The Battle of Going Out

We do not like you to socialise without us. Why would you want to be anywhere other than by our side marvelling at how brilliant we are? Why on earth would you want to spend time with someone who is clearly inferior to us? What are you up to by going out with someone else? You are clearly being disloyal and that does not please us. Moreover, you are not providing us with any fuel by asserting some form of independence and that is a terrible and selfish thing for you to do. We do not like you to spend time with other people since we fear that they exert some malign influence over you. We know they will be trying to undermine us in your eyes and turn you against us. We know it is because they are jealous of what we have together and rather than be pleased for you, they are smearing my good name. You want to listen to them as well, otherwise why would you be going? Our careful and structured control of you, our calculated isolation of you, all stand to be damaged by your socialising with those who we have not got control over. We tried but for some reasons there are two or three of your friends who proved immune to our charm. I should feel sorry for them since they are selfish, bitter and twisted, but I don’t feel sorry for them because I don’t feel sorry do I, only for myself. I want you with me, where I can keep an eye on you and control you. I want you here where you are supplying me with fuel. This is your rightful place and by organising to go out for your meal with these friends you are telling me that I am not good enough to spend time with. You are criticising me and that wounds me. I have to stop you wounding me. I have to stop you going. I have to maintain the upper hand. Thus because of your selfish behaviour the Battle of Going Out is joined.

“You never said that you were going out,” I begin as I see you getting ready in the bathroom. You halt applying your make-up and turn to me.

“Yes I did, I told you last week and again this morning.”

“No you didn’t.”

“Yes I did, I remember.”

“No you did not. I would have remembered if you had told me,” I answer.

” I put it on the calendar.” You walk to the kitchen and return holding a calendar with the words ‘Girls meal out – Leonardos’.

“See?” you ask and jab a finger at the words.

“That? I thought that was referring to your nieces, not you, you never said.”

“Seriously? Come on, why would my nieces be going to Leonardo’s on their own?” you ask.

“You’ve just written that in when you were fetching the calendar. Look, the ink is still drying.”

You sigh in exasperation.

“I told you about it, it is in the calendar. I have not been out in weeks.”

“Well neither have I,” I comment.

“What? You were out last Friday,” you answer voice rising.

“That was with work.”

“It was still going out,” you reply.

“That is not the same. You know I have to schmooze clients, it is hardly pleasure. I have to do that for business reasons so I think you are being unfair by saying that is a night out for me.”

“Those clients you were out with are your friends, it was a right piss up.”

“Oh sorry, I forgot, you were there weren’t you, you know all about how I conduct my business don’t you?” I declare.

“No I don’t but they are your friends.”

“So I am not allowed to have clients who are friends now am I? Jesus, why don’t you just stop me from having any friends at all eh? Why not stop me going anywhere? You would like that wouldn’t you? Just having me stuck in here all the time.”

“What are you talking about, I let you do as you please.”

“No you don’t. You are determined to keep me on a leash. My friends take the piss out of me for how little time I get to spend with them.”

You halt your application of the lipstick.

“Who has said that?”

“Several people. Jim, Richard and John. They say I am under the thumb.”

“Huh, they have a cheek, Jim is completely under the thumb of Jessica.”

“No he’s not, but you just change the subject why don’t you. You should be staying in with me you never want to do that anymore.”

“Don’t be silly, I am with you most of the time. Look it is just an informal meal with a few of my friends, it is no big deal.”

“If it is not important then why do you have to go?”

“Because I want to,” you answer.

“Where are you going?”

“You know that Leonardo’s.”

“Really? Who with?”

“Jane, Sarah, Mary and Stephanie, oh and Carrie.”

“I don’t believe you, you have just made that up.”

“What? No I haven’t.”

“You are meeting a man aren’t you? Come on who is it?”

“No you are being stupid.”

“Don’t call me stupid. I am not the one going out and leaving their other half on their own,” I begin to shout and you jolt at the sudden change in volume.

“You are up to something, you have a different perfume on. Who is he?”

“Seriously, you are paranoid, I am meeting the girls.”

“No I am not, who do you think you are saying that to me, you are messing around. I know you are. You have been acting strangely the last few weeks. I know you are. Admit it,” I move towards you and stand over you barking into your face. You back away, eyes widening fearfully.

“I haven’t, honestly, I haven’t.”

“I should let you go anyway you whore, I don’t know why  I bother with you. I was planning a pleasant evening in for us. I was going to cook you your favourite and I have a delicious bottle of Chablis chilling but as usual you are being selfish.”

“Please don’t shout at me, I am just going out with my friends, I am allowed to have some friends aren’t I?”

“Not those harpies, they have it in for me, I hate them. I hate you.”

“Oh please don’t be like that, look I will be back by ten at the latest so we can still have some time together,” you suggest.

