I think DH has narc-like traits

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bsfighter1
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I think DH has narc-like traits

Post by bsfighter1 » Fri Sep 30, 2016 9:05 pm

So I'm new here and really just figuring this forum site out. This was supposed to be posted in non-in law related posts, so not sure where this will end up. I'm posting because for a long time I've thought my DH was a borderline narc. I don't think he is anywhere as bad as his family and the people they gravitate to, but he has traits that just scream red flags. I'm with him still for many reasons, including being the father of my 2 children and not wanting to break up our household, but honestly, sometimes I feel like I'm in the twighlight zone.

For example, this seems like really small things, but is just some of the things I've had to deal with over the last 10+ years... tonight we go out for Mexican and things are okay, although DH has that usual disapproving look and attitude that 'I' should have phone ahead althoug he was perfectly able to do it. Oh well, no biggie, right? But when we left the restaurant and put the kids in my car, all of a sudden he's controlling my light switches again and telling me how I should set my car, to which I replied bugger off. He does this controlling car thing, among other controlling and insulting things all the time (ie. trying to sniff if I have body odour, overseeing that my hands are not wet when I touch anything in the kitchen). The first thing you would think is maybe he's OCD since I have some of those traits myself.

But the thing that makes me think he's borderline narc is how he can twist things to suit his version of reality. He's NEVER wrong, and even he says one thing, he'll reframe it into something totally different when you call him out on his controlling nature, and make you feel like you're stupid and crazy. Then fell say things line 'YOU' are ruining the night, even though he's shouting at you too in front of the kids, like everything is just my fault. He will lie, and twist reality to paint himself as the innocent victim, in order to always be superior from what I can see. The reason he reacts is because I made him do it most of the time. It's freaking crazy the more I write. I someone who inner reflects regularly, sometimes overly even, but this guy is always making excuses or re-writing reality so he's always innocent. I'm. It sure what to think, but my gut always tells me that this is not good, and that I'm not completely crazy. Sometimes I love this guy because he is a good dad, a decent provider, and contributes to the household, but other times I can't stand his guts, because the hypocrisy, self-righteousness and blame-game reek of the narc ILs. Oh but I forgot, according to him he " doesn't play games." Kinda creepy.

PutMILinherplace
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Re: I think DH has narc-like traits

Post by PutMILinherplace » Mon Oct 03, 2016 9:26 am

Sometimes I love this guy because he is a good dad, a decent provider, and contributes to the household, but other times I can't stand his guts, because the hypocrisy, self-righteousness and blame-game reek of the narc ILs. Oh but I forgot, according to him he " doesn't play games." Kinda creepy.
Ok, you have come here for advice from those of us who have dealt with it. You may read things that hurt and you don't want to hear but we are trying to give the truth and reality.

You need to go the library and get some books. The first is How to deal with Toxic People by Susan Forward, after that you need to read Life Codes from Dr Phil (Don't worry its NOTHING like his TV show) then The Gift of Fear by Gavin DeBecker. I wouldn't suggest you hide you are reading them but I sure wouldn't broadcast it to DH. These books will give you valuable information without alerting your DH to you getting counseling. You have to treat a Narc like a child sometimes and train them without them even knowing they are being trained. These books will help you no matter what you decide to do in the future.

I know you love this guy and I am sure he loves you and the kids. But here is the deal,, sometimes love is not enough. I am not saying you have to divorce the guy but you may need to perhaps prepare for that when you decide enough is enough for you and your children. Mistreating his wife in front of his children is not being a good dad. He is showing the kids how you treat their future spouse. This is what they are learning from him. Start getting copies of important paperwork: birth certificates, ss# number, flashdrives with baby pics, etc and find a safe place to put them outside the home; with a friend , safe deposit box, without telling or hinting to DH. This is a just in case move just like having flashlights and bottled water in case of an emergency.

