I was watching a video about narcissists by a self proclaimed “self aware” narcissist. He described how narc’s don’t think about things the way other people do. According to him, they see people as tools to get what they want. “Good” or “bad” doesn’t really exist to them anymore than a lion sees a gazelle as good or bad. It’s just food.
In their minds, the “good” things you do to them don’t have any bearing on whether or not you deserve any specific kind of treatment they may give to you. Relationships are more about utility(as in do you meet their needs, expectations, desires) than about love.
I do think STBXW definitely exhibits narcissistic traits. I think she lacks self awareness and real sympathy. I think she can sort of act it out, but I think everything goes back in relation to her. I don’t think that she feels things deeply and sort of objectifies the people in her life. I really shouldn’t take what she did/does as personal because she doesn’t really look at things from a good or bad perspective. It’s more like, what is the best means to get me what I want.
Because she always made decent money and bought generally whatever she wanted, I used to go out of my way to find thoughtful gifts for her. As an example, I bought her a pandora charm bracelet once for mother’s day and the goal was to put new charm on it every mother’s day. Each charm would represent something significant that happened that year. One year, During her affair, for mother’s day, we (kiddo and I) brought her a charm with a globe on it…..because this is when she first told us of her love of ‘travel.’ She seemed to swoon over it. She loved it. “Or so she said”. Because she was knee deep up her affair parnter’s ass. She left it home and rarely spoke on it. She never even put the charm on the bracelet. One year later, kiddo and and I decided to play a prank and give the same charm. It was still in the same box. When she got it….once again she was was like “awww, this so beautiful”….” l love it!”….. she didn’t even notice or realize that it was the same one we got for her a year ago. We got a good laugh out of it and gave her another charm….. but this is just one example of how i think that she can really fake it, but not really feel it….as far as I know that charm is still in the box all these years later.
I used to write her heartfelt emails and letters when we were in honeymoon phase love. Never got one back in return. That should have been a red flag. Our wedding was a beautiful day for me at the time. I thought she also actually felt it in a deep way as well. But now, based on the way she handled the charm and other thoughtful gifts I got her. And the way she so carelessly and easily discarded our family with little to no remorse or guilt…..despite us not having any REAL maritial problems. Without even fighting for it…… Along with several conversations we’ve had about love, life, family….etc. Plus she never bought me anything very ‘thoughtful’ except maybe a pack of socks (which tbh I was grateful because I needed some at the time). I am starting to see that she truly does NOT think about things in a way that I would. It appears that her mentality is very much self serving.
It’s small things like if she’s in bed and I come into the room, I’ll turn on the closet light as to disturb her as little as possible….on the other hand, if I’m in the bed and she comes in, she turns on the main light…..and my even leave it on when she leaves back out of the room. If I ask her to get me my favorite bag of chips, she’ll return with something else….on the other hand, I took note of her favorite items or snacks and would get them for her if I made a store run.
That said, it’s really no wonder that the small, yet significant times we’ve had meant so little to her. This could explain how she is/was so easy to throw everything away without a second thought. I thought that my thoughtfulness in the ways I treated her would mean something to her. I didn’t keep score as I knew she had a selfish streak in her…..i chalked it up to her being an “only child”. But I’ve come to realize that she doesn’t place much significance on those types of things. Whereas I think I do….at least when it came to our family. To me it was OURS to make the best and most of it. It was truly a blessing in my eyes. I think she just saw it as an accomplishment to wear like a badge or something. To put it in martial arts terms…..I’d think that if she got a McDojo black belt by paying for it over the couse of 2 years, but learned little or nothing, she’d really treasure it…..but I probably wouldn’t place much merit in it. ( Maybe our “love languages” are just too different.
That said, perhaps it is best that we do split. Even though she doesn’t have to experience things as deeply as I did…..i would think that it would be beneficial if we both did. I’d think that it would be a type of glue to keep us bound….even in hard times or in the face of temptation. I think that because she didn’t /doesn’t feel that way, then we cannot overcome the storms that life throws our way.
In the end, i think that I would like to find someone who can actually experience life on a deeper level. STBXW’s way seems much more superficial. It just cannot work for me as she’d never really appreciate me nor treat me in a way that I’d like to actually be treated. If not for her infidelities and desire to leave, I think that I would have been content to deal with it. I’m not a person who believes in ‘deserves’ as in I’d trade my loved one in for a “better” model. I do have my limits though and she unceremoniosly crossed both of them. So given the opportunity for a fresh start, I think that if I ever do the relationship thing again, one of my desires is to be with someone who can actually….ya know….feel something.