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Marriage/I may be in denial


My husband and I are separated because I moved out. I felt like we got married too quickly and needed to take a step back. I was miserable and we argued all the time about the same things, namely him saying I did or said something that upset him and I don't consult with him about decisions, "he has no control in the relationship". He also had a pretty disruptive gambling problem which seemed to resolve as soon as I moved out. It has been 7 months and we have still been seeing each other trying to work out our problems. The arguing has become more brief and less angry. With the space I have been feeling very peaceful and I like living alone because there are no arguments. The arguing makes me feel SOOO MISERABLE. The distance has also caused my view of him to change. I have been getting the impression that my husband is a narcissist or sociopath. All of the signs are there but I just CANNOT believe that he views me as an 'object'. Some books I have read are 'Honoring the Self' by Nathaniel Branden and 'Loving the Self Absorbed' by Nina Brown. The last time we spoke, it was an argument, pretty mild by our normal standards but some things he said really seemed to hit me hard. He was telling me how he needed to know that I loved him, he needed reassurance, I need to make him feel secure etc... same as usual. I said, "All I need from you is for you to be happy with yourself, and that will help both of us because you will feel more secure and I won't have all the pressure that you are putting on me" His response was to gently back away from me and laugh and say 'if I was happy with myself what would I need you for?' then he proceeded to ask me 'If a person is happy with themselves then they would just live alone and date different people, I would, wouldn't you?' I told him I want to SHARE my happiness with someone else who wants to SHARE theirs, and he LAUGHED at me and said that was wrong, nobody does that! I thought that trying to GET your happiness from expecting someone else to always be 'making' you happy was like sucking the life out of someone. I feel like he is sucking the life out of me. My question is mainly can you get an idea based on what I have told you if he only views me as 'there to serve his purpose' Am I in denial, should I just go ahead and let go? I really have trouble understanding people and their motives but is this confusion and frustration that I am feeling the 'confusion and frustration' that everyone feels when dealing with these types of he one of those??? Please help me understand...

Hi Trisha,

Thanks for writing.

I am so sorry, but I had to chuckle when I read your words, "Please help me understand." I thought to myself, "How can I explain the unexplainable?"

Let's cut to the chase here: Your husband is a mental case ... a bonafide self-centered nut who suffers from an untreatable condition known as narcissism plus a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I really would need to spend more time with him and you to put my finger on it exactly, but you can be sure these individuals spend their lives being abusive and self righteous and causing misery and mayhem for those who have the misfortune of falling in love with them. In this cases that is you, my dear.

These men are not givers, they are takers. They can't accept responsibility, they blame. Therapy doesn't help them as nothing is their fault and they demonize the therapists who bring them the bad news. If I were in your shoes I would consider him a fish on my line that needs to be cut, and the sooner the better. The day you do that the day your healing will begin. Listen to yourself, after all -- you feel much more peaceful when he is not around!

I am sorry the news is so bad, but you certainly would and will be better off without Mr. Horrible. There's no fixing this.

I hope this helps.

Doctor Becky


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