“Is that supposed to make me feel pleased? Why would I want to spend time with you, you slut. I see, you want to have your way with him and then rub it in my face. You are such a bitch.”

You have backed away from my tirade, wincing with each bellowed sentence. This allows me to snatch up your clutch bag.

“You can’t go out with no keys and no money,” I say holding the bag aloft.

“Please I only want to see my friends, I rarely see them as it is, please give me my bag back, why are you being so horrible?”

“Because you are cheating on me. I am not having you spend our money on some other man.”

“There is no other man, how many times do I have to tell you? Please let me go.”

“No. You are not going. You are staying here with me.”

“I can’t cancel, not this late,” you say in dejection.

“Of course you can. He does not matter.”

“There is no he. It is the girls.”

“So you say. You are not going. If you do that it is me and you finished.”

“What, just because I want to see my friends?” You slump on to the bed, shoulders hunched and your head in your hands.

“You don’t need them, you have got me.”

“Why does it always have to be like this, every time I try and do something you do this,” you protest and your voice breaks with the first sob of frustration.

“No I don’t stop trying to blame me when you are at fault,” I growl.

“You always do this, make feel guilty or do something to stop me going out.”

“Rubbish, you are making things up again. You are just trying to make me feel bad for you. It won’t work you know that.”

You begin crying as I stand power surging through me.

“Here,” I order as I pull your phone from your bag and throw it down on the bed besides you, ” ring them and tell them you can’t make it, say you don’t feel well or something. I will pour the Chablis.”

Still sobbing you fumble for the phone and pick it up before dialling the number. I stand triumphant drinking deep of the fuel you have given me during this exchange. I have won the battle once again and this time I did not even have to escalate it like I did last time. I suppose that was just as well really seeing as how you had only just replaced those mirrors I smashed.

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27 thoughts on “The Battle of Going Out”

  1. Get out of my head! Hahaha! After all these years I can’t believe how manipulated I was to fall for this time after time with my ex. I truly gave him all control over me and what I could and could not do. Must be why I’m so prickly now and happier on my own with no one to question where I go, who I’m with, how long I’ll be, what I’ll be doing etc. I think the one thing I can be thankful for after living with an N in my life is that it crated a stronger me when I became free.

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      1. Good for you Joice! 🙂
        I am still working on the ‘peace’ as I have a child that has been greatly affected by all of this. Working on helping her to heal and find peace is my biggest concern, but I’ve also realized that I must work on myself in order to help her best.

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    1. Indeed you did. You are welcome to ride me but you are not going to throw me. Incidentally, I am British so it is stamp rather than stomp although both words mean roughly the same. I was entertained by your observations about me and certainly do enjoy our banter.

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    2. I never had to deal with it to begin with either Laurel. I was completely under his thumb for a long time until the internet brought contact with other people without him being able to control the experience. I was the dutiful wife and mother that took care of the children while he was away from home 2/3rds to 3/4ths of the year on business and pleasure. It was that ‘damnable internet’ that began all the problems in our marriage, according to him. I would have never decided to go back to school (which he sabotaged every chance he got, even stealing my vehicle on the day of exams) and started to ‘challenge’ him due to the unsavory and clearly delusional people I met there.

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      1. I would have severed your internet link, damn that internet it causes so many problems for us in enabling you to access other people. Of course it is perfectly acceptable for us to use it in that way.

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      2. Oh, wow. Loser was absolutely disgusted that I didn’t go to college. That’s why he likes his WTC so much. “She’s going to college!”
        He loved to throw that in my face. I wonder who he thought was going to raise our children while I was “going to school?”

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  2. Looking in, it’s actually quite ridiculous. Like a child having a tantrum. You could take my keys n my wallet. I’d just get a ride and borrow money from a friend. Nobody controls me.

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    1. Of course we are having a tantrum, you are not doing what we want. You might take those steps to avoid control now but it would not happen when you were in the maelstrom.

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      1. No actually it could and did happen years ago with an ex. My purse was in his car n he wouldn’t let me get it. So I took a cab to my friend’s house and borrowed money to pay for it. Some of us are lucky enough to have had unconditional love our whole life. We don’t n won’t fall for ur manipulations n bs lol.

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  3. He was the one always going out without inviting me.
    If I went to a party he would say, “Aren’t those people alcoholics?” or “They are white trash.” I found it to be ridiculous. He didn’t even know them!

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  4. We always went out separately to functions and work parties. One Christmas party my works had a VIP section and we all had photos with the local DJ my ex accused me and the DJ of having an affair it’s laughable !!!

    Went our all day with my ex narc and in the evening went to a friends makeup party. I’d asked if he minded he said no. Following day accused of going off with a man ( not sure who was all women ) and he discarded me couple of weeks later hoovered me straight back up.

