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Old 03-29-2013, 07:08 PM
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Do y'all mind if I vent?

Ah has always had issues hearing about my friends who are sick, or have cancer, or have needs, etc. he made it very clear while with the therapist that he doesn't want to hear anymore updates about my friend and her cancer.

I am the type of person that is always willing to bring meals, walk people's dogs, get their mail, whatever especially if there is a specific need.

Anyway, one of ah's friends is seriously ill. Ah went to visit him in the hospital today and asked the wife what they needed. She said cooked meals would be nice so AH volunteered me to bring over food because he's going to be out of town this next week(I'm actually out of town myself until Monday night). He volunteered me without asking me and, quite frankly, I'm a bit perturbed. I am totally willing to help these folks even though I've only met the husband a handful of times and have never met the wife. I don't even know where they live!

I guess there's a part of me that feels some sort of injustice becaus he never cared about my friend's needs but his friends get my home cooked food? Wtf? Can you tell I'm just stumped. He kept telling me that he knows I'm busy but I can just cook extra of what I'm making at home. Seriously? I wasn't even planning on cooking this next week since he's out of town and our son's activities are during dinner so I was going to do takeout. How do I talk to him about this without starting WW3? I figure I need to drop it and I have to ask myself "how important is it?" but I really just needed to dump my frustration and I certainly didn't want to tell my son why I had to pick my jaw up off the floor. Am I out of line?
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:13 PM
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No, you're not out of line. He stepped over the line. He shouldn't be making any commitments for you whatsoever. You are not an extension of him, and he needs to understand that.

How about asking him to have food delivered from a good restaurant since you're out of town, too?

Or you could just do something for the family, just because of who you are and what your values are, but make it clear to your AH "never again" without your specific permission prior to his even suggesting to someone else that you'll do something.

He really does have boundary issues, doesn't he? Actually, it goes beyond boundaries and gets into sovereignty. Sounds like the narcissistic thing that "other people exist as an extension of me, and can be use to fulfil my needs whenever I want".

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Old 03-29-2013, 08:31 PM
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No reason to start WW3...just say simply, "You really should have checked with me first because cooking doesn't fit in with my plans this week." Then leave the room.
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:55 PM
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Definitely a boundary issue...we're not doormats to As, let alone their associates. Submitting to their requests just makes them push the boundaries even further, leaving us frustrated and resentful.

Perhaps something like 'unfortunately I've got other commitments to attend to this week, and won't quite be able to fit it in, I'm happy to help next time, I just need a bit of notice beforehand'.
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Old 03-30-2013, 05:58 AM
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Tit for tat doesn't work in relationships. Is it that he made the commitment or is that he has no interest in helping out with your friends? Is it because it wasn't your idea? Did husband volunteer you because he is being an Ass or because he was simply doing what people do in times of illness which is to support each other?

Pick and choose your battles. If its an issue for you to do it then I would tell him since he is home this weekend to purchase some pre-cooked meals and deliver them before he leaves.

If its really not an issue and it just makes you mad that he doesn't offer equal support then I would most likely get over myself and help the folks.

Husbands, even non-A ones, are known to commit their wives to such deeds LOL.
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:42 AM
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"No reason to start WW3...just say simply, "You really should have checked with me first because cooking doesn't fit in with my plans this week." Then leave the room"

I agree with this sentiment. What he volunteered you for (without your permission!) is not your business.

You are not his employee nor are you his indentured servant. Let him handle the logistics of bringing dinner over to this family.
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:43 AM
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Honestly, Liz, I am surprised that you seem surprised at his gall. This is certainly not the first instance of his showing jaw-dropping disregard for you.

You have shared how much you have read in the literature. You seem to have an intellectual grasp on NARCISSISM (discussed it m any ti m es on this forum).

Why does his narcissism still seem to surprise you???

Curiously,

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Old 03-30-2013, 07:38 AM
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It's the typical set up from him.

He graciously offers support and help, he looks like a champ, you make the boundry or can't come through, you look like a chump, unchristian, etc... etc.. etc..

Give him your recipe for lasagna and let him have at it.
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by redatlanta View Post
Tit for tat doesn't work in relationships. Is it that he made the commitment or is that he has no interest in helping out with your friends? Is it because it wasn't your idea? Did husband volunteer you because he is being an Ass or because he was simply doing what people do in times of illness which is to support each other?

Pick and choose your battles. If its an issue for you to do it then I would tell him since he is home this weekend to purchase some pre-cooked meals and deliver them before he leaves.

If its really not an issue and it just makes you mad that he doesn't offer equal support then I would most likely get over myself and help the folks.

Husbands, even non-A ones, are known to commit their wives to such deeds LOL.
To answer your question, it's both. His attitude about my friend's cancer was bordering on rage where he went on and on about how she brought it on herself. It was awful. It also brings to light his attitude about my son's friend who passed away in the fall and how my son didn't want to tell ah because of the reaction he thought he would get.

