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Wife Of A Narcoleptic


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#21 Hank

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 01:45 PM

Just to say this- my wife has ADHD. I love her dealry and she has her own challenges. We have managed to raise three incredible children.

Before my disgnosis, my wife's deficits were largely placed on my undiagnosed shoulders. Her ADHD was the primary challenge that was accommodated. I frequently buckled from carrying my heavy load of undiagnosed Narcolepsy while picking up everything that ADHD rolled down hill to me.

So, this past year and a half since my diagnostic process began (after 5 years of a dismissive misdiagnosis) has been a challenge for my wife. It has not been easy for her to realize that she has been placing added responsibility on me- while I have a more severe illness than she does.

In this last year and a half, my wife has grown enormously and taken on challenges that she has avooided. She has returned to work, she helps with more upkeep of the home and generally runs a tighter ship than ever before. I simply could not continue to shoulder the burden I had been.

So, marriage is not easy. It is hard and takes a lot of work. It requires some hard decisions. Thankfully, my wife and I are finding ways that work. I am thankful that we did not go down in flames.

It is not easy having Narcolepsy. And we have to play the cards we are dealt. If I had known I had Narcolepsy, I would never have married a woman with ADHD. So, I am thankful I did not know- because I adore my wife and cannot imagine my life without her. Sometimes love is a feeling, and sometimes it is a decision. Either way- it takes two imperfect people doing their best for themselves and each other. Marriage is no place for slackers.

#22 Ferret

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 01:45 PM

I thought Hank was right on the mark...
Marry in haste...repent at leisure

#23 ApparentlyNarcoleptic

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 04:17 PM

Just to say this- my wife has ADHD. I love her dealry and she has her own challenges. We have managed to raise three incredible children.

Before my disgnosis, my wife's deficits were largely placed on my undiagnosed shoulders. Her ADHD was the primary challenge that was accommodated. I frequently buckled from carrying my heavy load of undiagnosed Narcolepsy while picking up everything that ADHD rolled down hill to me.

So, this past year and a half since my diagnostic process began (after 5 years of a dismissive misdiagnosis) has been a challenge for my wife. It has not been easy for her to realize that she has been placing added responsibility on me- while I have a more severe illness than she does.

In this last year and a half, my wife has grown enormously and taken on challenges that she has avooided. She has returned to work, she helps with more upkeep of the home and generally runs a tighter ship than ever before. I simply could not continue to shoulder the burden I had been.

So, marriage is not easy. It is hard and takes a lot of work. It requires some hard decisions. Thankfully, my wife and I are finding ways that work. I am thankful that we did not go down in flames.

It is not easy having Narcolepsy. And we have to play the cards we are dealt. If I had known I had Narcolepsy, I would never have married a woman with ADHD. So, I am thankful I did not know- because I adore my wife and cannot imagine my life without her. Sometimes love is a feeling, and sometimes it is a decision. Either way- it takes two imperfect people doing their best for themselves and each other. Marriage is no place for slackers.

 

 