Good luck and keep us updated.
You cant set yourself on fire to keep someone else warm.

mamarama
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Re: I think DH has narc-like traits

Post by mamarama » Mon Oct 03, 2016 1:33 pm

bsfighter1 wrote: But the thing that makes me think he's borderline narc is how he can twist things to suit his version of reality. He's NEVER wrong, and even he says one thing, he'll reframe it into something totally different when you call him out on his controlling nature, and make you feel like you're stupid and crazy. Then fell say things line 'YOU' are ruining the night, even though he's shouting at you too in front of the kids, like everything is just my fault. He will lie, and twist reality to paint himself as the innocent victim, in order to always be superior from what I can see. The reason he reacts is because I made him do it most of the time.
This is definitely a N trait. It's called gaslighting. He also is holding you responsible for his poor behavior. It's NEVER his fault. If he punches a wall, it's YOUR fault. He has complete lack of self control. (Have you ever brought that up to him? That you are not responsible for his inability to control himself and his behavior?) This is a serious issue and one that is extremely detrimental not only to your marriage but to every other relationship he has in his life. PMIHP is right that your children will see how he treats you and will model their own relationships after that accordingly. It's not only wrong what he's doing to you, but it's also wrong what he's doing to the kids.

The lying is also a really big problem. It is a reflection of a lack of integrity. Both the gaslighting abuse and the lying need to be addressed. I highly suggest marriage counseling, but from what you've told us, I'm doubtful it would work. He is either a deliberate liar or has a mental issue that is causing him to be delusional. Whichever it is, it is extremely unhealthy for him and your family.

The bottom line is that you and your kids are being abused. Just because he's not hitting you doesn't mean he isn't abusive. You and the kids deserve better than a lifetime of this. I don't think he's willing to change the situation, so the burden is on you. I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this. You deserve better. It's a shame that your husband doesn't think you do.

jigglypuff
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Re: I think DH has narc-like traits

Post by jigglypuff » Mon Oct 03, 2016 9:23 pm

He gaslights, projects and he's anal but that doesn't necessarily mean he's an N. I mean, he might be but what all Ns lack is empathy. They can sometimes fake empathy to look good in front of others but you will see that at times when there's no audience, that the N lacks empathy and compassion. That's how you will truly know he's an N or even a sociopath.

I have witnessed my N EBIL fake crying at a funeral. I've also seen my sociopath Aunt crying for herself when her mother died but never crying over the actual loss of her mother. It is one of the most bizarre things to witness. You'll also notice that they can do good deeds but it's usually out of obligation or wanting to look good in front of others. My EBIL will go out of his way to do favors for people that suit his purpose. Only for those he gains N supply from or can someday get a favor in return. He won't do a favor otherwise.

My EBIL is a shitty husband BUT, he will do nice things for his wife from time to time. He will buy her gifts and take her out but he will also neglect her, manipulate her and disregard her feelings. Just because your H is capable of doing nice things doesn't make him a good spouse. He just might be doing enough to keep you from leaving him.

If your H is in fact an N, he does not and can not love you and the kids. It may seem like love but it isn't the real thing. The only person an N could ever love is themselves. Their version of love is limited and conditional. As long as you give the N what he wants, he will "love" you. If not, you will eventually be punished and/or discarded.

I'm sorry you're in this situation. For you and the kids sake, I hope he isn't an N and just picked up some traits from his upbringing. Not that it makes it any easier. I also don't think it's healthy for him to yell at you in front of the kids. Your kids will grow up to believe this behavior is acceptable and chances are will repeat it when they become adults.

Mamarama and PMILIHP have given you some excellent advice. Abuse comes in many, many forms, not just hitting. Controlling behaviors are also abuse. Any behavior that makes you feel bad is abusive. A spouse should help you become a better person, not a miserable one. Maybe you guys could try counseling?
'As the days go by, I think of how lucky I am... That you're not here to ruin it for me'

bsfighter1
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Re: I think DH has narc-like traits

Post by bsfighter1 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:42 am

Thank you everyone for your advice. Like JPuff was saying, I'm not convinced DH is a full blown narc, he does show some care and empathy for the feeling of others, especially those who cares about. He's definitely doesn't display the creepy, detached facial expressions of the major narcs I've been unfortunate to know in the IL brood, not sure if you the low the one I'm talking about, but that blank stare, devoid of emotions whenever you're explaining the hurt of others or yourself. Gave me the shivers each time I saw that emotionless look. He's also not like the other types of narc I met who pretend to be super sweet and charming while they're deliberately throwing you under the bus, and then we they witness all of the fallout and strife they've help to cause they sit atop the roof of their car sunbathing, with a big smile on their face saying "life is good" despite the drama going on around them. Equally creepy.

No, DH isn't to that scary degree, but I do think he exhibits narc-like traits (the I'm not to blame for anything kind) after being around an effed up environment like that for so long. This has definitely brought the worst reaction out of me also because it's hard to feel like you're not being heard or validated most of the time when it comes to our marital issues, and that the brunt of the responsibility is being dumped into you.