He admitted in therapy that he is not a compassionate person yet I think he is. He just seems to pick and choose who he will be compassionate to. I mean, he gave mouth to mouth to a dying man 2 weeks ago while my son watched. My son helped roll the guy over and this man's opponent gave chest compressions. The man died while my son watched and my ah truly did heroic efforts to try to save him before the paramedics came. This was at a public tennis facility.

I guess what I find befuddling is that he seems to be a walking contradiction. Sometimes his words don't match his behavior and sometimes they do.

As for the food, I already agreed but I am going to pick up food at an Italian place. I really don't have the time this week. I figure it's the thought that counts.
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:22 AM
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Dear Liz, please see my above post. Same ole behavior--different day.

Sincerely, dandylion
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Old 03-30-2013, 09:27 AM
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Narcissists do things for their own benefit. He says he's not compassionate. Listen to him. I think the truth bears this out.

Narcissists see their family members as extensions of them. That's why he's so free to volunteer your services and unhappy when you do it yourself. There's a personal benefit to him looking good for his friends through your acts of service. When you do it for your friends, there is no benefit to him, it's wasted resources.

Why give mouth to mouth to a stranger? A narcissist never passes up the opportunity to look like a hero. If looking like a hero means enlisting his wife to do things without her input, so be it.

I see you struggling with acceptance. I'm surprised that you're still surprised at his lack of consideration for you. He's a narcissist. This is how it works.
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Old 03-30-2013, 09:30 AM
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Also, the narcissism, if he's truly NPD, will not get better through treatment. Personality disorders are hardwired through neglected, mind****ed childhoods, broken parents, and preexisting genetic traits. You either learn how to live under his thumb, or you have to leave him. This doesn't get better.
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Old 03-30-2013, 09:41 AM
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Hello Liza...I'm sorry to hear about your husband's clear double standard, but I'm not particularly surpised by it considering all you have said about his behavior in the past. Vent away all you need!
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Old 03-30-2013, 09:44 AM
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Liz, many alcoholics struggle with empathy regarding other sick individuals. It's the victim mentality like "no one cares about me so I don't care about others".
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Old 03-30-2013, 09:47 AM
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Having lived with and worked for a narcissist for years, I agree with Florence and dandylion. This behavior will not change, no matter how talented they are at manipulating people (you, the therapist) to believe that they will. Burning that bridge with my narcissist was like taking off a corset I didn't even know I was wearing; I could finally breathe again and my life is so much better for it. Although my body had been trying to tell me (a constant pit in my stomach), I had no idea how miserable I was until I was out of it.
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Old 03-30-2013, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Justfor1 View Post
Liz, many alcoholics struggle with empathy regarding other sick individuals. It's the victim mentality like "no one cares about me so I don't care about others".
My dad was like this. Honestly, the more I learn about my AH, the more I see my dad. Stuff I missed when I was younger or couldn't figure out why I was upset with him. It's all starting to come together, my past and my present.
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Old 03-30-2013, 02:24 PM
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How very caring and compassionate of him to offer to help them, and then not have to do anything....

tjp's answer is perfect.

L
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:26 PM
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If you are interested in helping out this family, I suggest you do an end-run around your husband's "heroism," and contact them yourself. Develop your own relationship with them, check in with what they might need, and then you are all clear: this is you, helping out a family in need while your husband is out of town. Or, contact them and tell them yr. husband committed you w/o checking & see if they can make other arrangements, as your husband is not planning on fulfilling the commitment himself.

The best solution to a narcissistic A is to NEVER let them be an intermediary in your relationships. They lie, distort, manipulate and charm.....and end up looking amazing while everyone else seems like lesser beings. Frustrating, but if you keep checking in with the other people, the frustration will disappear. Well, for a moment at least!
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:51 PM
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Nope. Your ah shouldnt volunteer you for something without consulting you first however People make mistakes and perhapse because of your caring nature and involvement with your friends he assumed it would be fine with you. An assumption that was incorrect and a mistake made by many including myself with my ah as I have volunteered him and made arrangements for us before and realized my mistake after.
Were all human. That happens in relationships furthermore its different to not care about other people or their problems until it hits closer to home ie your friends vs his.
This may be a learning curve for him 1. His friends have gone through things and hes involved so he needs to learn to understand your involvement with your friends and 2. To consult you first hand.
In my opinion I would make a simple small meal for them (even before dinner time and bring it up there when you can. Its for them not your ah) if you can and then afterwords affirm to him to communicate with you first
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:57 PM
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How typical of an A. If it was under a different circumstance I would prob. not do it and let him look like an idiot for saying yes or make him run around getting it together. Since it is for someone who is really sick and needs the help however, I would do it but have a serious talk with him about how it is not appropriate or acceptable to promise things for you to do. Def. need to make some boundaries known and not give him since he'll just keep stepping all over you unfortunately
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