The Stepford Devaluation


 

The devaluation of our appliances depends on a variety of factors. For instance, what type of narcissist is applying the devaluation, what is the nature of the appliance (IPPS, IPSS, NISS, TS etc) , what is the status of the narcissist’s fuel matrix, what is the position of the façade and other matters beyond that also.

With a Tertiary Source, there is no long lasting relationship to begin with and therefore any devaluation which takes place will be short and effective and is often done in the context of triangulation, for instance making the narcissist look good in front of say a new target (IPSS) or a group of friends (NISSs) by putting down the Tertiary Source as part of the devaluation.

Secondary Sources have two types of devaluation. Corrective and Dis-Engagement. The Corrective Devaluation is short in nature but can be rather savage and is designed to bring the malfunctioning secondary source appliance back into line. Thus, it might be ostracising a friend (NISS) by inviting everybody else to a BBQ but not the offending appliance. Recognising that he or she has offended the narcissist in some way, the NISS apologises, makes amends and ceases the troublesome activity which led to the Corrective Devaluation. Thus the Corrective Devaluation has proven effective and the NISS enjoys the golden period once again and is welcomed back into the fold. Should the NISS not respond to the Corrective Devaluation (or commits a particularly treacherous act at the outset) then a short Dis-Engagement Devaluation occurs and the secondary appliance is then dis-engaged from. The DED does not last for long because the narcissist and the secondary appliance will not see one another repeatedly (unlike the IPPS) and also because the narcissist can dis-engage from the secondary source readily and either turn to other pre-existing secondary sources (dependent on the size of the fuel matrix) or recruit a replacement with relative ease.

The phase of devaluation really earns its stripes when applied to intimate partners (IPSS or DLS) but especially the IPPS. The devaluation of the IPPS is the one which most commentators focus on and is usually the one which contains abusive treatment and the full horror of nasty manipulations from the narcissist. There is no denying that such an unpleasant devaluation occurs, but it is but just one of several forms of devaluation that is deployed against the IPPS. Other forms include The Stranger Zone, The Oblivious Mis-Treatment, The Full Horror and others besides. Within the devaluation of the IPPS there is also the Stepford Devaluation.

You may be familiar with the novel (and film) The Stepford Wives. Ira Levin’s novel follows the premise whereby a new arrival at the idyllic neighbourhood of Stepford begins to suspect that the wives who live there and are frighteningly submissive are actually robots created at the behest of their privileged and controlling husbands. This resulted in the term ‘Stepford Wife’ being used in the English language to describe a submissive wife (or partner) who appears to conform blindly to a stereo-typically old-fashioned subservient role in the relationship with her husband or partner. It may also refer to an accomplished woman who has sub-ordinated her life and/or career to her husband’s interests and who has affected submission to him even in the face of his own disgrace and poor behaviour.

A Stepford Devaluation is one form of the devaluation of the IPPS. Often, the relevant victim fails to recognise that she is being devalued because of the nature of this devaluation. The following traits are applicable to the Stepford Devaluation.

