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I am in a major crisis, guys. I need help and advice desperately, especially if you've been in a similar situation. I've been married for 4 years now and we fight constantly. By nature, I am a strong, outgoing, optimistic, hard-working, go-getter woman entrepreneur; however, I feel like I've lost a lot of my spark in life since being married to him. I'm still a hard worker, but I'm more timid and shy than I've ever been. It's only been till recently that I've started to come to grasps that it might not be all my fault.

My husband is a social guy, enthusiastic salesman personality, everyone's friend. He's way confident, which often leads to impulsive decisions (at first I thought of his impulsive decisions as spontaneous actions). These traits are what attracted me to him. However, the problem is that I can't name one instance where he's actually had empathy. He has such strange points of views about certain things and always expects me to go along with them (probably because of his charming and sales-ey personality he's never been challenged before by anyone). However, I challenge him and question him, which results in him turning it around on me to make me sound ridiculous for making him sound ridiculous, which results in fighting, which results in me feeling angry and insignificant. Guys, I feel so insignificant. He forgets the fights and can fall asleep easily. He's not affected by my side of things. He lacks empathy.

Here are two mild examples that happened today:

#1: Currently, we are using my parents car as one of our two cars. It was his original idea to stop borrowing the car and buy it from them. Months have gone by without us paying my parents for the car or paying for the insurance. I tell my husband that I talked to my dad and asked if we could setup payments to make it more affordable. My dad is so understanding and said of course, whatever you need. (But I don't want to take advantage of my parents! We should pay them for the car! They don't have a lot of money!) So anyways, husband gets really mad and says, "WHY would you tell him that? Why wouldn't you talk to me first? We said we would talk to each other before we make major purchases? Why are you adding another payment to our monthly bills????" And I'm thinking, seriously? So I say, "It was your idea originally to buy the car from them and payments is a good way to show them that we're serious." We continue to argue and of course he doesn't understand, so again we're back to a standstill without paying my parents in any way for their sacrifice. I need to just start paying them on my own!! But I was especially pissed off at my husband because he bought me a motorbike for Christmas and he just bought me a puppy for my birthday. HUGE, expensive purchases that are very excessive and not thought out, and how does he expect my parents to feel when we tell them we can't afford to pay them for the cheap dodge neon? He's not thinking!!!!

#2 example: Our apartment bathroom was designed poorly, so that when you open the bathroom door, it bangs into the other bathroom door (there are two entrances into the bathroom and they're too close together). I notice that my husband has locked the door from our bathroom to our bedroom (again), so that we have to walk around into the main area and into our bedroom, rather than just going through the door directly to the bedroom. So I say nonchalantly and humorlessly, "Why do you keep locking the bathroom door to the bedroom?" He says, "Because we shouldn't be using that door. It's too frustrating. Keep it locked and walk around." Now he's being bossy. Part of me, being insecure and with his confident "I'm-always-right" vibe, actually believes him. But the other part thinks he's seriously being ridiculous. "Yeah, it's annoying that the two doors into our bathroom bang into each other, but they built the door into our bedroom for a REASON, it's already here,*and I WILL be using this door into our bedroom." He says, "Why!! You're being ridiculous! Just keep it locked and walk around!" He calls me ridiculous, so*I start to feel ridiculous. But I know I'm right. I say, "It's not that big of a deal, I'm going to use this door. Anyways, if you keep both doors closed all the time, then they never bang into each other." He replies, "That's dumb because that makes the house look SMALL." (he says this with control and a tone of "obviously-you-should-know-better"). "I don't care about the house looking small! Anyways, it could never look small. It's so open and has vaulted ceilings!!! You're being ridiculous!" So I start to chuckle and try to make him lighten up and realize he's being absurd for thinking I'm being absurd for using a damn door. I'm going to use a damn door that was built there!!!! DUH!!!!!!! So of course he thinks I'm mocking him, and says, "Ya know what, you can sleep alone tonight," and he walks on out to the main area. He is literally crazy. So now I'm really upset about why this seemingly normal person can get so upset about a stupid door and our house looking "small." HE COULD HAVE AVOIDED ALL OF THIS BY LETTING ME USE A DAMN DOOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm so done, guys. But I'm scared to leave him. I don't think I ever could. I know these are dumb examples of fights to give you an idea, but these are just two very minor, silly fights that happened today. More serious ones happen often. I want someone who CARES about other people, not about appearance. Someone dependable, reliable, constant. I'm so frustrated! I'm worried that if we stay married, I'll lose the chance of being someone who can truly become my better half.

How can I look at this differently?
 

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Confused.love

You really have to stop being so ridiculous. lol, sorry, couldn't help my self there. The thing that I have noticed about sales people (other than the fact that they're full of sh!t), is that they have a way with words. They are trained/learn to take any situation/item, and make it look good no matter the state or condition. Everything is debatable.

You are falling into the customer roll perfectly. He will get what he wants by making his idea sound better, and any any other idea sound ridiculous. Quite simply, when he said "why do you want to add to our bills", he was exhibiting a lack of empathy and taking advantage of your parents while trying to make you look stupid. Cleaver hey?!

He knows exactly what he is doing to you. So yes he is a sociopath in my opinion. He is also a bully, and he is selfish. Unless you would be willing to play his game. "Don't be ridiculous honey, we only had sex 8 weeks ago!" "don't be ridiculous, you know how to wash your own clothes". "don't be ridiculous, my ex was a better lover". (oh the fun that could be had here lol) Any way, I would consider my options.

