Friday, December 23, 2016

Figurative flamethrowers...

My husband, Bill, is a very kind, caring, and patient man.  Although the Shrink4Men would probably not approve of how much he spoils and coddles me, I appreciate all he does to keep me happy.  I want nothing but the best for him and do all I can to help him live a good life.  That's why I push him to stand up for himself when he's been wronged.

If you've been reading this blog recently, you might have read about how my husband's ex wife and ex kids seem to passively drop into our lives on occasion.  I notice that their "visits" seem to happen around the holidays-- Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, and this year, our anniversary.  I know they know when our anniversary is, because it happens to be on Bill's ex stepson's birthday.  I did not know it was his birthday when I set the date.  If I had known at the time, I would have chosen a different date out of respect for him.  Now I would have chosen a different date because I wouldn't want to share our anniversary with Bill's ex stepson's birthday.

There have been multiple intrusions over the years.  Ex goes underground for awhile, then resurfaces in a passive aggressive way to show us that she's still around.  She never engages Bill directly anymore, since the last time she did, she didn't get the passive response she was used to.  I think if she thought he and I had split up, she'd try again.  She's so narcissistic that she thinks she knows Bill intimately and probably figures I'm behind the more assertive way he behaves now.  It doesn't occur to her that he's simply gotten healthier now that he's no longer breathing her toxic fumes.  

Ex used to rattle her saber herself, but I've noticed that over the past few years, she's been getting her spawn to do it.  They are much more likely to be accepted than she is.  At first, former stepson was engaging.  Now it's younger ex daughter, and she doesn't engage us-- she engages Bill's father and stepmother, who are easier targets than we are.

Make no mistake about it, though.  It's really Bill she wants.  She's happy to have a connection with his dad and stepmom, but when it comes down to it, what she really wants is her original source of narcissistic supply.  And that's Bill.  I wouldn't say she necessarily wants to get back together.  She doesn't love him.  In fact, she doesn't love anyone.  She sees people as possessions and Bill is simply a piece of property that she once discarded.  He is now healthy, happy, and largely recovered.  My guess is that she knows it and it drives her crazy.  She just wants her toy back so she can play with it and eventually break it again.

One thing to know about people who have NPD is that they never let anyone go completely.  They may give you the silent treatment or engage in shunning, but they always eventually come back, like a stubborn cancer.  They are always looking for narcissistic supply.  My theory is that ex decided to get the kids to disown Bill and, for awhile, she got them to disown their grandparents.  But now they're coming back, just as I once predicted they would.  It would seem to me that if Bill was really the terrible person they claim he is-- so terrible that he needs to be banished from their lives-- they wouldn't want to risk being in contact with the rest of his family, whom they know still talk to him.  But we know they don't really feel that way about Bill.  They expect to reconnect with him at some point, somehow.  Not because they love and miss him, but because he has things they want.  I should say-- he has things Ex and ex younger daughter want.  Older ex daughter truly does leave us alone and I would probably be much more inclined to trust her.  She has a personality more like Bill's.

I know that Bill's ex younger daughter has seen Bill on Facebook.  She doesn't have him blocked, although she did tell Bill's father a few years ago that she didn't want to know about him.  Bill's dad, being a bit too softhearted and addlebrained for his own good, went along with that.  He was absolutely thrilled to talk to his granddaughter again, which was exactly what Ex was counting on.  Because Bill has a connection with his father and Ex knows he won't go no contact with his dad, she uses the kids to maintain a connection to Bill.  I'm pretty sure that's what's happening now.  All narcissists employ "flying monkeys" to do their dirty work.  Ex is no exception and that's what her kids have become, as have others in Bill's family.

Well... my sweet husband told me last night that he had a vivid dream the other day that has inspired him.  He had the dream after we had a bit of a spirited discussion about this situation that keeps coming up during the most stressful time of the year.  He said that this year, he's going to take action.  For the first time, I saw a very naughty, deliciously sexy expression on my husband's face... it was an expression of confidence.  He is someone who, when it comes to his children, has nothing at all to lose.  Bill is a very smart guy who is very benign.  But lurking beneath that gentle exterior is someone who is a lot tougher and craftier than most people give him credit for.

What he does will be like a figurative flamethrower.  We may not have the satisfaction of actually seeing the direct results, but there will be results.  If I were a betting woman, I would bet that the results will be acutely experienced by everyone in Ex's sphere and it will send a powerful message to them.  And, for once, they will have an unwelcome intrusion from him at Christmas time.