Thank you to everyone who responded.  Especially Hank - the above post meant the most to me.  I posted in a frantic, manic, stressed, crazed state.  I've been friends with my fiance for about 15 years, and he's been part of my family for nearly that long.  Normally he is VERY helpful and supportive.  Just earlier this year I had to have several procedures done on my back and he worked many extra hours in advance just to make sure he could take those days off to bring me to each of my appts, take me home, and take care of me for the rest of each day.  The big problem we have is that he works in politics and has "busy seasons."  Unfortunately, there are times when the busy season lasts longer than it should (do to complications) and now happens to be one of those times.  I understood the 6wks where he was basically not around and working late every single day.  During those times I am willing to pick up the slack and do the extra work at home, and he always does the same for me.  The kitten came during this time.  95% of the year he participates at home, he cleans, he does laundry, runs any errands I ask of him, etc and life is good.  He's not as bad as I, unknowingly, made him sound.  We have a very balanced and wonderful relationship.  It's just that he's wrapped up in this big mess at work and I've got A LOT of added crap right now.  It's usually just the errands, cooking, cleaning, laundry, and cats... I can manage life.  This time around I've also got the kitten and the wedding and a family problem and trying to figure out/cope with the narcolepsy.  Needless to say, I'm pretty freakin stressed right now.  The work thing is out of his control and he's still the low man on the totem pole, so he's basically screwed and has to deal with this.  It's not fair to him, it's not fair to me, and it really just sucks.  I don't think he's had a chance to process the narcolepsy any more than I have - but he's not the one living with it, and some of my symptoms have been getting worse.  I just need for him to understand and have some sympathy.  I can't exactly have this conversation with him when he gets home at 1am and has to be back out at 7am, and then we repeat the same the next day.  I need for this work problem to be over so he and I can figure this out together.  There is no doubt of my love for him nor of his for me and I would never hesitate to marry him.  Not before narcolepsy and not after.  He is truly the love of my life and greater than any man I could have dreamed up.  We have a wonderful partnership but there's just a lot on our plates right now and the interference from his job makes it that much harder.  Right now, much as Hank said above, I'm just starting to buckle under the pressure.  I know that eventually these problems will pass, and I'm waiting for that time.  Thank you all for the advice and support!



#24 DeathRabbit

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 04:50 PM

Well I hope you guys reach an accord. I forget who said it, but someone once said "It's a whole lot easier to argue with people that you hate than people that you love."



#25 Hank

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 05:23 PM

That sounds a bit more like it. I was picturing a sleeveless t-shirt, empty beer cans and a Lazy-boy from your first post.

It is good that you have found a safe place to vent your frustrations.

As you enter your marriage- I will give you some unsolicited advice.

NEVER say anything like your initial post to family or friends. They will not forget what you have said long after you have blown off your steam.

Unfortunately, my relationship with my wife's family has been destroyed by my wife doing just that over months while I was going through medication adjustments and diagnosis. She used her mother to vent her troubles and her mother sent out "prayer requests" about me.

Since I knew my mother in law was a gossip, my wife agreed to share nothing about my medical stuff which dragged on for a year. While my wife share nothing medical, she did not hold back othewise.

On evenings when I could bearly function, I stayed at the gym for a few hours after work because I was so miserable to be around. My wife's mother and her aunt decided that I was having an affair and confronted my wife with their decision. My wife told them I was not but the damage was done. There were other things, of course, but that was the icing on the cake. There has never been apology and some members of my wife's family continued "praying" for my adultery while I was adjusting to medications and coming to terms with my diagnosis. She actually called our neighbor to find out when my car pulled in the driveway. This put a rediculous strain on our family during an already difficult time. We changed the locks to our home and she no longer has a key.

When they all found out about my medical mess (misdiagnosis yada yada) they thought it was a ridiculous cover story for my "affair". It was a nightmare a la Jerry Springer- which is sooo not my style.

That is my anonymous vent.

So, my purpose in saying this is that you are wound tighter than a top. You have some major life stressors hitting you from all sides. You need support and there is very little support for PWN. If you are in NYC, Montefiore has some excellent resources. Find places like this forum, a priest or someone you pay to vent in absolute confidence. You are likely to say things that will never be forgotten- worse yet, you may say things to someone who will tell it to others, who will never forget.

Sorry if I sound preachy- just looking out for you.

#26 ApparentlyNarcoleptic

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 06:43 PM

I ABSOLUTELY AGREE WITH YOU!!!!!  I am very cautious what I say about him to family and friends.  I've dealt with nonsense like that in the past and know what kind of damage can be done.  I'm so sorry you had to go through all of that :-(  

 

My parents and his parents (and probably his sister) know about my diagnosis.  I've been slowly telling my closest friends.  Most people know I'm on new sleep medication - they knew about the old stuff too before N diagnosis.  His family is very Irish and secrets are safe with them.  My family on the other hand is primarily Italian - they are all very nosy and opinionated.  My father keeps insisting that I just need to reset my circadian rhythms and is adamantly pushing me to listen to old radio shows to fall asleep.  He also berates me for the fact that I'm going to need medications of some form for the rest of my life.  Yet on other days he insists that he probably has N too.  I've just distanced myself and try to change the subject if needed.  My mother on the other hand asks me how I'm feeling and how the medication stuff is going.  She's always been the levelheaded, sympathetic, understanding one!  In-laws don't ask any questions.  The only person I have left to talk to is my best friend of 15yrs who is also my maid of honor, and I've been dumping on her enough!  At this point I probably owe her an all expenses paid spa trip!

