Pre-Narcissism?

It’s Narcissist Friday!  

Do people develop into narcissists later in life?  This is a question I have been hearing a lot lately.  This wonderful person, with whom I shared some great times, is now acting like a narcissist.  What happened to cause that change?  Did I do something?  Did something change?

Let’s face it—we’re all amateurs.  Even those who counsel people for a living struggle to find the causes of personality disorders.  We look at broken families and blame them, but many people survive broken families without personality disorders.  We look at parental errors or abuses, but many are strong and healthy after serious parental dysfunction.  We can identify a variety of contributing factors without knowing the specific cause, and children growing up in the same home exhibit different responses.  There are certain counseling techniques and philosophies that attempt to take the adult back to a defining moment, but I haven’t heard of that being particularly successful with narcissism.

The most reasonable suggestion is that narcissism is a coping technique.  We have looked at that before.  A child has to find a way to handle the confusion and turmoil of life, even normal life.  Some discover methods that are acceptable within society, while others lean toward behaviors and decisions society has deemed unacceptable.  Narcissists have learned to walk somewhere in between.  They present themselves as superior and exemplary, but hide their failures behind deception and projection.  They cope with life by hiding, lying, and using others.

But only the most overt narcissists are obnoxious and abusive all the time and with everyone.  Those who handle life with narcissistic behavior know there is a game to be played.  They will be much more successful if they act like others, or better than others.  If being generous is a positive, for example, then they will be more generous.  Or they will lead you to believe they are more generous.  There might be some strings attached to their generosity, but the recipients are helped.  Narcissists can be very kind and a lot of fun.  This is how the game is played.

There are two ways to look at this and both may be true.  It may be that the nasty behavior of the narcissist lies just under the surface and, for some, only appears in situations of stress.  This normally kind and peaceful person suddenly erupts with vicious attacks, ruthlessly confronting anyone who defines or contributes to that stress.  Those who observe may not be able to discern the particular cause of the stress and not understand the reason behind the behavior, but it is there.

It may also be true that the kindness before the abuse was just part of the plan.  Even though it was long-term and very pleasant, the narcissist may simply have been grooming the relationship.  While this is a particularly painful conclusion for the victim to grasp, there are many stories that would appear to support it.  Narcissistic people are intelligent, goal-oriented, and lack empathy.  They usually have no difficulty deceiving others.  They may not even consider their actions to be deceptive or abusive.

Most people have an ability to redefine the things that happen in life and interpret reality the way they want it to be.  Angry people find reasons to be angry all around them.  Happy people find reasons to be happy.  People who need a relationship to be good often selectively reinterpret what they see in that relationship.  Because the good is so strongly desired, the bad is frequently ignored.  In other words, we see what we want to see and believe what we want to believe.

Now, before I make my conclusion, I have to point out again that diagnosing narcissism is an inexact science at best.  I have said before that there seems to be a sliding scale of behavior and attitude.  At some point, the person can be said to be a narcissist.  At another point the behavior is noted as narcissistic.  There are people who exhibit narcissistic behavior without being narcissists.  What that means is that they choose a coping mechanism that is cruel and self-centered to deal with the situation in which they find themselves.  It is possible that this could be uncharacteristic behavior for that person and caused by the stress.  Parents see this in children from time to time.  “Leave me alone!  I hate you!”  Then, later, this goes away as the stress is handled through other means or dissipates on its own.

If we think of narcissism as a collection of behaviors or symptoms, we find some help.  We can understand that behaviors do not define people.  Choosing certain behaviors consistently begins to reveal something about the person.  But odd behavior probably reveals more about a problem.  So it may be that the person acting strangely in your life has something going on that is pushing him/her to hide, deceive, abuse, and otherwise exhibit narcissistic behavior.

But some people learned very early in their lives a certain way to play the game.  They learned to protect themselves at all costs and use others for that protection.  They developed an inability to relate to others except to serve a particular use.  They strategize, manipulate, and deceive to get what they need.  Theirs is not a response to any recent stimulus.  Theirs is a life-long chosen way of coping with life.

