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Not wanting to give up on husband with childlike aditude

1901 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Seraphina
This is the first time I have ever posted anything like this on the internet or even talked about my problems with anyone but my common law husband. So if I am out of line in any way, please let me know.

A little about myself and my family:
Well, I have been with my common law husband for 12 years. We have a preteen child as well together. He has a very good job (he owns his own business) and i am a stay at home mom (I homeschool our daughter as well).

When we first started dating I was 18 and he was 25. We did everything together. We were good friends for 4 years before we started dating. I have always been very mature for my age and always looked at people my own age as immature. I had a very strict upbringing which forced me to basically raise myself from the age of 13. He was the exact opposite. He lived with his parents until we bought a house together in 2000. His brother who is just over 50 still lives at his parents and has never worked a day in his life. The house we bought is actually right across the street from his parents. We did however do this on purpose as his father was Ill and we wanted to be able to take care of him (his father has long since passed away).

if people would look through our front window they would probably see the "perfect family". Many of my friends and his friends look at us like we have the ideal life. I have everything I dreamed of having as a child. A huge house... a preteen that is excelling so nicely that she does grade 11 work... financial security... Family vacations twice a year... My family and his family all get along great.... Even the dogs are perfectly behaved. Behind closed doors though we are far from the perfect family. Me and my husband go out for hours on end, not to enjoy each others company.... But to park the van in the middle of a field where no one can hear us and just yell at each other (not literally yell, but argue). We fight over EVERYTHING!!!
We fight over our daughters schooling
We fight over dishes put away in the wrong spot
We fight over cooking
We fight over who walks the dogs next
We fight over who put pen away in the wrong drawer.
We fight over every single thing you can imagine.

Worst of all in my eyes is we fight over his obsession over acting like a child. Although he is close to 40 He likes to go to raves and clubs that are filled with 18-23 year old people. When he goes out he dresses like he is 18 as well. He has more face creams and anti wrinkle products then I have. And he is obsessed with his looks. When we go out to a dice dinner or anything I get all dressed up and stand in front of him then ask him "how do I look?" he doesn't even glance at me and says "you look good". Seconds after that he will ask me the same thing and if I don't shower him with compliments for 5 minutes after that he throws a tantrum like a 5 year old and will actually cancel our night out and go sulk or go lift weights for the next couple hours. So of course to stop an argument, I just indulge him and lavishly compliment him until we leave. We were out to dinner the other night and some guy that was there with his boyfriend came up to me and complimented me. My husband actually got mad that a guy (who was very obviously there with his boyfriend) chose to compliment me and not him. He is so self indulgent that it actually drives me crazy. He acts like the only important person in this universe is him.

I do realize that I sound petty. He isn't beating me, he provides for the family, he doesn't stare at other women, and he is faithful. Which is why I have never talked to anyone about this other then my husband. I should be happy. I just can't over the fact that he cares more about being young then he does about how his wife is doing. Every since I have stopped going to clubs with him (I am just too old to go) he has actually been hanging around 18 & 19 year old kids just to make himself feel young.

That is just the worst (in my eyes) of our issues. There are many more where that came from

I am very sorry That this is long and probably very boring to read. I kind of just wanted to vent my frustrations and know that SOMEONE has heard me instead of just crying into my journal.
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MCL, welcome to the TAM forum. You seem to be describing behavior that is narcissistic in several respects. I therefore suggest you read Kathy Batesel's excellent overview of such traits in her blog article at Narcissism: Recognizing, Coping With, and Treating It. If most of those NPD traits sound familiar, I suggest you see a clinical psychologist for a visit or two -- all by yourself -- to obtain a candid professional opinion on what it is you are dealing with.

At issue is whether you are dealing with a PD like narcissism (for which MC is useless) or, rather, simple communication problems (for which MC could be very helpful). I caution that, because NPD is a spectrum disorder, we all exhibit narcissistic traits occasionally (at a low level if we are emotionally healthy). One important issue, then, is whether your H's narcissistic traits are at a moderate to strong level.
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I'd highly recommend looking into seeing exactly how narcissistic he is. He does seem to be showing some of the tell tale signs. If he's at a high level all you can hope for is to learn how to cope as he isn't going to change. If it's low to moderate there are skills you can learn to deal with him. They aren't normal so regular rules of engagement won't work.
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He acts like the only important person in this universe is him...I do realize that I sound petty.
You aren't petty at've put up with this for over a decade! After reading your OP and not having read the other responses yet, narcissism came to mind. He is so FULL of himself and arguing daily about everything isn't going to end unless one of you changes. It would be difficult to help a narcissist suddenly care about others. You deserve someone who treats you well and cares about the health of the relationship. You can't maintain a healthy relationship unless he changes.

You mention you appear the ideal couple to others so does this mean you just go along with his behavior until you're behind closed doors? Perhaps you can skip out on going out / making public appearances with him when he's been an a**hole. Maybe appearing as an ideal couple may be part of his facade. He needs to know there are consequences beyond closed-door arguments.
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