man sufferingThe recent comments on the blog have given me an awareness of an aspect of infidelity that has rarely been discussed in most of the books or websites that I have read. 

Many books have mentioned that the cheating spouse might have some character flaws, but they usually don’t get into them any more than just a brief mention and rarely provide much insight or details concerning these disorders.  This is understandable as one could write entire books on these subjects alone.

I suppose I was naïve, or maybe even afraid to look further into these subjects.

I apologize to everyone who follows this blog because I feel in some ways we have not provided you with all the information you need to recover from this trauma.  But at the same time, I realize we are not therapists or counselors and we can’t provide all things to all people.

The purpose of this blog is to share our own journey and our own thoughts, feelings, observations, resources, successes and mistakes along the way.  The journey has been consumed with much trial and error, as we’ve been educating ourselves as much as we can about how to heal from infidelity and make our marriage much stronger. Hopefully, you’ve been able to learn from our journey.

I feel that Doug and I have been very successful because both of us have been able to take a good look at ourselves and our behaviors, and through communication and persistence have changed the way we relate to each other, adjusted our priorities and have basically invented a new marriage. We both feel a tremendous amount of happiness and satisfaction as a result.

I will say though, that I have spent the last two weeks really thinking about some of the ideas of codependency, narcissism and passive aggressive behaviors.  I haven’t contributed to many of the comments because I feel I need to gain more insight and knowledge about the subject.

I will be honest and tell you that initially all the comments put me into a panic mode. They were too much to take in, they gave me a sense of hopelessness and they appeared so black and white – or one size fits all – in scope.

In the minimal research that I have been able to accomplish, I have concluded that one size does not fit all.

I can say that during Doug’s emotional affair I was definitely displaying codependent behaviors and Doug was acting somewhat narcissistic.  This may, or may not be the case in your own situation.

I also searched for information about passive aggressive behaviors and I do feel that the way Doug handled communication and conflict were somewhat passive aggressive in nature. 

I also feel that in some ways the opposite was true, as I acted in a passive aggressive way and Doug displayed some codependent tendencies.

Are we past this?  Are we cured? 

I’d like to think so as our relationship and marriage today would seem to indicate this to be the case. 

When it’s all said and done, it’s how we feel the state of our relationship is in at any particular point in time that matters, isn’t it?

It doesn’t matter what anyone else’s opinion is.  If we’re happy, that’s all that counts.  I think you should have this same mind set.

I will tell you that the subjects of codependency, passive aggressive and narcissistic behaviors interests me and I intend to dig deeper into each.  In the meantime, we would certainly welcome any insights (that haven’t already been mentioned) you might have on these subjects.

If you have any resources, links, books, etc., feel free to mention them – along with your own experiences and insights – in the comment section below.

 

    41 replies to "Are We Codependent, Narcissistic or Passive Aggressive?"

    • Saddenned

      Linda,

      I went into panic mode myself. The reality of this is, our outcomes in any situation is not going to be the same because we are all different. Life has no guarantees. You can change outcomes based off of how you react, but you cannot predict everything. Great post.

