But not a newbie to this situation (or affliction). I know from reading the site and similar sites that I was married to a narcissist who is the fatehr of my child. When I realized that that wasn't going to work in the raising of our child, it was clear that I needed to raise her on my own (he was travelling all the time anyway to affect distance anyway). It was sort of made simpler because he was gone so often and she was used to him not really being there, just sort of a peripheral presence that happened to be "Daddy".
However, I did meet someone who seemed so interested in me and my daughter, was always so adoring and accepting and very judgmental of my now ex-husband. He called me every day, emailed me several times a day, he flooded me with attention and when we were together adoration and affection and wonderful sex! I did not introduce him to my daughter for many, many months on end for obvious reasons as I thought maybe this was goign to be jsut a fling because it jsut seemed too good to be true and did not want my daughter thinking she had a new dad, only to be taken away again. But after many many many months, we seemed to be getting more serious, spent more time together and eventually they met. She was still young but talking and it was a little touchy at first. She was not used to sharing her mommy with anyone. Plus she always kind of wanted her "Daddy" to come home anyway (understandably).
As the years have gone by, we have had our ups and downs but he really seemed to prove a loving dad and caring man for the most part. He moved in with me 2 years ago, maybe more, and we married... Well when we had our mutual homes, things were easier. When he moved in with me, things had to become more suited to him. He stopped worrying about going out with me and now mainly goes out with his buddies every weekend despite my begging for "date-nights" etc. He has become increasingly obsessed with his hairstyles lol (no kidding!) and gets his hair cut every week to 2 weeks. He is a fashion perfectionist. He insists on telling me what to wear and how to wear my hair and is relentless with how my daughter dresses and wears her hair as well.
I started realizing that he was exhibiting controlling behavior and although I can protest, it was not in my daughter's scope of choice being "the child" in the situation. Now I am not even supposed to open the blinds becuz he hates the sunlight pouring in the house! When I do anyway, he protests, mutters crap under his breath and sulks. He has withdrawn all affection from me pretty much. And mealtimes are hellish for me because he gets in such an unpleasant mood that he sulks at every meal and continually gets on to my daughter about eating her food with her mouth open. He used to get onto me about my fork clicking on my teeth occasionally til I told him it was ridiculous and unreasonable. But again, my daughter is sort of a helpless bystander to this criticism.
I have protested in hopes to protect her from this crap and now we bicker incessantly which also is not good for her to witness. I already treat him as a child in the morning when he is telling her what to wear etc by calling him into another room stating that I need to have a word with him. At least I am doing that. but it is a constant and I am so tired of this banter. And the fact that I have to beg for affection has made me feel so sad and depressed that I have lost interest in working out and going out with friends. He used to incessantly chat with other women and fantasize about that but has stopped doing it as much as it was givign me sever anxiety attacks.
I am now on Lexapro so I can go home and deal with him every day but we still have horrible fights. On the weekends, he teases me and my daughter constantly which is a way of not being intimate so to speak, always putting up boundaries. He never wants to go out to eat where I want to go, it's always where he wants to go. He never wants to go to concerts that i buy tickets for, but I am EXPECTED to go with him for the ones that he likes!
I am so depressed now I can hardly function. I feel a tremendous amount of guilt and responsibility that I took my daughter away from one elusive, narcisstic father only to bring in a new dominating, controlling narcissistic step-father. Now I jsut want a divorce but my mom is telling me to seek counselling until we know for sure he cannot change. Until thenm how do I deal with him and his moods, controlling behaviors etc?
I have already started to work on not caring so much about his moods and sulking, manipulative fits. We have actually been in counselling for a while, marriage and individual counselling. I go pretty frequently to help me cope but our marriage counsellor was very negative and all he ever talked about was divorce which depressed me even more. But he did do something interesting, he insisted on pressing my husband why he felt it ok to tell me what to wear but not care what I told him what to wear. My husband puts on a very good front/face for counsellors I have come to learn.
Ns are beguiling I am learning (or conversely downright disdainful which my ex was). Everyone loves my current husband and thinks he is so nice and wonderful etc and I should be happy I have such a good husband and father. What they do not see is this other side that wreaks havoc on my peaceful sensibilities. But every now and then this side takes control of him when we are out and a few of my girlfriends have noticed it and were pretty alarmed at how pissed off he seemed to be.
They've said wow I can see why you say that brings you down. I don't even wanna be around him now when he is acting like that. They are like...why? I'm like... I don't know. Maybe because he doesn't like what I'm wearing, what my daughter is wearing, or how she might be acting, or that his hair did not go quite as well as he wanted. A myriad of reasons to which I never know. It's always something. They say, that can't be good for your daughter. To which of course I agree.
So last night, I came home and read your posts. I felt better (and empowered!) and I was very cool and disarmed. I did not go out of my way to be warm and friendly which I normally am, I came in and stated that I did not like how he threw everything around the house and would he please clean up after himself. He made dinner to which I helped but I was distant. I told myself that I don't have to worry about being this way, he never worries about being distant from me. He said wow you're in a mood! I said o no not at all, just keeping to myself kind of like how you always do. He said ok, fair enough. And then I said very matter-of-factly, "o and by the way, you will no longer address our daughter at mealtimes regarding her eating. I will do that from now on. Say nothing at all. Is that understood?" Well, that certainly got his attention! He said "Yes understood. I'm happy not to." LIE! And when dinner rolled around what a chipper pleasant man sitting across from me. A different person I'd say! I said "Wow how pleasant you are this evening! What a nice change. Do you think you can be like this more often, it beats the norm". He said "It can quickly change trust me". I said "O no I much prefer this." to which he said "I cannot be like this all the time." To which I said "Well then next time when I make you aware of how unpleasant you are being, you will no longer deny it and say that it is my imagination because you will know and understand that it is indeed the OPPOSITE of how you are behaving now...which is PLEASANT and therefore a nice change".
He was loving to me all night. He was kind and he was complimentary. He was sweet and playful with my daughter. He was doing damage control I'd guess. And this is what I have been falling for every time. But last night, I was wiser and less reactive emotionally meaning I did not fall for this act this time only to see that other more frequent man-child rear its ugly head again.
It's tough to wake up and realize you are not in a romantic marriage but a manipulative and too-often difficult one where I am expected to play a game AT ALL TIMES and at ANY GIVEN TIME to receive love and affection. He has evidently chosen a needy woman w/ low self-esteem issues due to the break-up of my first marriage and he plays me (unwittingly perhaps but nonetheless). I can no longer be needy. The less I care about and for him it seems the better off I will be...and after all it seems he set it up this way anyway. It almost seems like the N sabotages himself and his relationships himself. But why???