about this morning’s depression…

First, thank you all for your wonderful, encouraging comments.   I really appreciate them, and you.

I woke up so horribly depressed this morning.  Part of it is because of missed sleep.   Part of it is just me.  I do think about getting medication for it, but I would rather not.  I need to love myself better and take better care of myself.

Yesterday afternoon, I had a job interview for the second job I applied for. (See post.)  For some reason, I feel sad about taking that job, if it is offered to me.   (She said I would know by the end of the week.)  I’m not sure why.   I think I would be very good at the job and it would certainly keep me busy and I can even see myself enjoying it.  Also, over time, there would be opportunity for advancement, if I wanted to advance, which I probably would want to do.  Maybe it is just change that gets me down.  But I do need to do something different than what I am doing.  If I do get the job, I will probably be just fine with it.  And since it is in the same office, I already know the men I would be working for and I am comfortable with all of them.

So that was part of my depression.  I know that sounds silly, to be sad that I might get a job I applied for!

Another part of my depression is my husband.   Over the week-end, since his dad had the strokes, I haven’t seen very much of him, which is okay.   I don’t mind that.  I wrote about feeling more lonely in a previous post.  (See post.)  So I have felt that loneliness.  But the thing that gets me is that he does text updates to me about his dad.  But they are the same updates that he sends to his brothers and sisters and Josh.  Which is okay.  But there is nothing more for me.  It’s like somehow I don’t count as special to him.  I’m not sure how to explain it.  It’s not like I’m his wife.  It’s not like we’re in this together.  I’m just another person on the list.  I’m trying to be there for him.  I’m hurting for him, feeling for him, because that’s who I am.  But then I feel relegated to nothing.  I don’t know if this is making sense.  I hope so.

Last night I told him some of this, about feeling like I didn’t really matter to him in all of this.  He said that I mattered to him very much and all the time he was at the hospital with his dad, he was scared and lonely and wanted to be home with me.  I believe him.  But I pointed out to him that that is not what he said, that that is not the way he treated me.  He said he was sorry.  And I believe him.

This morning I felt so hopeless because I know that when we get closer, then he does something to hurt it.  So there is no hope for a closer relationship.  And then I start feeling hopeless about my whole entire life.  And thinking that nobody would ever want me or love me.

Today he texted me several times.  Nice texts, asking me how I was doing.  When I told him I was tired and that I wouldn’t have a long enough lunch to go to the gym (I’m in training sessions for a new software we are getting.  A very, very cool software, but also pretty scary!), he said that I looked so good, that I didn’t need to go to the gym.  I told him thank you, but that going to the gym made me feel better.  He said that is was important that I feel good as well as look good.

So, he was being sweet to me today.

When I finished with the gym after work, there was a text from him, telling me he had to take something to his dad, but that he would be home at 8:00 and that he was looking forward to seeing me.

And I was looking forward to seeing him.   He was being sweet.  He seemed like he was being understanding.  I was thinking maybe I could talk to him a little.

I wanted to talk to him about how we’ll get closer for a few hours or a few days, and then he will do something to hurt that closeness.  (This is part of passive aggressive behavior – destroying relationships.)  But then I was thinking, every time I feel like I might want to be with him, talk with him, something happens to hurt that.  But I told myself, don’t be silly.  It’ll be okay this time.

About the time I’m starting dinner, I get a text from him saying that he is going to eat dinner with his brother and he’ll be home after awhile.

Fine.  Whatever.  At first I was really, really mad and hurt.  I had been looking forward to seeing him, but, no.

It is okay, though.  This brother is in town because their dad is in the hospital.  I do understand.  I really do.   It’s just uncanny, though, how these things work out.

He’s sweet to me.  I want to see him.  He has dinner with his brother.

Later he calls me and tells me [a long story] with the result being that he has to stay with his mom tonight.

You know what?  I’m fine with that.  I’m looking forward to having the bed to myself and relaxing in my sleep.

And maybe I won’t wake up depressed.