If you didn’t see this in your narcissist before, it may simply be that he/she was good at playing the game.  The narcissist wants to be happy.  As long as the situation was pleasing to him/her, everything was fine.  When that changed, perhaps very gradually, the negative behavior came out.  No, you probably didn’t do anything more than become resistant or boring.

Most likely, your narcissist has been a narcissist for a very long time.  You just didn’t see it.

29 Comments

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29 responses to “Pre-Narcissism?

  1. I think that the narcissist in my life was just good at hiding it. He appeared to be a really great guy until we got married. He changed as soon as we were legally bound. He got worse and worse over the years. I believe that he just got tired of hiding who he really was. Also, aging seems to be really hard for a narcissist. He gets less attractive every year.

    • Kay

      I have thought this same thing. The older they get, the more exhausting it is to keep up the front, the facade, so more nastiness surfaces where it may have been hidden before. Unfortunately, I’m getting older, too, and just can’t play the game anymore, nor do I want to. My N mother was always the life of the party, but things have changed quite a bit as she has grown older. Now she is almost completely isolated from friends and family members, which is tragic but probably necessary for everyone’s well-being.

      • UnForsaken

        Dear Kay, this is hard for me too, although I think Ns exaggerate the importance of age for their own purposes. ( That’s a many faceted subject!) It may be a good thing it is your mother who is isolated, and not yourself, as you must know. That is my position, and I can’t help wondering, how do you go about making kind an couragous friends who have integrity ? My N is a friend- stealer . He takes, puzzles, then drops. ( I don’t want to cause them unhappiness!) Anyone left is like the N or just don’t find me believable from there own small experience . Any Ideas anyone? My circumstances may be against me as an unconvantional type, but the people I know don’t seem very observant ! So , how do you go about meeting thoughtful, strong people ?

  2. Fellow Survivor

    I don’t know where to start. As previously mentioned my ex exhibited classic N characteristics in the early years that she was afraid of and wanted to be alerted to whenever they came out. I do know the constant need for attention and the need to be the center of attention was present from the very beginning. Which was great for me socially because she was front and center in moving “us” into the active social scene. I just had to sit back and enjoy the ride. The problem with that need for attention was that she needed it from higher social groups ALL THE TIME. Over 15 years ago one lady remarked that the ex was just a social climber, little did I know just how right she was.

    When my daughter was in Kindergarten there was a call for “leaders” of several different “Princess Groups” A bunch of 5 years olds and their dads going to chuck e cheese and other kid events. I chose to be the leader of a group that included typical middle class families, although I was invited to be part of the “movers and shakers” group, her words, not mine. Most in that group owned million+ dollar homes etc. My ex was furious with me for not joining the “movers and shakers” group. I mean she was really mad. I have a lot to say on this subject because in my case I lived it.

    • E

      Aaaah, the movers and shakers group. I am well aquainted with the odd hysterical reactions resulting from what my N considered “poor” social choices. She wanted me to be friends with the kid’s whose parents were “cool.” What a disappointment when half my friends were nerds, academics, or worse…liberals (shudder, gasp…chuckle…). Her favorite people seemed to be the ones most likely to shove me in a locker or totally ignore me at school. But they seemed cool to my mother. They were the kind of children she wished she had, that was clear. She considered herself an Alpha Female and expected me to bring her glory. I can’t tell you how many times she pressed me and my sister to date the cute (and gay!!!) son of her wealthy realtor friend. My feelings didn’t matter and I’d better not embarrass her!

      It got to the point where I would unconsciously play up a friend’s attributes I knew my mother would find appealing, leaving out the details she would find distasteful. I had to hide the things I sees about the most just to preserve some part of myself. And she still managed to kill parts of that too.