    • B

      I think in the grand scheme of things, all of the above apply. Affairs are trecherous slopes that no one really knows how to navigate. Hell, I’m not even sure my wife is having one, but I use this site daily to rebuild myself. The only thing I know is that my wife has met someone through work (same field so they don’t have to see each other everyday but can talk) who she has lied to me about, been at functions with, texted over 1000 times in the last 6 months, and had multiple conversations with. In the first 3-4 months, her phone was often hidden, he behavior towards me was different, she seemed irratable and unhappy. She wouldn’t come out and tell me she didn’t love me, but she wasn’t putting effort into the marriage either. Over the course of March, April, and May she seems to be acting different. I have since busted her out on the texts, calls, and lunches by snooping through her things, which she hated. Shen wants me to be normal, she wants me to be happy, she tells me she loves me, but she seems to have an addiction to this other person.
      She has maintained the whole time that they are “just friends” and nothing is going on. She is adamant that nothing physical has happened, but emotionally I think she was making a connection with him and withdrawing from me. We have had so many fights about this, I’ve packed my bags, I’ve left the house, she has begged me to return, she has told me she needs me, she tells me that I am making things up that aren’t there. It has been a rollercoaster ride that I want off of. Things now seem to be back on the rise and have for a few months. She said she wants a “fresh start” between us and that she will only contact him when necessary. She has admitted that she liked the attention and that she was flattered. She also acknowledged that she took it over the limit. As far as he goes, I don’t pay him any attention, because he is a scumbag as most OP’s are. I’d sit down to lunch with a terrorist before giving this clown the time of day.
      The point is this, I truly don’t believe anyone wants to have an affair. I don’t believe my wife or any other really wants to leave the marriage, but they become so tangled that they don’t know where to turn. The CS turns cold, and lies. The they begin to feel regret and act codependant on their spouse, then they let themselves get sucked back into the game and start all over. How they behave generally depends on how the loyal spouse is behaving. I’ve seen it played out over the last 7 months. When I am down, panicky, or constantly questioning (in other words not enjoying my life) she tends to pull away from me. When I put on a happy face and work on myself, she seems drawn to me. Being codependant, clingy, emotional have done nothing for me, but standing up for myself and being confident seems to make me more appealing. It sucks that the majority of the work has to be done by me, but I believe in this marriage and am willing to work at it even if I am the only one putting forth the effort. We have 14 years of history and 4 great kids, so there is a lot to be proud of and thankful for. So each day I am focusing on the good and realizing that I don’t control her, I can’t stop her, and I can’t make decisions for her. Eventually all people who have affairs see the error of their ways, but how quickly that happens depends a lot on how the partner who is suffering handles themselves.
      When you protray confidence and enjoy who you are (which some days is impossible to pull off when you are suffering) the CS begins to look at EVERYTHING they have and say “Why would I risk all of this for someone I barely know?” It doesn’t mean they stop the behavior immediately, but I do believe that over time they figure out what is right. I’m focusing on being the best husband I can be within the scope of who I am. It has gotten me this far and I truly love my wife. I’m slowly learning that forgiveness is granted to those we love and if you want something bad enough, you have to go and get it. Don’t let life pass you by because if you be yourself and are good to people, things will work out one weay or another.

      • Melvin

        B wrote,
        “..portraying confidence….. being the best husband you can be…..be yourself and are good to people, things will work out one way or another.”

        Great advice. My therapist pretty much told me the same thing during our initial sessions. If you want to save the marriage, you need to show her your love every day – your best side – almost proving to her that she belongs with you and you alone. Negative attitude, complaining and bossy will push her away, according to my therapist. That advice really helped me but man was it hard to follow some days.

        My situation might be a bit worse that yours – wife was reconnecting with her ex-fiance and there was some physical contact (he initiated). Accelerated phone calling and texting as the months passed.

        BTW, my therapist is pretty well respected in our area – he even writes a newspaper article twice a month with very good advice.

        Several months after D-Day, I came to the conclusion that if she wanted him more than me, then I was willing to let her go. After all, when you love someone, you want them to be happy even if it means losing them from your life. And I agree with you, we can’t control our spouses actions. How we respond to their actions ultimately defines who we are.

        Best to you in your journey.

        • B

          Best of luck to you as well Melvin. We know we are good people, and we’d like to believe we married good people, but in the end the only thing we know we can control is what we see in the mirror. That is the person I am molding into something better, anyone else who comes along for the ride is welcome.

          • Melvin

            Hey, thanks. I’m willing to come along for the ride, if I can just get me one of those new 3-wheel Can-Am cycles :o)

      • confuse

        wow thanks for all the insightful comments and for people sharing their experience. after my EA I too looked up personality disorders and looked into attachmend disorders and love addiction and grief and loss etc.

        I had too look into my psyhological pattern–I kept going back to the 1st guy that I was in love with who broke my heart and who led me on for years. He appeared and disappeared repeatedly and that psychologically was quite tormenting as it just ended up feeling like it was always unresolved.

        My H, instead of lashing out was very upset but calm after I confessed. when I moved out (for a week so I can think) he was calm instead of getting angry. I had said I wanted to split up but instead he says he forgives me and that he believes we can move forward and not look back. He says we can’t just give up (been married less than a year).

        During EA I really was fighting emotions/fantasy vs logic/moral/reality. It really was the most confusing time.

