Yeah, I know, I'm blaming her and not focusing on myself, but it's my blog.
My wife is a narcissist, in the psychiatric sense. Lord no, she'd never seek such a diagnosis. But I need to say out loud just what I have to deal with.
Narcissists act proud, but basically, they are the opposite. Something in her past (and I have been given some hints on what, perhaps) made her very afraid, unable to control her own safety. So, she craves control. She belittles others, especially those around her who might thwart her wishes. She builds herself up, both in her own words and by demanding compliments from us. She's snobbish: everyone outside our family is "lower" in some inexplicable way; yet, she often uses qualities she sees in them to "guilt" us into doing something she thinks we should. She doesn't care if she isn't consistent from one day to the next. That does not matter, simply because what she needs now is all that is important. And she's the best "projector" I've ever met: she says most of these same things about me, so often that I start to think they're true, sometimes.
Now, why did I go through what might seem to be a simple wife-bashing exercise? Because the obvious next question is, why do I stay with her?
I doubt that it's love. And after that, all the alternatives are rather chilling: I must be using her cruelly (for something I don't understand), lying to her about why I stay, and I'm either oblivious or a great self-deceiver.
No wonder that some days, I don't want to be me.