Gonecrazy
 

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OP,
Marriage is all about compromise and adaptation. As couples live together they grow together and, idealy, adjust to living with another thereby reducing the initial dichotomy that naturally occurs when two different people now share the same space. Sometimes this is accomplished, quite often it is not. It does require, as you have mentioned, the ability to understand and accept your spouses viewpoints and opinions (empathy).

People have this ability to varying degrees. Your H seems to have very little. Is your H an only child? Children without siblings tend to be treated "special" and often develope a sense of singular importance wherein others are not regarded or minimally regarded. In other words, your H is a spoiled brat. When this personality transitions into adulthood it often presents with behavior similar to what you see in your H.

Now, what can be done about it. Regrettably, very little. Once the maturation process completes, little can be done to alter these established traits. The problem lies in trying to get the individual to see and understand that their behavior is lacking in consideration of others and that their viewpoint/opinion is not the only one worth considering. Perhaps IC may help him but I do not believe he would deem it necessary since, in his mind, the problem is you.

Trying to discuss it rationally would probably yield similar results because, again, it is your attitude that is the problem. However, if D is not an option then you have little choice but to try. The only other option is for you to compensate for his lack of empathy by doubling up on yours and allowing him to have his way in most, if not all, things and accepting that way of life. This may not be the preferable choice for you but if you wish to stop the bickering someone must change and you may be the only one capable of it. I wish you good fortune.
 

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I must admit I was laughing at example # 2... that would be hilarious in a movie scene...the squabbles we get into!

On #1 .. you are SO right... you are THE level headed responsible partner.. your husband refuses to honor his own WORD, taking advantage of your parent's generosity/kindness , thinking nothing of it...
.. GoneCrazy is right on how these types can "sell" a line of bullsh**, sounds he's done it far too long... now you have wised up.

confused.love said: My husband is a social guy, enthusiastic salesman personality, everyone's friend. He's way confident, which often leads to impulsive decisions (at first I thought of his impulsive decisions as spontaneous actions). These traits are what attracted me to him. However, the problem is that I can't name one instance where he's actually had empathy
It's true, sometimes those things that SEEM so wonderful while dating.. what you felt was being spontaneous , a little surprise.. after a few yrs.. you see the sinister reality of what is really going on.... his buying expensive gifts when you can't afford them, blowing off your parents ...that's asking for conflict.

Lack of Empathy: The Most Telling Narcissistic Trait
Don't expect them to listen, validate, or support you.
 

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Your husband sounds like he has a narcissistic personality. That's why he lacks empathy. The buying of big expensive impulsive gifts are one of the signs. He needs to show people what he can do for you.

My dear friend's husband is just like this but she refused to leave him, because she believes she will get nothing. Beautiful, smart girl and the way he speaks to her, like she is ugly, fat and stupid. And he is so smart and knows the answer to everything. He cant stand me because I know exactly who he is. I don't see her much, only when things gets bad and she needs someone to listen. She has a huge house and drives a benz. But she does not a dollar to her name. He controls everything. She is too dumb to have money. But he sure loves to buy her a new car every year. So everyone can say to her, your husband is so great.

Ask yourself if you want to be married to a man who would use your parents. Why are you so afraid to leave him?
 

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Am I the only one who read the OP and said "what's the big deal"?

That sounded an awful lot like normal marriage stuff to me. What am I missing?

And OP, don't let the TAM amateurs diagnose NPD in your partner. They're not qualified. Leave that to a professional.
 
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Am I the only one who read the OP and said "what's the big deal"?
No! You're not alone, Cletus.

OP, I agree with Cletus.. the door issue is silly. Honestly, what's the big deal about walking around to the other door? Don't make the mistake of always having to win minor arguments. Be flexible. What difference does it really make which door you enter from? Learn to keep the peace over stupid issues. Obviously if you have company staying over, you should both enter from the bedroom door so no one sees you in a state of half-dress. The rest of the time? Meh.

OTOH, the car issue is a much bigger deal. Either get a loan and pay your parents in one lump sum, or set up a payment plan. You are correct on this issue. Your husband should NOT mooch off your parents' generosity. That IS a battle worth going to bat over.
 

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The real issue is learning to communicate better and, most importantly, to HAVE BOUNDARIES, for which you enact CONSEQUENCES if those boundaries are crossed. It will remove a LOT of your daily squabbles.
 

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Blind post.

It sounds to me like you both are being childish. An argument over doors? When tension builds, and it seems like there is something wrong with everything, fights can start over the smallest things. But you both need to reign it in.

I think your issues could go away if you both quit getting worked up, and talked these things through with each other calmly. Rather than instantly being argumentative, and going for each others throats.

Assuming you want to improve your marriage, I'd say the biggest obstacle you have at this point, is inspiring your husband to change along with you. Talk to him. Calmly.
 

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Am I the only one who read the OP and said "what's the big deal"?

That sounded an awful lot like normal marriage stuff to me. What am I missing?

And OP, don't let the TAM amateurs diagnose NPD in your partner. They're not qualified. Leave that to a professional.
I was in a 20 year relationship, 17 of which was married, to a woman clinically diagnosed NPD. Narcissism is a word that is tossed about rather freely, but unless a person has real, personal experience with a clinical narcissist, they have no idea, and can't comprehend what it is truly like.
 
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