Looks Like BM Isn't The Only Narcissist
I've focused a lot of time and energy trying to get to the bottom of why BM acts the way she does. I've "diagnosed" her with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which fits to a "T." The trouble is that all of the focusing on her behavior caused me to ignore DH's behavior. I think what finally got me realizing that he has a serious problem was his last hurtful statement a few days ago. It was the final straw added to a straw-pile of insults, humiliations, complacency, and cruelty that broke this old camel's back.
"Your stress is all self-inflicted. You're just hypersensitive."
I had this brain rush of panic chemicals because it sounded so much like the things my abusive, narcissistic, adoptive mother used to tell me. Oh, no. She never did anything wrong. I was the one who made her do things. If I had a problem with her throwing me onto the floor and kicking me, it was because I was "too sensitive."
If I have a problem with something DH does or says, it's because I'm "hypersensitive." When I've told him, "Please don't say that to me. I find it hurtful." Guess what? It's a guarantee that he will do it at least 100 more times and get a kick out of seeing me upset. We're not talking about teasing. I actually like that kind of stuff. Kidding, good-natured roasting and such. I know now not to say anything because he'll just use it as a way to wound me later. He comes into whatever room I'm in and will clap his hands together very loudly. It usually startles me, and it hurts my ears. Who does this? What 42-year-old man claps his hands loudly just for shits and giggles? But if I dare say anything he either tells me I'm "too sensitive" or he leaves the room because I'm "in a mood and don't want him around."
I'm seeing so many parallels to how my DH treats me and how my adoptive mother treated me (with the exception of physical abuse--which he does not do). It's all so familiar to the things that BM does too. The "nice when she wants something" crap. The "nice when you reject her" crap. That "come closer so I can slap you" game. How did I not see this? He can ignore me, yell at me, insult me repeatedly, but when I start ignoring him or acting like I don't want to be around him, suddenly he's all nice again. He wouldn't want anything at all to do with me physically--sometimes for weeks at a time--but if I ignore him for several days (sticking to basic conversation and such), then he's coming up to me rubbing on me, waking me up at 5 AM dry-humping me or sticking a morning boner into my back. Of course, I'm not interested. And then he calls me "frigid." Um, hello? What does it make him when he ignores me for weeks?
I've been reading a lot of things online, mostly about "emotional vampires" and "relationship red flags." I read through a list of "warnings" about bad behaviors of men who usually have personality disorders, and out of about 177 things, DH had a least 100. The advice was "two of these, and you need to get the hell out." So I did a little assessment of our relationship, from the beginning to the insanity now:
1. We met online. Not a problem, really. I know several successful couples who met online; a few who were in different countries, even.
2. Our relationship progressed VERY FAST. I chalked it up to us being older and more sure of what we wanted in a relationship. Red Flag.
3. We GOT MARRIED less than 6 months after meeting. I've heard the stories of the great couples who do this, and everything is fabulous for 50 years after. I thought we were one of those couples. It was also his idea to get married, and he was supposedly NEVER GETTING MARRIED AGAIN. Never living with anyone again. And so on. Red Flag.
4. He wanted me to get pregnant within 3 months of meeting me. Within 2 months, he was talking about baby names. He still says he wants me to get pregnant and have his child/son so it will "bind you to me forever." Red Flag.
5. He seems perfectly content that I don't have a job. I worked part-time last summer as an assistant manager of a clothing store, and he HATED that I wasn't home all of the time.
6. He has no sympathy and seems to take comfort in the fact that I can't leave him because I have no job, no money, and no family close by. I've told him once that I feel "trapped." Many men would feel bad hearing their wives say that. It didn't phase him.
7. He isn't bothered by the fact that I have no friends. At least none within 500 miles.
8. He likes that I have no family that I speak to. I had cut them out of my life over 4 years ago, and he mentioned something about me not having a "back up" or support, and he didn't seem at all alarmed by that.
9. He insists on paying for things for my children. Expensive things like Ipods, braces, and such. I've read that crazy men do these things because they want you to feel obligated to them so that you won't want to leave. It's like bribery. He complains about money all of the time, like if I buy Swiffer Wetjet pads because sponge mops and regular mops are hard on my back, but thousands of dollars for braces? Oh, sure. There's plenty of money for that. But Swiffer pads are "an extravagance." So are paper towels. And buttermilk. And band-aids.
10. He will almost completely ignore his child when she is here and will not take care of her at all. I have to ignore the child myself to even get him to make her a snack or play a game with her. It takes him seeing me NOT doing anything with her for him to put in a smidge of effort. And then he is in a foul mood, snapping at her, yelling at me, just being an utter asshole.
11. He works later than usual when his child is here. There have been many times that he didn't get home until after 8 o'clock, and she goes to bed at 8:30.
12. He does things for his child (like buying her clothes) but I get the impression (and have been taking notes lately) that it's only the things that BM doesn't do that he'll do. Not because the child is in need, but so that he can outdo her. Make BM look bad (not that she needs help in that department).
13. He tries to get more time with a child he ignores. Imagine two narcissists fighting over their "unplanned" child and who have ignored her since the day she was born, but they fight like cats and dogs over who gets to have her (and ignore her) more.
14. He flat out TOLD me that I'm supposed to take care of his kid because he does things for mine.
I could go on and on, but I'm afraid I sound like a total bore. He is so mean, and he didn't get this way until after we got married. It was like, once he got me hooked on, he could do whatever he wanted because I was trapped.
Oh, and when I've told him insights about BM, he tells me I'm obsessed and that I need to find a hobby. I have plenty of hobbies, and he knows it, and I barely talk about BM. I have come to the conclusion that the more I discover about her and tell him, the more he thinks I may develop insight about HIM.