  3. Maggie

    Humn. I have a lot to say too. I like this post very much today. It is a sensible and balanced approach to addressing the question proposed in the post. I think my N is a lifer. I can draw that conclusion because his N is one in the same as his addiction. He is addicted to affirmation/admiration etc.. particularly regarding his sexuality. It is terribly sad but his addiction was born at a very young age and in direct response to his needs not being met by a N mother. His God given nature and or temperament did not do well with her . Other siblings faired well, to Pastor Dave’s point. So from a very early age he learned to shut down his real needs and pretend he did not have them. He met his needs through addiction(as early as 9). He otherwise appeared confident, independent, gentle, not vey needy, etc. etc., etc. He was however very moody (that is what addiction will do to you) and that was evident to everyone in his life. He actually received the most praise and admiration from his mother because he was so “smart, athletic, confident, never rocked the boat with her , lots of yes, no no’s , full college scholarship,prettiest wife, best kids all that jazz. So he got none of his needs met by being himself so he created another self and got all his addiction needs met there. WOW. Very sad and I pray for him it is reversible now that the truth has emerged.
    I , on the other hand, the wife, the recipient of the covert abuse has had her own response to the covert addiction and abuse. I think there were times when I behaved quite like the N to protect myself from more of his attempts at control and to deteriorate my person. I think it was perhaps the best I could have done for myself, otherwise he would have devoured me. Of course, he devoured other women instead.In one case He kept a woman in a phone relationship for 8 years while married to me. I think she got eaten. Better she than me. I pray for her often. In some ways she spared me of the N behaviors until of course he was no longer medicating them with his addiction and that is when the “lifer” evidence emerged. He has relied on these behaviors all his life.

  4. LD

    There are definitely some that put on a great act until they have secured you…and they do this consciously. My father courted my mother like a perfect Prince Charming. She said he wore a suit on every date they had. They were married after a month at the town hall. That night, after exchanging vows, he hung up his suit and turned to her and said, “Well, I guess I won’t be needing THAT anymore.” My mother laughed and said, “Why?” and he said, “Because we are married now and I don’t need to impress you anymore.” He literally and figuratively hung the nice suit up that night and his reign of sickness started and never let up until they divorced 20 years later.

  5. Recovering

    My ex husband told me when we married that he “tells people what they want to hear then does what he wants” That probably should have been a screaming red flag. But I was 21 years old and didn’t know better. As we got older, he got worse. Every single time he had a career set back his NPD made my life h**l. Finally he got into a career KNOWN to covet NPD’s and then he really became abusive and immoral and deserted the decades old marriage, he told me he was entitled to a happy wealthy life and didn’t want an overweight wife with a disability. He grew up being abandoned repeatedly by his mother and raised by his father who was 23 years older than his mother. They divorced then his father died suddenly. He was abused by caregivers. I get why he does what he does. He DOES NOT get why he does it. He leaves a trail of carnage wherever he goes.

  6. joni iamwaiting

    people can have those narcissistic tendencies but still can be kind as long it doesn’t interrupt there way or agenda.

    • Fellow Survivor

      Joni, well said. As long as they are getting everything they want and they can do whatever they want, with who ever they want, whenever they want, they are splendid people to be around. If we don’t question and object to their hiding and spending money while we scrape what we have to pay the bills, and look the other way while they party in the night clubs while we stay at home feeding the children, bathing the children, reading to the children, and putting our children to bed, all is great around the house hold. I am now divorced from my ex N and nothing has changed. This is supposed to be the ex’s week with our baby ( now 17) but still always my baby, Anyway, my daughter calls me Thursday and asked if she could stay starting on Friday night instead of the agreed upon time, Monday. The ex is headed off to Hawaii. Nothing has changed. I still stay at home base and take care of my kid while the ex goes off on her excursions. The only difference for her is that I am not at home to object to this treatment. So good for her. As my best buddy since I was 7 years old says, its all about them, meaning its all about the children. They will be gone soon enough, and then we, as adults, can turn the party lights back on if we wish, but while the children are still with us, ITS ALL ABOUT THEM, NOT US (PARENTS)

      • Fellow Survivor

        In addition to my previous comments, my daughter and her 5 teenage girlfriends spent the day at my house today watching movies and eating all kinds of junk. Frozen Snickers, Freetos, Cheetos, Pizza, Yuk Yuk. They could have gone to her mom’s nice new big house, no one was there obviously, but she instead chose to spend the day at my dunky old small old house.

        It just doesn’t compute in my small brain why a parent doesn’t want to try to have a relationship with their one and only child.

