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  • Writer's pictureThe Other Mother

Marriage Limbo

I'm not sure if I am interpreting the Instagram algorithm properly, but after about 20 posts regarding my marriage and my feelings, I have seen 80-90% of my "for you," reels turn into posts about narcissists and how to spot one.


I think I am married to a narcissist, but I also think I have become one. I am not the person I want to be right now and I can be a cranky bitch about it sometimes. Same for my husband, he can be a wonderful man and he is a very involved and loving father, but there are too many traits that scream narcissism for me to ignore it. Based on the volume of comments, this seems like a more prominent problem than I realized.


My situation is not unique, but my perspective might be. I want to look at these warning signs and see if I should run for the hills, or figure this shit out.


Signs of a Narcissist:

  1. Sense of Entitlement.

  2. Manipulative or Controlling behavior

  3. Need for praise or admiration

  4. Lack of Empathy

  5. Arrogance

In Addition, Signs of Narcissism in Parents:

  1. Need to be center of attention

  2. Immature and Selfish

  3. Aversion to personal accountability

  4. Little concern for others feelings

  5. Play favorites with the children

  6. Manipulative or Controlling behavior

  7. Love for the Children is conditional

  8. Frequent criticism

  9. Limit family time together

  10. They can be emotional but no one else can

  11. Codependent and poor boundaries

  12. Expect partner to be the caregiver

  13. Gaslight their children and spouse


I was going to try and connect all of these to our relationship, but that feels like I'm looking to start shit or vent in a toxic way. Without too much detail, there are too many traits that I have had personal experience with on this list, and that's enough of a red flag.


The ones that hurt the most though, I need to vent a bit.


Control or Criticism.

I. Fucking. Hate. This. I have been in this relationship for 20 years, 2004-2024. We have only been married for 13, but I have spent over half of my life with this person. I find myself watching him at movies, concerts, weddings, and family gatherings, just to make sure he is having a good time. I am very aware of his moods in every part of my day and I know when he is pissed, irritated, unhappy, goofy, manic, depressed. I KNOW HIM. I WATCH HIM. I wonder how much of my identity is wrapped up in his approval.


I don't remember the last time we were in the car and I got to pick the music. Even on the home stereo, when I pick music, I know he will make some sarcastic and undermining comment about it when he walks in the room. "Whats this shit?" or some variation of that. But it's a joke, I cant take it personally, I need to lighten up. (ooooooozzzziiinngggg sarcasm here).

We don't go to restaurants that are new very often, he doesn't like risking bad service or an expensive let down. But taco bell at 1 am is a sure bet.


The worst of it is when the kids and I are happily occupied and there is a peace over the house, and as soon as he walks in, I know its about to become chaos.


What do I mean? Oh, allow me to explain. I am organizing the pantry, the kids are watching a movie with a snack and the house is calm. Husband walks in from outside, reeking of weed, looks at what I'm doing and says I'm making an unnecessary mess and there are better, more important chores I could be doing. Then he will go to the kids and see the movie on, make a comment about how their brains are rotting and then turn the movie off (without transitioning the kids or giving a warning) and then when the kids throw a tantrum, he will say, "see? the movies spoil them and turn them into brats."


You think I am exaggerating, but it happens at meal times, Sunday afternoons, beach days, birthday parties and family functions. I am so sick and tired of family and friends texting me after events, "hey, is he ok? are you ok?" Not fucking really.


I don't know if it was his dads passing that amplified these traits, and maybe I need to give him more time, but in my mind, when you are suffering a great loss, you lean on those you love. You confide in them and nurture the relationship to be sure no time is wasted.


I do not feel cherished, he does not feel respected. And I have no fucking clue how to move forward when he thinks therapy is a crock of shit.

My Therapist told me to stay in my lane. Focus on being the right person and if he cant grow with me, then I will out grow him.


I feels cruel, that he should lose a father and his wife in the same six months. But then I remember when my step father died, and we were living with my grandma who was developing dementia, he supported me by stealing money and getting addicted to opioids.


Maybe I should have left then? But then I wouldn't have my beautiful children. I would do it all over again if it meant I would get to keep them in the end.


What a fucking sob story. I really am funny as shit and a great friend and coworker and I am not always such a weepy bitch, I just feel like my life needs to change in a major way and I hope he wants a change too.


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regynacolleen
27 mar

I feel for you. I live with someone exactly like this and he is not a romantic partner. But nonetheless a narcissist and does all of the above nearly exactly as described minus the children and with the pets. And not with weed or opioids but alcohol. IT IS ROUGH. hang in there. Praying for you, me and everyone and anyone else dealing with shitty people that don’t have a clue and don’t want to try and get a clue. But your kids deserve the funny, happy mom that you say you are. Not the bitchy, cranky mom you are unfortunately are becoming. Good luck you sweet angel pie, dumpling.

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Other Mother
01 abr
Contestando a

Thank you for your thoughts. We are still in the thick of it. Today was a big holiday and he was on his best behavior, but I cant help feeling that it will all go back to the way it was when he gets tired of putting on the show, so to speak. It will take along time before I stop waiting for the old behavior to appear. He wants to move on quickly, and I get that. Life is short and we never know how much time we get together. But I will move forward when I'm damn ready. I hope you are doing well, even without kids or the romantic aspect, its hard to second guess the mood…

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