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Everyone loves my husband


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My problem may sound silly, but it really bothers me. Everyone I meet absolutely falls in love with my husband and thinks he's the greatest guy. He is a nice guy and I love him, but he has his idiosyncrasies too and one thing about him that bothers me is that he's a bit self-centered. He loves talking about himself and doesn't seem interested in getting to know others. That's a problem for me, but not for other people. They love to hear him talk about himself. People treat him like he's a celebrity. They literally hang on his every word and laugh at his every joke. Everyone wants to be his friend. Even my friends and family act like I married a celebrity and kind of worship him. He is very smart and successful in his career and is very well respected, and he makes a lot of money. He loves that people adore him the way they do and it's completely gone to his head. He'll do things like throw a little bit of information about himself out to get people to ask him questions about himself. He does that all the time. He plays the "nice guy" role so convincingly. And it comes off making me look angry because it's annoying. I've never experienced this with anyone I've dated before and I just can't imagine spending the rest of my life feeling this way. What's my problem? Am I being ridiculous? Am I just jealous?

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He's a narcissist. Narcissists have their dark side which is their personal life and personal relationships. It is indeed an unsavory side to their character.

 

No, you're not being ridiculous. Don't be jealous because you know the real him. Narcissists are extremely selfish, self-centered and insecure. Secure people are modest, humble, self-confident yet not cocky.

 

The problem is you're married to him. Everyone loves the life of the party. Then when they have their private life, it's not fun engaging with a narcissist everyday at home.

 

He either needs therapy or both of you need professional marriage counseling because he's not going to change for you otherwise. "A leopard cannot change its spots." He is who he is from birth.

 

I don't take too much stock into feeling impressed by popular people anymore because behind closed doors, their characters are despicable. I know several narcissists and they're very difficult to live with if not impossible.

 

Educate yourself and surf the Net. Google: "Narcissism" or "Narcissist." It's a real eye opener. :eek:

Edited by Cherylyn
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Wow, you just reminded me, I had a friend who's mom was a narcissist tell me the same thing. And I think you're absolutely right. He is very insecure.

He recently got a job at a very prestigious university and he brings it up to EVERYONE we talk to no matter what the conversation. Like, we could be talking about how blue the sky is and he'll say, "the university's colors are blue" to which the other person will say, "What university is that?" and off he goes.. We've been married for 17 years, believe it or not. There are times when I think he's a really great guy too and I'm very lucky. But then times when I realize there's no intimacy because he never, ever, ever asks me anything about myself.

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Everyone I meet absolutely falls in love with my husband

I've never experienced this with anyone I've dated before and I just can't imagine spending the rest of my life feeling this way.
Wait! What?

 

We've been married for 17

 

Something isn't adding up?

 

Has someone new come into your life that makes you all of a sudden think, after 17 years married (lord knows how long you've dated before that) you can't spend the rest of your life "feelings this way."

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You sound deeply unsatisfied with your marriage, and your resentment over others' adoration of him is really just a symptom of that problem. You feel unseen and unheard in your marriage, if I understand it correctly, and other people fawning over him triggers that painful feeling.

 

With that in mind, let's peel it back a little further: How long have you felt this way, OP? You say there is no intimacy - do you mean both physical and emotional?

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ThatwasThen, I don't understand your question.

 

Well, I'm not sure I understand your situation, actually. I'm wondering why you first say "husband" then you say you never dated anyone like him before yet you've been married for 17 years.

 

Have you met someone new that has made you wonder about the rest of your life. Or: You've put up with this for 17 years or longer and are you saying your finally at, or getting at, the end of your rope with him?

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Yep, narcissists are a different beast all their own. :upset: They think the whole world revolves around them and that they're the greatest gift to mankind. They're a pathetic lot because they'll never be happy within their own skin. Narcissists are internally extremely insecure.

 

Narcissists lack empathy to the core which is a given.

 

Narcissism is a severe mental disorder for which there is no cure.

 

I have several narcissists within my midst and fortunately, I can enforce healthy boundaries with them.

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No, no one new has come into my life. I've felt this way for a long time but I always kind of bury these feelings. We have two daughters together and I feel kind of stuck. But recently with this new position at the university it's gotten worse.