        There are days when I still want to walk away because I’m so ashamed and guilty. I feel extremely foolish. I thought I seriously had issues if after 12 years I’m still stuck in the past and still trying to get validation from someone who let me down so many times. Been to counselling of course.

        I don’t feel like I deserve my H sometimes. He really is a better person than the OM and he is a better person than me.

      • meme

        I’m there with you! It’s had some days, and the tears still sting my face most days/ But I havn’t given up.

    • Kathy

      Panic mode here too. It made me feel as though if my H or I had any or all of the listed personality disorders, we were without hope. As I’ve mulled it over I realized every human being is flawed and it’s how we work through those flaws, changing what we can, accepting what we can’t or walking away, that makes the difference.

    • Saddenned

      Melvin and B,

      Very nice posts. I hope it works out for you. It is so hard to forgive, especially if you believe you already have. 9 weeks after D day.

      • B

        It is SOOOOO hard to forgive, but if you want it bad enough, you learn how. I agree with you, the hardest part of forgiving is having to do it again when you think it is all in the past. Because even if you have 365 consecutive days of rebuilding, one simple text can put you back at day 1. The problem is that the OP knows this, doesn’t care about this, and uses this to try and destroy what the two of you have built. We all get flattered, we all see attractive people, but sharing a family and a love that has survived years of ups and downs is worth more than any hot night of passion you have with a stranger. I enjoy the simple things that I can only get with my wife, the everyday-mundane activities that come with being a team. It’s just too bad there are so many dirtbags out there who haven’t found that and try to steal it from someone else.

        • Roller coaster rider

          100% agreement here. Too bad it’s so tough for the blind spouse to see. Mine thought he was needed, felt sorry for the OW and her neediness made him somehow feel desirable.

        • Saddenned

          Agreed. People who just want to feel good about themselves, so what if they are distracting someone from their marriage that may not be perfect, but there is love there.

    • S

      I have read multiple posts from people indicating acting happy and confident helps pull the CS back. How do you manage to do this when you feel as though your world is falling apart? How do you push the negative feelings aside. My H is currently acting in a narcissistic manner. He states he is not in love with me but feels we are friends, but I love him deeply. I am pregnant with our 2nd making this all the more difficult. Initially I think I acted codependent but am trying to act in a more independent manner. I just feel like it is so incredibly difficult.

      • Roller coaster rider

        I really feel your pain. I think your focus has to shift away from the spouse, but I feel a lot of anger, too, toward any man who would treat the mother of his kids this way. For me, it has really been vital to learn that I will be okay with him or without him. I’ve made a choice to be committed and faithful. Will he do that? He must for the marriage to survive.

      • B

        Your task is not an easy one. Create some distance in a loving way. Take care of you, get you nails done, do something you enjoy, but do it all with a smile on your face. I reserve my saddest moments for my drives to and from work. But once I get home, I’m super dad and a loving husband. She is either gonna pull herself out of this and love “us” or she is gonna get sick of it and leave because the guilt is eating her alive. But I made the decision months ago to stop giving her the power. Yes, I have plenty of anxious moments, but she will never see them again. I speak my mind, I keep the house running, and I make every effort to include her in everything. It isn’t easy, and somedays it feels impossible. You can do it, because in the end, NO CS can keep having their cake and eat it to, eventually the fantasy or the reality falls apart and they have to choose. By the time that day comes you will hopefully have taken so many measures to fix yourself that whatever they decide will be a relief for you and not a relapse in your recovery.

        • Melvin

          Good advice Roller and B,

          As my therapist told me, showing your spouse your best side is the only way to win her back. In the end, it is her choice to stay or go. Eventually your man will have to choose.

          It ain’t easy that’s for sure to push the negative thoughts aside. I had my moments where I just had to “leave the scene” in order to not show my ugly side. Do you have someone to “vent” with ? I found it helpful to share with a personal friend who kept things quiet. Sometimes I just had to release my frustrations and doing it on the spouse was not the right answer. Releasing them here is another good source.

          I hope everything works out for the best.