This entry was posted in covert abuse, emotional abuse, marriage, passive aggressive, passive aggressive behavior, relationships and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to about this morning’s depression…

  1. giorgethomas says:

    Gosh, I really feel for you! Ya, ya, sisterhood! One of the worst things about depression is how it affects others. My husband often feels helpless, like he isn’t doing enough to make me ‘happy.’ But I have to remind him – he’s not responsible for my happiness, and he shouldn’t feel responsible. It’s such a fine line. I wish you well; hope it all gets better for you.

  2. Rebecca says:

    Hi. I’m going to be blunt. I noticed you keep softening your remarks with such statement as “I’m o.k with that”. Obviously, you’re not. Yes, you do sound lonely but why do you feel it’s always your husband that spoils everything? Is there any chance he knows you feel that way and thus lives up to your expectations? Is there a chance your expectations are too high? I read some of your other posts and honestly, I don’t think it’s all your husband. Also, I’m wondering who diagnosed your husband as passive-aggressive. Was it you?

    Finally, your happiness can not depend on your husband. I’ve been there. It doesn’t work.Your husband actually sounds like a good guy overall.Some of the things you’ve been upset about seem to be the result of your dependence on your husband for your happiness He is not causing your depression. No one can do that. Can I gently suggest that you both seek counseling?

    Depression has a way of taking over our lives and our relationships. Don’t let it do it to you.
    I really hope you get this all worked out. I don’t know which blog I’m commenting from but one of my blogs is all about depression. You might find it helpful. (depressionsgift.com)

  3. Teresa says:

    I’m with ya, PAA….I woke up feeling like that and STILL feel depressed! Sat out on my deck tonight, staring at the beautiful full moon and cried.
    And it’s so true what you say…Last night I went to bed, feeling close to my H, we had talked a bit, and it seemed like he listened and understood where I was coming from…then today, I tried to explain that I just felt so lonely…and he didn’t seem to care…one step forward, two steps back…it’s the same dance we always seem to do.
    And YES, my H will do the same thing…After we talk, he becomes all sweet and loving…but it never lasts.
    I’ve accepted that it’s never going to change, he’s always been this way. His therapist (the one he went to three times, them quit) told him he has a serious lack of empathy. And it’s true. When I ask him what he’s doing about fixing that, he tells me “he’s trying” ….what that means… I have NO idea!!
    We met 28 yrs ago this month. In all that time, I’ve NEVER seen him cry, not once. Even after he had the emotional affair, and I would be sobbing my heart out….his eyes were dry…yep, nooooo empathy.
    It’s a hard life, living with a PA. I kinda wish I wouldn’t have fought for my marriage after his affair came out…let the OW have him…she deserved him!! LOL!!!

    Oh, and about your possible new job….do you think you could be feeling fear…because this might put you even closer to financially being independent enough to leave?? Just a thought :)

  4. mourninglight says:

    Rebecca, if we’re being blunt, you obviously have not invested enough time into understanding what a hardwired passive aggressive partner is like, nor do you seem to understand the subtle nuances that disguise covert abuse.

    I’ve been married to a charming, funny, decent and endearing in certain ways, passive aggressive man for over 35 years, and I understood every word of the post you referenced and criticized.
    The story recounted in the post, on the surface, sounds innocuous enough, as though it could have various meanings and interpretations. That’s reasonable. As a young wife, I analytically and objectively weighed those variables countless times. Countless times. Over and over and over.

    It’s enough to make you crazy. It did make me crazy, and around the twenty year mark, I had a break down, but was still asking myself what was wrong with me. I was on anti-depressants, and in weekly therapy, but it did nothing to change his subterranean resentments, and sabotage of me and our relationship (while outwardly appearing innocent of that). A true passive aggressive is coated with relational teflon. It’s extremely rare that they’ll show aggressiveness in an overt and obvious manner, because their nemesis is accountability.