      • Carolyn

        Fellow Survivor – my now “ex N” doesn’t have a relationship with either of his daughters from two different Moms (not me). He will call his older daughter when HE wants to play tennis or when HE wants to snap a photo of the two of them to post on MATCH so that he can fool women into thinking he is a good dad. He hasn’t seen his youngest daughter in over 5 years. As a mother, I cannot even comprehend this. It all has to do with the N just being incredibly self-centered and SELFISH. In their minds…it is ALL ABOUT THEM (not the children). Incredibly sad.

        Just keep telling yourself that God has put you in this place for a reason. I am sure the less exposure that your daughter has to your ex-wife the better. It makes it hard for you, but rejoice in the fact that you have a wonderful relationship with your “baby”. She will be forever grateful that you loved her so very much and were always there for her. That is priceless in my humble opinion.

      • Fellow Survivor

        Carolyn, thank you for your reply and empathy. Sorry about your ex and how he treats his daughters. Children are so precious and I just will never understand how a parent will hold their well being in such low regard. You can look out into the world today and see what the result is when parents don’t focus on their children and what is best for them, third only to our relationship with Jesus first and our spouses.

        The challenge is that the Ex has so many talents and gifts that my daughter can learn from, and I try to encourage that. She is an incredible woman but lacks empathy first and all that raging when she doesn’t get her way.

        Let me give you an example. My ex is a great cook, I mean really good. She has done catering on the side for about 10 years. In the beginning it was very small, but now she can make a nice junk of change just on the weekends. I of course worked right along side her for all these years. Cooking 150 lbs of chicken, chopping it etc and never asking for any of the profits. She would be exhausted by midnight and I would stay up until 2 in the morning cleaning the kitchen to get ready for the next days work. My daughter has learned a great deal about cooking and catering based on that gift, but she uses it quite differently.

        My daughter went on a Mission Trip last year to Nicaragua and she is raising money on her own to send back to the church that is helping the poor folks that live down there. She has raised over $800 so far with pre-orders for cookies at $10 a dozen. Now she needs to make, from scratch 80 dozen cookies. We went to Costco today and bought 20 lbs of flour, 10 lbs of sugar, something like 40 sticks of butter etc then got the mix master out and went to work. 80 dozen cookies is a lot of cookies. Remember the mom is in Hawaii, but the pick up the cookies day will be at the mom’s house and I can promise you she will be there to take pictures and they will be all over facebook before the last dozen are picked up.

        It is still very hard for me to be dumped/discarded so unceremoniously so the ex can go on trips with her dad when for the first 10 years of our marriage all I heard was what a horrible person he was/is and then witnessed his treachery myself. She has cried in my arms dozens of times during our marriage because of his abuse. He wouldn’t even take her phone call when we were on our way to the hospital when our daughter was born. His own brother who lives out of town saw our daughter before he did. I am sorry to go on for so long but just putting all this out there is just therapy for me.

        I am an admitted co-dependent which is one of the things I have learned about myself while studying Ns which is something I have to work on personally. This makes my life feel very empty and meaningless because without her to support and help what else is there for me to do? That is my fault not hers but still I feel empty without her. Pathetic really. Other women don’t fill the void, I have tried that. So I guess I just have to wait.

      • Carolyn

        I understand what you mean about the void, and how we feel empty without our N. I just keep crying out to Jesus and asking Him to fill up those spaces in my heart that were once filled with my ex. God is sufficient, He has shown me that over and over again. I accept where He has me right now. It took me months and months to get here, but it feels wonderful! I will keep you in my prayers, Fellow Survivor!

      • Fellow Survivor

        Carolyn, for me, I met my ex on her 21st birthday which was over 26 yeas ago, so that’s a lot of time and a whole lot of stuff I did for her. I have learned through my research the N’s don’t value what we do for them because they just expect it. You, meaning us, serving them was a gift from them,not us. WE were suppost to feel lucky to be able to serve them, any gratefulness from them to us is just so beneath them.