      • nan

        I too was pregnant w/my second child 20 yrs ago when my H had told me he wanted a separation, his words were ” I don’t love you like I should love my wife”. I was devastated, 4 months into the pregnancy, then found out he was seeing a very young assistant at work. I talked with my priest for guidance and he told me that I needed to take care of myself and my children… that no man who would ever put himself before his family was worth the forgiveness…
        I needed to see a therapist who said the same… I had lost weight and felt terrible about myself… but after seeing how he had moved on, without any regard for me other then keeping up appearances when he needed to and seeing his daughter on weekends… Family functions etc… I learned in my heart that I was a very good person not deserving any of what he dished out… The five months till my son was born were very hard… I had a great friendly support group and very close sisters to help out… So, I knew I could be self supportive, and still have a wonderful support group in my life… he didn’t deserve me. I had made a life for my children, they are both on their own now. I hope knowing that I too walked in those shoes and “SURVIVED” helps… You are a vessel of life, a loving, beautiful woman with so much to offer & your children will need you to be strong FOR THEM…. Don’t allow his selfishness, and disregard for VALUES ever make YOU feel like you’ve done something wrong! Don’t concentrate on HIM! CONCENTRATE ON YOU and Your CHILDREN, They need you & I think you’ll find true happiness in them. May you hold your head up and believe that you’re entitled to be loved.

    • suziesuffers

      Panic was the first reaction. After all, don’t I have enough issues to deal with, without having any “syndrome” or something to figure out. I don’t need to know anything ELSE that is wrong with us that needs to be FIXED. We have enough problems ALREADY!! But, I think these “syndromes” have alot to do with communication and the reaction to someone else’s actions.

      I guess I look at all these disorders, just as I would any disease my spouse might have…or I might have. They need to be recognized and managed as best they can. If they aren’t, certainly the outcome would be less than favorable. I know I have codependent tendencies….I think he is passive agressive. This is a dance we have “played” and we need to learn new steps….LOL. So I evaluate my actions that are codependent….understanding healthy detachment, but being engaged in each other’s lives. Stop putting everyones needs above mine. He’s learning that hanging up the phone or walking out, triggers insecurities in me, and is done specifically to trigger anxiety through passive aggressive actions. So now we are talking more about those actions. Just like any disease, diabetes, heart disease….etc. You identify the problem, gain knowledge about the disease and address the disease, usually with the help of a professional. Then wait to see the improvements and readjust as necessary.

    • Roller coaster rider

      Linda, I too have been quite intrigued by the comments presented regarding narcissism and passive aggressive tendencies as well as codependency. I know that in the early years of my relationship with my then boyfriend now spouse, I was the epitome of codependent. Nearly 40 years later, I am not the same person. I appreciate and thank the people who wrote all of today’s posts. A relationship really is a two-way street, but there are times when we don’t see clearly and having the help of counsel, therapy, books, etc. is good yet nothing can take the place of communication between the husband and wife in the involved marriage. Even a refusal to communicate says a lot. For literally decades my H would not talk about anything sensitive and most of the time couldn’t even identify ANY feeling except anger. Ironically, his affair has been the catalyst for his waking up to what I mean to him and wanting to not only pursue me but fight to keep our marriage…although at first I took off my ring and told him he destroyed it

    • Norwegian woman

      I am sorry to say that I have had a suspicion that my husband had a serious mental illness before his affairs…..
      He comes from a dysfunctional family. I was leaning more towards BPD, but he certainly has narsissistic traits. The way he have treated me is so egoistic, especially when it comes to his affairs. It`s almost surrealistic how he behaved. Lying for months. The justifications of his actions….. oh my god.
      I must have codependent traits to have endured this nightmare. He is a totally different person now, but with all the betrayel, I really am not certain that it is for real…..

