Monday, January 04, 2021
This article got me really "noodling" about one of Sybil's manipulation tactics. She love to try to stay one step ahead of people and get them to do her bidding.
"I cannot do this anymore," sobbed Sybil.
I hear this about every 6 weeks to two months, generally. Sybil is going to quit, move out, anything to get away from me. I am a terrible person. I do not engage with her at level she demands. We never just sit around and talk. She refuses to have a marriage just like my parents: just co-habitating. No real connection. So Sybil is at the end of her rope, again, and she can no longer live like this.
Except she does.
Sybil has not left, yet. She threatens...often. I have lost count on how many times she has threatened. It is always the same thing: she will threaten, I will think of our son, and I will cave in by saying the magic words. While I realize I am dealing with an emotionally immature person that, while intelligent, seems to be able to delude herself with ease.
My parents marriage was a success. They had their ups and downs, and I remember some terrible arguments. However, they stayed married for 54 years. They would still be married if my father had not passed away. I would say that is pretty successful. They produced two children that are contributing members of society. They were in love. I do not mean the Disney perversion of love. I mean the deep connection love. If my marriage is as successful as my parents, then I will be blessed.
Her parents marriage is a success, I guess. They have been married longer than my parents were. However, Sybil's mother is controlling and abusive in a similar manner as Sybil. Maybe more so. There is one instance where the FIL threw some baby bottles away without the MIL's permission. The MIL, literally, physically assaulted the FIL. Phone calls were made, and the children had to drive in to help quell the situation. While Sybil likes to focus on my parents' marriage; her parents' marriage may be far more dysfunctional than my parents'. They cannot stand each other but are locked into a death struggle because they are responsible for a disabled child.
I have few hobbies; I spend all of my time either working or being with Sybil. That is still not enough. Narcissists will, over time, isolate their victims to the point that they no longer have any friends or anything outside of the marriage. I have two hobbies: working out and DnD. Working out means having to get up very early to do it, so she does not feel neglected. With DnD I spend less than ten hours a month playing at someone's house. There is no drinking, profanity, any other nonsense and is played on a Saturday night, but I am not where Sybil can see me. Therefore, it is bad. When I get home, Sybil starts making comments about how long I'm gone. She knows better than to come out and say it, but she wants to manipulate me into not going anymore.
Sadly, I have come to realize this all a means towards manipulation. Sybil wants to be in control. She hates surprises. She wants to be in control of those closest to her because she is so insecure. Her main tactic is manipulation either with words or deeds. She knows I have strong obligation and duty traits and uses these traits against me. While I can complain about it all day long, ultimately I am the one feeding the beast. Every time I allow her to manipulate me into doing her bidding, I reinforce her bad behavior. The only way to stand firm and just say "no."
Monday, December 14, 2020
I am very frustrated...at my self. After all of this time, I still fall in traps set by Sybil and allow myself to manipulated. This past weekend brought into stark contrast how little depth she has.
I was planning on going to play DnD (topic of another post). Because of recently having an employee test positive with COVID, Sybil has really become more stringent. She started making little noises about me going to someone else's house to play. Sadly, I gave her ample opportunity to use her emotional blackmail to manipulate me. The day prior to the argument, the massage chair she ordered had finally arrived and was assembled (another post). She claimed the right of using it first. Now, she was not making it much of a priority, really. I had an opportunity to use the chair, so I did. She commented on how rude I was to use the chair first when she "called it". I explained that I saw an opportunity and took it, but agreed that it was thoughtless of me and could understand her irritation.
The day of DnD comes. Sybil asks if I am still going to which I tell her that I am. Instead of using a direct tactic (something she rarely does), she starts in with how could I go? I should realize that I need to stay and make up for what happened the day prior. I did not work to show her how contrite I am. I am totally selfish because all I could think about was going to someone's house and not be with her. Her "depth" of emotion eventually gave way to tears and even threats of divorce. All because of me not re-apologizing and working to make her feel better for using the chair first. All because I did not give her every ounce of energy I have. I was just not a good person because I wanted to go do something that she is not involved in. Let me repeat: Threats. Of. Divorce. I did what any weak willed man would do...I caved. I did not go. I spent the rest of the day with her and Son #3.
While my lack of backbone is galling enough, the next day I did what Sybil demanded that I do: I checked in with her. First thing. I asked how she was doing. She starts talking about how the massage chair (she did finally use it) really helped her. She felt pretty good. I asked how she is emotionally after the day prior's conversation. Judging by her reaction, she had totally forgotten it. I let myself be manipulated. I let myself be sucked into her "crocodile tears". In doing so, I reinforced (again) that she can be dominant and get her way. Her reaction brought into focus how superficial it all is; how meaningless it is. I would think that threatening your spouse with divorce would mean that you are really serious about things. In my mind divorce is kind of like murder. Apparently, not so for Sybil. The whole rest of the day she was happiest I have seen her in a long time.
For me, I am very angry and disappointed in myself. This toxic relationship has become something that is like a deadweight. While I knew that Sybil was superficial, this episode really revealed how superficial she is. To go from threatening divorce the one day and, literally, less than 24 hours later not even really thinking about it, is mind boggling. Yet, I cannot fault her. I am the one that has reinforced this behavior over the years. I am the one that let's her trample over my boundaries. I am the one that refuses to call her bluff. I have to be the one that is willing to say, "You know, that's a good idea. I think we should divorce."
Tuesday, December 08, 2020
As we all know by now, life with a narcissist can be a challenge. Every. Single. Conversation. Is about them. If the conversation isn't about them, be patient because it soon will be. They will manipulate you to, somehow, get a reaction from you. This will "recharge" their battery, as they are emotional vampires.
