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I'm honestly surprised this particular Forum isn't bursting at the seams with so many people on "lockdown" these days with the epidemic! So where do I start? Yesterday? This past weekend? Let me try last Thursday, just to give you all a snapshot of my daily life since before the epidemic, but definitely increasingly worse since.

We're both in the medical profession as "essential" support staff, but she's able to work from home--in fact she had already negotiated to work from home 4/5 days per week so adding the 5th day while preschool is closed wasn't a stretch for her manager. They had done okay together through Wednesday, but it had definitely taken its toll on an already very volatile person.

So, we're pre-divorce anyway--let me just get that right out of the way so there's not confusion as to where the marriage/family dynamic stands. Together 9.5 years, married 8.5 years, with one preschool/soon-to-be-kindergartender. I don't even want to get into the really crazy stuff right now--why we're divorcing because she has "all the evidence" for the 1000th time that I'm "cheating on her"--I just want to stick to this story for now. Feel free to ask more in the follow-up comments.

So, last Thursday, I had book the day off long ago before the epidemic ramped up, to attend our daugther's mandatory hearing test for kindergarten. This, of course, got canceled, so it was just an at-home day for everybody, minus my wife's having to potentially go in for an in-person meeting to discuss updates for her department. There was a brief back-and-forth that Tuesday about me not taking the day off only for it to change that Tuesday before because of the meeting, plus her needing "a break, anyway."

The day starts off with not too much drama: the usual "hi, hi you doing?" whatever. She goes for an early-morning walk, comes back, makes breakfast for our daughter and gets to work in the study. I get up, make myself breakfast and second (!!) breakfast for my daughter and just kind of do my thing: play with her, let her watch TV, do some indoor/outdoor cleanup, go for a solo run and bike ride, etc. She takes a nap in the midday. Again, nothing unusual in these times.

Up from her nap, her job decides to hold the in-person meeting--it should've and could've been remote for most attendees at the point, but whatever. So, she took off to the city and would be back in a bit. Again, nothing unusual.

Fast forward to the early afternoon: I'm in the basement trying to replace the belt on the dryer when I hit a mental block on how to follow the DIY video and install it properly so I'm watching the video with my Bluetooth headphones on, desperately trying to figure it out; minutes seem to go by like seconds! After my third try at installation, I've switched to a different video and am listening and watching intently, when she comes flying down the stairs:

"Hey, I'm trying to talk to you!"
-"Okay. Let me just..."
"I wanna get Chinese food!"
-"Okay. Hold on a minute. Let me..."
"Why are you ignoring me?! What's the matter with you?!"
-"Okay, you see me with my headphones on! I'm trying to figure out the dryer! Can you give me just a minute to..."
*She empties my load out of the washing machine in one gigantic ball and just leaves it all sitting on top of the machine, then proceeds to throw her load in.*
-"Whoa, hey, it probably wasn't a good time to do another load given..."
"Yeah, fine, whatever, we won't do Chinese food tonight! You know, this is what I can't stand about you--all you do is ignore me!"
-"You see me with my headphones in. If you gave me even 10 seconds to turn them off!... You're being unreasonable!"
"No, you're being unreasonable!"
*She storms back upstairs.*
*Screaming in front of our daughter*: "This is why we need to divorce! But your father won't give me one!"

I follow her up the stairs, shaken and upset as usual and tell her that she was inappropriate downstairs, but more importantly that she needs to respect the advice of (A) the pediatrician, (B) our daughter's preschool social worker and (C) my counselor (IC, but we did one joint-session) who have all told her to stop talking about separation/divorce in front of our daughter! After a few choice f-bombs and other strong language in response, I leave for a walk around the neighborhood and call my cousin, one of my few trusted confidantes as I ride this roller coaster of a life.

I come back in and things have calmed down. She's made dinner, as usual, and even bothers to talk to me, insisting that I eat, but I retreat back to the basement to get the dryer done--and finally do! I finally emerge upstairs victorious, as she retires to bed and, as usual, I eat and stay up with my daughter before getting her off to bed.

And this is one day--and honestly only about 70% of the full details! I miss spending time with my daughter, but thank God I have to go into work Monday-Friday in my department! I mean this in the nicest, my polite way possible: if I was holed up with the miserable wretch of a human being all last week one of us would be a pine box by now.

I've lost track the number of times that I've thanked her profusely for taking on the dual role of very-busy scheduling manager and stay-at-home mother during this very trying to time and I've got virtually nothing but pushback in return:
"It must be nice that you still get to leave the house every day!"
"I'm just tired! You wouldn't understand!" Mind you I'm still commuting over an hour one-way back-and-forth to the city every day to go my job, and putting in 9-9.5 hour days while I'm there, helping to supervise extremely busy operations. It's not really an argument of who's doing more work--we're both busting our a$$es for the industry!!