      • Joe

        I’ve waited for over a year to finally see someone talk about what I’m going through. I know my wife has NPD and she can’t be cured. She’s underperformed in her career, let’s me do all the work and then blames for everything that doesn’t go the way she beleives it should and never takes on any responsibility.
        She is emotionally unavailable and never is accountable for her actions. She lives in her own fantansy world.
        She is afraid to make a mistake or to be judged. She will not go to therapy for the fear that she might be held responsible for her actions.
        She can not say she’s sorry because to do so she would have to admit to hurting me. She see’s and feels my hurt but has no regrets, remorse or empathy.
        We’ve been married 30 years and even when I tell her she would be the last person I ever thought could cheat she just denies it. She dosen’t understand right from wrong and most likely will do it again and again deny it.
        I now realize I was a codependent who endured all the abuse and now the icing on the cake is she cheated. I know I can’t fix this Narcissist but I can fix myself.
        I feel sad for her because this will only deepen her depression. She refuses to get help and leads a very sad life.
        Narcissism is hard to understand. I’m a forgiving person and can understand why she cheated (The fog) but I dont understand how saying “I’m sorry for hurting you and I want our marriage to work” is just impossible for her to say.
        This post on Narcissism, which I saw last week for the first time was an eye opener for me. I now realize I’m worth so much more and it’s time to walk away. I know I’ll be fine. Thanks!

    • Saddenned

      This post has brought out many posts. The truth of the matter is, what is going to happen, will happen. God has a plan. I am a Christian woman and I know I can sleep at night knowing I am doing whatever I can to stand behind my vows. My husband’s mistakes are between him and God. I cannot save him from my mistakes. When I went into my marriage I said, “for better or for worse”. We cannot take any part of our vows lightly. This is “worse”. The pain I feel, I made a promise to God and my husband, that I will endure. Will he be punished for his mistake? Not my place, that is between him and God. I cannot change what happened, none of us can, all we can do is progress forward. In some case the CS will come to their senses and in some cases they won’t and marriages will end in divorce. I choose to fight for my marriage. It would be easier to leave, but I would have to answer to God. Keep the faith, pray hard and love God and He will show you eternal life.

      • B

        Agreed, I am CHOOSING to fight for the thing I love most. I’ll do my part and be at peace with whatever happens. I believe my wife is a good person, but she has made some terrible decisions. Those are done and over with. Whether or not she continues to live in the fog is up to her, I won’t be a pin cushion and I won’t stop loving her. Somewhere in the middle you will find me trying to save my sanity and quite possible her dignity. Feels good to laugh sometimes.

        • D

          Ditto B, with the terrible choices that spouses make during an affair. I believe my husband is a fantastic person, but made some very bad decisions.
          However, what I am struggling with is that I don’t feel that the OW is a good person. Am I being petty and shallow and trying to cast all of the blame onto her? It takes two to tango and I know that he is not innocent. I will NEVER forgive her, EVER! I forgive my husband. I owe him so much more than I will ever owe her. I know that people would probably think that my husband is the scum of the earth, conversing secretly with a married woman. I feel that he knows that he did wrong, very wrong. I don’t feel that the OW feels any regret based on comments that I have heard (mutual friends) or how she acts. I would hang my head in shame if I was around the OP’s spouse. Not smile and try to be cute and flirty. Maybe I have morals…….and value my marriage. Am I wrong?

    • S

      B, your outlook and attitude are inspiring and is what I am going to work on doing, no matter how difficult. Thanks for your insight.

    • roller coaster rider

      I also applaud you, B, and agree with your comments. I want to add that it really feels good to know that others are watching and they see something truly divine in a person who is willing to forgive and who will trust God despite having been betrayed. I have had some of that good feeling lately, and while I know I can’t take credit for it because the grace to do this has been a gift to me (one I hadn’t even really asked for, to be honest…I just wanted out!) I am believing that even better things are ahead. I so want that for each and every marriage represented by the people who visit this site, and I even want better things for those who are the OP in EA/PAs. Sometimes it’s hard to tell who the betrayed one is if potentially we can all be betrayed by our own emotions. I also really believe what several of the CSs have said, that they never thought they would be the one to do this.

    • suziesuffers

      S…don’t be too hard on yourself. You are a brave and courageous woman. It’s hard to be “happy” when you feel like you can hardly get out of bed you are so distraught. I’ve spent many a week barely able to eat or get out of bed. Hours crying and FINALLY breaking the silence and talking to friends about what I was going through. I think the hardest thing about talking to others that haven’t gone through this is that many tell you….KICK the cheater to the curb and never look back. Well, when you feel that this person is your whole life and you feel that you have loved them deeply, that’s pretty hard to do. You want to save the marriage and are willing to do ANYTHING to do that. It breaks your heart that you may believe that they don’t love you, but to not care about the child you are caring that is theirs……it’s just doesn’t seem possible. I have been in a similar situation where selfishness was my husband’s only motivation, regardless that I was pregnant with our first child. I couldn’t believe that he loved me so little that he demonstrated it by abandoning me. It’s hard to even stay strong because I know that feels like it’s impossible to do…but keep in contact with us and let us be your support as you go through this truly difficult period. I do believe God has a plan for our lives, but I have to tell you I questioned God’s love for me during these trials. I know it doesn’t feel like you can survive even another day with the pain, but lean on us…we are here for you.

