Living on a lake, your house is quite busy. If Neighbors weren’t over, friends and family were. It was a fun street to live on. You could always find something to do. As the older couples (OG’s) were moving out, younger families were moving in. There was a good mix, about 50/50 and most of the OG’s that were left had no problem keeping up with the younger couples.
We hosted quite a bit. Sometimes planned and sometimes on a whim. I loved shopping for things that helped make hosting easier. We hosted so much, it made it worth it. Most of the time it was just enough people to fit on our boat. But on the bigger weekends (holidays/birthdays etc), prepping was needed. I would usually clean up the house and dust where needed while my NarcEx got the boat ready. When he was done he would come in and ask me if he could help with anything and I would ask him to get the extra tables and chairs or decorations out, or just what ever could be done now, so that I didn’t have to do it during the party and could actually be able to enjoy conversation.
He would tell me he was on it and would go to (what I was assuming) do what ever we just discussed.
I would continue to go about what ever I was doing to get ready and then at some point realize that nothing was done yet that I thought he went to do… so I would go to see if he needs help and he would just be gone. No where in the house, no where in the yard, not in the boat garage, and not in the boat. The next place I would check is the neighbors…and yup. he’s at a neighbors just hanging out drinking beers.
Okay, the first two times this happened, it was no big deal. He needed a quick break. He would joke tell me he just came for one and he is about finished and we would sit for a minute and talk with the neighbors and we would go back and finish what needed to get done before people started showing up.
Then it started happening all the time. But when I found him, it was no longer “I just came for one” – It was “shhh here she is.”, “oh, I guess the fun is over.” , “here she comes to yell at me.” , etc. I would try to giggle and say something, “I’m not here to yell at you. But I do need your help with a few of the heavier things and I’d like to get it done before people show up.”
And instead of finishing his beer and coming to help me he would tell me that we can do it later, and by “we” he meant “me”.
- I remember one time his friend called him out on that. I asked my NarcEx for help with lifting something now and he said “WE can do it later” and his friend looked at me and said – “He wont help you later after everyone gets here, he will be too busy talking to everyone. And he knows you will just do it on your own.” – I just remember feeling relieved that someone else saw it. So thank you for that. 🙂
Again, like the rest of the things he did to manipulate me, they start out as no big deal. Then all of a sudden they slowly start building up. And I gradually got used to excepting less and less. Then you are the enemy for expecting the same that they gave in the beginning.
We had more than one adult conversation about this. I gave examples when he asked for them and laid it all out. We talked about what I can do and what he can do to prevent this from happening so I don’t have to continue to track him down and look like a bitch in front of the neighbors for expecting him to follow through on things he told me he would do. Nothing worked. And things just got worse. He did it more frequently and tried harder to make me look like I was a nagging bitch.
During the last summer we were together, he did it almost Every. Single. Time. I paid attention to it. I gave him the benefit of the doubt every time and did what ever I could to make sure it didn’t turn into a big fight without feeling like he was walking all over me. I was paying close attention because the summer before, he did it randomly but more often as the summer went on. But anytime I tried to bring it up he had no clue what I was talking about.
I had already tried, multiple times, to bring it to his attention, in loving, non threatening ways. He never acknowledge that he did it on purpose or did it to play mind games. He would say things like – he thought I was making things up to be wrong b/c I have trust issues from my past -or- that I was just looking for something to start a fight about.. We started planning the night before we had big get togethers on what we needed to do the next day to get ready. We would go over what we were going to do on our own and what I needed help with and what he needed help with. I would even ask him to not doing his disappearing trick until everything actually gets done this time “please” and he would act offended I even mentioned it and would pry say something like – “You can never let things go, you always bring up old stuff and make things negative.”
And the next day – GONE!
It’s hard to control your emotions when you have what you think you had an adult conversation with your “spouse” and not less then 24 hours he goes and does exactly what he said he wasn’t going to do and do none of what he said he was going to do. My first reaction is pissed and I want to go up to him and ask him if something is wrong in his head.
But I calmed myself down and reminded myself that YES, yes there is. I had already been learning everything I could about Narcissism. And if what I read is true, then he is doing this to get my reaction and to make me look crazy in front of neighbors. But if he is not a narcissist and you go up to him happy, he will be happy he is not in “trouble” and be loving with you and go help you like he said he would…. So I went looking for him.
As soon as I found him in a neighbors back yard, I could tell he was bound and determined to start a fight between us. As I walked up smiling and waving he said something about the fun was over and was already being super defensive about everything.
It wasn’t that big of a deal to me so I told him, calmly, that “he could come help whenever but I’m going back home to try to do it by myself until he wants to help”. Still in his defensive tone, He started going on about how I never give him a break and how I never can let him enjoy anything. I seriously just laughed under my breath and said bye to the neighbors and walked back toward the house. He had done this so many times before, I knew the drill. I wasn’t going to fight over it and especially not in front of neighbors. And There it was – proof. He did exactly what research on Narcs said he would do. And when I didn’t react like he wanted, he tried harder.
Throughout the couple years that we lived there, there were a couple of neighbors that noticed when he did things like this and though they didn’t speak up to him about it, they did whisper things to me. If you any of you are reading this now. Thank you. I am so grateful that you validated this for me. It was these times that I held on to when he would tell me it was all in my head and I was just trying to make something out of nothing.