I'm worn out from the every-other-day yelling, swearing and nitpicking, especially when I come home every even and relieve her, taking over everything from dishes to cleaning up the $h1tpile of a living room after our daughter played their all day to putting our daughter to bed!" She alternates between an overbearing mother, reminding me for the 1000th time that our daughter "needs to potty and brush her teeth before bed," and an overgrown teenager who retreats to the bedroom by 7:20 every night to go scroll Facebook and text her friends before passing out in the bed! I know that many of you will say the time to leave was circa eight years ago, but I'm ready for people's opinions so please have at it.
 

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Reading I seeing your missing your backbone to take a stand, and not doing what you need to do leave. But instead choose to wallow in this mess. This isn't good on the child, and your passivity what's the reason?

You need to make this happen, and not wait for her to take the steps.
 

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"Up from her nap, her job decides to hold the in-person meeting--it should've and could've been remote for most attendees at the point, but whatever. So, she took off to the city and would be back in a bit." -- Hmmmmm.... Interesting.

Leave.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
"Reading I seeing your missing your backbone to take a stand, and not doing what you need to do leave. But instead choose to wallow in this mess. This isn't good on the child, and your passivity what's the reason?

You need to make this happen, and not wait for her to take the steps."

I appreciate your candor, really. As far as missing a backbone, I would say, sure, if this was years ago, before our daughter was born. As discussed by numerous people in another thread, "Why are people attracted to Narcissists?", I think it's fair to say, that yes, my easy-going style succumbed all too easily to my wife's anxious, overbearing style. I have readily admitted in IC numerous times that i ignored the "1000 red flags" as I have called them where no sane man would have even dated my wife for a year, let alone married the crazy beeyotch, let alone tried to have a child with her, and yet I kept telling myself that every single incident was "not that bad," that the good times outweighed the bad.

Of course, once you throw a child into the mix, the dynamic changes to an extent. I'm hardly the first father to stay in a toxic relationship with an angry, paranoid narcissist for the sake of trying to normalize their child(ren)'s home life as much as possible and to stave off becoming just another statistic of a broken family. On the flip side of the coin how many times more women have stayed in abusive relationships for years if not decades for the sake of saving face with family, friends and coworkers? Again, pre-child, I admit I ignored a football field full of red flags to not pursue this woman; post-child birth, I can only beat myself up but so much for trying to keep my family together under one roof.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
"Up from her nap, her job decides to hold the in-person meeting--it should've and could've been remote for most attendees at the point, but whatever. So, she took off to the city and would be back in a bit." -- Hmmmmm.... Interesting.

Leave.
Yeah, yeah, I know TAM is quick to jump on the "(s)he is probably cheating! How do you not see it?!" wagon, but, of all the questionable activities that she's engaged in lately, her meeting in the city is probably the least suspect. Trust me--her other out-of-house activities are on my radar.
 

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I have never understood why people change so dramatically after getting married. Or maybe they don't change, they just go back to what they were before but were not showing that side of themselves before.

I think there should be a rule that no marriage registrar allows any marriage to take place if the two cannot show beyond reasonable doubt that they have known each other for at least two years and they both know so many of each other's family members and so many of their friends.
 

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Is she actually NPD? Has she been officially diagnosed, did your therapist hint or suggest that diagnosis based on things YOU said, or did you open up the DSM-5 and self-diagnose that?

Regardless, what is your plan? To stick around for another 13 (give or take) years until your daughter is on her way to college? Is that REALLY better for your daughter?

THIS, your marriage, right now, is what she is observing and seeing as a normal marriage/relationship. The affection (or lack of), the behavior, the fighting, the lack of action, etc. Is this the kind of marriage/relationship you want her to have? I'm guessing the answer is "Hell no!". Then stop showing her that this is acceptable and normal (and yes, to HER this WILL be normal because it is all she knows).

Is it better for your daughter to be around crazy 100% of the time, or 50% of the time?

Staying to avoid a "broken family" is a bull**** reason. First off, kids are better from a broken home than living in one. And second, you realize you are just swapping one statistic for another, right? Sure, maybe you won't be in the "divorce statistics" but you are somewhere in the unhappily married or abusive marriage statistics. And your daughter, she is in the "probably going to have a ****ty marriage and her own mental health issues' statistics. Staying "for the child(ren)" is a bull**** reason and not worth it. It's not. Your family is already broken.

