I Was Surprised Yesterday!!

Yesterday, PA Man actually asked me if I found a counselor for him! I was shocked! He actually brought it up…HIMSELF!! ~GASP~
When I mentioned counseling to him a few weeks ago, here…https://marriedtoapaman.wordpress.com/2014/07/24/pa-man-and-counseling/ he had asked me if I’d find a counselor for him, since he works so much and also goes out of town a lot…so I said I would.

I kinda changed my mind afterwards though, because I figured “Hey, he can find his own stupid counselor! He can prove just how sincere he is!!”
But then reality set back in…PA Man knows nothing about what kind of counselor he’d need, or how to screen them, or…anything!!
Lets face it, not only is he PA…but he’s also a MAN!!

So I’ve found a guy that I liked…he seemed to be very matter of fact, he’s a Christian, which I really didn’t want…to me they seem to think that we should all forgive each other and things will be better.

But when I talked to Tom on the phone, he didn’t pull any punches! He said that he gets to the root of the problem, which is a sinful, pride filled heart…that he doesn’t like “labels” like Passive Aggressive…he’d rather call it what it is..Sin!!

I also mentioned that in past counseling, only 3 sessions before PA Man quit, LOL, but in the past, whenever our therapist corrected me on something, PA Man would use that to attack me the next week….and Tom said if he does that, he will stop right there and address it, so that was encouraging!

Now…I do have a problem with this…Tom wants me to attend counseling WITH PA Man…and I really don’t want to!
I mean, come on, lets face it…Is this REALLY going to do much good?
Probably not….but I do hope that it will make things a little bit smoother for a while, so I can go along with the plans that I’m making without so much tenseness in the house!
And I’m NOT saying that PA Man can’t make a miraculous change….and I do agree with Tom, that this is a sinful, unrepentant heart that I’m dealing with…but I’m a bit jaded and skeptical at this point in my life….I mean, COME ON….seeing me curled up in a fetal position, sobbing my heart out didn’t ever move him…so I really don’t think that counseling will bring about that big of a change….but, I could be wrong!
I just want to know that I tried EVERYTHING and that my family knows I tried, and that I gave PA Man chance after chance…to no avail.

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21 thoughts on “I Was Surprised Yesterday!!

  1. I really hope things go well with the counseling, Lonely! I hope it will be the definitive answer to what you’ll be doing in the future, getting a professional “seal of approval” as it were. Just looking at my husband, who admittedly is only mildly infected with PA, I sincerely believe some of these guys actually do want to connect with us on some level, but they have no idea how to go about it. It’s never been modeled for them and they haven’t bothered to ask for help. I think it’s great he’s asking, and I hope he’s sincere and that over time, things will turn around for you!

    • Marsocmom…I agree! I do think that PA Man wishes he could be different…and doesn’t know how…BUT he has all the resources he needs, and he refuses to do the work!! THATS what really makes me mad!!

      • marcosmom – I too used to think that the reason he treated me that way and didn’t seem to know how to connect, was because he didn’t know how. However, I watched him connect to his sisters and brothers and he even would share things with my own mother, brother and sister, that he ‘neglected’ to share with me. If I ever brought these instances up, and there were MANY, he would get angry and tell me it was all in my head and that I was jealous and crazy (I wasn’t) eg. He discussed a job offer with my brother and I had no idea until my brother told me, he shared poetry he had written with my mother that I had no idea about, he would speak on the phone for hours with his sister, he would even spend hours writing thoughtful, emotional posts on a site he was a member of – and I mean really deep thinking posts whilst at the same time talking about his kids like he was a single father.

        He treated his family, my family, his workmates, his workmates wives with kindness, love and thoughtfulness. He reacted to them in completely different ways. I once watched his sister put her hand up in a stop sign, in front of his face and say “please let me finish” and watched with at first fear of his reaction and then AMAZEMENT that he smiled, continued sitting and SHUT UP and APOLOGISED!!! It was then I saw a clear picture of a man, who not only knew very well how to communicate, have relationships, resolve conflicts and treat people with respect but that it was also then, I realised that the reason he didn’t do that with me, was not because he didn’t know how to – he just A. didn’t want to and B. really didn’t see why he should have to. In his eyes – I didn’t warrant any thoughtfulness and I honestly believe it’s because he felt that because I married him – he should be able to treat me however he liked and that I would never leave. The nicest he ever was to me was the 9 months after I kicked him out and when he realised that I was still expecting more than just niceness, he couldn’t handle it and reverted quickly. Lundy Bancroft made the same observation in his book of it’s not that they don’t know how – it’s just that they don’t want to or care – many years after I had seen it with my own eyes.