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Miss Canuck, wow, I couldn't have put it better myself. That's exactly what I'm feeling. There's almost never been emotional intimacy, so with that the physical intimacy has gone too. I don't feel attracted to someone who so desperately needs the approval and admiration of others. Yet doesn't feel the need to have an intimate bond with me. Or doesn't know how to. I feel completely alone in this marriage.

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No, no one new has come into my life. I've felt this way for a long time but I always kind of bury these feelings. We have two daughters together and I feel kind of stuck. But recently with this new position at the university it's gotten worse.

 

That's exactly what I'm feeling. There's almost never been emotional intimacy, so with that the physical intimacy has gone too. I don't feel attracted to someone who so desperately needs the approval and admiration of others. Yet doesn't feel the need to have an intimate bond with me. Or doesn't know how to. I feel completely alone in this marriage.

 

Well have you told Him how you are feeling? What has he said, if you have talked to him about how you're feeling?

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He's a narcissist. Narcissists have their dark side which is their personal life and personal relationships. It is indeed an unsavory side to their character.

 

No, you're not being ridiculous. Don't be jealous because you know the real him. Narcissists are extremely selfish, self-centered and insecure. Secure people are modest, humble, self-confident yet not cocky.

 

The problem is you're married to him. Everyone loves the life of the party. Then when they have their private life, it's not fun engaging with a narcissist everyday at home.

 

He either needs therapy or both of you need professional marriage counseling because he's not going to change for you otherwise. "A leopard cannot change its spots." He is who he is from birth.

 

I don't take too much stock into feeling impressed by popular people anymore because behind closed doors, their characters are despicable. I know several narcissists and they're very difficult to live with if not impossible.

 

Educate yourself and surf the Net. Google: "Narcissism" or "Narcissist." It's a real eye opener. :eek:

 

I totally agree with Cherylyn >>> "No, you're not being ridiculous. Don't be jealous because you know the real him. Narcissists are extremely selfish, self-centered and insecure. Secure people are modest, humble, self-confident yet not cocky."

 

I was married to one and it's not pleasant, I assure you. I know it has a lot to do with insecurity. Your husband desperately needs for people to tell him how wonderful, etc that he is. It gets old after a while.

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Goddess and Cherylyn, omg, this thread has opened my eyes again. It's difficult because when you research narcissists they talk about how they belittle you and put you down. He would never outright say or do anything hurtful to me. It's much more subtle. It's not about putting me down. I don't think he really cares about what's going on with me. We're all just supposed to adore him. But when he starts to think I may be pulling away a d have had enough, he'll get very attentive. But it's still in a selfish way. If that even makes sense. I'm going to start seeing my therapist again and figure out what I need to do to be happy and raise happy healthy daughters.

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Goddess and Cherylyn, omg, this thread has opened my eyes again. It's difficult because when you research narcissists they talk about how they belittle you and put you down. He would never outright say or do anything hurtful to me. It's much more subtle. It's not about putting me down. I don't think he really cares about what's going on with me. We're all just supposed to adore him. But when he starts to think I may be pulling away a d have had enough, he'll get very attentive. But it's still in a selfish way. If that even makes sense. I'm going to start seeing my therapist again and figure out what I need to do to be happy and raise happy healthy daughters.

 

I'm sorry you're going through this, Traes. Good thing you'll see your therapist again and hopefully your husband will get professional help, too. Something needs to be done otherwise he'll drag you and your daughters down to a dark hole called an abyss. And yes, narcissism can be passive aggressive, too. Either way, it's all very bad, unacceptable and intolerable.

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Sorry about the feelings of disconnect. Alone is no way to feel inside a marriage.

 

I'm curious to know how your own life is going, outside the marriage and motherhood. Do you have sources of joy, of inspiration, things that reflect a dynamic, evolving version of yourself back to yourself? Have you by chance found that, since becoming a mother, your identity as an individual and as a woman has become a bit blurry?

