world to see, the shell looks the same but the inside is empty, dead, like a clone he created to replace the real you. No scars for you to show the world when you SCREAM – he is abusing me. I once told a counselor how I wished he would hit me so everyone could see his crime against me, see a scar, a broken bone, a bruise. She said to me:

HE HITS YOU EVERYDAY WITH WORDS! ON PURPOSE BECAUSE IT LEAVES NO VISIBLE SCARS.

A crime yes indeed, a sick twisted crime that leaves no visible scars. Scars that no one can see. I am scared & my children are scared.The hardest part to accept is that I knew it was wrong. I knew that this behavior was unacceptable. I knew it was not a place to raise my children. Yet I was unable to leave him. I finally accepted that this was my lot in life- but I was not going to accept the abuse anymore. No more fighting with him, I had to get control of my emotions and not allow him to get to me any longer. It was going fairly well until I discovered he had been having an affair.

As you may know, we are still married, he has mellowed in many ways with time. I still love him and would like to work to a better future. After d-day he has been so much better. I think he would like to go back to pre d-day. But for me that marriage is over. I don’t want that one back. If he can make the changes, for himself, because years of this is effecting his health as well. I need a guarantee, no more abuse, nor more cheating, a fresh start. I think a post nuptial may be in order for him, as a way for me to see if he truly means it.

If you are unsure if you or someone you know is being abused please click on these links for a very good articles of those red flags/behavior to watch for. I pray that a narcissist never preys on you or your loved ones. They are very sick on the inside, yet look like the complete package on the outside. Learn what to watch for when bringing new people into your life, or you could be here in 20 years writing a blog about invisible scars. It should be a crime!

The relationship destroyers; counsellingresource.com/lib.theraphy/self-help/understanding

Signs of emotional abuse; psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/02/20/signs-of-emotional-abuse/