        My other thought on this is – what do WE do when we have relationship problems etc?. we research, we read, we talk, we change – we do everything we can think of to resolve the matter because we care, we want to be married and we don’t like thinking that we are hurting the people we love. What do they do? Nothing. I never caught mine spending hours researching how to make his marriage better, how to connect with his wife – if that’s what they really wanted – my thoughts are that their actions would show it. After all, every thing else they really want – hobbies, cars, they use all their efforts to get. It’s my belief they want a marriage for the convenience, the way to show ‘he’s a great family man’, but they don’t actually want to do anything for it – the only effort they put in is to make themselves look good or when they feel their easy life threatened. Actions show feelings. Throwing scraps at your wife, while showing you are capable of having relationships with others – shows exactly how he feels.
        I once asked mine to ”please treat me the same as you treat your family’, he said he couldn’t and when I asked him why he said ‘because I live with you’. He also intimated that if he lived with them he would start treating them the same way, as well. It seems even he is aware that he can’t keep his facade up for long.

        Sorry for the long post. I guess what you said struck a chord!! I remember feeling that way perfectly and I remember through close observation realising that it wasn’t the lack of knowledge he had(everyone can get that) – it was the lack of will to get that knowledge. Take Care.

  2. Lonely, it would be nice if this would accomplish something, but I am skeptical right along with you, and you have every right to be. When I read your post and that the counselor wants you to come with him to counseling, my first thought was, “Be careful!” I am not saying that I have any qualms about the counselor, but a PA man in counseling is always a risk of manipulation. Please be very cautious what you say or agree to. They use this for information-gathering among other things, but you already know some of this. Still praying for your discernment and deliverance!

    • Seeing…I hear ya! But you know, like Marscomom stated above, I do believe that PA Man is a mild PA…as far as I can remember, he’s always encouraged me to do what makes me happy, he’s not selfish with money, I get whatever I want…he doesn’t seem to sabotague me like I’ve read on so many other blogs…he has a great job and is happy there and is well respected…he’s good with money, etc..
      To be honest, I do get confused by his behavior, because I know he is PA…but he doesn’t do what a lot of PAs do…PA Man is emotionally avoident…I do know that..and I am hopeful that counseling will help him learn to open up more…but am I hopeful that he will become a totally different man…nope! Not at all

      • Loney, that confused me too. Mine worked hard(workaholic), and I was pretty much allowed to do what I wanted, spend what I wanted etc. as long as it didn’t interfere with him doing what he wanted. If I hadn’t have been such a devoted mum who wanted to spend time with her kids and instead wanted a career etc and him to be as responsible in the home as I was – I would have seen the cracks sooner. Both Vaknin(narcissists) and Bancroft(abusers) identify this type of man who seems to not be possessive or over controlling. They abuse in other more subtle ways and often it shows in their complete lack of care for your needs or emotions. As long as you leave them alone, they will leave you alone. Mine obviously controlled me with his anger and his refusal to talk about things. In this way, he controlled the narrative of our marriage – all the while calling me “controlling’ and ‘demanding’. Until I wanted to go to university and that required him being home on some nights, he really had no complaints as to what I did. When I actually expected him to step up to the plate – that’s when the cracks started showing. Stop him working his oh so important job whenever he wanted? Nope, not going to happen. If I wanted to spend time with him at all, I was selfish. His biggest ego food was his job and the ability to tell people he had a little wifey and kids at home, waiting on him hand and foot. Me accomplishing something? Only going to happen if he didn’t have to lift a finger to help.

  3. Bronze, you said, “It was then I saw a clear picture of a man, who not only knew very well how to communicate, have relationships, resolve conflicts and treat people with respect but that it was also then, I realised that the reason he didn’t do that with me, was not because he didn’t know how to – he just A. didn’t want to and B. really didn’t see why he should have to. In his eyes – I didn’t warrant any thoughtfulness and I honestly believe it’s because he felt that because I married him – he should be able to treat me however he liked and that I would never leave.” and “After all, every thing else they really want – hobbies, cars, they use all their efforts to get. It’s my belief they want a marriage for the convenience, the way to show ‘he’s a great family man’, but they don’t actually want to do anything for it – the only effort they put in is to make themselves look good or when they feel their easy life threatened. Actions show feelings.” Oh my goodness! This is so true in my situation, except for the part about being able to resolve conflicts. He is no good at that with anyone. But I watch him treat others with such respect! He spends hours on the telephone with his family. I know he couldn’t keep up the facade longer if he had to live with them, but he at least tries with others. Their good opinion is so valuable he works at it, Mine knows where I stand now – separated in the home – and he hasn’t even put in any effort still. He hasn’t offered any kind of change or better behavior – I am not even worth him faking it for a while – though he did try counseling when his relationship with one of the children was getting really bad. It didn’t last, but it shows you his mentality. I don’t have a right to be discontent about anything and I receive blame for everything and pressure to keep my vows by never leaving while he has broken his from the beginning with his mind games.