  1. It only ever applies to the person who is the Intimate Partner Primary Source of the narcissist.
  2. The IPPS is likely to have an almost idyllic lifestyle. The narcissist is usually Mid Range or Greater in nature (possibly Upper Lesser also). There is financial security and a superior lifestyle encompassing good house, clothing, dining out, gifts etc.
  3. The narcissist and IPPS are regarded as having an excellent marriage/relationship by external observers such as family, friends and neighbours.
  4. The narcissist and IPPS are regarded as having an enviable lifestyle by external observers.
  5. The IPPS may work, but this is not always the case. The IPPS does not need to work because the narcissist’s financial firepower is sufficient to avoid the financial necessity of the IPPS having to work (and in turn remove financial independence and create isolation). If the IPPS does work, their work will be regarded as unimportant and unnecessary by the narcissist who will take little interest in it and refer to it rather patronisingly. The narcissist will expect the IPPS to fulfil other duties (see below) on top of the IPPS’ professional commitments. The narcissist whilst varying between disparaging and dismissive about the IPPS’ job in private, will hold it out as an admirable element as he seizes it as a character trait to draw fuel from secondary and tertiary sources and to use as part of the façade. More usually, the IPPS will be ‘allowed’ a ‘window dressing’ role as occasionally helping out a charity shop, or sitting on a couple of infrequent ‘good works’ committees. The narcissist regards these as acceptable since they contribute to the façade and do not interfere with the IPPS’ other duties (see below) to the narcissist. The narcissist prefers that the IPPS does not work.
  6. The IPPS has or had an accomplished position of employment. If retained it is treated dismissively by the narcissist as explained above or more likely the narcissist will have engineered the giving up of this position. This will have been achieved through apparently benign reasons but is done in order to create submission, remove independence and remove distraction and support networks.
  7. The IPPS is expected to be a superb home-maker. Whilst domestic assistance may be permitted, the narcissist expects a pristine residence of show-home proportions. The home would not look out of place on the front cover of Interior Design or Elle Décor. The IPPS prides herself on such an achievement and strives to ensure that nothing is out of place in the home.
  8. The IPPS is expected to always be presentable. She will be beautifully dressed, hair done, make-up worn, nails manicured and will never be seen slumming it in track pants and sweat top. Any slight deviation from picture perfection will be picked up and commented on by the narcissist. Similar to the situation concerning the home, the IPPS will ensure that she presents as elegant and refined at all times.
  9. The IPPS is expected to play the role of convivial hostess at dinner parties, encouraging mother at school events and loyal housewife putting up with the narcissist’s demands for perfection.
  10. The IPPS is expected to be wholly submissive to the needs and demands of the narcissist in creating this idyll and portrayal of domestic privilege and bliss to the outside world. No dissention is accepted by the narcissist.
  11. The IPPS ‘enjoys’ a gilded existence. She wants for nothing in terms of money, prestige, acknowledgement by external observers, admiration and friendship by third parties. She gratefully accepts that she is a ‘lucky girl’ to have what she has and does not like to complain. She may have done so to begin with, but the irrepressible force of the narcissist’s demands brings about the desired submission.
  12. The narcissist’s demand for perfection means that part of the Stepford Devaluation manifests through the imposition of this desire for perfection and adverse response if it is not achieved. However, such is the nature of the relevant narcissist and also the extent of the compliance, that the narcissist does not have to devalue in any savage way. It will either be a remark (“I see the children have been active”) when referring to the house appearing untidy or the imposition of a silent treatment (Present or Absent) to express disapproval at a failing on the part of the IPPS. The usual range of manipulations applied during devaluation will be absent.
  13. The narcissist generally treats the IPPS ‘well’ in terms of engaging in conversation, doing activities together and maintaining the façade of the enviable home life.
  14. Whilst you may see this existence as demanding, you may also see that it has its rewards and the extent of the devaluation whilst unacceptable to you is nowhere near as bad as it could be. This is where the second strand of the Stepford Devaluation applies. The narcissist repeatedly engages in infidelity with IPSSs and has an extensive ‘stable’ of those he turns to. He will repeatedly have ‘golfing weekends away’, ‘business trips’ or a ‘late meeting which necessitates staying over in town’. The IPPS knows that the narcissist is engaging in repeated affairs and one-night stands. The IPSSs or IPTSs are never, ever brought to the marital home (that would damage the façade). The IPSSs and/or IPTSs may even contact the IPPS to try to expose the narcissist and the IPPS will listen to these tales of infidelity and poor treatment of the IPSSs and/or IPTSs.
  15. The narcissist will hold the IPPS up as a shining example of the good wife/partner and will often be disparaging about other women, picking fault with their behaviour, looks, occupations and so forth. Comments are made such as

“Thanks goodness I have you, yes darling?”

“I was right to pick you.”

“They disgust me, such whores and lowlifes.”

  1. The narcissist reveres the IPPS because she has created the stable and enviable home, she contributes to his impressive façade and he is allowed to do as he pleases through extensive engagements outside of his marriage. He may have long standing affairs, short affairs, intermittent Dirty Little Secrets, in fact all types and forms of extra-marital liaison but he will never leave the IPPS. None of them ever compare to the IPPS.
  2. The IPPS is expected to be totally compliant, never complain, always be supportive, always be presentable, always put the narcissist first and in return she is largely treated ‘well’ (in the eyes of the narcissist and third parties) but her devaluation occurs through two main strands
    1. A very high standard of compliance; and
    2. The total acceptance that her husband/partner is engaging sexually with various other appliances and will always do so.

