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."