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  5. sounds like most other days…the reference to the mirror smashing etc is what I have apparently been conditioned to thinking of as being a tantrum. Nothing surprises me anymore and my reaction varies now, depending on my mood and exhaustion level. I’m clearly seeing that is the reason for his each and every reaction. Oh seriously, how exhausting. I am seemingly but a puppet, regardless of what I do…

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  6. Today I am encountering his fury because I have an “old ladies” evening with my best friend. Dinner and a movie… hardly wild times, but now he won’t know what to do with himself. Boo hoo.

    Why is it that narcissists cannot meet in the middle with resolve? I meet in the middle all of the time BUT with a narc it is always one extreme to the other… Drama is for those who do NOT have a life nor want to further their life. I am tired and taking the road I desire now…

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  7. My ex narc would encourage me to go out, he loved to be independent and hated the whole “couply” thing. He had issues with inviting me out with his friends, also with meeting his family. He talks to his girl best friend fine and dandy, but when i arrive he becomes so withdrawn and disconnected from me. Maybe my narc was a covert narcissist? The honeymoon phase lasted less than 4 months before he started devalueing me. I decided to break up with him because i was tired of the push pull. A week before we were fine although he was quiet i thought he had a rough time at work so i let it slip. Then the texts started to become cold and one sided. I asked him what the issue was and he said he is depressed lately. I said “idk whats been going on lately with you, lets have a talk tmro, i love you” and he didnt reciprocate. We met up the next day and he went back to being the golden period again, asked me how my day was (never usually happens), hugged me first, cooked for me, all that after a week of being cold. He wanted to avoid the talk. He said he has been depressed lately and he didnt know what was up. He had alot of issues at uni and his friends are no longer studying with him too. I asked him what about the relationship? He said he is still trying to find the spark with us, but he cant anymore because im “traditional” and i want to be treated like a princess and he cant give it to me we see things totally differently. I told him off that i never said i wanted to be a princess, and i am an independent woman and a freethinker i am the opposite of traditional! He had a totally skewed version of who i am!!!
    So HC, my question is…
    Is my ex depressed because I let him down or is he depressed in life at general so he decides to take it up on me???

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    1. It is a combined effect.The vagaries and uncertainties of this cruel world can, especially when fuel is in short supply, bring about a depression in our kind. It is a defence mechanism whereby the lethargy that appears with this depressed state is both disappointment at the way the world treats us and the need to conserve energy ready for a passing easy target of a fuel supply. Your failure to provide him with what he wants causes the ignition of fury (since it is a criticism) but since fuel is in short supply there is little to power the repair of the wound. IN such instances there is withdrawal. Not only physically in the sense of removal from the source of the wounding, but a withdrawal from the world by reason of this depressed state in order to try to protect himself until fuel becomes available again. Think of it like a bee that cannot escape a house and eventually stops trying through exhaustion until someone lifts it outside or provides it with something sugary to fuel it again.

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      1. thank you for your reply! i think he doesnt really know what he wants, and he is using me to provide that fuel to fill his void just like I did for him during the honeymoon period. I talked to him after we broke up and he said that he felt like he couldnt connect to me but also its because he puts a wall up from people. during our relationship i never felt like he truly cared for me. i had given him so much positive fuel (complimented him, made him feel special, intrigued about his work) and he didnt reciprocate that back to me. All I got was being pushed aside, unappreciated, devalued, and worried sick when he doesnt reply my texts whenever he is stuck at uni. Did he expect me to do all the work in the relationship for him? it is not because we let you guys down, you just have to open up more and let us in – IT COULDVE BEEN SO BEAUTIFUL AND MAGICAL!!! Why narcissists sabotage their own relationships I really dont know why. My ex told me his friend said that I am an amazing girlfriend and he agreed so its impossible that i let him down.
        Also, one more thing. After one month of no contact, he comes up with this shit by texting me just before midnight “Hey Lizzie. How have you been?”
        What does he want??? I replied that I have been good but busy with exams. He took the nerve to only reply me the day after with a “im busy too, my lab partner hurt his back so I have to take on some of his work”
        I did the NC thing and didnt reply.

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      2. Interesting observations Confused, we don’t regard it as sabotage but I understand why you do so. His late night text was probably since he wanted some fuel and perhaps was not getting the responses from others and therefore he reached out to you. It was to test whether you would respond so that he might return and hoover with greater intensity after a preliminary prod.

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      3. Would you say that he was protecting himself instead? So you can gain more control of the situation you would rather inflict pain in others? I guess I wasn’t deemed completely useless to him, that he had to come back for hoovering. However, because I didn’t reply to his text- was I inflicting narcissistic injury or could he not have cared less?
        PS I’m thinking of buying one of your books but I’m not sure which one.

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