 

  1. How does this Stepford Devaluation operate in terms of fuel for the narcissist? This is where there is something of a peculiarity. The IPPS will provide negative fuel (at first) when the devaluation first begins and she learns of the affairs and is also subjected to the controlling behaviour vis a vis appearances. She will initially fight back, rebel, be hurt etc and thus provide negative fuel. However, once the narcissist has effectively ‘broken’ her in, by achieving compliance, the IPPS provides positive fuel to the narcissist through her striving to maintain the idyllic appearance, her support in his endeavours and the maintenance of the façade and it is the IPSSs and IPTSs who will suffer horrendous treatment at the hands of the narcissist. The narcissist, being usually a Greater, or an Upper Mid Ranger most of the time in this arrangement (although it can occur with MMR and UL) has no problem in ensnaring mistress after mistress, booty call after booty call and so on and it is here that they are treated to the malice (with the Greater) and also the devaluation in order to gain negative fuel from them, in contrast to the (largely) positive fuel now provided by the IPPS. The Stepford Devaluation is part of the Madonna-Whore concept. The narcissist may engage in intimate relations with the IPPS still but it is not often and the IPPS may actually be cold sexually and be perfectly happy to be left alone in that respect, content for the IPSSs/IPTSs to bear the brunt of her husband’s devaluing perversions.
  2. Only a particular type of empathic individual is able to perform this role and endure it, which comes as a consequence of their own particular traits, their susceptibility to the overtures of the type of narcissist who engages in this behaviour and the fact that she is ultimately conditioned to see her position as one which ‘could be far worse if I was honest’. She is brain-washed, controlled and ultimately the automaton which was so desired in the Stepford Wives.
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66 Comments

  1. I’m kidding obviously – just a housekeeper would be great!

    I read this off the back of your comment yesterday re JS. HG, do you think it is possible that ‘The Duchess’ was also an IP? I feel sick.

      1. Oh god! I read a little about JS following on from this discussion. He spent five days with her after she had died in an open coffin. He said that it was the best time he’d spent with her. Oh god! I feel totally repulsed. It’s awful.

        I presume all necrophiliacs are Ns. But what is it they get out of this? There is no fuel?

        1. 1. He said he did this, but do we know whether this happened?
          2. If it did happen he would have been fuelled from other contact he was having elsewhere during this time.
          3. What did he get out of it? Control. Think about what he would have been saying to her and the fact she could say nothing back on this occasion.

          1. ah goodness. Based on 3. I kind of wish I hadn’t posed the question. that would never have even entered my head at all. The control bit yes, because of everything you’ve taught me. But no, my thoughts would never have progressed as far as to have considered he’d actually have been talking to her.

            I’m extremely grateful to you for taking the time to explain this. truly. it may have been hard to read but I like to know and understand.

            Goodness. What percentage of Ns would you estimate are necrophiliacs? although I appreciate, most would rarely get the opportunity for this. It may just help many of us with that final disconnect.

          2. I have no information in that regard. I do know though that they always have to be at the dead centre of everything.

  2. HG, what if something happens to the Stepford Wife, a bereavement, or a child turns out to have special needs (ADHD, or diabetes, etc)

    Mrs Step knows to accept the very brief cold comfort clichés from her husband, doesn’t she, so she doesn’t expect more help than that from him?

    Does she unconsciously learn to not cry or sigh in front of him?

    1. Yes, she does not expect to receive support from him over and above anything which might be exhibited publicly. Away from the gaze of the world she will be left to deal with her loss or the child with particular needs, alone.
      Does she learn not to cry or sigh in front of him? Possibly, although such an emotional response (which of course if fuel) will manifest before she is always able to reign the reaction in through thought.