We have tried couples counselling, but after 2-3 sessions the counsellor even feels awkward because it's clear DuH doesn't want to be there and thinks it's a waste of money. I'm at the point now where I just need to focus on my own counselling perhaps, and looking at the stuff I need to do to help myself in order to cope. While the ILs aren't really in our life anymore (although always lingering in the background because DH still contacts them from time to time) our main problems are really about us now. If it wasn't for the kids, I would regret the 10 years I've spent with him because the relationship, including the disgraceful treatment of the ILs has just been a dark cloud in my life and has caused me more heartache than joy. Still, I remain hopeful that their are lessons to be learned here and that I can push beyond this to find some type of peace for me, respect in my marriage and role modelling for my precious children.

WatchingMyBack
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Re: I think DH has narc-like traits

Post by WatchingMyBack » Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:27 pm

You've already seen the Gaslighting red flag, and (now) know its name.

Jiggly says it very well, that he is many things but may not be a NARC or, as you say, a full blown one (yet).

PutMILIHP and Mamarama are so right, also. The resources they mention, and others you can find from those same topics, will be very useful for you.

For many of us here, we were too late in learning how to recognize what was being done to us and how to change how we respond or interact with those who are treating us that way. As I've mentioned in other posts, I was very naive and unworldly when it came to dealing with NARCs. My FOO had issues, but not the level of narcissism, scapegoating and gaslighting that I experienced with my PIL, :evil: BIL and my DH.

I do believe if I had understood who they were and how they actually follow patterns like a textbook, I could have dealt with them better (or at least gone NC long before I finally did). I could have protected my DC better. I'm not sure about my relationship with my DH. He is not a NARC in that he does have empathy ( :evil: BIL is a malicious sociopath), but he is a king at gaslighting and lying to cover up his wayward ways. I made the decision to stick it out with him because of my DC, and then after they were grown because he had a life threatening illness. Since the PIL died, he is a much better DH in a lot of ways. I've also made it polished crystal clear that even a whiff of disloyalty means we are done with no possibly of going back.

The controlling behaviors of your DH concern me. You need to put a stop to it or he will add more and more and more. I understand the OCD (he sounds like my NARC MIL with the wet hands (or dry hands) touching anything in the kitchen. She didn't even want people to use the powder room!) It is all about CONTROL and not about things being clean.
“Make no judgments where you have no compassion.”

rubycrownedkinglet
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Re: I think DH has narc-like traits

Post by rubycrownedkinglet » Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:41 pm

Welcome bsfighter1, good name. I got a little shiver reading your post. I'm not saying it's the same, but there are a few parallels in our stories.

I have to admit that as much as I love my husband who has strong honesty, integrity and empathy, he also has some of the traits you mentioned. In his case, I believe he developed a sort of crust from growing up in the nest of vipers that was his family.

There are some days where he wants to start a fight and blame it on me, of course, from the time he wakes up. Then other days when he is so sweet and kind and overwhelmed with love for me and for our girl puppy. He exhibits-like your husband does-a lack of trust that I am clean enough in the kitchen and asks me regularly if I've washed my hands after I come out of the bathroom-like an adult would prompt a child.

He is the worst passenger in the car! By the time 10 minutes has passed, he is critiquing my every move, like when I signal a turn or how I hold the steering wheel. It makes me so nervous and angry I usually refuse to drive. He yells at the other drivers with the windows closed because everyone else on the road is an asshole. :wink:

There must be blame assessed for everything. Even mundane things like other peoples' kids being kids in a restaurant. I almost never choose which place we might eat because if I choose it and the food is not superb or if it's noisy-my fault. He expects an apology from me. If something breaks, like the dishwasher did this week, he tells me I must be pulling out the racks incorrectly, or closing the door too hard otherwise it wouldn't be breaking, right?

Funny: Our TV remote is very quirky if we use it from an angle from across the room. I can't explain why one out of fifty times, when I press the fast-forward button, the cable box mutes, or it rewinds. DH actually had a furious fit that I was shirking responsibility when I denied pressing the wrong button. I didn't back down and I called into question his NEED to have me take blame for something I was not doing wrong. Why could it NOT be a malfunctioning device? Something poorly engineered. He accused me of magical thinking (like the remote is possessed) and a host of other things...until a few weeks later he had the device do the same to him. :lol: He knew he was pressing the button correctly...but wouldn't admit it at first. He eventually asked me to order a new remote, but I didn't.