Any confirmation of the end results of this will likely come from someone in Bill's family.  Again, if I'm guessing, I'd say Bill's stepmother will send us a nastygram of some sort.  Or if he calls them on Christmas, he'll hear about it.  Who knows?  But it's high time something was done to put an end to the bullshit, once and for all.  Either you're in the family, or you're out.  Families can be together forever, right?  

Oh... and by the way...  once all of this goes down, you can bet that I'll get the blame for it.  Because Bill used to be a lot more cooperative in taking shit from his ex wife and that made things "easier" for everyone else.  Now that he's no longer so willing to take abuse, they end up having to take it.  And they think that I'm the cause of the change.  Maybe I did influence him somewhat, but ultimately this is Bill's plan and it will be Bill who takes action, not me.  I don't control him.  I support him.  It's time they got yet another powerful message from Bill.  Maybe this time, it will sink in and things will finally change for the better.


  1. Hello Knotty,

    I enjoy reading your blogs, particularly your travel blog. You seem like a lovely person. I've noticed that things have gotten a bit dark on this site and that makes me sad because I can tell how painful your husband's situation with his children is for you. It must be terrible to deal with. I myself am estranged from my father by my own choice. Lots of reasons for this and too much to go into any detail here, but suffice to say he was physically and emotionally abusive as a father and husband and an unfaithful husband to boot. I chose to cut him out of my life as an adult for my own sanity. Quite a different situation than the one your husband is in, of course. I do stay in contact with my father's side of the family and I wonder if I might offer an alternate viewpoint to his daughter's actions? Your husband's ex sounds like an absolute monster and he is well rid of her. But is it possible that the daughter may be keeping in contact with her father's parents because she enjoys maintaining that connection and there is no purposeful intent to hurt your husband?

  2. I stay in contact with both my father's sister and her family and his mother because they are my family too and I love them. I have never thought about whether or not maintaining these relationships hurt my father or his wife largely because I don't think about my father or his wife. I am an adult, I am not an extension of my father, and I am free to associate with the people I choose to associate with, regardless of what anyone else may think. I do tend to reach out to my aunt, cousins, and grandmother around the holidays you mentioned in your post chiefly because that is when one reaches out to the family and friends one loves. In doing so, there is no intent on my part to "get back at" my father or cause him harm. I'm merely maintaining the family bonds that I cherish. I understand completely that you love and support your husband in his situation with his children, as you should. I just wonder if you've ever thought that there may not be intent to cause harm to your husband when your husband's daughter reaches out to relatives they have in common? As for the daughter mentioning to the parents that she wants no contact with her father, I recall saying something similar to my aunt and grandmother. Not with the expectation that what I said would get back to my father, but rather to be crystal clear with my boundaries from the outset. I can't control what they do or don't share with my father, of course, but to my knowledge there's not been any sort of drama over my choosing to maintain relationships with my aunt, cousins, and grandmother.

  3. Having said that, I definitely acknowledge that our situations are different. My mother is happily remarried and, to my knowledge, rarely if ever thinks about my father. I suppose it's possible that she does think of him, though it's been years since she's even brought him up in conversation so I think it's unlikely. I don't know your husband's ex, from what little I've gleaned from this site she sounds quite a bit different from my own mother and, for that, I am truly grateful. Maybe you could cut the daughter a teensy bit of slack? It can't be an easy situation to have a mother like your husband's ex to deal with. You mentioned in another post that the daughter got married so perhaps I'm wrong, but she sounds quite young to me. I would hate to think that the things I did as a kid would be held against me. Like most teenagers, I was a disrespectful nightmare. I flatter myself that I've grown into being a caring and compassionate adult. So perhaps there is hope for your husband's daughter? All of this is by way of saying that maybe, just maybe she doesn't have intent to hurt your husband. And maybe she'll even grow up and find her way, whether she decides for herself that includes your husband or not. My own, thoroughly unsolicited opinion, is that if it upsets your husband as much as it seems it does to hear/read updates about his daughter’s life, he should stay off of Facebook for his own sanity and yours. And set his own clear boundaries with his parents by letting them know he doesn’t want to hear updates about his daughter. Not knowing your husband, I can’t say for sure, but it seems as though he has the power to solve the problem. Perhaps not in the way he wants to, but at least it would be a productive way to bring a measure of peace on this issue to both of your lives.

    I wish you, your husband, and your dogs a very Merry Christmas! I hope it is a beautiful holiday for all of you!

  4. My apologies for the lengthy separate postings. I'm afraid that I'm thoroughly computer illiterate.

    1. Hi Math Maven,

      You have written a lot, so I think it would be easiest for me to respond in a separate post. Stay tuned.


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