    After the breakdown, I weaned myself off the meds that were a bandaid, but changed nothing but my eyesight, which they damaged in an adverse effect. I spent the next several years trying to take ownership of my health and my depression. On a typical late lonely night, the kind where I felt cursed and doomed, I sat and threw words into a search engine. I know cursed and doomed sound dramatic, but a vibrant life that was drained and eroded can tend to feel that way. You see, if there had been overt attacks on my being, I would have recognized it, risen up and fought it years before. Instead, I was swinging at ghosts, and succumbing to a kind of abuse that was as invisible and odorless as carbon monoxide.

    That night, a website for abuse popped up. I explored it curiously, but detached, because abuse was not in my conscious mind. So many things resonated that it jarred me, and yet somehow, it was different. Those men who called their wives and girlfriends names, that was so obvious. It was mainly full of overt abuse (which still produced traumatic bonding). I came across a post from someone who was married to a passive aggressive husband, and she linked a passive aggressive website. Bingo. I read it with disbelief, relief, horror, laughed, cried, and sat there stunned. And the next steps of a long journey began, but instead of into a dark night, they were away from it. It’s a slow and arduous journey back, full of confusion, doubt, and a grief that rocks the foundations of your being.

    To be wounded by a passive aggressive is different. It’s more like having someone go to great pains to make a special meal for you, but secretly put a trickle of poison in it. You say how special it is, how wonderful, and you thank your husband chef sincerely. You overlook that he ruined your favorite cooking pot, or inexplicably broke the heirloom crystal salt shaker from your mother that you’d put away in a safe place because after all… look at the wonderful meal he made specially for you. He’s even doing the dishes, can you believe that? Of course, it will make the poor dear so exhausted that there will be zero affection and no chance of physical intimacy later. Don’t be ungrateful, you were just served a great meal. Only… he used an ingredient that you’re allergic to. It makes you sick. In fact, you’d taken a taste of your meal and thought you detected it subtly, and you’d asked him just to make sure, and he’d assured you that he would never use that ingredient because he knew you couldn’t have it. But he lied. And he lied about lying.

    In fact, passive aggressive men tell lots of strange lies for even stranger and irrational reasons. And they lie about telling a lie. These men are used to getting away with everything really, so you can’t just catch their hand in the cookie jar, because there will be a plausible reason for it being there. Even if you catch one hand in the jar, a cookie in the other hand, and one half eaten in their mouth, their first reflexive response (you’ll see it by what flicks across their eyes and expression) will be whether they can come up with an excuse. When they can’t, you’ll either get a (false) humble bumble puppy dog sorry response, or a shift and attack diversion… or both in succession. Either way, you’ll be brought off balance, and within moments, I assure you, he will quietly within begin to examine the reasons you don’t appreciate him, or whatever he needs to find to resent you and become a victim.

    When things are going well, when you’ve temporarily come out of the typical desert you travel in, and you just spent a glorious (brief) time in perhaps an oasis of connection, great intimacy, things just going right in life, you’ll be hit with The Moment when you sense…. something is off… something is wrong. You quickly look around to try to see what’s wrong. Maybe you’re imagining it. You ask questions to reassure yourself, and when he doesn’t acknowledge anything, you feel a little nuts. Why is there suddenly this aloof distance then? If you try exploring it, it will be denied. And the distance and coolness will grow. You frantically try to decipher what’s happening, and while you’re being slowly, implacably treated more and more like a roommate, he will be doing good things, often for others (the neighbors probably all love him).

    You sink into yourself and wonder why you’re such a depressed, pathetic person. At this point, in a rather detached way, he may rub your feet at bedtime. You eat crumbs like any starving person would. And he’ll behave as though there is zero attraction to you. That you’re not attractive isn’t true, but you’ll feel that way. Like the most unattractive, resistable woman on the planet, as he touches your skin as though he’s petting the dog. Because you’re a normal woman, you’ll feel your sexuality, but nothing but platonic detachment from him, unless you dare ask for connection, in which case you’ll probably hear the barrage of reasons that you’re to blame for lack of relationship. At this point, a reasonable person would ask if that might be the case. You’re a reasonable person, so you fall asleep in pain, and wake up determined to work on those things. Because after all, a normal person would want to be close to their spouse, and would want to feel loved, to be loved and to love. So you work very hard at objectively changing the things that he said were issues or problems. You address them and change them. And … nothing. No acknowledgment. The pattern goes on exactly as it has. Only this time, when you come to the point that you dare to ask for connection, or ask for an explanation of the distance, you’ll be given new reasons. He will never run out of reasons.