    • Mine lived downstairs for years, ignoring me before I told him to leave. He was resentful, rude and angry because he lived downstairs and yet, HE is the one who moved down there but he resented ME for it!! He said it was MY fault he had to move downstairs. Every time I asked him for divorce he would get angry or say he didn’t want one. But his behaviours never changed. That nine months? he was going to anger management and we were going to marriage counselling, where I would come across as the crazy, angry spouse and he as the cool calm collected one. He would do things the day before the counselling to make me angry but stone wall me until the counseling session. We were living separate at the time so all he had to do was hang up the phone and refuse to answer it. That separation of ups and downs went on for 2.5 years before I threw in the towel. I almost had a nervous breakdown. His manipulation, his cruelty, his disregard for me as a person all the while he denied he was doing it and I was çrazy’. To this day, he denies telling me that nobody will miss me or ever love me in response to me finding out I needed to go to hospital because they had found 2 suspicious lumps during my mammogram.(I have the text) I had texted him while HE was on holidays, I was looking after 2 kids and doing 3rd year university full time and told him to which he sent simply a ‘smiley face”‘. I questioned why he would do that and he said “I’ve said all I need to say”. I then bared my soul, told him I was scared, I loved him and I needed him to be nice to me – to which he replied ”nobody is ever likely to love you or ever miss you”. This was after him telling me i was the love of his life two weeks prior. I can see now the reason he said this was to get me to look after the kids so he could go on holidays and as soon as he got what he wanted, he reverted back to form. I was so mental by then I actually apologised for asking him to be nice to me and putting ‘pressure’on him!! two days later when he threatened to cut off communication – I told him Í’m done’. If he had never tried (ha) – and that 2.5 years hadn’t have happened, I would’ve been sad but I wouldn’t have had all these extra wounds and the effort I made go to something that didn’t serve me and the kids. I would have been better off putting that effort into separating assets and divorcing. I was so depleted and mentally exhausted from dealing with his manipulation that here I am 2 years after I said I’m done – 4.5 years after him moving out and our assets are not separated and we are not divorced because in true passive aggressive style – he won’t do anything at all. It will be up to me to do everything -including packing this house up and getting rid of all HIS junk he left behind. He has now moved in with another woman as as passive aggressive men NEED to be passive aggressive I’m sure hé’s already started and she probably isn’t even aware of it and if she is, she has no idea that he isn’t just ‘forgetful’ but is in fact doing it on purpose to hurt her for no reason other than he likes it. It’s a power trip for him, I’m sure, getting reactions.

      I guess in short, I”m saying if you are separated in the same house – it is better for you to mourn your loss and then put all your efforts into saving yourself and what’s left of your life. Look forward to the future. I am about to go to mediation in which I refused to be in the same building as him and they are allowing me to do it over the phone while he is there. This is a legal requirement in my country before you can divorce. I am doing Honours and trying to start a small business. My future is looking better. He is in exactly the same scenario he was in with me and he hated and resented me for. (coupled in suburbia doing family stuff) but he isn’t doing it with his own family – he’s doing it with hers. I can only imagine how much he will start resenting that. I will be free of all responsibility soon and I intend to use anything I get from my settlement to travel. If I had never left him, none of the things I’m planning would ever have happened. Don’t expect him to be anything other than what he is – a resentful, angry, manipulative child in a grown mans body. Save yourself. Take Care. 🙂

      • Bronze, thank you so much for sharing more of your story. Entering into each others’ experiences really helps so much in more ways than one – at least for me. We used to meet with various pastors over the years and he came to some counseling sessions of mine and sure enough, he would sit there like the together, self-controlled, righteous, Christian man, with the crazy, unbalanced wife. Gone are those days. It has taken a while, but I am finally done looking like the out-of-control one. I am so sorry this has dragged on for you so long! That has got to be frustrating! I am sure you are right. He has to have an object for his passive aggression, and I do not doubt the new woman is getting it.

        You said: “I guess in short, I”m saying if you are separated in the same house – it is better for you to mourn your loss and then put all your efforts into saving yourself and what’s left of your life. Look forward to the future.” AMEN!
        …and: “Don’t expect him to be anything other than what he is – a resentful, angry, manipulative child in a grown mans body.” AND AMEN!
        You are so right. I am still here because of custody and my health. I am very disabled and the children do not want me to lose custody to him. I have consulted an attorney and I have got to get some strength back before I could even dream of a custody battle. The funny thing is the mourning is over my lost life. My Meyers-Briggs profile describes me as someone who moves on more easily than other types when a relationship comes to an end. There is truth in that. It doesn’t mean I don’t love deeply – I do – very much so. It doesn’t mean I don’t experience deep pain and angst over lost love – I do. I just have too much of a logical, rational side to me to try to hang on to something where there is no love – when it’s over, it’s over (especially when it was never really there). Since hearing more about who he really is from his own mouth week after week and finding out who he has always been, I know there never was a marriage. There is no real relationship to mourn anymore. I find myself instead struggling with the loss of my life. Decades of loss. I took such a hit to my health due to this relationship that I have missed out on so many experiences, including with my children, that it is heartbreaking. I missed what should have been some of my best years physically. That is what I am mourning and need to heal from. That and having to continue to interact and co-parent with the person who is to blame for a large piece of this (not all, of course) taking no responsibility. That leaves me in angst over damage to the kids and anger over the ongoing injustice. So…I have been doing just what you said. I no longer expect him to be anything other than that resentful, angry, manipulative boy in a grown man’s body. (Great adjectives, by the way). I am putting my strength and effort into saving myself and my kids and our future. As the kids head back to school this fall, I feel like I am finally in a place where I have learned so much and am ready to do what I need to do to try to heal this body – which includes a lot of being gentle with myself and letting myself rest. No more frantic pushing, stressing, working past the point of what’s reasonable, because I am nervous all the time. No more caring about his judgment. I am really kind of excited to begin to turn things around.

