Be careful what you wish for?

What do you wish for? A big house? Car? Success in your career? Maybe a healthy family? A happy marriage? A husband that is faithful? Sounds good right? It is most likely that you know about the darker side of wishes, as in “Be careful what you wish for?” Yes there is much wisdom in that phrase. Because wishes can come true and yet the result might NOT be all roses and sunshine. What have I wished for recently?

Lately one of my biggest wishes is to know the truth regarding my husbands affair/s. To get answers to questions I’ve had for over a year. Answers to new questions that have developed due to the trickle down (or I call trickle out because NO INFORMATION comes from his lips) evidence that continues to pop-up. It continues to try to drive me crazy. It would be easy to succumb to the pain and trauma that not having the answers causes me. I had to do something. be I wished for those answers.

Being unable to uncover the truth myself, I know I need help. I Can’t do this alone anymore. I won’t keep this secret any longer. So I did two things. I decided that I was going to hire a private investigator and I needed to tell my Mom and Step-Dad because I needed their help, both emotionally and financially.

I was extremely nervous- how do you walk in and share something as big as infidelity when you’ve been pretending nothing was wrong all this time? I should of realized that their love and support was a given. But the years of crazy making, married to a Narcissist makes you second guess everything in your life. Just having a plan was helping me feel better. I felt I wouldn’t have to be in this limbo land forever. I would finally get some truth, some answers. I would no longer be treated like a mushroom, you know kept in the dark and fed nothing but bullshit. Maybe my luck was changing. I felt so much better with a plan of action.

As I was setting up the appointment with the PI, and compiling the evidence that I did have, I began to think about how I felt about hiring the PI? A part of me is feeling elated, (after months & months of feeling so lost, alone and confused I feel like i’d never know the truth). It felt good to take some of my power back. I would not be the doormat to his bakery any longer. But then I started to feel kinda funny, almost sick to my stomach as I wrapped my mind around what would be happening. I was going to get the answers i needed but I also was going to have to hear the truth. It was probably going to be things that I DID NOT WANT TO HEAR. My suspicions would most likely be confirmed and I would then have to ACCEPT THE TRUTH. That my husband was the one of the worst cheaters around. A narcissistic, personality disordered, sex addict, charming & successful BASTARD. OMG! Am I really ready to know the truth? Am I as strong as I like to believe/pretend that I am? Can I handle it? Will it make me feel better or worse? Not sure! Oh no I’m going to have to hear the truth. I’m starting to feel sick again, like I said before:

Be careful what you wish for? Your wish just might come true

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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

Still hoping for the truth

As the first anniversary of d-day is just days away the past month has been difficult for me. You might have noticed that this funk has kept me from posting, I’ve been reading others blogs and making a few comments – so I’ve not been far away. I have grown fond of conversing with many other bloggers in the arena of infidelity. But my brain has been overloaded, my fault, with the thousands of hours of reading and researching on how to survive the worst test in any marriage. I’m finding it difficult to process anymore. Yet more things (details) continue to pop-up. Literally, I wasn’t searching and had a box fall of a shelf in garage to find some hidden paperwork. Does it ever end?

I’d like to tell you that this year of reading and sharing has provided me with all the answers. But I can’t. Yes I’ve gathered LOTS of information on a wide spectrum of topics related to surviving, healing, creating intimacy, narcissism and personality disorders, and infidelity etc. Yet despite all of this knowledge, I feel I’m no closer to knowing what decision to make than I was a year ago. Yes in many ways my relationship has improved. Superficially it looks like we are doing the right thing to save our marriage. But it still feels off, not quite right or real. My husband being narcissistic doesn’t share his thoughts or feelings with me. It’s very frustrating trying to move past all of it while still feeling like I don’t know the truth.

To better understand some of my husband’s thoughts I actually began to read some blogs by the cheating spouses. I found that they allow me to see inside the minds of those who have cheated. Many who have cheated appear to be genuine in their remorse (or at least know its wrong) and ended the affair. Despite having an affair they know they made a huge mistake , and honor their commitments by doing the right thing. Yet they still talk about their triggers and lingering thoughts of their AP (both wanted and unwanted). Some speak of feeling alone and lost and missing their AP very much. Then there are the ones that basically brag about their affair/s, give explicit details and even sharing tips about how to get away with it. Those I find upsetting, as I think of their poor partners who has yet to have their D-day.

Some days it can still be too much to take. Am I any better off after a year this and my obsessesive info gathering? Maybe. Am I any closer to knowing if I will stay or end my marriage? No I am not. Am I now addicted information overload? Possibly so. As much as I’d like to put it all in the past, forgive and move forward, eventually trust again I still feel stuck, and hyper sensitive about anything to do with him and the affair. The fact is that many men (and women) who have formed an emotional bond don’t want to end the affair, and don’t want to end the marriage either. The go further underground with it and continue for many years working the triangle of infidelity. This of course worries me greatly. Especially since I witnessed him going through the withdrawal of ending it, deep depression that followed and the onset of extreme anxiety, panic attacks and vertigo. Which affected him for a couple of months then poof all of a sudden gone without any real work on his part to make these side effects go away. I believe this is when they resumed contact. But I have no proof.

Spending more time together, going places, doing things like grocery shopping and household chores has brought us closer. But I don’t feel our intimacy is improving. We don’t talk about dreams or goals or needs or personal changes to move us forward. We talk about superficial stuff without addressing that “elephant” in the room or I should say how to make sure the elephant doesn’t come back. We hold hands, kiss, and even make love frequently. But it’s a strange feeling like he knows what he supposed to do and does it but it’s not genuine, sometimes feels forced. Maybe knowing about narcissism has made me more aware of this, because a N only loves himself and that this is as much as he can offer me. Maybe it’s been like this all along I just didn’t notice. Or maybe because he hasn’t addressed his personal issues that he is stuck as well. I could understand that, if he’d share any of his feelings with me. Because I want to feel passion, intimacy in my life with him. I want for him to (once in a while) have him walk in from work and take me in his arms and be glad that we are here together. I realize after 20 years it’s not going to be like the “honeymoon” period, but I don’t think it has to be so milk toast boring either.

I want him to do special little things to show his love. Simple things, like oh, saving the last bit of coffee creamer for me because he knows how much I like my coffee that way. A little card, just because, something other than what is expected. I want him to take his time when we make love, fulfill each others needs and savour the beauty of knowing each others bodies completely. Not to hurry just to get that “cum” done. Quickies are fine too, but I want more pleasure than just an orgasm, I want to do it the garage or kitchen or car on the side of the road and feel the naughty-ness of possibly being discovered. Anywhere but the bedroom truthfully. For him to stage an evening around me and my desires without being coached. When I tried the role fantasy thing he said I was trying too hard. What husband says that! I know he has it in him because he used to be like this or maybe It’s been off all along and I was so starry eyed I just didn’t notice.

Maybe he’s doing the best that he can struggling with all this mid-life crisis stuff, my discovery of the affair, unacknowledged narcissism and everything that’s happened between us through the years. Or maybe he’s doing the right thing because he knows that it is right. Yet yearns and thinks of her often. Wishing to be in the fog of an affair so he can continue to deny the reality of our lives. I really don’t know- don’t know a damn thing about where his thoughts, his heart, his dreams are. Or if I can even trust him to not betray me again. I have forgiven for the past, trying to focus on the here and now, as well as the future. All I do know is I won’t be so forgiving If I find out he has been deceiving me all along. If that happens there will be HELL to pay. And the bill will be huge. I guess time will tell.

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/