 

I am in NYC and am going to go google Montefiore RIGHT NOW!  I do feel like I'm getting hit from all sides and it's very frustrating.  Thank you guys for understanding.

 

Side note:  Hank - I have read MANY threads here on the network and you always seem to be the voice of reason!  You are a very intelligent, kind, and sympathetic man.  You provide advice that is cohesive, well phrased, and thoroughly thought through (sorry for the alliteration).  Reading some of the things you've written gives me hope going forward in life.  Thank you for that - and I hope your family knows how awesome you are!



#27 DeathRabbit

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 10:50 AM

That sounds a bit more like it. I was picturing a sleeveless t-shirt, empty beer cans and a Lazy-boy from your first post.

It is good that you have found a safe place to vent your frustrations.

As you enter your marriage- I will give you some unsolicited advice.

NEVER say anything like your initial post to family or friends. They will not forget what you have said long after you have blown off your steam.

Unfortunately, my relationship with my wife's family has been destroyed by my wife doing just that over months while I was going through medication adjustments and diagnosis. She used her mother to vent her troubles and her mother sent out "prayer requests" about me.

Since I knew my mother in law was a gossip, my wife agreed to share nothing about my medical stuff which dragged on for a year. While my wife share nothing medical, she did not hold back othewise.

On evenings when I could bearly function, I stayed at the gym for a few hours after work because I was so miserable to be around. My wife's mother and her aunt decided that I was having an affair and confronted my wife with their decision. My wife told them I was not but the damage was done. There were other things, of course, but that was the icing on the cake. There has never been apology and some members of my wife's family continued "praying" for my adultery while I was adjusting to medications and coming to terms with my diagnosis. She actually called our neighbor to find out when my car pulled in the driveway. This put a rediculous strain on our family during an already difficult time. We changed the locks to our home and she no longer has a key.

When they all found out about my medical mess (misdiagnosis yada yada) they thought it was a ridiculous cover story for my "affair". It was a nightmare a la Jerry Springer- which is sooo not my style.

That is my anonymous vent.

So, my purpose in saying this is that you are wound tighter than a top. You have some major life stressors hitting you from all sides. You need support and there is very little support for PWN. If you are in NYC, Montefiore has some excellent resources. Find places like this forum, a priest or someone you pay to vent in absolute confidence. You are likely to say things that will never be forgotten- worse yet, you may say things to someone who will tell it to others, who will never forget.

Sorry if I sound preachy- just looking out for you.

I would be so royally effing pissed if my in-laws were acting like that. I love how some so called "religious" (I use the word religious in quotes here because I respect truly religious people, but there are those who view the cross as nothing more than an opportunistic weapon to knife their fellow man in the back) people will use the whole "I'm praying for you" thing as a passive-aggressive insult. I don't know how you kept it together. I would have been livid at my wife and would have told her family to GTFO in precisely what those letters stand for. Props to your patience.



#28 NarcWife

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 02:31 AM

This thread is about a year old, so I’m not sure if I should post here or start a new thread. But for the sake of this site’s simplicity and for the other Narcolepsy spouses already on here, I’ll just keep it going. I’ll try to keep it short, but I doubt I’ll succeed.

 

I’m so grateful I found this site. Until now I have relied on my experience with my husband who has narcolepsy to educate me. And we have done great so far. But now….I’m finding that I need a little support from people who “get” it.  So, as Hank says, I will write on here what I would NEVER say to our friends and family. My husband is an amazingly kind, gentle and loving person most of the time. If I shared this with anyone we know, their jaws would drop.

