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Arundhati
Arundhati, Counselor & Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 256
Experience:  Licensed psychotherapist, Published Wellness Author
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Hi there for last 10 years of a 12 year marriage i have thought

Customer Question

Hi there for last 10 years of a 12 year marriage i have thought i am going mad, after reading the effects of living with a narcssist i kind of feel for the first time i can see a little bit more clearly. I thought i had given up on life, love and values that makde me the strong person i have always been. I have become to dislike myself and react to him the way he treats me sometimes and i hate this because i know i am not like that and feel i am always fighting my own consience. (I feel i have been fighting and trying to find answers about an invisible enemy)
He has overacted many times to the point of destructive rages.
But i am still unclear on how to handle this and what should be my next move.
I would realy appreciate some advise so i can move forward.
Many thanks Sarah
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Arundhati replied 3 years ago.
Hello Sarah,

Thank you for bringing your important question to Just Answer.

I'm very sorry to hear what you have gone through and are going through. You are right, living with a narcissist is like living with an invisible enemy and often we are not even aware of how insidiously they can erode our self-confidence, our self-esteem, and zest for life.

Unfortunately, those with narcissistic personalities (those with marked traits of narcissism are diagnosed as having Narcissistic Personality Disorder - NPD) seldom show any significant change in their behaviors mostly because they are in denial and can never accept blame for their actions. They mostly see the fault lying with others, never themselves.

The two ways in which you can deal with your husband is 1) learning as much as you can about this disorder so that you can prevent yourself from losing energy over this, you can ensure that your self-esteem is not eroded and you can work on becoming the strong person that you always have been 2) Learning new coping skills to deal with his behaviors so that it not only affects you less but also starts to make him conscious that some of his behaviors are unacceptable and you will not tolerate them

In order to do the #1 point listed above - here are a few helpful resources you can consider - Disarming the Narcissist & Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in your Life

Ultimately, you will need to ask yourself if the toxicity of your relationship makes it a worthy relationship or whether you'd be better on ending the relationship and moving on. Of course that is a question that will require much thought, self-introspection and practical planning.

I hope I have been able to offer some perspective. If it was helpful to you please consider clicking on the green "Accept" button as experts are not credited for their time or service otherwise.

Please feel free to continue the discussion even after you click on the "Accept" button by writing back with any additional questions, thoughts or reactions you might have to what I wrote above.

Warm regards,

Arundhati
Arundhati, Counselor & Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 256
Experience: Licensed psychotherapist, Published Wellness Author
Arundhati and 4 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi thanks i know you can't diagnose him but i would like to detail a bit more about his behaviour.

He has embarrassed me in front of my older daughters and their friends i.e thrown a drink and glass at me when we've been out.

Unemotional.

Uncomfortable when daughter shows affection, pushes her away.

Driven into me with youngest daughter in the car (she was physically sick)

Locked me out of the house with kids.

Broken downstairs Double glazed windows.

He is intelligent and manipulative and twists things to make me look bad whilst he can maintain a calm exterior.

Does'nt keep much contact with his family whom were successful academics.

Does'nt keep much contact with his 14 year old daughter.

Different person around his parents a false front (respectful, attentative more like the man i married.

two and a half years into the marriage is when the cracks in his personality started to show, shortly after this i was diagnosed with a high blood preesure and after that an over active thyroid that i seriously believe was down to severe stress.

I feel i am living on nerves and anxiety, he does nothing to allay my worries i think he enjoys seeing me struggle and worrying.

I have 24 and 26 year old daughters to whom i have encouraged to never take abuse from a man. (I feel like the biggest hypocrite out there)

My son 17 and fortunately caring and sensitive. (The guilt ways me down)

My 11 daughter is lucky to have older syblings that are a positve roll model for her and show her great care and concern.

I always feel that i have to over compensate this wears me down.

I was a confident independant single mother of 3 when i met him and knew my own mind, what happened, I carry the guilt of not getting him out the first time he over stepped the boundary.

I divorced my first husband for far far less, maybe i did'nt want to fail again.

Whilst we attended marriage guidance the councillor commented to him that in the 17 years she had been doing this she had never met a man with his lack of communicating skills.

I don't know where this is all going to end at the moment because we are not even sleeping together i just feel sad and worry about it all all the time.

I have been waiting for things to get better they have'nt in fact i feel i keep making bad decisions.

Thankyou for taking the time

Sarah

 

 

Expert:  Arundhati replied 3 years ago.
Sarah,

What you describe is definitely not a healthy situation for you to be in.

I think from what you described above, you have been held back from being empowered and independent and drawing firmer boundaries with him, in some part due to your own reasoning, belief systems and assumptions (e.g. I can't let my second marriage fail, what will the children think of their mother? kind of reasoning that may have held you back from standing up and/or ending the relationship.

It is increasingly clear to me that you would great benefit from individual therapy sessions with a cognitive behavioral therapist (CBT) who can help you uncover exactly the limiting beliefs, assumptions and views that have stood in the way of your advocating for yourself.

Your husband sounds very inconsiderate, unempathic, and at the same time manipulative and able to paint a different picture than what the reality is. These are definitely signs of a narcissistic person and they definitely defy what forms a healthy, loving, nurturing relationship.

I think uncovering the beliefs that are holding you back can help you to start making the right decisions. Like you said, you've been waiting for things to get better but from the sounds of it, it doesn't seem like it will get better unless you take things into your own hands.

Please let me know if you have additional thoughts/reactions/questions.

Warm regards,

Arundhati

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