But you all here haven given me a way to work through the feelings I would experience as rejection and hurt.
I invited him to sit next to me, I told him I understood the pressure he was under and how overwhelmed he felt... Not sure if this was enabling behavior - or the behavior I'm supposed to have as a spouse... Either way, he seemed to have less ammo loaded for counter attack, and I feel more mature about my words and actions. He's still standoffish, but I'm not taking it so personally.
Wow.. that's great.
Was your husband raised in an abusive situation? The reason I asked is that I read something in the book "Dance of Anger" a long time ago that the above post made me think of.
It said that the people who survive abusive upbringings the best are those who have a 'sympathetic witness'. A ‘sympathetic witness’ is someone who sides with the abused child and assure them that their feelings of hurt, anger, etc are justified and at least not ‘wrong’. That they are entitled to their feelings and that the person who abuses them is wrong. So the ‘witness’ sympathizes with the abused child and gives them the tools to see the abuse and the abuser as the one who is in the wrong.
Now your husband is obviously not being abused by you here. But he’s feeling a lot of pressure. And you did the right thing.. you reacted to him in the manner of a ‘sympathetic witness’. You let him know that you understand the pressure he’s under, that it’s ok to feel the pressure and weight of being the sole financial supporter of a family. He needed to hear that from you.
As a woman who has been the sole finacial support of my family for most of the time I've had a family I can tell you that there is a unique kind of pressure that is felt. It's hard to describe. Sometimes I go into panic mode because of this.. suppose I lose my job? I'm exhausted and my husband is not helping me in ways that would make it easier for me to have the energy to go to work every day.. it's draining. I don't have the option to quite.. sometimes I feel stuck becasue I don't have that option. The list of things that I might panic over is pretty long.. i'm apparently very good at manufacturing reasons to panic.
As I said earlier, your husband seems to have a problem with the pressures of life even before your pregnancy. So I'm sure that the pressure is very hard on him now. If the two of you were to stay together, you will most likely have to go back to work. For one I think you need to make sure that you can always support yourself and your child. Secondly I'm not sure your husband can handle being the sole support.
Ele - I've seen that book in countless thriftstores... Never bought it because I felt the title alone was derogatory... LoL!
I can see why you might think that the title is derogatory. But it’s not. If you read the book you will understand where it’s coming from. I read it and loved it. What I find interesting about it is that as a women who has taken the ‘male’ role of being the sole support of my family I see where the things she says apply in my situation.
I highly recommend the book to any woman or man who is a stay-at-home spouse/parent.
Originally Posted by YinPrincess
When I was working - more issues than not, I think, but of a different nature. He delved into porn a lot because I was unavailable... We had more than enough money to pay our bills then... And our bills were a lot less. I know he feels the crunch, and I am so willing to help when I am able... But I feel completely useless and worthless now.
You are not completely useless and worthless. You are taking care of a baby and recovering from your child birth. Take that time for you.
But I also highly suggest that you go back to work as soon as you can. I think you are going to have to work whether you stay with him or not. Either way you will need to be independent enough to hold your own. This is not a man who can take the pressure of being a sole provider. And he’s abusive, so he will use what he sees as the ‘power position’ of being the money earner over you.
Originally Posted by YinPrincess
What's worse is I feel unable to trust him around baby alone for too long. He's easily stressed and I don't want her to get the vibes that she is somehow a burden...
You are going to have to learn to trust him and he is going to have to learn to take care of her. If you split he will have her sometimes. He will need to be able to take care of her.
Ele - I have diagnosed my husband with Narcissism... He has ALL of the characteristics. I would like him to be professionally diagnosed, but there's no way he would ever go for that. When we went to marital counseling together it was a huge failure - he is incredibly adept at painting himself to be the "good guy/victim" and me as the crazy one.
Have you ever seen the movie American Psycho? THAT guy IS my husband!!! The opening scenes where he is applying his face masks and going about his beauty regime IS my husband! He is so vain, so obsessed with his appearance and health - he is so self-involved it's not even funny.
He puts down people he doesn't know. We can be driving the car somewhere and he'll pick a random pedestrian to put down, (to me, not to their faces). He'll go off on a little tirade about how they're broke, poor, probably go home smoke crack and beat their wives in addition to living off of assistance (hey so are WE! But we're better than that guy!) I can't stand his negativity! I try to show him acts of compassion - when I had money, if someone begging for change/was hungry I'd buy them something to eat, etc. He said before that he loves my humanity, but he will never in a million years do something like that on his own.
Here is some info on Narcissism... Under the criteria, my husband matches every one.