    So then people would wonder, why don’t you leave? Yes, you do start to hit the saturation point. You begin the painful path to detachment and trying to find sanity, focusing on yourself and your choices. This is when the passive aggressive man will become the sweetest, most tender, charming and endearing person. The one you fell in love with. He’ll make you laugh. He’ll apologize so sincerely, and he’ll tell you how beautiful you are, how much he loves you. It’s Lucy holding out that football, and you’re Charlie Brown running at it. Again. Because he’s vulnerable, he’s asking you, and you don’t want to judge him or give up on him. You treat him the way you wish to be treated. You hope. Maybe this time, this day, will be the miracle. The tiny baby step in the other direction that will lead to another step and another, and finally a healed relationship. He tells you this is what he wants more than anything. You try again.

    So when the blog post began with all the subtle signs of a typical push/pull cycle, it made sense to me. You could say that maybe this time, it was different. Maybe this time, it was just old triggers and reactive responses of the blogger when he was just being a good guy. Maybe. Maybe, maybe. But if a thousand times it plays out, does it really matter if eighty two times it was innocent? This is the big picture and reality that someone who has never been in a partner relationship with a passive aggressive man will typically not understand.

    Bluntly, Rebecca, I’m saturated, and I’m ready to let you take a try at appreciating the man I’ve spent my adult life with. I’ve learned what situational depression means. I’ve learned what relational fraud and deception do. I know the unbearably painful moment in a marriage counselor’s office of facing that years of his behavior look much more like a black hole of need than they do love. I’ve learned the numbing despair of traumatic bonding. I’ve learned that while I’m being eroded, ignorant people will judge me and sympathize with him. But as Will Rogers said, some of us have to pee on the electric fence. I won’t stand in your way.

    • OneDayAtaTime says:

      (((((STANDING OVATION)))))
      **A standing ovation is a form of applause where members of a seated audience stand up while applauding after extraordinary performances of particularly high acclaim.**

      • Karen says:

        Perfect! I found out my husband was passive aggressive much the same way. After spending 28 years blaming myself and wondering why nothing made sense I googled a few of our typical situations. Your description of this behavior and all the feelings that go with it are perfect. And no one who hasn’t been in this type of relationship ever understands. Thank you for describing this so well. I would love to show it to others but trying to make others understand also feels like beating your head into a wall.

    • Mourninglight, you explain it so very well! I had a similar thought – if she wants to live with my husband, she is welcome to him!!!

      • Teresa says:

        HA!!!! She wouldn’t last a week!! Then she’d be running for them thar hills over yonder!! LOL!!!!!

  5. Amen, mourninglight. Amen.

  6. Childofthetruth says:

    Mourninglight…you hit the nail on the head. Thank you for articulating what we go through, all of us!
    WP, you get that job and go for it! I believe in you!