        Thank you so much for your kindness. I look forward to the day that you are 100% free from your bondage!

      • Bronze, from reading your posts, I know that you ‘ get it’. I believe that you and I have very similar husbands with covert NPD and perhaps BPD. I know that Norman has BPD and of course, the PA is just another symptom of covert narcissism. I am going through the same nonsense with my separation. Norman is completely disconnected and dumping ALL the responsibilities on me and telling me all the time that it’s my choice to move out and that I don’t have to. I wish I could laugh at his comment but I see a very evil demon standing there with his pitch fork, smiling, luring and tempting back into his hell. Of course he would want me to stay and continue to live as I always have- it works for him, feeds his negativity and anger and that’s all that matters. Two hours after I began packing, he was already on the move to seek out another victim. Their behavior is mind-boggling.

        I just wanted to let you know that your posts are so affirming and so wise and insightful and I’m in awe of your courage and strength to victoriously endure and change your life for you and your children. You will come out of this with amazing strength and a completely new appreciation for life. You see the silver lining in your adversity which is the most healing attitude we can have about our suffering. I’m so happy for you. Stay glad and positive in your freedom.

        The cold and detached nature of the narcissist is something that I will never ever relate to and no matter how educated I become on this disorder, I will never be able to develop compassion for it. I believe that this is the reason why some therapists refuse to treat narcissists. Some may disagree that these people are evil. But, I believe that anyone who can justify harming, neglecting, hurting and abandoning someone in need is fully aware of what they are doing and therefore, choosing to behave as they do. They are not in a state of psychosis, suffering from mental retardation, hallucinations or substance induced black out. They are angry people whose purpose is to create more angry people just like them. They do not promote love, compassion and joy. They do not nurture the earth and protect it’s resources. They do not feel the slightest inclination to protect anything other than the lonely anger that lives within them.

        It’s difficult for me to accept that these people are born this way and it’s my nature to be hopeful but I realize now that they are born weak people with an affinity for evil that gets nurtured by the evil of other people in their lives ( parents, friends, teachers, preachers) and the world around them and then matures into the angry monster they are today. Nothing good in life comes easy- only the path of evil is easy and it’s alluring and always sweet. To live a good life grounded in truth and love requires mindful effort, spiritual integrity and possessing a moral compass. Norman is an evil magnet and I’ve spent so many years fending off or attempting to alter all the evil he has brought into my life and into our home and into our neighborhood. Yes, even our neighborhood. When Norman moved in, all the good people moved and evil people moved in. The energy of just one person can have such an effect on the space around us. The way these people carry themselves, their charming, gentle and charismatic demeanor disguises their evil to unsuspecting victims and before they know it, they are snared. As the old adage goes, ‘ Anger begets anger, evil begets evil, shame begets shame, love begets love’ and in every moment we have the ability to choose what energy we want to send out into the world. I didn’t have a very happy childhood and I lived with domestic violence and a mother with NPD but I didn’t grow up to become a violent abusive self absorbed woman and it’s because I wasn’t born with any affinity for evil. There are lots of children who endured much much worse than I ever did and they didn’t grow up to be angry and abusive, cold and detached sociopaths, narcissists and psychopaths.

    • Seeing, I totally agree with all you wrote- especially about the marriage of convenience. When Norman told me that his counselor kept asking him what he wanted and that he could not answer, the words, ‘ I want everything but I don’t want to have to take care of it’ kept popping up in my head. I kept hearing, ‘ having my cake and eating it too’. I realized that the reason he can’t answer her question is because he knows that he can’t pull the words out of his empty soul. He can’t commit either way. He can’t tell her that he wants me or our marriage because he is incapable of feeling such desire and he can’t tell her that he doesn’t because he knows that he will end up in an empty house without a mother servant when I leave. He only chose me because he’s an opportunist that knows how to get his most basic needs met. He’s very good at finding his narcissistic supply like I am at finding jelly bellies when I’m stressed.

      Norman’s psychiatrist told me many years ago that Norman’s life works for him and that he has it made because of me and that for me to expect him to want to change anything is crazy. ‘ Why would Norman want to change anything about his life?” he asked.