    • suziesuffers

      I know Doug and Linda may be seeing light at the end of the tunnel, even though I still hear pain in Linda’s posts, I think she see hope. I just wish we knew about other couples that had some time under their belt, demonstrating that this isn’t just a pipe dream we all have about saving our marriages. That after this “honeymoon” phase of everyone trying to work on the marriage, is there real staying power….or doesn’t it all just eventually collapse anyway. Not that there are any guarantees in life, I just would like to know the odds. We know the odds of successful affair marriages. I wonder what the success rate is of marriages surviving 10 years after the affair…..since it takes 2 years to BARELY recover, 5 years would probably be too soon to rate. And what is the percentage of spouses that cheat again if they have cheated once.

    • Helen

      Following on from B and Melvin, which were both inspiring posts, I would like to add that the happy and confident approach worked for me too. I decided to try being the best wife I could be every day, and be welcoming and happy even when I least felt like it. I mentally prepared myself for giving and not receiving anything in return, which for quite a while was what happened. But now, 1 year after DDay, things have improved dramatically and I know that my husband has realised that he made the right decision in staying with his loving wife and family. I am seeing a change in him now, finally he is now in a place where he can give too and love me again.
      The thing is that the longer I tricked myself into appearing happy it gradually turned into actual happiness! I can feel the difference in myself, to the extent that I know that I would actually be ok on my own.
      I believe its a process that we as the BSs have to go through, I was a wreck at first, lost loads of weight and spent all night crying and firing questions about the OW, it took me a while to realise that in order to fight for my marriage I would have to play the game. My husband was truly in the ‘fog’ saying things like he loved me but wasnt ‘in love’ with me and that he deserved this chance to be happy, I think he would cringe if I reminded him of that now!
      This website is such a godsend and it helped me in so many ways, its like a comfort blanket and so nice that we can all help each other.

      • Melvin

        Thank you Helen. So glad to hear it is working out for both of you. Best to you going forward and thanks for sharing.

    • S

      Suziesuffers, thank you for your kind words/support. This blog is so incredibly helpful in knowing that others are going through the same thing and completely understand the many crazy feelings I am having. My husband claims he isn’t sure if he loves me anymore, feels like we are “just friends” and desires no physical touch. This change happened so abruptly, and from the timeline I now know, it feels these revelations came to him after the EA turned briefly physical. The things coming from his mouth at times are crazy such as he doens’t even know if we are compatable anymore. But we have more things in common than most couples I know. Its like he is digging for excuses to justify his behavior, and that infuriates me to no end. So, hopefully with the help of marriage counseling, “putting on my happy face” and this blog I can gain some control over my life again….

    • roller coaster rider

      Sometimes you just can’t play the game, though. Sometimes you just have to wade through the crap.

    • Geri

      trust in God, but row for the shore!

    • suziesuffers

      S…My husband said the exact same things…and I think you will find all of the BS’s had similar “discussions” with their spouses. The blubs were… I love you but I’m Not in love with you. I think if we went our separate ways we could both find happiness. I want you to be happy. I don’t think I ever loved you. I think I married you for all the wrong reasons. I don’t think we have ever had anything in common. We don’t like the same things. The OP is fun. The OP is a great communicator. The OP is everything I was looking for. I know you will find someone else. … and the list goes on and on. Well, now that the affair is over….and then it took 6 months for the fog to really start to dissipate, all of these things are being negated. Now, I don’t know if he is negating these things because it NOW hurts him to see me hurting, where as before he really didn’t care because of the euphoric feelings he was having for the OP….or whether this is the truth and he’s seen reality. Either way, he seems to be in complete reversal about how it REALLY was…She really doesn’t live on a pedastal, he just thought she did….she should have been under a rock!!! LOL…. Good luck S, I know how hard it is to hear these things..it breaks your heart that the person you love more than anyone, can tell you that you mean nothing to them……but, I do think they eventually see the light of their errors…..whether the marriage is salvageable is still in review at my end.

