I received this comment yesterday and I am making it into a stand alone post because I think it is so vitally important for everyone, even people without children. Here is the comment from Martina.
“It’s crazy how similar everyone’s story is. Mine crashed two vehicles withing a one month span. One there was a “bee” in the car and the other he thinks he dropped his smoke … I say he’s full of shit. He had no license so no insurance was paid. We also had two cars “stolen”. It a life full of problems with an N. I’m trying so hard to get out … it’s the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to face but coming has been a great help. Right now he lives in our dinning room on an inflatable matress … his choice. He doesn’t seem to care that his two little girls are suffering through this. They tell me, “Mommy if you just say sorry everything will be OK” but they don’t understand that I have done nothing to be sorry for … other than stand my ground. Sorry … I’m rambling.”
And my reply.
Martina, first I want to thank you for commenting and say I am so sorry you are going through this, I know first hand how painful and difficult it is AND never apologize for rambling, there is no such thing here. That is what this blog is for, for people to come and share their pain and confusion and hopefully get the strength and answers to change their lives for the better. We have all been where you are; some of us are still there, many are at some point between where you are and finding happiness and some who have discovered their power and are living lives worth living because they are living true to themselves.
What stood out to me about your comment was this statement.
“Mommy if you just say sorry everything will be OK”
That breaks my heart. Not because they don’t understand that you have done nothing to be sorry for, but because they think it is the woman’s role to make the man happy. They believe if you sacrifice your happiness everything will be ok. That their feelings don’t matter and that they feel they are responsibility for their own abuse because if they “just said sorry” the abuse would stop.
What hope do they have of ever having a healthy, loving and respectful relationship with a man? They will either be doormats, turning themselves inside out in order to get and keep a man or they will be a closed off bitch who has built a wall around herself in order to avoid the vulnerability of true love.
I know you are not solely to blame for this, there are two parents raising these girls; unfortunately their father is getting exactly what he wants, his girls thinking that his happiness supercedes anything else and they are ganging up on you to “just comply” and everything would be alright.
Think about what you want for your daughters, if you saw them in a relationship like yours what would you say to them?
If they believe now that saying sorry will fix everything, imagine how warped their view of loving relationships will be by the time they are in their 20’s.
But all is not lost!! Although you have no control over the kind of person your husband is and you had no idea when you got pregnant what he was going to be like as a father; you didn’t even know evil people like this existed. You have spent how ever many years trying to save your marriage and long before you picked up on the fact that you were even being abused he has been whittling away at your self confidence and taking away your control. But now that you know what you are dealing with you have control over what you allow into your life and how your children grow up.
It is a scary prospect to take back control of your life but I can think of no better motivation than knowing you are teaching your daughters how to be a strong, independent women and that their feelings DO matter and they DO deserve respect and they DO have choices, and the right to say NO. Love never hurts, love doesn’t require one person to sacrifice all for the happiness of the other person.
I read a long time ago that we teach people how to treat us and it is the truth, as hard as that is to accept; because it sounds like I am blaming the victim, but I’m not, not totally anyway. In the case of a narcissist none of us knew what we were getting into and at first they treated us very well and we felt it only fair to compromise on issues and give the benefit of doubt because they had (appeared) to love us unconditionally and we wanted to reciprocate. We didn’t realize it was the start of a slow and methodical plot to destroy our self worth and uniqueness. For the first time in our lives we felt loved for exactly who we were, when in truth he despised or was jealous of who we were and wanted to exploit it. By the time we realized we had lost our power we were in too deep to just walk away. It is hard to extricate ourselves and unfortunately we are not the only one’s who suffer damage, it’s everyone in our lives, including children.
The children of a narcissist have a tough road in life at the best of times but when they are raised with the N in the home it invariably causes major emotions scars and they end up with a lifetime legacy if they don’t get help. They don’t even have to get involved with a narcissist, they just have no idea how to give without giving away their identity. The victims that have the hardest time pulling away from the narcissist and dealing with the rejection of the N are the people who were raised by a narcissist, either mother or father. Having an N for a parent is perfect training for ending up in an abusive relationship later in life.
Your responsibility as a mother is to model how a woman should expect to be treated and not accept less. It will be hard at first because they have been influenced by their father their whole life. I would recommend you and the girls find a good family therapist who has dealt with narcissists (they HAVE to be familiar with narcissists, otherwise you are wasting your time and money) and you go without your husband with the purpose of leaving. I would not tell your husband what your plan is because then he will put on the “I’ve changed” act and it will be even more confusing for the girls.
I don’t envy you the position you are in because it is hard enough to leave a narcissist let alone I am sure you are afraid that if you leave their father your girls will turn against you and believe me, he will try to turn them against you and has been already planting seeds in their heads about how life would be perfect if you weren’t so difficult.
It may seem you are between a rock and a hard place, if you leave you take the chance of your children taking his side and turning against you or you live a life of jumping through hoops, having your feelings ignored and being treated with disrespect while your daughters watch and learn. What you choose to do is your decision alone.
You know it isn’t healthy for your daughters, your husband doesn’t care and never will care; right now, by sleeping in the dining room he is getting exactly what he wants, he is literally the centre of the whole family. (hard to ignore someone’s temper tantrum and pouting when they are laying in the middle of the dining room table, at least you won’t have to pass the turkey this Thanksgiving, it’s already on the table) Sorry, I am sure he isn’t sleeping on the table, I just had this visual of him playing the victim and everyone trying to eat dinner while he pouts and throws a hissy fit about how mean you are.
Like I said I don’t know how old your girls are but depending on their ages I would explain to them that you have nothing to be sorry about and no one should ever allow themselves to be bullied into doing or saying anything. You can NOT take the advice of your children on how to deal with your marriage, but they should not be in the position of feeling they need to give advice. They are children, they should be concerned with Barbie’s, baby dolls, bed time stories and tea parties and not how to make daddy and mommy happy. Children are always happier and healthier in a home with one happy and self confident parent than in a home with constant fighting and discord. Statistics show that children from abusive homes are more likely to drop out of school, get pregnant, get into drugs, alcohol, and have more illness and lower grades and that doesn’t take into account the baggage they pack into adulthood and their relationships. I am not meaning to place this all on your shoulders because it is largely your husband’s fault, but he doesn’t care, so it has to fall on you.
No matter what you choose to do, please; find a good therapist for your girls.
Good luck and I will pray for you and your girls. You are welcome to rant/ramble any time you like, there are a lot of people in here more than willing to offer words of advice or just provide a shoulder to cry on.