      Re: Lonely and the counseling. ( Lonely I’m actually writing you) it bothers me that he expects you to find him a counselor. It sounds like he’s patronizing you AND making you do all the work ( gee, how PA is that?) I’m sure he has time to do other FUN things. It’s all about priorities Lonely and a person’s priorities/values are the true indicator of their character. These guys don’t make us a priority- they make serving themselves with large doses of pleasure their priority and throw us a few crumbs to keep us satisfied. Sorry to sound so negative and cynical but I truly get a bad vibe from him telling you to find him a counselor.

      • Exodus, I have to give the credit to Bronze regarding the marriage of convenience. Half of my post was quoting her! I agreed with her, too! They really are good at hunting out the narcissistic supply, like the instinct of an animal seeking food. I don’t know how many times I’ve had that same thought, “they want to have their cake and eat it too.” Gregory is most like that when he applies Scripture and Christianity to his life and to mine. To finally hear the naked truth about what God expects of me versus what God expects (or rather doesn’t expect) of him is almost unbelievable, frankly.

        Norman’s therapy situation is no big surprise, huh? They can turn on a dime as far as their good opinion of others. This one I have actually seen big time in my narcissistic father. It can make your head spin.

        Lonely, I have to agree with Exodus on her counseling comment. I know I already commented negatively up above, but I didn’t mention my concern that he wanted you to find the counselor. I got the same bad vibe. I know you mentioned the reasons in your post, but everything I have read and heard (not that I’ve ready everybody or everything) says how important it is that anyone with an issue really needs to be the one initiating their own therapy because it is about them wanting to change themselves not to pacify someone else. I also wouldn’t give a man a pass on this just because he is a man. They are capable of more than some of them let on. Though Gregory did nothing when I pulled back from our relationship and encouraged counseling, even he managed to find his own therapist without my help when he starting losing his relationship with one of the kids and wanted to talk about that. He didn’t stick with it, of course, but he initiated it because he was motivated enough to at least try to save that relationship. Sorry again for the negativity 😦

      • Exodus – my ex couldn’t answer the question of ‘what he wanted either’ with his counselor. When we were working on ‘his needs, her needs’. He also couldn’t think of any needs and would be silent every time I asked! I told him he was afraid I might actually be already meeting most of them and if I met any more, he wouldn’t have any reason to resent me and silently simmer. He also once said “I’m a lot happier with you than you are with me, I don’t want you to change anything you are doing and you want to change me”. So he really admitted I was doing all the relationship work and he viewed him having to take my needs into account, be respectful to me etc. as him having to change his actual core personality and that it couldn’t be done. How telling, that to him my needs and talking to me nicely was seen by him as something impossible for him to do even though I never would have married him had he been like that prior to marriage and I watched him be totally different with everybody else.

        Lonely – I second exodus and seeing – I wonder if him asking you to find the therapist is a way for him to blame you if something goes wrong. Bringing you into the equation pretty much sets you up as a patsy from the get go. my ex found our marriage counsellor and his anger management group – he was desperate to get back into the house – when he realised I was waiting for more than him just turning up to sessions once a month (without doing any of the homework) he pretty much stopped treating me with respect. He also to any complaint after that said “I went to counseling” as though just him going, made all his actions that hurt null and void. I became his one big trump card. All you can do is – do the best you can while continuing your plan. You will at least know you did the best you can. I certainly know that!!

  4. Bronze, you said: “I told him he was afraid I might actually be already meeting most of them and if I met any more, he wouldn’t have any reason to resent me and silently simmer.” Yes! I think a lot of their refusal to answer this sort of question is just that – they will be found out to either have unrealistic demands or to have no foundation for their resentment toward us. In the last year, I have had conversations with my PA man that come around to him making generalized statements of my failures in my responsibilities or my maltreatment of him. When I push for the specifics, he either (rarely) comes up with something out of the ordinary that I was supposed to predict he wanted me to do without him asking or (more commonly) tells me he can’t remember the specifics of what I did or didn’t do that bothered him or that was a failure and he will think about it and get back to me. He tells me this rather confidently and somewhat condescendingly and then never gets back to me about it. My interpretation – because it doesn’t exist!

    • Seeing and Bronze,
      I was thinking this morning about how Norman always compares himself to everyone else ( especially me). he’s very competitive, very egocentric and self absorbed. Relative to why these men cannot answer questions that require them to self-reflect, I realized they have nothing to reflect upon. They have no naturally developed identity to reflect upon and must be able to extract elements from other people in an effort to instantly manufacture their own persona in any given moment. This is one reason why they never seem to live with any consistent trait or integrity.

      Norman decides what he is by always comparing himself to other people. It could be as simple as , ‘ He has a green car, mine is red’. Therefore, he has now established that he is a man with a red car. If the man has an attractive quality like a hot babe on his arm then Norman will suddenly develop a hatred of red and want a green car. When Norman purchased the red car, that was most likely someone else’s car color.

      ” He has black hair and mine is blonde”…Norman establishes that about himself. If that dark haired man has some quality that Norman admires, Norman will absorb some characteristic from this man- perhaps he heard the man use a phrase and Norman will then begin using the phrase. I can always tell when Norman has been around a different/new person.