      1. Thanks, I was scratching my head about how they can manage smiling pretty for decades with the narc.

        I mean it’s manageable (that the man helps out zero)
        until sh t happens, say one kid has diabetes, the other autism, etc. Then she really needs help from other family members, or divorce, or she’ll end up in a hospital because the workload is extreme.

  3. The Stepford Devaluation is as close to my experience as I have found on the blog with the following key differences:

    – I was treated well (in person) and was completely unaware of the affairs. N was jealous, protective and made unreasonable observations about my behaviour toward other men but that was the worst of it.
    – We were like magnets and sex was very regular without exception.
    – N did not have to set expectations about the house or my appearance as I have always been fastidious about these things. He expressed firm gratitude with regard to his observations of both. My mother had extremely high expectations of us as children; she was very cold and unyielding. I was used to functioning in this way and needed no encouragement.

    N always spoke so highly of me putting me up on a pedastool. I had seen and heard N treat others poorly and this perplexed me, however he did not extend this treatment to me in-so-far as I could see (obviously it was rampant when I couldn’t see – ha!). He had excellent control of his emotions (including anger/frustration) one would’ve thought he was the doting partner, unless of course they knew the truth.

    I think I was devalued in this way because he knew I wouldn’t put up with more direct I’ll-treatment. In his case and with his cognitive abilities and flexibility he treated people in accordance with their levels of tolerance. There must’ve been some IPSSs out there copping all kinds of abuse, I shudder to think of it.

    1. Sarah, that sounds similar to what I have experienced. Can I draw the conclusion that you also where not disengaged from, but escaped off your own accord?
      My ex would also put me on a pedestal and I am therefore assuming he may have used me for triangulation purposes with secondary sources. What ended the seduction phase was actually the fact that I felt he didn’t live up to my own standarts and I started loosing respect for him, feeling like a lot of the things he told me about himself where ridiculous exaggerations and sometimes blatant lies. Any horrible behaviour of his following that was then justified with me “no longer loving him”. But while he was just awful to me, I did feel like he carefully walked the line of doing anything that I would not put up with, although i did suprise myself with the actual extend of what I was willing to put up with, of course.

      1. Hi Desiree. I am thinking of ordering HG Tudor`s book: Sitting Target. Have you read it? I think it would be timely for you, more than for me, because you are somewhat willing to date at this time. I am not, but life can surprise one, so it is best to be topped off in information, especially in that arena. And you have a lot of character traits and residual benefits that HG discusses as being highly magnetic. Also, I saw your post to me, on the other page. Thank you. I plan to respond. ~~PSE

      2. Hi Desiree,
        Thanks for sharing your experiences with me. It sounds like you found your strength based on logic and reasoning; you wised up of your own accord. Well done, that is amazing! I certainly cannot take credit for doing the same!
        I also escaped, however this was precipitated by a third party (our gardener) giving me information about the N’s affairs. I was unaware of what had been going on. I was devastated and still very much ‘in love’ with the N when I left, but I knew the relationship would not be salvageable and a swift exit prevented him from pulling me back in.
        My escape was unexpected and he suffered considerably as a result of the crumbling of the fascade. I made a decision to disappear and I did – I was untraceable.
        After 13 years of no contact I was hoovered 18 months ago in person. It brought up a lot of my unresolved feelings surrounding the relationship and I sought to understand them better and landed on HG’s work.
        I had N’s new partners find me through contact with my sister on FB a few times over and I am aware I have been a source of triangulation since the end of our relationship. I don’t think this will stop as he did not want the relationship to end, in his mind he owns me regardless of my decisions and actions.
        N is a dark shadow in my life that has caused a lot of ill-feeling and confusion until now. I have become saturated in logic and understanding of our dealings. We grew up together (met at age 8) and he had been a constant in my life. It took a lot to reframe the stories I had told myself but it is true that narcsite changed my perspective and brought me the closure and peace I deserve.
        I am so glad I had the strength to walk away when I did as I am sure you are too.
        Sarah