 

I agree with the other posters who say that marriage with a narcoleptic truly requires a partnership. And when things are good, we're a really good team. We really do a pretty good job. I hugely empathize with my husband and try my best to make his life easier. I make sure he has healthy snacks and meals. I organize the house so he doesn’t have to think about where anything is. I consider his need for rest and naps when scheduling family activities. Our son always has easy meals and snacks ready to go so that when he’s in my husband’s care he doesn’t have to think about it. When we’re preparing for travel, I will do everything so that he can rest up as much as possible so he can enjoy himself.  On road trips I never sleep so I can keep an eye on him while he’s driving or I will drive so that he can sleep. I carve out time for his hobbies. I always jump in during the day when I see he is struggling. I see how much narcolepsy eats up his day and I feel so bad for him when he doesn’t get to do all the things he planned on.  

 

My husband is a firefighter…and a naroleptic. He works 24 to 72 hour shifts. During that time, I’m “single” mom to our young son. When he comes home, he is often and understandably tired. When I think I’m going to get a break or have plans, all of it goes out the window and I wind up caring for both him and our son. At times I’m exhausted or sick or I have to cancel my own plans, but I suck it up and do it lovingly because I don’t want to make him feel bad about something that he has no control over. I so look forward to him coming home because I miss him, but sometimes when he’s here I’m lonlier than when he’s not. It’s just the way it is. For better or for worse.

 

Often, he is angry. He tells me he’s not angry at me, but rather the narcolepsy. However his disposition stings, especially when I’ve gone days without seeing him and now I’m waiting on him hand and foot. He’ll refuse to go to bed because he’s trying to muscle it out, but he just gets crankier. Then he’ll fall asleep…on the floor…on the sofa. Our son will try to play with him and then my husband will blow up at him out of frustration. He’ll choose arbitrary discipline because he’s too tired to do it patiently and correctly. He doesn’t see the look on our son’s little face so then I’m comforting our son. When I try to discuss it with my husband, he is unapologetic. He just says, “I was tired.”

 

There seems to be a huge double standard. When my husband is “well” he is very tidy, but when he is in a funk, my house looks like a frat house for me to clean up without complaint. However, when he’s wakeful I get grief for leaving my socks on the floor or there are dishes in the sink.  He’ll get angry when he doesn’t have time to do something he wants and will take it out on me. He just plods along and won’t talk to me. All the while I maintain a cheery disposition to keep the mood up in the house. I understand that he is frustrated and I try to not take it personally. I really do. But it is hard when we get around friends or neighbors and all of a sudden he is his chipper, happy self. Then when we're back in the car he is a crank pot again.

 

When we are late for an event, he will say that I took longer to get ready, not that he fell asleep in the armchair. When he is too tired to hang out with a buddy, he’ll tell them I need him at home.  When he is on a bike ride with a friend and I’m calling his phone, he’ll tell them I’m harping on him rather than admitting that we agreed he’d call me to tell me he’s safe (cataplexy). I feel like I’m getting thrown under the bus all the time when I am busting my ass behind the scenes.

 

When I try to discuss these things with him, he gets self-righteously defensive. Being a firefighter trumps my feelings. Then he doubles down with narcolepsy. When I tell him I don’t think he realizes how much I do, he says I have no idea what he goes through. If I finally get exasperated with trying to get him to see my side and I cry, he tells me I’m having a pity party. At times I feel so defeated and I cry all alone. And I pray. A LOT. I have a therapist and she says I consider his needs TOO much. I feel like I’m just considering the needs of a narcoleptic, I just would like him to be nicer to me.