Over the years I have struggled with a very diminished libido. A combination of age and stress with living with Sybil, have seemingly robbed me of desire. Adding a lack of reciprocation on Sybil's part only seems to cement this downward spiral. For example, Sybil loves attention that a back rub with lotion gives her. In her mind the excitement and joy of my touching her is all that is needed to start my motor. In reality, she does nothing to me: she does not touch me and while she is being administered to, she is looking at Fakebook. Eventually, this leaves me empty and feeling like a schmuck. These feelings add to my stress with Sybil. Before anyone asks...I have told Sybil, but she chooses to continue.
I write this to set up last night's conversation. I am so powerful that I can alter Sybil's biology. See, we have not had sex in about 2 months. This lack sex caused her monthly period to come early. While she did not overtly say so, it is my fault. I explained that possibly entering menopause may cause her periods to become irregular. Instead of accepting even a modicum of responsibility, she claimed that entering menopause is from lack of sex (she's 49 years old). Ridiculous does not begin to describe it.
I have the power to alter someone's physiology. I am all powerful. Sadly, the root cause will never be fixed: combination of age and stress kill any desire. Sybil never wants to own any responsibility for her role in this situation. She will never see that constant conflict, complaining, negativity, lack of respect, and just general lack of seeming to care only compounds the situation. Same stuff different day.
Monday, October 26, 2020
Normal ups and downs of life. Curves are shallow. Less of them.
Monday, September 21, 2020
Maybe someday I'll stop getting sucked into Sybil's drama. Yesterday was not that day.
Sybil mentioned that she needed to talk to me about something. I waited until we had a quiet moment and reminded her. I know...I know...big mistake. The thing is...I knew better. I knew that we cannot have a civil discussion on things that are kind of personal. This was no exception.
Here are the details of the latest episode:
We were supposed to go to a friend's house to pick grapes as he is an amateur wine maker. We were anticipating a day of fun and frivolity. The weather was going to be perfect. The day before he text to cancel, since the weather was so good they decided to go camping, instead.
We called the kids that may be going to let them know. Not a big deal. I'm not surprised he flaked. Generally, he does whatever he wants, but one is welcome to come along. Sybil announced that she would like to talk to me later about something. Naturally, I knew this was not going to be to tell how much she loved me and appreciated being married to me.
So...last night I reminded her about her request to talk later. Turns out that Sybil was letting me know that if I wanted to these fun things (camping, hiking, canoeing, etc) then I needed to work to make her "feel safe". This left me quite confused. We have had this discussion before. I questioned Sybil to ascertain why she was bringing this up, as I had not even mentioned anything about camping or doing anything "risky" (I'm not sure how risky canoeing in calm water is but that's another thing). She kind of dodged the question and, basically, repeated herself to let me know that I have to work to assuage her fears about doing anything "adventurous". I expressed confusion, because we have had this discussion before and I thought it was resolved. Sybil just kept repeating herself that I must make her feel safe. Finally and this is what touched my last nerve she said that when I received word of our friend flaking and the reason (camping); I seemed happy. I was smiling or whatever. I explained, that I may have been but not because I wanted to go camping (generally speaking I do but that never crossed my mind) but because he flaked...as expected. I thought it was funny that he invited us over and then canceled because something better came along. I was irritated at Sybil because without confirming (something she HATES) she assumed (something she HATES) and prejudged me. I hate hypocrisy with a passion.
Basically, this is a form of control. Sybil exerts her neurosis and uses that as a cudgel to control my actions. I will never be able to allay her fears enough to do anything. So like the mighty Atlas, I have more and more placed on my shoulders. If I want to involve the family in these outings, I must take on her fears and somehow slay them. Anything outside of her comfort zone causes a lot stress and anxiety for her. Sybil has to have things planned not only to a "T" but also to her liking. The concept that someone can plan something differently than others is an anathema to her. I think that is an impossible task. What if I, simply, shrug?
Monday, July 13, 2020
First of all, any woman contemplating becoming a wife should read this article. I checked off about 7 out of 10 things that Sybil does on a routine basis. Mainly she just creates a ton of drama. This has not changed, nor do I expect it to. We are the same people. I have started working on myself over the years, so I work very hard to keep it together. Still, she knows all of my buttons and knows how to push them. I still struggle maintaining Grey Rock and Medium Chill. I know that I am delaying the inevitable. The center cannot hold. A relationship cannot remain, if one person keeps creating drama.
An easy example, yesterday I came to Sybil to discuss the plans for the day. I told her that I need to mow the grass at the office and the rental house. It was 10:30 in the morning and I should be done a little after lunch. My simple, innocent suggestion was the wrong thing. See, I did not include her. It was only what I wanted to do, and I did not include her. Therefore, that proves that I only care about what I want; I could care less about her. So...this led to a day long argument with the chores being done at a much later time. Because of her drama, we wasted the whole day. We didn't start the chores until 5 pm and by the time we finished we barely had time to eat dinner.
This episode encapsulates our lives. We have wasted, literally, years over petty bickering because Sybil was triggered. It feels like that she must know where I am and what I am doing at all times. She must feel included in the decision making process. Sybil has no concept of division of labor. In this grass mowing incident, we could have gotten the chores done (hers and mine) and still had time for a relaxing afternoon. Sadly, she was triggered, so we had a tense most of the day, followed by completing the most of the (not all) of the mowing. The day ended with her finding something else to complain about me.
Throughout all of this, I have realized I am a massive cautionary tale. A huge joke. I have become that shining example of what not to do. I know there are ways to extricate myself, and I believe that will happen. There is only so much someone can take.