  7. OneDayAtaTime says:

    Rebecca ~

    Hi. I’m going to be blunt. (I think I am going to be bunt back to you too) I noticed you keep softening your remarks with such statement as “I’m o.k with that”. (I notice when she says these statements she is being understanding, loving and caring) Obviously, you’re not. (What, I feel she is implying what she wrote and I feel she wrote it just fine. Obviously, I feel you may think she isn’t o.k. with it but she is depressed at the moment so it is gonna sound kind of down. I fell that is o.k. I feel you have no right to take that away from her and take it to a whole another level where I feel you are trying to make defend herself. If anything I feel she would like to be on the reciprocating end of the understanding, love and conversation. All she gets back is simple, short and no emotion remarks like okay, yes and I love you. I feel short answers would not make her feel better they sure don’t me because I feel they are so generic you can’t even do anything with yes, okay and I love you. I feel you suggesting nothing and accomplished nothing. I feel with any short answer like these something has to come after them or nothing will ever get done. I already asked my P/A and then I get I don’t know. LOL What am I to do with that? Then when I feel I have to remind him of the 5 W’s he stares at me. I am so laughing right now. Obviously, I feel, here is someone 1) Doesn’t know how depressing this can be time and time again. 2) That hasn’t been through this. 3) Obviously just may be P/A because who gets on a person this bad when you know they are sad anyways? Amazing. I have been reading how she has been asking him not to give generic answers, that isn’t expectable in school, you get graded in school for participation I feel you should get graded in marriage too, why not. I feel she wants her husband to participate in his marriage, she doesn’t trash him I feel this is her truth, her feelings, and her website. What in the world ever happen to the 5 W’s and 1 H + participation, who, what, where, why, when and how. I feel he uses all of these words with other people. I feel if he would use these words in a sentence with the subject at hand her feelings would be better than what they are now.) Yes, you do sound lonely but why do you feel it’s always your husband that spoils everything? (Maybe because of his choices) Is there any chance he knows you feel that way (I feel he should if she keeps telling him about her feelings) and thus lives up to your expectations? Is there a chance your expectations are too high? (Expectations I feel however someone wants them, all expectations are in a nutshell is a persons personal boundaries and I feel she may feel he is crossing her boundaries by not applying the effort that is needed to fulfill her as like my P/A/H.) I read some of your other posts and honestly, I don’t think it’s all your husband. (really, have you read any of her post, this is why we don’t say nothing in the real world…. this is what we get. Oh I don’t think it’s all him but we are the ones who stay in therapy for it and keep going. I agree of one thing, I am the one who puts in the effort in my marriage and tries very hard to give understanding so much understanding that my expectations of a relationship has drizzled down to excepting yes, no, I don’t know, while my p/a is doing a bunch of “I’m trying” but doing nothing to educate himself for the next time it comes up.) Also, I’m wondering who diagnosed your husband as passive-aggressive. Was it you? (Who writes this stuff? If it was her or a therapist would it matter I feel I don’t care, I believe her and I would never question her on that and I feel maybe you should read more than write first, read second.)

    Finally, your happiness can not depend on your husband. (yea but we are allowed to feel and just so happens to depress ya when we put forth all the effort in to making a relationship out of our marriage.) I’ve been there. (That I almost didn’t believe, anyone who has been through this load of shit knows it takes a toll on a person and mostly if you are a woman than a man, statistics show this, lets support one another!) It doesn’t work.(I feel it doesn’t work but and that is a long but too. My doctor and other doctors out there has told me I am depressed because you don’t like how your husband is treating you. You are going to have to re-train him how you want to be treated and if they listen it will make it easier and if they don’t then it will be hard because if he doesn’t listen and do what you are asking from him then he is disrespecting you, which would make you angry and depress you. Honey I love your husband but you deserve your happiness too and this is taking a toll on you.) Your husband actually sounds like a good guy overall. (I have a headache) Some of the things you’ve been upset about seem to be the result of your dependence on your husband for your happiness He is not causing your depression. No one can do that. (Coming up with the answers can.) Can I gently suggest that you both seek counseling? (they are)

    Depression has a way of taking over our lives and our relationships. Don’t let it do it to you.
    I really hope you get this all worked out. I don’t know which blog I’m commenting from but one of my blogs is all about depression. You might find it helpful. (depressionsgift.com) (I will visit)

    I had the same old talks to my husband and I feel this read was hard on me to read. I feel if I didn’t respond to this I would be doing some kind of dis-justice. A lot of times I feel people think like this and I am not heard too.

    Hugs and more hugs and dig yourself out girl, we are important too.

  8. Teresa says:

    You are spot on, sister!!! Amen. Glory Hallelujah!! You NAILED it!!! And THAT, my friends sums up perfectly….Life with a passive aggressive!!