    • S

      Suziesuffers, I am only at 6 weeks out and it has felt like a lifetime. I hope in 5 more months to be hearing some different things. I just want him to want our marriage to work as much as I do. We had counseling this afternoon which has at least for tonite put me in a negative mood. I wonder if he is just sticking around for the moment because I am pregnant. Maybe I should look at that in a positive way as it gives me more time to try and get him to see what he would be missing. The unknown is just so incredibly hard…

    • suziesuffers

      Here’s some great information about passive aggressive behaviors and definition of passive aggressive spouses. I know it’s on a divorce support websiste, but this site seems to promote marriage first, and last resort divorce. It has some great definitions for passive aggressive behavior….of course, as I read some of these definitions, does everyone have some of these traits some of the time…and more of these traits may be visible during stress periods. Here it is if you want to take a look. http://divorcesupport.about.com/od/abusiverelationships/a/Pass_Agg.htm

    • suziesuffers

      S. I know the pain. It overwhelms your body. I could barely get out of bed. I couldn’t go to work. I started taking anti depressant medication. I really felt like it would be impossible to go on. I posted this site on one of Doug and Linda’s blogs, but I think it really touches on the issues of what the CS tells us and WE BELIEVE!!
      http://divorcesupport.about.com/od/theothermanotherwoman/p/othermanwoman.htm

      The CS is in the world of insanity and we go to the most insane person to validate what is reality!!! AH…no wonder we feel crazy. Take a look at this website that talks about the OW and just how crazy the affair is. It’s everything we’ve read here, but sometimes it’s nice to see it somewhere else. I’ve started saving these types of items, so when I get down I can refer back to them. Sometimes it just gives me hope and comfort for the moment…and that is sometimes just what I need to get through the next 10 minutes. My husband has had a number of EA and PA and one night stands. I didn’t know about any of them for sure until the last PA, when he filed for divorce…and not for the first time. My husband filed for divorce when I was pregnant with my second child. I couldn’t believe that even if he didn’t love me, that he would actually want to leave me before our child was even born. That just goes to show you HOW insane this whole AFFAIR thing is. I’m sure he probably was having something going on, I just didn’t know it….I thought he was depressed about his business having problems, stress of another child, our arguments because his behavior was so irresponsible (that was always an issue). Well, that was 25 years ago. I know…some would defnitely say, what is wrong with me….to HANG on and hang on. But when you are involved with someone and things are better than worse, and better and difficult….like a roller coaster, sometimes you stay because you know what it feels like when it’s good and if you just hang on long enough you might get that feeling again. That may be my codependency tendancies….some might say true committment to a wounded child that never grew up…..but I stayed, right or wrong, it’s already done. Anyway, take a look at this website, it gave me some comfort. http://divorcesupport.about.com/od/theothermanotherwoman/p/othermanwoman.htm

    • debbie

      Hey folks, don’t worry, you are not nuts for remaining committed to your marriages. That is what people with integrity do, rather than cut and run in a crisis. Are there maladaptive behavior characteristics involved on all sides of the affair? Sure! It all rides along a spectrum of behavior.
      Does a bout of indigestion or a pain in the chest mean you have heart disease? They are symptoms after all…
      Does a person’s extreme selfishness at a given point mean they have NPD? IMHO it is more likely an act of covert depression. Can a snapshot define anything? No.
      Do we all have FOO issues? Do we all sometimes behave passive-aggressively? Do we get selfish or have moments of grandiosity? Take a step back. Read. Learn. Understand. Know that the A is not about you. Use the time for self-discovery. If there is something about yourself you don’t like, change it! Find compassion for others, including yourself, your spouse. Give unconditional love. You will recover.
      Stop the blame game. Release the anger. Grieve the loss of the M you had. The only way out is through.