      • JD

        I had visitation rights this year for Halloween. Halloween fell on the N’s normal visitation day. She had her lawyer request an extra visitation day during the week. I complied. This year she has visitation rights for Thanksgiving. This would give her five consecutive visitation days. However, she made plans for a beach vacation to visit one of her friend / enablers. She was so caught up in her selfish entertainment desires that the children had to remind her they were spending Thanksgiving with her. The visitation schedule is very clear and straightforward. This just proves she does not really care for the children. Her only desire is to control. After our emergency custody hearing was over, she accused me of trying to use custody as a way to “punish” her. She cannot see beyond herself. She does not realize that it is not about her or me. The course of action I have taken is to limit exposure to an extremely negative influence in their lives. They do not deserve to be brought up in an environment where a lack of empathy, selfishness, adultery and complete financial irresponsibility are the norm. It really is all about the children. I wish she could see that. I guess I will be the “bad” guy for now.

      • Fellow Survivor

        Hey, JD, Welcome to the club. I love all these ladies on this board but its nice to have another empathetic male on site.

        Sounds like you have young children you have to worry about. Sorry about that with an N in the mix. They can be so draining. My ex N is off to Hawaii this week. What a lucky break “for me”. Again, luckily for me my daughter is 17 so she has the mom’s number. Facebook posts, texts to my daughter saying “wish you were here with me”. Actually, my daughter was invited and pressured to go, but she decided to stay home with dear ol dad. Its Thanksgiving for heavens sake. Again, welcome to the board.

    • SM

      This is not real kindness then. Kindness in itself is its own reward, it does not seek one. It is not done to further an agenda. It is done out of love, real love, selfless, not the self love that can only come from an N. They are masters of ‘watch the birdie’, ‘three card monty’, ‘the bait and switch’, all games done with the goal of deception and gain.

  7. Penny

    Beware the “kindness of a N”; there is no reciprocity with an N, only a hidden agenda. In other words, for most ‘normal’ people, kindness is its own reward. Not so for the N; kindness from the N is an “invoice for services rendered”. There are always strings attached; they never give anything w/o expecting something in return because they crave attention like a drug, & they are entitled to praise & admiration. Whatever ‘kindness’ they bestowed must be publicly recognized, praised, acknowledged, announced, & broadcasted, preferably with groveling & gratitude that you are not worthy of such “kindness”. So the final effect is actually demoralizing & the opposite of kindness: YOU are not worthy of said-kindness, while THEY are supremely entitled to demonstrate their God-like status of having been so kind to someone so undeserving. It’s crazy-making. Therefore, the recipients of such kindness or generosity are actually not helped at all, but rather end up feeling used and abused and confused. It took me a looooong time to refuse gifts from my N for this reason. I no longer accept even a greeting card–it goes straight into the trash (or the shredder). Gifts are never gifts (the N is a notoriously BAD gift-giver anyway) but are invoices, and they will collect payment sooner or later. Favors are never favors, but are demands to perform at a date & time of their choosing, often with the threat of public humiliation, or outright punishment. Beware the “charming vampire” who views you as a “supply line” & will suck you dry. They exploit every relationship for self-serving motives and, lacking empathy, will substitute charm & piety to manipulate others & elevate themselves. Actually, I think that the N’s behavior DOES define them when those behaviors show a definite pattern. The easiest way to spot a narcissist (or to expose one) is to: a) withhold your approval and compliments, or b) simply say “No”. In fact, regarding saying ‘No’, Anna Valerious says this: “Stand back and watch the fangs come out. If you are dealing with a narcissist they will not be able to take your “no” with any kind of reasonable equanimity. They will challenge you in some way. If you stand firm, they may bring out any number of nasty methods to dissuade you from your decision. Don’t get sucked in. Just stand back, watch and marvel at the transformation of what you thought was a friend into a fiend. If you say “no” to a reasonable, non-narcissitic person, they will accept it for what it is. They will not try to shame you. They will not try to convince you that you’re a selfish person. They will accept your “no” with grace and your relationship will not be damaged.
    The narcissist’s reaction to “no” is never positive. And it doesn’t matter if you’ve been in the relationship for years or you’ve just met this person….the test will work.”
    http://narcissists-suck.blogspot.com/2006/10/fail-safe-narcissist-detector.html
    Personally, I no longer care if they are coping or were abused or are pre-narcissisists or post-narcissists or malignant narcissists or spoiled little brats or womanizers or whatever. They still possess free will and can make choices that benefit others rather than hurting & exploiting them & perpetuating their evil. The rest of us here do that. The rest of us here want to do the right thing. The rest of us here don’t want to hurt others. I for one am weary of the excuses & compromises of the N. I choose to say “No”. Or, more specifically, “No more”.