These are very controlling and maybe Narc tendencies and I call him on them often and he apologizes. Sometimes I have to tell him he isn't being right, because he doesn't seem to know. Sometimes I let it go and it gets worse until I have to start using the same tone and the same behaviors on him to stand up to him.

My theory for my DH is that he felt so out of control and at the mercy of the crazy, dirty, undependable insanity he grew up in, that he's trying to control everything in his world now. Like years of being set up by EBIL who would break MILs things and say DH did it. When he was blamed and EBIL got away with it, DH just changed the way he looked at the world. I think it is a type of suffering, and I have compassion, but it is better when I stand up to him. I can't accept myself if I let him treat me badly.

By the way, bsfighter1, you have retirement to look forward to...24/7/365. :lol:

hateThoseNarcs
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Re: I think DH has narc-like traits

Post by hateThoseNarcs » Thu Oct 06, 2016 4:21 pm

Rubycrownedkinglet

You described my husband :lol: I m facing similar situations.My husband has got narcisstic traits for sure but he has got empathy too .I would just look for empathy to be sure if somebody is a narc.People can be manipulative, controlling,abusive but it doesnt make them narcissts necessarly.

WatchingMyBack
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Re: I think DH has narc-like traits

Post by WatchingMyBack » Fri Oct 07, 2016 9:49 am

rubycrownedkinglet wrote: I'm not saying it's the same, but there are a few parallels in our stories.

I have to admit that as much as I love my husband who has strong honesty, integrity and empathy, he also has some of the traits you mentioned. In his case, I believe he developed a sort of crust from growing up in the nest of vipers that was his family.

He is the worst passenger in the car! By the time 10 minutes has passed, he is critiquing my every move, like when I signal a turn or how I hold the steering wheel. It makes me so nervous and angry I usually refuse to drive. He yells at the other drivers with the windows closed because everyone else on the road is an asshole. :wink:

There must be blame assessed for everything.
:lol: 100% the way my DH is :lol:

The latest is we are looking at an adult active community that is about 45 minutes from where ODS lives in the south. Nice place, over priced, lots of compromising and HUGE lifestyle change. DH is leaving ALL of the decisions to me. He just keeps saying "We'll do what YOU want." It is putting me in a very difficult mental state, as I know this will all come crashing in on me one day.

I keep reminding myself: 1) proximity to new GS (which is goal #1), 2) MUCH lower property taxes 3) no 6 months of arctic winter blasts (trade off being hot as Hades summers)
“Make no judgments where you have no compassion.”

blue iris
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Re: I think DH has narc-like traits

Post by blue iris » Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:27 am

WMB, I just feel I need to jump in here on your proposed move, just to give you my perspective. DH and I moved to an "active adult" community some years ago. Supposed to be 55 and over. He was tired of doing yard work. He had just turned 55, I was a year younger. Once we moved in, we discovered there was absolutely no one our age there, more like 75 and not so active. Many had live in caretakers. I never saw so many wheelchairs and walkers outside of a nursing home. Those that were mobile felt the need to comment negatively on anything we did or owned, from the color of our front door to the car we drove. What a bunch of sourpusses!

But the worst part for me was the cliqueishness of the residents. When a neighbor and I went to a ladies coffee, we were refused a seat several times at different tables because it was only for women on a certain street! When I tried to join the book club, I was told they weren't taking new members, and I would have to wait until someone quit! When I tried to start my own book club, I was told I couldn't do that!

Eventually we moved back to the town we came from, but the housing market was poor and we lost money. However, we are both a lot happier now. My advice is to do lots more research, and look at other living options in the area near your sweeie pie grandson.

So sorry for having hijacked this thread! (Slinking back to my corner.)

WatchingMyBack
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Re: I think DH has narc-like traits

Post by WatchingMyBack » Fri Oct 07, 2016 4:49 pm

BlueIris, I very much appreciate your comments. My ODS had mentioned that he was concerned the other residents were going to be much older. This is a fairly large community, and we did meet a number of people while we were visiting. I'd say most were late 60's early 70's. I am worried about the cliques. In our previous neighborhood and in our current townhome community, we've experienced that as well. Maybe it just can't be avoided? I'm not an overly social person (as mentioned, my DM didn't let us socialize much as children and I've always been a social situation avoider, as has DH), so it won't be too much of an issue, unless people are outright unfriendly (as they were in my former neighborhood).

I'll share your comments with DH, although I know the response will be "It is your decision what we do."
“Make no judgments where you have no compassion.”

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