 

Recently I had surgery. I was out of commission for two weeks. I needed my husband to care for me and our son. I didn’t need anything special. I did all of the shopping, laundry and cleaned the house before surgery. Picked up ,my meds, etc. I arranged play dates for our son so he’d be out of the house for parts of the day. My mom (who is disabled and doesn’t cook) would care for me when my husband is working. I even had a couple of friends who brought meals. It is rare that my husband has to care for ME and I don’t know why I expected him to do it as lovingly as I do for him. But honestly I felt like he was throwing food at a dog. He would just give me what I needed and walk away. No kindness. No company. No sympathy. He said he had things to do around the house before he got tired. When he actually did sit down a couple of times he fell asleep. He was impatient with our son and acted resentful of me and I just had to sit and watch because I was immobile. It's like he hated every moment of it. I'm still recovering and I depend on him for some things and I hate it. It's the most helpless feeling. And again…he’s not angry, he’s just tired.

 

It is hard enough explaining the life of a fire wife to my civilian friends and family, but even harder to explain narcolepsy. I have a huge “honey do” list that never gets done, household issues that never get discussed, needs that never get met. And I’m lonely. So lonely. I can’t reach out for help. Why would I need help when I have a perfectly good husband at home?

 

Right now, I am mad at the narcolepsy. I’m mad it at for taking over my normally wonderful husband’s body and mind and stealing him from our son and I. I am not the perfect wife and I don’t expect him to be a perfect husband. I just sometimes would like a little acknowledgement. A little gratitude. I feel like there is no leeway for me. And, at times, I feel like his narcolepsy is an excuse to treat me shabbily or take me for granted.

 

So, to the married narcoleptics, does narcolepsy cause you to be angry and impatient with your spouses? Are you mean to the ones who love you? Do you know when you’re doing it? I’m not asking to make anyone feel bad. I’m just really trying to understand.



#29 Ferret

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 07:11 AM

Okay sweetie, here's my unvarnished truth.

Your husband is being an a$$hole...and a perfect one at that. You are being an enabler and need to stop kissing his narcoleptic firefighter boots.

Nobody has the right to treat anyone in the manner that your husband is doing. He is walking all over you and using you for a doormat.

As a PWN and cataplexy for nearly 30 years, I am thoroughly ashamed of him. Where is HIS empathy and understanding? As a PWN, he should possess far more of it.

I'm glad that you have a therapist because you need help to develop the courage that will be needed to change this situation.

Stop making excuses for him...just because he's a PWN does not allow him to treat you in this way. Wake UP!



#30 Midoriliem

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 08:29 AM

Here are my thoughts on the topic: I am in a relationship with another woman, who also happens to have a chronic illness.  There are times when she can't do things we've planned or need to do...and there are times when I really can't either.  However, we both try our best, and actually struggling together has brought us closer.  She understands "bad" days and also "good" days when I rapidly try to get overdue tasks done. She gets when my energy dies halfway through that "good" day as well. We're both employed and she's in school.  I bring this up because we both get through with disability accommodations- but we don't use the disabilities as a reason to slack off at work or school.  

Your husband is employed (at a physically demanding job as well).  I can only assume he doesn't pull that crap at work.  I find it hard to believe that anyone would stay employed and act the way you describe- so clearly he can do it sometimes at home.  If he can't, he needs to shift priorities. I may spend my days dealing with N and other disabilities, working, and doing "normal" household maintenance, but I prioritize time with her as well.  If that's not being done...he needs to re-examine what he's doing.



#31 kontxesi

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 01:18 PM

Duuuude. Yeah, he's a jerk. +1 on Ferret's comment for me.

 

Yes, I tend to get snappy when I'm tired. But I KNOW I'm doing it, and if I don't apologize or excuse myself, that makes me a jerk. Narcolepsy is not an excuse to be a turd.

 

 

He sounds a lot like my ex. Whenever discussions about division of household duties came up, the fact that he did construction and I sit on my ass all day in front of a computer came up EVERY TIME. It's completely okay for him to come home and sit in the recliner until bedtime, because he's tired. It's okay for him to be rude because he's tired.

 

The kicker? He didn't have narcolepsy. He is just lazy and manipulative. Narcolepsy isn't making your husband behave that way.



#32 Hank

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 01:37 PM

Ok- here is my 2 cents from the man/husband/father perspective.

