Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Are You Creating a Narcissist?

I have promised to write about how I am "overcoming" the narcissistic spouse and if you go back to the first time I wrote about this you'll see that it's been quite a while and I haven't written about it.

You could say that it's because I've not quite gotten it totes figured out.

Here are the things I have learned however...

Image result for memes about enabling

1. Narcissism most often comes from the mom.


What the?!

Yes, that's right. In my spouses case, I believe, finally, that it stems mostly from his mother. I have confirmed this with a friend who works in the field of behavior. I don't know all the in's and out's of the psychology, but the pattern I have seen in his family is the victim/enabler/persecutor pattern. One of the ways to deal with a narcissist is to show them empathy, but not too much.  Don't overdo it. I just recently learned from one of my spouses siblings, who is also a narcissist--BIG TIME--that through his addiction counseling (yay for him!) that one of the things his mom did was get him in trouble and then sneak him a peanut butter sandwich when he was sent to his room without dinner. There are multiple perspectives here, but as a mom, if I knew my husband was too harsh/abusive, I wouldn't be trying to get my kid in trouble. Right? To me, that says she was carrying out that victim/enabler pattern so she could be the heroine. "But I've been the good guy!"

2. IDK about all narcissists, but mine mirrors my mood. If I set the tone, he follows. MOST of the time. If I react to his incessant whining with metered empathy, he calms down. If I try to give the other "dirty slob" the benefit of the doubt suddenly I'm the disloyal wife and will incur his wrath, which always turns into a screaming match because I don't put up with that crap. It's when I ask him how he feels about the situation that works the best. Men in general aren't good at sharing their feelings, those who weren't allowed are horrible. I've learned that when he calls from work to complain about someone or something, really what he is trying to do is express how he feels. This took me about a year into our marriage to figure out and I'm still not good at remembering to use the technique.  Sometimes I get caught up in the drama and sometimes I doubt him and sometimes I'm so mad at the "dirty slob" that dared mess with my husband, I'm ready to do battle. When I remember to just ask him how he feels, he can most of the time express it and then move on.

3. When I'm spiritually strong through constant prayer and service, I am better able to handle what he brings and I even think he is tempered more than if I'm not in a good place spiritually. Even if he's not, if I am, everything between us is better. Now don't get me wrong, it only takes one person to ruin a marriage and two to make it work, but remember how I said he mirrors? Well when I'm in a good place, either he's mirroring me, or I'm seeing him through better stronger lenses.

How does this affect a blended family? Traditionally, a narcissistic parent produces empathetic children. I know it has his.  I'm hoping that this is the case with my children and that it doesn't just fill them with hate or spite or worse yet, teach them that that's the way to behave.

So what I've learned is that narcissism most often comes as a result of the mom enabling her child and the take away here is as mom's we need to educate ourselves and hopefully never fall into that victim/enabler/persecutor cycle.

Monday, October 10, 2016

When to give up...Don't give up!

Blending families is hard! It might only be hard for 9 months or 9 years, but it's hard.

I'm sure what makes it difficult differs for every blended family and for every marriage, but for mine the biggest difficulty comes from how my husband parents our children. There's the classic his-kids-are-saints-and-mine-are-heathens, and then top it off with my-way-or-the-highway from him and what you get is hurt feelings, confusion and chaos. This stems from his upbringing and of course his narcissism, but it's caused me to consider divorce more times than I can count.

So why do I stay? This is a question I have asked myself--and God, over and over.
I know I stay for our kids. Our kids need each other. That's why I stayed and why I stay. We need a whole family.

And of course I love him. It's just really hard to love him when he's a jerk. Rather, hard to love his behavior. But that's just it, I'm not required to love his behavior. I'm not required to love him acting like a jerk. I'm not required to love when he treats my kids with disdain, or when he thinks shaming is an effective parenting method. But I did promise to love him.

So when is enough enough? Obviously that's not something I can tell you other than you'll know. If that's your decision and you feel good and right about it, then you have your answer.
If there's abuse, leave. I'm confident that no one would counsel you to stay if there's abuse.
How do you know if it's abuse? Maybe this will help... 

I hope your experience is not one of abuse. I hope your blending family woes settle down over time. I hope you know that we know how you feel. And I truly hope your story will be one of success and triumph.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Is my Partner a Narcissist? Part 5

This list is 7-20 on the 50 ways to tell List 

Does your partner carry grudges against you and others? YES. Even though I remind him that it's our job to forgive somehow, their offense against him is more important and his grudge holding supersedes that all important commandment to forgive one another.

Image result for narcissist holding a grudge

Is it all about your partner and his/her money, time, parenting time, property, and wishes/demands? YES. For instance,

Friday, April 15, 2016

Is my partner a narcissist? part 4

Does your partner seem more concerned about how your behavior or your children’s behavior reflects on him or her than on understanding and accepting who you and the kids are as people?

One word: Restaurant

We can't go without husband having a melt down because, well,
kids are kids. Don't get me wrong, they aren't screaming, running around and swinging from the chandeliers, but they may as well be if they don't act perfectly. I don't know about yours, but my kids aren't perfect.

 His are (when he deems them so.)

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Is my Partner a Narcissist? part 3

 Continuing on with the Narcissism checklist, question #4 is:Is your partner unable to tune in to your feelings or your children’s feelings?

I think that of all of the checklist points thus far, this is the most difficult for me.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Is my partner a Narcissist? part 2

Continuing on with the list of 50 Ways to tell if your partner is a narcissist...

#2. Does your partner refuse to be accountable for his or
her bad behavior? (For example, "You made me so mad that I couldn't help...") <--- and I'm sorry, but how

Yes, yes and YES!

Did I already say that?

My husband is smarter than to say "You MADE me..." He just never