      I am grateful for this site and all of the posters that have helped me on my journey ‘through’. I am not at the end…yet…

    • Mavis

      I am not sure what to do. My husband is emotionally enmeshed with his mother; she did not like his girlfriend (many years ago) and made sure they broke-up. She did like me. I think now, it was because I was quiet and submissive, and did not have much opinion or voice. I took it as a compliment when my then-boyfriend said, “I had to find someone who could get along with my mother.” If someone said that to me now, I would run like heck. I think he never left his mother emotionally, could not give himself to me emotionally, and really wanted the other woman (the girlfriend, before we were married) A few years later he became enamored of a co-worker who resembled the girlfriend. I knew it seemed odd, but one day I received a text meant for her. It was very complimentary about her physical beauty. He had told me he could not compliment me because if he did it would only be because he had to, not because he wanted to. I kept trying to be better (even in “intimate” moments, etc) but it did not work. I am an attractive, good person. I think I was just naive and unformed. I did become a person with an opinion and a voice, and stopped trying to be around when my husband and mom were together; I wondered if I should leave when I knew he had a crush on the co-worker. She has since died, and, of course, he grieved alone, not with me.
      We have been married a long time; our son suffers from depression, so I would not leave because of what it might do to him. I am trying to be the best second best I can be; some days I just suffer emotionally.

    • Alana

      Hello Linda and Doug,

      In response to your request for input about personality disorders, I have a couple of thoughts to share. Most people, I think, when thinking of someone who is narcissistic or behavior as such, one would think of the loud, gracious, self centered, ego critical, obnoxious, vain type of person. And that is one type of narcisissism, overt. But there is a second type not as often spoke or written about, it is the COVERT narcissist. This person flys under the radar as in public they can be the most hard working dedicated, charming person to the entire world. But behind closed doors he is sometimes a different person. Usually veiled threats, sarcasm, invalidation, contempt, silent treatment, screaming and freaking out the list is long. We live on a carpet of eggshells never knowing when the dragon will be released. But He’s not always that way he can be kind and caring, sometimes it seems twisted to me but, I am not a therapist simply the self taught wife of a covert narcissist. It’s been almost 4 years since I discovered his affair. I made every mistake in the book when I found out and though we play happy couple (in some ways we are) I think we both feel the disconnect but neither of us will take the step. Im sure he is still in contact, can’t prove 100% so I just keep waiting for him to slip up. Modern technology. makes it so easy to hide most thing’s, since I have no access to his computer or work office what so ever. His job afords him total privacy from me and my prying eyes. Want understand why I don’t trust him when he has failed to participate I my healing and I’ve just about had enough of his nice, stealth, sneaky, underhanded, vindictive narcissist self. Yes learn about these silent and deadly emotional abuser, mine was rarely overly aggressive, no he likes to insert a dagger and slowly twist it – so no one knows. I left him once and they encouraged me to go back because he was so tore up. Since no one ever sees him this way (except the kids) no one has ever really believed me because we live a comfortable life and he does not hit me with his hands or objects, only veiled words meant to tear you down. I understand that when this is the legacy you receive in childhood from your FOO but at a certain point I think it becomes such an ingrained part of them, that they just accept it and roll with it as who they are. Difference between the COVERT and overt is that the covet has the emotional control to turn it off or on. I don’t think the overt have that much control. You won’t be able to see the red flags u til it is too late. Be careful of anyone who is too good to be true. I never really saw the other side of him until after we had married. Of course the there is the spectrum of behavior to consider when looking at these individuals. If you really want to understand a narcissist, I recommend Sam Vanakin writings as very informative although maybe too heavy for some readers. I have read thousands and thousands of pages of information, I am not an expert, except if you count the experience of living with one for 25 years. I can suggest further reading if you like. Thank you for taking on this enormous subject in relation to affairs. So many comments I read I see the narcissistic behavior yet nay a mention of underlying causes. Not that there’s some magical solution to be found, most likely these folks do not change as they feel nothing wrong with their behavior. As the partner of one you simply must decide how sever your situation is and what you are willing to accept and what your not. Change your reaction to them and sometimes you see an improvement. It is a long, roller coaster ride being married to a covert narcissist.

      • Doug

        Thank you for sharing that Alana. I feel for you as that has to be very difficult and frustrating to endure!

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