  9. Teresa says:

    Also, I meant to say to One Day At A Time…beautifully written! Kudo’s to you sister-in-the-PAhood! :)

  10. Teresa says:

    After looking over Rebecca’s blog…it’s OBVIOUS she doesn’t live with a PAH!! Just sayin’!

  11. Childofthetruth says:

    WP, and others,
    I want to share a blog writer with you because her insight to me is incredible. If it helps you, great, if not, that’s ok too. http://jenniechastain.blogspot.com/2012/10/an-awful-thought.html.
    Forgive me for I do not know how to copy a link.
    WP, she wrote of a perspective on pain that helped me make some sense of what we are going through and since I chose to leave my PAH, I don’t feel as terrible about it (still some side effects from this decision) I am happier since I left (1 year now) but it did not exempt me from struggles and other pains. I’ve met many divorced women now and they share their experiences with me from the other side and I have yet to meet one who has regretted it. Strange, huh? Maybe they don’t tell me. But I think what they are trying to spare me is that we will still have “pain” and struggles. But now, I look at it with a different light and honestly, I’m accepting it and hopefully on an emotionally better road for it!

  12. Childofthetruth says:

    I guess I did copy it right! haha

  13. OneDayAtaTime says:

    Prayer For Divine Guidance

    Keep me in Your presence and I will take the time to meditate and pray today.

    Help me to keep an open mind and sustain me in Your peace.

    Help me to walk with an open heart and Let go of the fear of judgment from others.

    I give You thanks and praise for all You have done for me. I appreciate Your guidance and protection as I go through each day.

    Help me to hear Your words of wisdom as I am confronted with decisions to make today? I will try to be more consciously aware of my thoughts and actions as I go through my day. Amen –

    Written by S. Richardson

    Miss you!

  14. Thank you for this website. I am somewhat ashamed to admit that after YEARS (46) and very confused about how I have been treated, always my fault, confusing, very depressing, I FINALLY understand what /who I married (out of college of course then.) It has been hell on earth.
    I never understood….while somewhat vindicating…I suffered a lot and no one knew…!
    ALWAYS my fault……(even tho I raised some great children basically on my own…..my husband was too busy)

