I find that, when it comes to certain topics, narcissist are notoriously vague. It would drive me crazy that my husband would never be specific about his plans or goals, etc. Then, recently, the real truth hit me like a ton of bricks. The #detail-phobic narcissist isn’t trying to withhold info from ME…he’s doing it to protect his own ego from the disappointment which would inevitably come when forced to measure oneself by specific and concrete criteria.
Confused? Let me explain.
I recently asked my husband if he would engage in a very positive and productive activity called, “life planning”. I explained that, not only would this activity help him to gain clarity as to what, exactly, his life goals were but, it would also help him to clarify exactly what type of man he wanted to be, and what kind of legacy he wanted to leave behind.
He seemed willing enough to take part in my proposed activity. That is, until I explained further that this “life plan” would give him concrete evidence that I was an asset to his life. That I was a source of support and encouragement and NOT, as is the most recent smear against my character, “just wanting to see him fail”.
I knew that, through setting measurable and specific goals, he would have quantifiable proof that he had the ability to accomplish MORE with me as his wife, than he would without. Granted, these may have been pretty arrogant claims but, that was the whole point.
See, I know that my husband already knows all of the above. He KNOWS his life is greatly improved by having me in it. My influence has uplifted him. It’s had positive effects on him. He knows this- even if he hates it.
The only reason anyone seems to think otherwise is that he stopped accepting any influence from me, played couch commando for the past two years but, then, needed someone to take the fall for his failures. I was the perfect scapegoat.
I’m sure it won’t surprise you to hear that, though he exhibited significant enthusiasm toward the suggestion of life-planning, it has been almost a month since I mentioned it, and he has yet to complete the task with me. It took three weeks just to set a date to do it. And the two nights we actually sat down to create the plan, he started a fight (on BOTH nights) so that we weren’t able to continue with the plan.
Now, why would he do that?
Hmmm, simple. He doesn’t WANT proof that I enhance his life. If he had specific, measurable ways to validate my positive effect on his life, he would no longer have me to blame for his failures. Also, when attempting to describe the kind of person he wanted to be, things like “a good person”, “good husband” and “good father” we’re on his list. But, when pressed to elaborate on what those concepts meant, he would not give any specific details.
That is what, ultimately, lit the light bulb over my head.
Of COURSE, he doesn’t want to detail what “a good husband” means to him. He’d be forced to list specific qualities like, “honest, loving, dependable, caring, protective, etc” and then, when measured against his own behavior, he knows he’d fall short….by miles.
His ability to claim the title “Good husband” would be shot to hell. And, he’d have no one to blame but himself. Funny how he also refused to detail his ideas of what “good father” and “good person” meant…. don’t you think?
Narcissists hate details because, whether in claiming
to be ‘a good person’ or, having achieved wild success, personal accountability is always in the details.
I didn’t let him off easy (but, you already knew I wouldn’t, didn’t you? LOL) Screw that. Lately, he’d been regressing back toward his standard, entitled-asshole behavior. So, I did not find myself in a very benevolent mood on the occasion. I minced no words.
“Do NOT think it isn’t pathetically obvious that you refuse to do this life plan because, then you’d be forced to acknowledge the multitude of ways your life is benefited by having me as a wife, and you’d also be forced to admit that your army of shortcomings have nothing whatsoever to do with me. But, don’t worry. The fact that now that I know, you know…. Well, that’s more than satisfying enough for me.”
Oh, how I wish I’d had a camera. The look on his face was priceless.
~The Narcissist’s Wife