"I'm hardly the first father to stay in a toxic relationship" or "women do it all the time!!" is also a bull**** excuse to avoid taking action.

I've never read it but this book was on the recommended reading list at a psychiatric hospital and in a support group for people married to someone with mental illness.

https://www.amazon.com/Rethinking-Narcissism-Secret-Recognizing-Narcissists/dp/0062348116/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1585148220&sr=8-1
 

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So it seems YOU have suspicions of HER cheating? She is accusing you -- and as we've seen here MANY times that is a red flag that SHE may in fact be cheating -- "her other out-of-house activities are on my radar.". (I am making the assumption that YOU have not/are not cheating? You didn't specifically say...). You should put VAR around just to find out what she is up to while YOU are not there (cannot use any of that in a D, but it will give you information -- just never reveal how you got it).

When she is NOT going off, have you been able to calmly talk with her that SHE needs to see her own IC and you can do MC??
NONE of this toxicity is good for your child --staying together FOR your child isn't giving her any good example of how a marriage should work.

Have you at least contacted a lawyer so that you can get a plan together? Doesn't mean you have to divorce her, but you take the fear of the unknown out of this -- find out the financial/child custody issues are and how it would fall out if you DID divorce her.
 

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I'll chime in, you're into this for 9.5 years, IT DOESN'T GET ANY BETTER, IT GETS WORSE!

Sorry you have a young child.

From your description of events, I wouldn't want to be around her for one. More. Minute.

So you're what, mid 30's?

So here's the 2x4. You can't fix this. How's the counseling going? Yeah, I thought so. The only asset you have is time. You'll realize this as you get older. I'm probably old enough to be your dad. If you had a son married in your situation and he came to you for advice, what would you suggest?

Continued 2x4, you sound to be a bit of a doormat. Could be multiple reasons for this, but there is a way out from this. Might I suggest as a first step, go read, 'No More Mr. Nice Guy'. It's a quick read and available as a download.

If you were my son, I'd tell you to get the hell out, and make the best possible arrangements for you child.

Best of luck, sorry about your situation, I hope the best for you and your daughter.
 

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Yes, I concur, people usually project their own frailities onto others.
Cheating could be her failing. Dunno.

It sounds like you have a good handle on her.
You are going to divorce her, aren't you?

Saying you are pre-divorce is a good start.
................................................

Now, get this....

I have the same Maytag dryer that I bought at Sears over forty years ago.

And yes, I have changed out the drive-belt three times. A royal pain in the 'past'.
You need four sets of hands, it seems.

I changed out the timer once, the drum/door seal once, along with the drum-rollers, once and the plastic female half of the plastic door latch, once.
They now make super-strong removable (clean-out) lint filters now. Buy them on Amazon.

A tip:

Do not put wet running shoes in the dryer. They can wedge-up in the door and lock tight the spinning drum.
The belt will burn through in two or three minutes.

Been there, done that!!


THRD-
 

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I have lived with a type of insanity.

And yes you know you have been weak, at times many of us have. She is probably cheating and who would care???? Your only hope is that he might be single and take her off of your hands and he can be the stooge...

But this is what I really wanted to say. I don't care how much it costs, I don't care how hard it is, or whatever, if you have not filed, FILE...

Get out, get away from her. I know you thought you had reasons to try, some if it just sheer stupidity, but none of that matters.

What you will really beat yourself up for, is that you did not do it sooner.

Get out...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Is she actually NPD? Has she been officially diagnosed, did your therapist hint or suggest that diagnosis based on things YOU said, or did you open up the DSM-5 and self-diagnose that?
My therapist has called her a narcissist dozens of times throughout my 1.5 years of IC sessions. But, even still, she has, multiple times, validated the diagnosis herself: she saw a psychologist years ago, before we met, and was on anxiety medications, which she stopped taking shortly after we started dating. So, no, it's way more than just a "she's crazy" diagnosis of NPD--that's why I posted my situation to this particular section.
 

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I'll chime in, you're into this for 9.5 years, IT DOESN'T GET ANY BETTER, IT GETS WORSE!

So you're what, mid 30's?

...

If you were my son, I'd tell you to get the hell out, and make the best possible arrangements for you child.
Sorry, I should've specified in the original post, that I'm in my late 30s and she's in her early 40s. Believe me--I'm not expecting it to get any better at this point. We have been separately talking to a divorce mediator, to at least try to end this as amicably as possible. I have my parents' blessing at this point, trust me, but obviously they feel bad for our daughter.
 
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