      ” He earns 50 thousand a year and I earn 52 thousand”..Norman establishes that he is wealthier and a better provider.

      If I get into a discussion about how Norman’s father abused him, Norman will immediately counter with ‘ look at your mother’ without acknowledging his own abuse and therefore without realizing that the only reason I bring up his father is because he grew up to be his father and abuses me the exact same way his father abuses. I didn’t grow up to be my mother so what difference does it make how my parents were? His reasoning ( or lack of) makes no sense but, Norman MUST make the comparison in order to create and establish a condition that he can comfortably live with relative to his own behavior. In other words, Norman isn’t bad, he’s just like me, just like everyone else who grew up to be like their parents.

      In the past when I’ve confronted Norman about his immoral, unethical or abusive behavior, he will immediately respond with, ‘ Do you think you’re perfect? Do you think you have any problems?” instead of attempting to acknowledge his own misgivings. It’s also the norm around here for Norman to accuse me of the very thing that he is guilty of. Those are the moments when it’s difficult for me to remain sane.

      Norman becomes obsessed with ‘ rock star groupie’ like mentality for other people. He was so obsessed with Lance Armstrong that he had to buy a new bike, new accessories, etc…that cost a lot of money. Then, despite my loathing of Lance and all the arrogant egoistic hype that goes on in the cycling community, Norman felt the need to convert me from my lovely comfortable and casual city street bike to a speedy road bike with cycling shoes that locked on the pedals. He told me that he was ashamed to ride with me on my hybrid bike that I was wimpy. Why I let him do this to me is truly insane. Frankly, I think those Lance-wannabes who sport their jerseys, etc are a joke. Even worse, after my conversion, I became HIS competition and anytime we went riding, he would become cruel, ugly, competitive, arrogant and just plain evil. He would ride so close to me that it forced me onto the gravel shoulder and almost crashed, if a car came, he would get in front of me and slow down- forcing me to almost crash into him, on hills he would slow down forcing me sometimes to have to walk my bike and another time he abandoned me altogether on the parkway when I got a flat tire. And his therapist wonders why I don’t want to do anything with Norman? I’m terrified of him. He perceives me as a competitive threat in everything we do- even yard work and doing anything with him is not enjoyable at all. None of our employees enjoyed working with Norman and they all quit and told me that they like working with me but that Norman won’t even talk to them on the jobs and that he ignores them- even on their first day!

      I’m selling my road bike, all my gear, those stupid shoes that lock on to the pedals. Who the heckcame up with that stupid idea anyway? Besides, who enjoys riding on a tiny seat that feels like it’s crushing your pubic bone? No wonder these men are such arrogant and angry jerks.

      Anyway, my point being that they haven’t any opinion, thought, feeling or idea that isn’t extracted from someone else. If Norman’s therapist doesn’t put words into his mouth, he has nothing to say.

      • Exodus, I wanted to respond to your comment above but there was no room. You referenced in your other comment that they are choosing to behave as they do. I agree with that 100%. I have gone around and around with this business of personality disorder and what they are and are not capable of, and I believe it is a choice. This morning I read two posts that I wanted to share with as many of the women out here as I can so I will start here. The first is today’s (8/15/14) post at graceformyheart.wordpress.com called “Are Narcissists Sick?” and the second is today’s (8/15/14) post at cryingoutforjustice.com, especially the second half. I go to both sites regularly now. Both are Christian sites and I know several of the women out here are Christians and their abusive husbands claim to be Christians. I will let the posts speak for themselves to anyone who wants to read them, but I want to add that when I read about narcissists and abusers in general, I see that in great measure the same things can be applied to passive aggressive abusers. I am done believing they are victims and are not choosing to do exactly what they do. I believe that as long as we give them any kind of a pass we are letting an enemy into our trust, and that it is a very dangerous thing to do.

    • Seeing, I read the articles that you referenced below in your last post. I agree with most of the observations that the minister made but I don’t believe that a person chooses to become narcissistic. i really don’t believe that N is just learned behaviors and that they can always choose to be different. Being able to make that choice would mean that they are capable of understanding the consequences of their behaviors and I’m not convinced that they can. What I am certain of is that they can find ways to justify their behavior when they need to. I believe they are truly mentally ill and psychologists will tell you that narcissism is a character disorder much like sociopathy. I think they are born with greater potential to develop bad character to begin with and what causes it..I don’t know- probably a lot of nature vs nurture happening to promote it. I think of it in the same way that each of us is born with cancer cells in our bodies but they don’t become a disease until they get turned on by some environmental toxin or toxic emotion. I also believe that there is a strong genetic link in families for character disorders- I have proof: Norman’s family!