 

The pattern in your marriage is unrelated to Narcolepsy.

 

I am responsible for managing my symptoms, emotions and behavior.

 

Yes, of course, everything gets harder when I am wiped out. And it is my responsibility to either prevent that or take care of myself when I have pushed too hard.

 

I don't have a lot of patience when it comes to the "poor me" crowd. And even less patience with excuse makers. I love the adage- " He who excused, accuses". Excuses and accusations are two sides of the same coin.

 

If you are interested in changing the pattern you are participating in, consider a qualified PhD in couples work.



#33 NarcWife

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 07:47 PM

I thank everyone for their input. And I agree that he is responsible for managing himself. Midorilem, you describe it to a "T" his rapidly trying to get tasks done before losing energy. It makes it hard when I feel like my son and I are one of those "tasks." He does have a reputation of acting like a cranky old man at work and they all kind of joke about it. But they're grown men who don't need his love and affection. They just need him to do his job, which he does. When we were dating he had the luxury of coming home and just collapsing. He could even go a couple of days without calling because he was wiped out and needed to catch up on tasks and rest. But now that we're under the same roof it's a different ball game. Like any married couple, once you're cohabitating, all of your flaws are there for the other to see, warts and all. I understand that it's hard for him to be "on" all the time and when he gets home he feels comfortable enough to just be. That could be considered intimacy if it wasn't packaged with such irritation. He tells me that sometimes he tries to muscle through because he doesn't want to let me or my son down by saying no to us when we want to go somewhere or by checking out. But I feel like we pay for it later anyway. Often he will tell me that it's all in my head, that I'm taking it personally and that I need to learn to read him better. I've read on other threads on this site that when having an episode, some narcoleptics can appear to be angry or irritable. When I have a migraine, I know how difficult it is when those around me are expecting me to function and all I want is a dark room. I know what it's like to feel like the day has been wasted. I imagine that's what it's like for a narcoleptic on a daily basis.

 

I guess I am trying to find the fine line between being an understanding wife and a martyred, resentful doormat. He sent me a text today apologizing for being hard on me, that he doesn't know why he does it and that he will work on it. He is open to therapy and has been with me a couple of times. We have had a challenge finding it in the schedule for both of us to be at the same place at the same time with (gasp) childcare. However, it is apparent that we need to make more of a commitment to that path if I am this miserable. 



#34 Ferret

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 09:54 PM

I really do hope that you are able to resolve your problems. Do not delete that text.
If my Dad were alive today, my mum (who has also passed)would have received that text many times over. Always the apologies and the promise that it won't happen again. Alcoholics do it...drug abusers do it...emotional and physical abusers do it. They're always sooorrrrry...after the fact.
My Dad...the funny guy who was always the life of the party was a physical abuser who used my mum for a punching bag on a regular basis...and was always soooorrrry.
Work on it but also set a mental number of times that the problem will be allowed to happen before you take decisive action. Do it before you have more children and are stuck for life. Do it before your son has to experience any more hurts and you are so demoralized emotionally that you are afraid of your own shadow.
It's not your husband's fault that he has N. His behaviour has nothing to do with N but may be the result of the strain of keeping his N a secret at work. Don't know.
And I sincerely hope that you never have to say to your son that you stayed with his Dad all those years because you thought a bad Dad was better than no Dad at all. It probably won't wash with him any more than it did with me.
Best of luck...you're not alone.

#35 purpley

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 11:43 AM

The fact that he's open to therapy is definitely a positive sign, if he's serious.  What's important to recognize is a distinction between someone who's emotionally abusive -- insulting and belittling you, deliberately trying to break down your self-esteem, which is the verbal equivalent of physical battery -- and someone who's irritable, isn't doing his fair share of work and parenting, and isn't taking responsibility for his own childish behavior.  If it's the latter, and he recognizes it's a problem and he's willing to work on it, and you're able to set your own limits, things can definitely get better.  If he's doing the former, that's a much more serious problem.  Someone who doesn't respect you as an equal isn't amenable to change.