A little about his childhood: his mother herself proclaims that she was much too involved with her social life when her son was growing up to be much of a parent. I should have known, from the first time she ever emailed me, she said, "If he ever does anything to hurt you, it's my fault. I wasn't a good mother to him." (Here, "hurt" is not in the physical context). His mother dated musicians who traveled, and would leave her very young son with friends of the band members - people she barely knew. He has shared a few horror stories from this time... From having the father of some family threaten to beat him up to being molested by an older boy.
After a bit he was sent to live with his grandparents. They are righteous bible thumpers who were huge on religion. My husband has often told me THIS point in his life is where he developed his passive aggressive tendencies. They would tell him what he could and could not do... And of course, he did what he wanted anyways and they always turned a blind eye.
After some years his mother decided to come back into his life, (she found God as well), and became what he described as "overbearing". Funny. He says the same thing about me...
Well... That's all I can write for now... The baby beckons me! Posted via Mobile Device
Yin, I just caught up on this, and have to say that I feel bad for the situation you are in.
I can tell from your words that you can recognize and see the abuse you are taking from him, the hard part is deciding what to do because what you need to do right now is get yourself and your daughter out of the situation... BUT, that is not the kind of act you do out of love for your spouse right? The thing is you clearly love your H and support him even though he is unable to really love you back. From what you write of him I see a man who in some part of him wants to love you, but never really has learned how to love someone.
When you say he is an amazing father and loves his daughter, thats because its how he has presented it to you, just as he tries to present to others that he is an amazing husband and loves you. But you can feel the emptiness of it, because to him it is all about the self. So you need to see that he wants to love his D, you already know that he is not capable of giving real love, only something that he can twist and mold into something that looks like love.
You fell in love with him for a reason, he is probably an amazing guy somewhere in there but his esteem issues have been so far buried that he has a toxic world of mixed emotions shielding him, and until he can break through that with the people he is supposed to love (you and your D). And as hard as it may be to accept, you are not the one that is going to be able to help him with that, it is solely his choice and his task if he is to ever be capable of real love.
It makes me sad for you, your daughter and even him, and I think you know what to do, just listening to the advice from That_girl, Elegirl and others on here - you need to, you have the right to, and you have the responsibility to remove yourself from that situation, the sooner the better. It will be a huge hardship for you, and unfair even, which makes that first step a real big one. However in the long run this has to be your way of showing love to your H so that the cycle of abuse can be broken. Instead of showing him support by enabling him to continue your current broken family life, you have to stop the abuse using any means you have.
edit: yeah and to add to other's, if he is a narcissist he will never even choose to dig himself out from behind his toxic shield, and it would be pointless for you to wait for that. Either way, you have to make it not your problem anymore.
Yin, your previous relationship was with a guy who abused you big-time. You got out of that, even though you faced many challenges.
Then you marry another abuser. Narcissist? Yep. Married to a codependent? Check the "yes" box on that one too.
I do not mean this in a cruel fashion, but you are as sick as the man you are married to. Narcissistic Personality Disorder is almost impossible to treat. Why? Because this type of PD thinks the rest of the universe is inhabited by idiots and they are right.
Sure, he has his "nice" moments. I was married to one for eight years. He could be charming and kind. He also hit me when I pushed one of his "buttons." (And he had lots of "buttons.")
Go stay with your sister. Start looking into getting your job back. Codependency is a killer. It causes all types of health problems, not to mention that your husband could decide to start hitting you more.
He is also "gaslighting" you so he can convince you that you are the crazy one.
You are not crazy. But you are sick to stay with this man. You are focused on his problems, his diagnosis, his behaviors. Step away from the crazy man.
Like I say here time and time again, when the pain of staying exceeds the pain of leaving, you will leave.
Your baby doesn't deserve a crazy man for a father. And you have got major crazy on your hands. Please break free.
Almost everything you have ever posted about your husband screams that you need to get away from him. The bottom line is that no matter if he is or is not a narcissist, he's distructive to you and will be to your daughter as time goes on.
If you leave him, do you think he will be interested in your daughter? It almost might be best if he does not.
So what is your plan? You need a plan. Is it time yet for you to take control of your own life and protect your daughter?
oh Yin - you have moved from one abusive relationship to another
you do not deserve this, this is not normal, you are not crazy
please try and get out - this will never get better, HE will never get better
What makes narcissists so destructive is that they are charming and they are great at making you feel crazy. It's all your fault they moan. If only you treated me better I wouldn't have to do x,y, z to you. It's all for your own good. They knock you down then pretend to help you up looking all doe eyed in the process. They have no feelings, no emotions and are callous and cruel.
And leaving one is darn near impossible because they can't stand to lose. They will fight you just because they can.