 

The reason I ask all that is because I believe there are limitations to finding comfort in diagnosing your husband as a narcissist, since it continues to give him an enormous amount of power and sway and make him the source of all problems with the solution to those problems being...well, what, exactly? Treating his narcissism?

 

That's a risky proposition, right there, so I guess I'm wondering if there's anything in your life that you'd like to see change rather than just seeing if he can change. Amazing how much power can be found in that. Doubly amazing is what happens when we feel empowered, particularly self-empowered: other people, even those closest to us, even those with some tendencies toward self-absorption, don't have quite the same sway on our emotional cores.

 

That's not me trying to minimize his shortcomings here, or even to turn the lens on your own. Not at all. Just trying to offer a perspective that gives you some power independent of him—a way of feeling seen and heart by your own spirit, if that makes sense.

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Cherylyn, thank you. I know you understand exactly what I'm going through and your words are comforting.

Bluecastle, that's exactly what I've been thinking the last few days. Getting married, moving across country with him and losing close connections with friends and family while his career has flourished, I feel like he has so much more power in our relationship, which makes it so much worse. Lately, I've been working on regaining my power. I use to feel like such a powerful person, and that has changed. So that's actually been my focus lately, empowering myself and being attentive to my own needs. I'm not really too concerned about him getting counseling or changing. I'm more concerned with changing myself, and we'll see where things go from there. ☺

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Cherylyn, thank you. I know you understand exactly what I'm going through and your words are comforting.

Bluecastle, that's exactly what I've been thinking the last few days. Getting married, moving across country with him and losing close connections with friends and family while his career has flourished, I feel like he has so much more power in our relationship, which makes it so much worse. Lately, I've been working on regaining my power. I use to feel like such a powerful person, and that has changed. So that's actually been my focus lately, empowering myself and being attentive to my own needs. I'm not really too concerned about him getting counseling or changing. I'm more concerned with changing myself, and we'll see where things go from there. ☺

 

My sister is married to a narcissist. She figures it's part of the package deal. She and their 3 children enjoy an affluent lifestyle, they keep up with the Jonses and boast on their annual Christmas photo-card postal mailings that they are the epitome of the ideal marriage and family resplendent of a very deceitful image for all the world to see. :eek:

 

Since my sister feels entrapped, she makes the best of a bad marriage. She's not willing to give up the trappings of her well-to-do lifestyle. She's busy socially with her divorced girlfriends, church, church serving (volunteering), school volunteerism, her dog, etc. She would be more empowered if she had job skills for full time work and wouldn't have to put up and shut up for the cad. :upset:

 

I've noticed that power comes from money. With a career, a woman has more choices and she doesn't allow a man to wear the pants in the family. I'm not advising you to divorce. I'm just saying that money gives you more options and creates your financial independence. With money and power, you won't allow anyone to disrespect you anymore.

 

If you're hosed and can't change a narcissist, then you'll have to do a work around. Accept him warts and all and carve out your own personal happiness outside your husband's life. Do what makes you happy whether it's fitness, self-improvement, sports, hobbies, intellectual pursuits and other healthy distractions in order to survive mentally.

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I'm not seeing how anyone here could responsibly insinuate the guy is a narcissist. Identify and handle your actual marital issues accordingly.

 

Some people do swoon for the sake of it, but by and large, it's not some grand theme that an entire network of people get satisfaction from one sided conversation. If everyone you know is having a blast with him, I'm much more inclined to scrutinize the outlier.

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When I tell him how I feel he states at me blankly like he doesn't know what to do. If I push at all he gets defensive.

 

Then you need to start telling him how you feel while using your *I* words and stop using *you* words. e.g. "You make me feel like I'm invisible" Change that up to. "How can I contribute to the conversation so that I'm not feeling like I'm being left out?"

perhaps if he thinks of the problem as something he can fix/remedy in you, he'll change himself to accommodate your fear/angst/negative feelings in some way?

 

Something to try if nothing else.

 

BTW: Just because he is popular doesn't make him a narcissist. I wouldn't attach myself to that label of him too tightly unless of course he's been officially diagnosed. I fear you are allowing yourself to become the wallflower to his full in bloom garden instead of flourishing and being the outgoing, happy sunflower you once were.

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