 

So one thing that stood out to me in your initial description was that he uses you as an excuse for leaving the house late or to get out of seeing his friends.  It's one thing (still bad, of course) to be acting like a baby and taking you for granted, but it's worse to disrespect you in public.  So stand your ground and make it very clear that it hurts you and undermines your relationship when he does that, and it is never OK.

 

By the way, as for calling him if he doesn't call you to see if he's safe?  Forget it.  If he had an accident he won't be picking up the phone anyway.  If him calling you is part of one of those hundreds of agreements two people in a marriage make, either spoken or unspoken -- e.g., you won't complain about his bike riding even though you think it's a really stupid risk as long as he calls you once during his trips, or, he won't complain about how much you spend on books as long as it's less than $100 a month, or, you'll clean the litter if he walks the dog, etc. -- and he breaks that agreement, don't nag or complain.  Here's what a good therapist would recommend:  Just sit down with him later to check if you both had the same understanding.  If so, the two of you reaffirm the agreement, which would (once you guys get good at this) involve a discussion along the lines of, "It seems like it hasn't been working out too well, what do you think we should do?" or, "Is there anything you think would help you do X in the future?" putting the ball in his court to come up with ways to fulfill his part of the agreement.  If he had a different understanding, then you sit and renegotiate it until you have an agreement you both commit to.  Otherwise, if you try to enforce the rules single-handedly, you get sucked into a game where he pretends you're the one setting the rules, and then he rebels.  Couples set rules as couples.

 

As you can see, the key part here is being able to talk and negotiate well, which is where a good therapist is invaluable -- they help you to learn to communicate like that.  Anyway, just my two cents.  Your mileage may vary.



#36 NarcWife

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 02:10 AM

I'm loving these responses. They're really helping me see all sides which has really been hard to do in my funk.

 

We actually came to the agreement that he would call from his bike rides and such while we were in our therapist's office. And you're right. I didn't do myself any favors by having a hissy fit when he broke the agreement. I will own up to that. This agreement derived from a terrible skiing accident he had a couple of years ago and as you said, he did not call me or answer his phone. I ended up tracking him down at a hospital. I know that whether he calls me or not will not have any bearing on his safety. I realize he's a grown man. It's just a peace of mind thing for me which isn't a lot to ask considering he runs into burning buildings for a living. I like what you have suggested.

 

He's actually great about doing housework. He's certainly not lazy when he is well. And when he is well, he is kind and attentive. But when he is having a lull or a bad day (which seems to be a majority of the time these days) I'm understanding when he lets things go. I'm fine with picking up the slack.That isn't reciprocated and he is quite critical of me. My issue is the moodiness and irritability. The anger and the excuses for that anger. I feel like all I do is consider his energy levels and he still is aggravated and grumpy. It's like I'm waiting for the day when I am either "good enough" or I can just become immune to his disappointment.

 

Specifically this morning I knew his energy levels were low today so I cancelled my plans. I also arranged for a ride to my doctor's appointment (can't drive right now) so that he could just stay home and rest without any pressure. But he insisted on driving me and keeping our son busy. But he was STILL cranky at me later in the day saying he was exhausted and his day was wasted. Nobody twisted his arm. He chose to do it even though I gave him an out. I can't win for losing.

 

Just this evening we were invited to breakfast tomorrow morning. His automatic response was that it would be "too hard" to do with our son. That isn't the truth. Our son does just fine eating out and we do it all the time. I know that the truth is my husband just wants to take it easy in the morning without any obligations or expectations. I am fine with that. He needs it and deserves it. But perhaps he's so accustomed to people not "getting it" that he uses us as an excuse? He doesn't ever want to be the reason to let anybody down.

 

I don't want to bash my husband. He's a good man, but he has little self-awareness. It seems the common theme in both of these scenarios is the expectations of him. He doesn't want to be the bad guy. I'm really hoping we can work these things out in therapy. I was just trying to get a handle from those who "live it" on how much of this is the narcolepsy and how much of this is just plain emotional recklessness.