I've been married now for almost 7 years. My husband and I had a whirlwind of courtship and were married within three months of knowing each other. He was unlike anyone I had ever known: confident, full of passion and dreams, and had a drive to know me on my most intimate levels as a person. No one had ever dared to go into the depths of my heart to see who I really am. I was swept off my feet.
Before we were married, we agreed on "traditional" roles as husband and wife. I remember that he was very particular about how he wanted the house to be kept and for myself, I was somewhat laid back on housekeeping. My husband encouraged me on how to do things "better," and I strove to do things as he asked. Encouragement became coaching, and then coaching became "fathering," and fathering I believe turned to emotional abuse. Criticism became rampant in our home, and the feeling of peace seemed to elude us. There were even times that my husband has eluded questions I've asked about our finances. He got so angry with me one time that as I was trying to leave, he blocked me and cornered me in the apartment and said, "Don't you dare walk out on me!"
Unfortunately, I did not realize that I was being emotionally abused until just a few weeks ago. Amdist medication, personal studies to alleviate anxiety and depression, support from prayer and Bible study, I continued to have panic attacks and a sickening feeling in my stomach. People that I have known for years have said that I've changed, but can't pinpoint what has changed me...now I am learning. As I began to search online, I was led to sites that talked about abuse and other personality disorders. I have found so many people with stories similar to mine that now I am feeling discouraged.
My husband and I have seen counselors individually and as a couple off and on now for 4 years. Recently, I allowed my counselor to read a portion of my journal, and after asking several questions he believes I may be codependent and my husband narcissisistic. I have had other mentors and personal friends/family members that I trust and hold in high regards tell me that I need to separate.
We have two children under the age of 4. I currently do not work outside of the home, and I am concerned about our financial condition. If my husband truly has NPD, I would like to be prepared for all possible scenarios. I have been trusting in God and seeking Him in this. I need guidance. I hope that there is someone out there who may be able to listen, pray, and maybe share a personal experience or story that can encourage and help me. I know that not everyone's scenarios are the same, but it seems like there are many characteristics that are similar!
I have been known in my life as being the encourager and supporter of so many. I am reaching out for some now, in faith, and hoping that the Lord will use you, the reader, to help, and be His instrument to minister to me. Please pray for me and my husband, and our children.
My emotions have gone from wanting to please, to hope, to not caring, to depression, to anger, to anxiety, and so many other ranges. I've felt like I've been on a hamster wheel, as our arguments and "conversations" have been rehashed topics over and over and over and over again. Even last night he spoke to me in respectful tones and talked about how maybe if I take a course in communication that our talks will improve. I have grown tired and weary. I see our children have suffered and been adversely affected.
I have read Boundaries in Marriage and it is a wonderful book. I hope to apply some of the principles in the book to our marriage before I make any moves. I really don't want to seek divorce! I am, however, contemplating a legal separation.
My husband has avoided me and the children for much of our days together. He says it's because I have "distanced" him from them, by living in my own bubble with just me and them. He told me that he doesn't want to be jealous of his own children, but that he feels if things continue as they are he may be one day. His support of the children are usually to play with them for about 5 minutes in the morning, and 30 minutes at night. I am the primary caregiver (cleaning, feeding, educating, disciplining, etc.) for them.
I have encouraged my husband to talk to Christian men whom he's been building relationships with, but he has told me that he doesn't want to talk to them because he doesn't want to "put me in a bad light." He is unaware that I found e-mails on his computer where he has discussed how I've been feeling with a lady he goes to school with. My counselor knows the lady's family well, and he doesn't believe there is an affair there. The point is, though, to me, that he should not be discussing so deep a level of our relationship with a female, regardless of if she is or is not emotionally involved and a friend with him. Because he may have NPD, I am really not comfortable confronting him about this, because I feel that I may be accused or blamed or subject to rage.
He has occupied himself with work and home projects. He tells me that he's doing it for us to have a comfortable and peaceful space, but I feel like it's an avoidance tactic. When I want to talk to him now, it's almost like I'm a secretary tracking down a CEO of a major corporation to get "an appointment" with him. I know this is NOT how God intended marriage to be!
But as for me, afflicted and in pain—
may your salvation, God, protect me.
Psalm 69:29 (NIV)
P.S. THANK you for reading this long post!!!!