      The other article about the list……..oh boy did that ever get to the root of our relationship dynamics and how we lose sight of commonsense when dealing with these guys. I used to tell Norman that I found it rather odd that he could perform quite well when working for another company but couldn’t do the same for our company. They love to play stupid and force people to have to take extra time or struggle to explain things to them in depth or make lists for them or even write them letters that explain our thoughts and feelings. ” I’m too busy to talk now so write me a letter”. Another thing that N’s do is make people call/contact THEM.. ” be sure to call me or email me the day before your birthday party so I’ll remember to come” or ” be sure to call me to let me know that you’re doing ok’ and quite often, when we are stupid enough to call them, they will act like we are interrupting them. It’s all about controlling us, manipulating us in a way that brings the attention and control back to them. It’s also easier for them to dismiss us or ignore us when we send letters, emails or are talking to them on the phone.

      ” This is why when a person contacts me and says they have abused their spouse for years, but they just didn’t see it and now they want me to help them change…that I am very, very reluctant to expend my efforts and time in them. ESPECIALLY if they are still insisting upon reconciliation with the spouse they abused, though they state this desire in even the most self-sacrificing and divine ways. Why do they need help? Why should I give them some kind of list – “ok, do this, do that, stop doing this” and so on? Because, Mr. Abuser, if you don’t already know, chances are extremely high that you never will know and that you don’t really want to.”

      is exactly what my other therapist told me about why therapy with Norman would be useless and a big waste of my time.

      That said, Seeing, there is always going to be a part of me that sees Norman as a pathetic and helpless sick man that is so truly disturbed from his bad parenting, being abused by teachers and his families Church/religion. But, the bottom line and the deal breaker for me is that despite all that ( which any of us could endure and some of us did) Norman, unlike the rest of us, doesn’t care ( for whatever reason) that he creates pain and suffering. It doesn’t bother him that our marriage isn’t working- not really. He doesn’t even value marriage in the same way that we do. He doesn’t have the character that it takes to face his faults and rectify them.

      BTW, I didn’t know you had a father with NPD. Did you ever get ‘ The Wizard of Oz and other Narcissists”?

      • Exodux, oh yeah. My father is an undeniable, overt, religious whip narcissist! He is so unpolished, so blatant at times, but also so sly and manipulative. He is extremely judgmental. My mother is a borderline personality. What a combination they make! (All of my siblings have struggled deeply). So I naturally gravitated to the covert, passive aggressive, narcissistic, possibly sociopathic religious whip Gregory. Ta da! I was so determined not to end up in my parents’ misery that I wasn’t going to get married at all. I didn’t really even desire marriage. Singleness sounded good. Then along came Gregory – and we were just supposed to be friends – and somehow I ended up marrying him. I wasn’t even in love with him. It was like I was drawn to marry my father, and getting a covert form of him was the only way to accomplish that. They are alike in so many ways, in big ways and in the small details. It is uncanny! But I never even realized it until the last few years. It is absolutely humiliating to have ended up right where I knew I never intended to go because seeing my parents’ marriage gave me the experience to know better! Yeah, right.

        Yes, I got the book not long after you recommended it and got into it pretty far, but it was summer, the kids were home…now I need to get back to my reading. What I read so far, I thought was good. Thanks for the recommendation.

      • Exodus, I also wanted to comment on the choice/choosing part with narcissists. I tend to go along with his addiction explanation. They may very well be born with a propensity for it, but somewhere along the way they made choices against their conscience. There is right and wrong here. Good and evil. I believe everyone has a conscience to start – even sociopaths – and they can make choices to drown it out and let it get hardened and that childhood environments may present them with situations that make that easier, but it is a choice to save self and harm another or choose not to harm another and risk self. I think when they get to the point where there truly is no more conviction and no more real choosing and no more light whatsoever, that is the result of choosing against what light they had. We all have choices to make. Most of us are faced with painful ones where we must choose a greater suffering to keep another person from harm. They choose self and self-preservation. Though I believe they need mercy, I don’t believe they need pity. This is just my opinion. I know I could be wrong.

    • Seeing, in response to your two posts below:
      HOLY COW! What a pair of parents you had. Oh my gosh. I can imagine all the drama and chaos. Yes, it’s no wonder that we ended up where we did and even worse, we were both aware of what to avoid. We just didn’t have the tools to put our wisdom into action. This goes to show how deeply toxic these relationships are to developing children and why it takes a lifetime to unlearn the unhealthy habits and learn to create healthy relationships.

      So, I reread my posts from yesterday and I realized that I may have sent confusing messages about my thoughts regarding when N’s know the difference between right and wrong and can choose. Here’s the thing…the N’s perception of anything is very different than our perception which makes it almost impossible for us to make any assumptions about what they are capable of. I get the impression that the minister still believes that if you tell a narcissist that they are being selfish, rude, ugly, mean, sinful people that they will be stunned and want to change. WRONG. The one thing I do know is that the world revolves around them and their path in life is not connected to their heart.