  15. Further incredible details are available if anyone needs to know…..but use your imagination!

  16. Overcomer says:

    I don’t even begin to know what to say but I hear you. I hear you. For those who have lived with a PA you know what it feels like to be a mouse squeaking as you see the steam roller coming. You can’t run fast enough, squeak loud enough to outrun or stop being run over and flattened by the PA’s indifferent words or crazy-making behavior.
    I learned about 8 years ago (gulp, has it really been that long?) that PA was a name to define the “swinging at ghosts” (perfectly stated Mourninglight). It was a blessing…a tremendous love gift from God that He would assure me that I was not going crazy. How can you put a price on that kind of gift?
    Well, now what. So you know the name for this and the outcome looks bleak. I spent much time feeling sorry for myself…feeling cheated…did I really deserve this??? Is this what I felt God was telling me I deserved? Was this a punishment for the times I wasn’t the wife I needed to be and I needed to be put back in line? No. God does not punish. As the woman in the link given above states “God cries along with us”.
    I realized that there was actually good in this. Now before you throw a shoe at the screen let me explain. I took ownership (between me and God) that I went into this marriage co-dependent. I allowed my husband to define me. I wanted him to complete me and make me feel good about myself. I made him my idol. I wince at the thought of how much time…years…I’ve spent being more concerned about making my husband happy and loving me than what God wanted me to do and live out loving Him. Yet I give myself a little slack here. After all, living with a PA is a dangling carrot that is always in front of you. He talks up this carrot and makes it shiny (you can almost SEE the sparkle if you close your eyes!). Then he sets you on a cliff, has you face that carrot and then says “If you really want it it is here for the taking. I want to give it to you. I’m trying so hard to make it easy for you to have it. I know you’ll be happy when you get it. So here…go ahead.” Then when you reach for it you wonder if your arms somehow got shorter because it was within reach yet it has somehow moved. So you turn around to check in and with pain in his eyes (he’s grieving for you after all) he tells you “oh…if you just reach a liiiiiiiiittle farther you’ll get it…I KNOW you will!” and gives you a great big smile. So you turn and reach for it again. Agghhh. Just a little big out of grasp. So you inch forward. As this continues you don’t realize you’ve gotten closer and closer to the edge of this overhang. Sure enough, you DO reach it! You are so excited about this victory that you don’t realize in that same moment you are now going to fall brutally down that cliff. You got too close to the edge. You tumble down to the bottom of the cliff with bloody nose, every bone hurts and you look down only to notice your precious carrot has gotten covered in dust and smashed to a pulp. Its not so shiny anymore. Then the cycle of self condemnation starts. Why were you so stupid as to not see the cliff? Was he really moving it forward, leading you to severely hurt yourself? That’s an awful thing to think! Now look what you did to this carrot YOU’VE ruined it! You’re clumsy, stupid and just hurting yourself. You’re defective. Other people don’t have this problem. What is WRONG with you???
    Ladies, I think it is time we all consider the value of that carrot. Getting that carrot does not define us. That carrot really isn’t as shiny and valuable as it seems. In our efforts to assure ourselves we have done everything possible (the PA convinces us we haven’t) we keep trying. Shouldn’t we all consider what we are really trying to do? Whose the one holding the carrot after all? Who says this carrot holder has all the answers? Who says? Him? Do we need it to be him otherwise we have to really take a hard look at who we have really invested in.
    Ultimately I have come to realize I have not loved my husband the way God wants me to. I believed that helping him was loving him. And I believed that helping him meant doing anything and everything I could to make his life easier and happy. This is not love and this is not helping. I am learning that when we really love someone we want to see them grow. Living with PA’s we have forgotten this. Growth. We spend so much time trying to be “normal” its hard to have anything left to work on growth. I have learned that I am going to need to make some changes to not allow my biblically foolish husband to continue being a biblical fool. I have enabled. I have reinforced his idea that the world revolves around him. I have given him the candy and the toys when he’s made a fuss because I thought that was being a good parent. (We feel like mothers more than wives don’t we?). Do I really love enough to love sacrificially? To love without expecting anything in return? What does that look like? What does truly helping him look like? Am I willing to do what’s even harder than what I’ve done?
    I have come to accept the hard truth that in my case my husband is also has NPD (as defined by the DSM IV). I fought believing this for so long because it felt mean, judgmental…and ironically narcissistic of me to even think this could describe him.
    The hardest part about all this is that for those living with a true N (not just tenancies but pervasive, persistent pattern) we need to acknowledge we will NEVER…NEVER receive reciprocal love. So long as they do not desire to change we will never get that love…period. We are by definition objects to help the N reaffirm their false sense of self. This is gut wrenching to come to grips with. I realized something significant just yesterday. The only times I’ve had “happiness” in our marriage was when I kept quiet and was doing a reasonably good job at propping up his false persona. Only during those times did I receive smiles, eye contact, hugs or the elusive questions about me (not about him). This is not true happiness or health. I allowed myself to become Cinderella and believed a lie. My choices now are simply this: sanity or fake love.

    How awful is it that I still wrestle with this option even as it stares me in the face?

    I know that God has worked good in this so far by bringing me closer to Him and giving me a rock to stand on. He has comforted me in ways that no human ever could….yet I long for those with “skin on” to support me. I have only a few female friends I have shared with over the years and for the most part the response I’ve gotten is “oh, that’s just a typical man. You’re going to have differences. They aren’t as emotional as women are.” or “I think you’re just expecting too much…after all no marriage is perfect!” These are alienating statements. Yet we must give them an ounce of grace when we consider WE have been LIVING with these people for years on end and the truth has gone undetected. It simply goes against all we believe to be true about the world, love and the principle of sowing and reaping.
    I apologize for the ridiculously long post. I am just gaining enough perspective to “come out of the closet” and my heart cries for all the other women out there who desperately want to be heard. I hope something I said is of some comfort or encouragement to someone who needs it. May God give you all a hug today precious ones!

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