I Am Confused

I am upside down and turned about today. So, very confused. I finally told my H that I wanted to move out and he is so upset and he doesn't want me to leave and he is willing to do anything. It is all my fault because I am not recognising his efforts to fix the marriage. He says he only understands now what I want. So, he asked me out on a date. I was shocked, I stumbled about and said sure, (that was yesterday). I thought about it overnight and told him today that I would really like to go and now he says he doesn't think it will be fun because we will just talk about our problems all the way to the movies and then it will be no fun for him. He says he has been really trying, doing little stuff, talking to me about the book he was reading, listening to the news so that he could have a discussion with me about it, buying me a birthday present this year. He has done those things, yes. It just doesn't seem like an effort.He also says that thinking about me is difficult for him because the things of life get in the way and he forgets. He also says he really doesn't like to be with me right now. So, what does he want? He also says he doesn't know if he can actually change, been this way for too long. He says he thought he was being nice to me by not having intimate relations because he didn't think I would want to do what he wanted to do. Then he says he is not really even sure if his fantasies would be what he wants because after all they are just fantasies. I finally, got him to tell me one, nothing out of the ordinary at all. I am so confused. He says he avoided *** and refused to be kind??? I telll him it is not a loving thing to refuse someone and he says he didn't see it that way. Then he says he doesn't find me attractive that way. Then he tells me he has fantasies about me. So, which is real? Why is this happening? People around me are telling me that he is very controlling. Is this what it is about? My EP friends please help.
notalright notalright
6 Responses Jul 6, 2012

I have followed your stories here and I am beginning to think we married the same man, or at the very least they use the same “play book” when communicating.<br />
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Of course you are confused and, he likes it that way. Confusion fosters guilt and self-doubt and so will prevent you from acting in your own best interest in regard to the relationship … or so he hopes. Everything in your post (attributed to him) is either a re-write of reality (gas-lighting) or an attempt to blame you (deflection, defensiveness) or whining-baby “but I thought I was being nice” drivel. HE IS MANIPULATING YOU! And how about this passive-aggressive gem … “I really want to go” on a date but I don’t “think it will be fun” because you will want to “talk about our problems”? MORE MANIPULATION!<br />
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You asked “what does he want” … he wants a “perfect wife” which means a woman who will always reflect his imaginary perfect self-image back to him, an adoring/agreeable woman who has no emotional needs of her own and therefore will not require anything of him. He is most certainly a narcissist, devoid of empathy; he does have emotions (mostly rage and shame) but you will never see them (except through displays of self-pity or anger) because he ruthlessly ignores them.<br />
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I don’t mean to be harsh and I am truly sympathetic to your situation, however you need outside perspective to see the truth because narcissists are expert pretenders and spin-doctors and will manipulate you to the point where you doubt your own sense of reality.

Thank you for your reply, I am glad you are harsh. I get all muddled up when we talk. I just get feeling like I have a good path and he does this reversal and guilt talk. And I feel bad. You really are right on the nose with your comment of what does he want. Are you still with your H? What is going to happen when I leave?

Of course you get “muddled up” (anyone would) because you are conversing with a person who is “making it up as they go”, i.e. inventing reality in real-time. And, if your narcissist is very intelligent (as mine is), then he will be exceptionally good at this. Your best bet is to not engage him in any relationship talk at all and continue with your plans to leave. Or, if you find yourself entrapped in one of these conversations, at his first statement that you know is not in line with the truth say “What?” (insert incredulous tone of voice) and then walk away, refuse to engage in further talk, go and do some other activity, leave the house if you have to.

I cannot tell you what will happen when you leave, all I can say is that one of two things usually happens with a narcissist … they either immediately find another partner (victim) to give them the adoration they crave or they will stalk and plead with you to return to them.

I think this as a clear case of DTMF (Dump the Motherf*cker) as I have ever heard in my entire life. He does not want you, and he never will. I'm sorry. You could do better than this if you were married to a houseplant. DTMF! Life will improve instantaneously.

The excuses and promises never stop.

Excuses, excuses, and even more excuses. Nothing but excuses. It gets old. If he could just listen to himself he would be embarrassed. Maybe.

If your husband is anywhere near as bad as you describe him, why do you consider the marriage worth saving? <br />
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He wants brownie points for talking to you, and buying you a birthday present? On top of that he isn't interested in having sex with you and doesn't find you attractive. Is there anything redeemable about him that keeps you from throwing in the towel?

This is essentially the same story as last time - that time,about the counselling.<br />
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At that point he did all these same things then and was "going to improve" and did **** all, like the time before, and the time before that.<br />
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Here, in the face of a REAL threat to his cosy existence, he reverts to type. Again.<br />
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I think it would be wise to withdraw from the date - after all, he could take one of his many stick books with him and twang off under the table instead.<br />
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It would be wise to re-state your position, wiser still to carry it through.<br />
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And people tell you he's a bit controlling ??? Geez, d'ya reckon ????<br />
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Tread your own path.

Thank you for your comment, I am so grateful for your insights. I know this is not quite believable but I never actually thought of him being controlling, the counsellor first suggested it. I just thought he was a bit of a perfectionist and wanted things done well and he knew how to do things well. The control is subtle and put in the light of just caring about what I am doing and making good decisions. I wonder if the refusal part is about control mainly, but the why is still alluding me. And from all the stories and comments I have read may always allude me. The counsellor says that whys don't matter as long as the behaviour changes but, I don't think you can change a behaviour that you don't understand. Is that true?

I'd say that it probably is true. I'd also say that it doesn't matter a real lot whether its true or not. He IS a manipulative controlling *****. That's the fact. Knowing "why" he is a manipulative controlling ***** doesn't actually advance YOUR agenda in any way. Getting out is what advances YOUR agenda.

thank you again, is it always like this, so confusing. How do you ever really know if you have tried hard enough. He keeps saying I am impatient and not giving him enough time, and I admit, I am protective of myself. I want to leave because it is painful here, I am losing hope he will ever change.

It is good that you are losing hope. As far as this relationship goes, hope is your enemy. And he is playing on your 'hope' with everything he's got.

Is there any pattern to what will happen next? So, when I tell him I have found an apartment, what is he going to say/do? I don't have a clue how he will react. If I find an apartment should I tell him I am leaving the day before? Or should I give him time to adjust? I am really nervous.

This is a personal opinion only. I would tell him precisely nothing. If possible, not even the address of my new place. I would want a clean and definite break and I would not want to see him, talk to him, or have any contact with him at all until such time as I felt that I could have a relationship with him - as my ex - on MY terms. But again, that's me. I ain't you. As regards what will likely happen next ? He will redouble his efforts to bring you back under his control. That is, IF YOU ENGAGE HIM. I would not engage him. He is pretty good at this manipulative stuff. Way better than you are at resisting it.

Thank you bazzar, I really appreciate your reply, unfortunately we have a business together so there will have to be contact but, I will take your advice and keep my mouth shut about moving until it is time. You are absolutely right I am not at all good at resisting the manipulation. I want to make it right even if I leave. Well, in a way I have to find a way, as I said we work together, Thanks again so much

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