      N’s only provide conditional “love” and therefore what may appear to be kind or loving or thoughtful isn’t. There’s always a condition and always a price attached to all their behaviors and their choices. When we give them negative feedback, they don’t feel any need to change themselves- they just feel the need to change the conditions around them in order to restore pleasure by either avoiding us, replacing us or manipulating us in order to get the response they need. The choices they make are about restoring their own self-esteem or self worth but never about restoring anyone else’s. If I get angry or upset, Norman doesn’t consider how he’s hurt me at all and he only perceives me as a threat to his image. I’m just perceived as an insensitive and unreasonable woman attacking and assaulting him which gives him further justificaton for not treating me well. Since he can’t completely avoid me or dump me and mostly because he needs me, he will later patronize me with temporary accolades or what appears to be a thoughtful and meaningful gesture but it’s a rote display of self serving behavior with no emotion behind it. Norman didn’t learn to behave with heart. His father and mother were not the type of parents that would say, ‘ don’t run out into the road because you might get hit by a car, seriously injured or killed and I love you and care about you and want to protect you from harm” . His parents would say, ‘ don’t walk out in the road because I told you so’ or ‘ if you walk into the road, I’ll beat your ass’. As a result, Norman never developed any compassionate understanding for how his actions would affect anyone else. The messages he received from his parents were all about control and it’s no wonder that norman became BPD, NPD with PA. Norman is a competitive performer with no heart and no sense of self awareness and connection with the world around him. Therefore, doesn’t feel any need to change anything about himself for anyone else’s benefit. He just alters the current environment to receive immediate gratification or pleasure for himself in that moment ( same mindset of addicts). Once he achieves/receives pleasure, it’s back to the same abusive behaviors and bad character. It’s very confusing to witness brief displays of good character and assume that they are being sincere. I went through this as a child with my mother. Her brief nurturing moments would cause me to believe that she really cared about me. Even more confusing is when we recognize that N’s are well aware of how other people’s behaviors make them feel so we just assume they are also aware of how they make us feel. We couldn’t be more wrong in this assumption about N’s. N’s live a life of double-standards that are misinterpreted by others. These emotional vampires are always seeking emotions from others but they don’t have any emotions of their own to give back. They know what is right or wrong relative to THEM but not to others and they will always have all sorts of justifications for their behaviors.

      N’s are what they are and I think it’s unreasonable for us to believe that they can make choices relative to other people’s well being. Unless they can be cured of their narcissism, they won’t.

      The other day, Norman blurted out, ‘ Oh, I know what I will do at Christmas..I’ll go to Washington with my uncle’. It was sadly obvious that he was already feeling concerned about being alone for the holidays and for a brief millisecond, I felt sorry for him. Then it occurred to me that I would be alone and that he never once considered how alone I would be in a new place with no friends or family. Norman has lots of ‘ friends’ and even a family that he can spend a few hours with and get a free meal. I have no one- not even a dog. I know I’m about to sound like a pathetic baby but I sort of feel that way. I have no mom that loves me, no brother that can love me because of our mother and my fathers have both died. I truly don’t have anyone at all and I’ll be spending the holiday completely alone and it won’t matter to him or his N family at all. It won’t occur to him at all to consider my feelings. Norman will probably go give a few dollars to a homeless person and then brag for months about what he did. Everything the man does is all about creating props that support his ego and public image. I used to be one of Norman’s props but he doesn’t perceive me that way anymore. Later that evening, I was packing a box of books thinking about Norman and his Christmas comment and suddenly, what appeared on a page before me was a line from Exodus 3:12 “Certainly I will be with thee….’
      Seeing, I just burst into tears. It’s so hard during this time for me to believe and trust that my life will improve. My Faith in G-d is being tested in one of the most challenging times in my life. When my dog, Moses, died in April, I remember being so angry at G-d. It was the first time in my life that I had ever felt angry at G-d. I screamed at Him, threatened Him, dared Him to take my life. I went nuts with grief. The crazy thing is that I didn’t name Moses. I adopted him with that name and he died on the last day of Passover which is why I use the handle Exodus on these blogs. I can’t help but feel that there is a message in Moses’ life with me and in his death. Moses was the only thing keeping me here. It’s as if G-d took him from me to give me freedom and a new life. Now, I have to prove to G-d that I’m worthy of His blessing by having the courage to trust in Him and His guidance. I must trust that He will open doors of opportunity for me and protect me.

  5. Lonely, Bronze made a very valid point about abusers making their partners schedule appt with counselors. I’ve been through this with Norman before and it’s a nightmare that never ends.
    1. I don’t like that therapist, they don’t like me. You chose them and so they will naturally side with you and think I’m the problem.

    2. You always have to have everything on your terms and never allow me to make any decisions. you treat me like a child.

    3. I can’t make the appointments because I’m busy. The therapist schedules them around your schedule without considering my schedule because he/she likes you more.

    4. I want to change therapists because he/she makes me do all the work and you don’t have to do anything

    5. I don’t like this therapist because she lets you do all the talking and never lets me speak.

    6. I don’t like the therapist because she sits closer to you than me and I feel left out

    and more
    PA people are very skilled excuse makers and they have an endless supply of them. I once told Norman that if I had a dollar for every one of his excuses that I would be a millionaire.

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