    • Recovering

      True Penny, so True….Great reply!

    • SM

      Hey Penny, sorry for stealing your line re; kindness!

      • UnForsaken

        SM, I loved your reply ! Penny, that artical was one that really hit me between the eyes on my search for the problem. Along with “stupid”, “no” was just not allowed in our house as kids. Obviously, there are good reasons for that, but it was an unspoken rule that I never picked up on ’til later. ( There are a lot of those. We were just expected to Know.) It really is no suprise we learned to be intuitive, since we needed it to survive!

    • LD

      Penny, I just read the article you linked to and then read another on that site which REALLY confused me. It is here: http://narcissists-suck.blogspot.com/search/label/Non-apologies
      The writer breaks down an apology letter that her sister sent her and says that it was not a real apology but when I read her sister’s letter it really does seem sincere to me! My ex accuses me of not taking responsibility for leaving when he TOLD me to leave. When I tell him I didn’t want to and it wasn’t my intent but I was doing as he asked he says I am blaming him. He never let me come back because he didn’t want HIS house being a ‘revolving door’. Am I like this woman’s sister who can’t see where she needs to give a REAL apology and what that would look like? I honestly DON’T KNOW HOW to “take responsibility” for doing something that someone requested of me. He said he told me, “If you are not happy, then perhaps you should go.” (He has rewritten history to make it sound so nice.) and he says that I then PROVED how unhappy I was by leaving. Apparently, I was the sinner because I was unhappy? And I was unhappy because the truth of that day was that I asked him to promise to stop namecalling and mocking me and he said, “No, if you don’t like it just go, as matter of fact, just leave I’m sick of this.” Can someone PLEASE help me understand where I went wrong and HOW I should have “taken responsibility” and repaired that marriage? Even the therapist was saying the ‘It takes two.’ crap…sorry, I call it crap but I may be wrong here. It’s just that I don’t expect someone to take even 1 percent “responsibility” if I was the one doing the bad stuff. Please help. Any comments are appreciated. Also, if someone could tell me where this writer’s sister was wrong in her letter, I need help seeing it. It really seems sincere to me!
      Some days I feel I ‘get it’ and I’m doing well, then other days I read things like the article in the link above and then think about my ex and that day I left and get confused all over again!
      Thanks to all!

    • Cecilia K

      “Kindness from the N is an ‘invoice for services rendered.'” Bwahahaha!!! I love that, Penny. I chuckled when I first read it because you put it so well and are so right on!

  8. Fellow Survivor

    Penny you are so spot on. Before I even knew the word Narcissism I knew about this characteristic of the N. When the raging started in my marriage we ended up in counseling.. Boy, was she good at convincing the counselor that I was the crazy one, which wasn’t hard because I was acting crazy at the time. The way I got his attention was to tell him “:her dad’s married twice/divorced twice, mom married three times divorced twice, all uncles and aunts except one divorced. On my side, parents married almost 60 years, all aunts and uncles married etc.” It was only then that I got his attention.

    Back to the point, I made mention that our marriage included 3 people, her dad, her, and me. She told him all that he had done for us with gifts etc. I told him that the man doesn’t give gifts, he only makes business deals. Like Anna says, his gifts were only a Trojan Horse right into our marriage and life. Like I said in an earlier post here, we were once a happy family. My ex did not want to become like him. But she could not resists the temptation of the gifts “payments for services” and finally succumbed to his will, which was to jettison me and take the place of the husband in our lilfe. I am not kidding here. This is exactly what happened. Even my daughter recognized this. She told me when she was with my parents or the ex’s mom they just baked cookies or played board games etc., the things normal grandparents do. But when the Ex, the ex’s dad, and my daughter were together he acted like her dad. I am not kidding here. He sliced me out of my own family and inserted himself in my place.

    • Fellow Survivor

      I told my ex you are just his surrogate wife. You do everything for him that a wife does for a husband except have sex with him. Every time we started to grow closer and repair the damage the gifts just got bigger. The first gift was a large cash gift to buy our house, but included a requirement that the new house have an extra bedroom for him when he came into town, which was often. Then there were the trips, expensive trips without me. Then the trip to Europe for 2 weeks without me. That was a scene. My daughter would not budge without my approval. I told my ex “honey, our marriage hangs by a thread, we need to fix our marriage first then you can go on these trips” He would call and tell her ” We are going first class on the flight and staying in the best places, but the offer is only good for this year ONLY” He knew without my approval for my daughter to go there would be no trip. That’s when a GIGANTIC RAGE hit me in the face. Amazingly, I was rather calm during that rage. Maybe because I knew the thorn in my ex’s side was the pressure from her dad. I made a deal with the Narcissists ex. (OXYMORON) In her rage she told me “I will do anything if you let daughter go” I could have asked for all kinds of sexual favors or whatever I wanted. But the deal I made was “read one chapter of the Bible everyday for a year and I will give my approval”. I gave my approval, first class plane tickets bought, reservations made, security deposits made. Check!!! 7 chapters of Mathew read. Check!!! That was it.

      In reference to the Post “Christian Narcissists” I guess I was thinking that if she had God’s word in her heart she couldn’t continue to act this way. I mean, a Christian/Believer can not under any circumstances act this way. My mistake.

      I figure “I’ll get through this. When she gets back we can start to try and mend the marriage, repair the rift” And then I try try try, and it is working. I change the rules where the dad can’t stay at our house for more than one night, two days max. she doesn’t like it any more than I do. So what does he do? He builds her a million dollar house. After that house was built, my goose was cooked. I didn’t stand a chance. All I had to offer was a faithful, loving, attentive, kind and gently husband and father to her child, but I couldn’t build her a house.

      • Fellow Survivor

        Sorry for all these long posts, but Penny you got me started. Now for the last straw that got me excommunicated from the “:Mob Family” My daughter. No one messes with my daughter. If I haven’t made it clear yet, she is an awesome child. Schoolwork, choices of friends, behavior, and faith.

        So here comes dear ol ex’s dad. Offers to buy her a car if she goes to his college of choice. She tells him ” thank you for the offer grand daddy but my dad and I have talked about this and he is going to get me a car” and he says “IT wont be a brand new car, will it” Silence in the car. What kind of man does that to a child? 3 months later at the New million dollar lake house, in front of me of course ” if you go to the college of my choice I’ll buy you a brand new car” Silence. Then he says “if you don’t go to this college don’t expect any help from me” Silence

        After the trip to Europe I asked the ex and daughter to please not talk about it in front of me, and make sure the dad knows not to talk about it also. Well, down at the lake house he starts up on it in front of me. “Oh, daughter, wasn’t that a great trip, yada yada yada” Silence.

        Then 3 months later, at my dinner table in my house, he brings up the car again. I flat out tell him, its none of his business where my daughter goes to College. After that, my goose was cooked. The character assassination that he did on me with my ex went into high gear.

        My ex had N tendencies which she resisted the best she could. But when his influence and money were applied, she could not resist them.

        See this post for a more detailed explanation about what happened to my marriage. What makes it extra hard on me is that we really were happy for 10 years, or at least I imagined it so. Just substitute Father for Mother in the article

        http://www.narcissisticmother.com/daughters-of-narcissistic-mothers

      • Cecilia K

        Hi Fellow Survivor,
        I was curious if you and your ex had gotten counseling before the divorce, and if so, what was the counselor’s response? Since wives of narcissists are often told they need to be more submissive, respectful, or whatever, it just made me start wondering, what do pastors and counselors tell husbands of narcissistic wives? Are the husbands blamed for their narcissistic wives’ behavior as well, or did you get more support? You may have answered this in another comment somewhere, but I don’t know if I have come across it or missed it. And I realize you may not even see this comment, as this is an older post.

  9. LD

    Has anyone ever read the book “Love Isn’t Supposed to Hurt” by Christi Paul. If so, would you please tell me if what her husband did sounds like a Narcissist or does it sound like someone with hope to change? I’m ordering the book but am anxious to know. Thanks!

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