    1. Dearest HG: I once was on a site, that I posted to a lot, and it was a real headache, before I found Narcsite, and then I abandoned that site, because it was going to lead many women to devastating experiences. It was a female only site. However, I remember one lady said something that lit the blue touch paper in there, but I believe what she said, although it upset many women. She said: in her marriage, she could not always satisfy the emotional and physical needs of her husband. And she could tell when her husband took on or discarded his latest mistress. She said that she never complained because, the mistress brought strength into her marriage. HG, this is when all hell broke out: When she said that the mistresses brought strength into her marriage. This site I was on, I know now, was full of IPSSs and DLSs and various other candidates for many positions with wealthy men. She continued to say that she could tell when her husband had a mistress, because he was happier and he was away from home a bit more and that she took the extra time to go the spa and shop and catch up on her reading and things like that. She said that over time the mistress would be gone, and sometimes he took a break or sometimes he would take up another one. One woman asked her: how did she know that the mistress bought strength to her marriage, and she said that she had seen some of the mistresses, before and after, and they always looked drained and worn out and depressed when her husband had finished with them. Other women called this woman names for saying that their type strengthened her own marriage. It was wild. If possible, some women would have pulled her through the computer and drowned her or something.

      1. cont. Many of these women were upset because they had plans to topple the IPPS in their minds and plans and fantasies and this woman’s attitude of hanging in their with the husband, startled them and they had to reflect on the fact that all IPPSs will not fall as easily as they thought, or hoped. And many of these women were probably becoming or reaching the stage of being drained and worn out and depressed with these husbands, as the awaited their promotions, that may or may not happen. It was a wild day on that site. She was called every name in the book, for hanging in their, by the IPSSs and DLSs. She was called a doormat, and embarrassment to women, no self esteem, and many other names, for not leaving the husband over a mistress, like some of them were: mistresses.

        1. PSE, I understand what you are saying. When my ex N told me he was going to leave the IPPS I told him he can’t because I need her. I never understood before but I do now. If he would have left her his full attention would have turned to me. I was drained as a part-time partner. There’s no way I could have handled him alone. It’s unfortunate the woman in your example didn’t get the support she needed but in all honesty, for her to recognize the situation for what it is says she is very self aware. She is better off then her critics

          1. Mercy. Did you notice the hypocrisy, though. The women that attacked her were in relationships with married men as IPSSs, DLSs, NIPSSs, side women, etc. And they all hated that she would not leave her husband, and they absolutely hated her take that: side women actually strengthened her own marriage, because that was absolutely not their goal. They wanted, most of them, to break the marriages of the husbands they were sleeping with, and to then become the IPPS. So, it shows that there are lots of desires to topple the IPPSs in these women`s thoughts and this woman became their dartboard. Because she seemed to not be interested in leaving her husband. I guess the other women realized that they would not topple many IPPSs, if they all started thinking like this woman. And they attacked her as a symbol of the wife of the men married man that they were sleeping with. And they are correct. During history and in many countries, and even today, many men do not desert their first wife for the other women. And sometimes the wife knows of the other women and sometimes she does not. It is possible, that wives divorce their husbands more over the other women, than they once did. I know that divorce is at an all time high, in the United States, but I have never researched the reasons, and so I do not know why the divorce rate is so high where I live in the United States. This woman was only giving her personal take, that sometimes a mistress can strengthen a marriage. That it was okay in her marriage. And she took time for more self care when her husband was more occupied. The resulting outrage was amazing. It was out of proportion. I stayed out if it. She stirred up some form of primal outrage and fear in most of all the mistresses on that site. I use the word mistress because that is what many of them called themselves. I quit that site because it was bad, with bad information, and dangerous information. I would not recommend that site to a cactus.

          2. Mercy. You are right. I was a NIPSS for a Narcissist at work. I sometimes call him His Somatic Highness. He has a large coterie with very pleasant people, but his 4 main lieutenants were jealous of me, and I was new, and had his attention a lot, and I was unaware that I had moved up too close, for their comfort, and they harassed me, especially when he was not around, but after coming to Narciste, because I was feeling very oddly ill, and learning the deal, I ghosted all 5 of them. But, now it is about 5-6 months later, and all my excuses for being away: illness, bad weather, setback in illness, and all of my helpers (bad weather, government holidays, beautiful spring weather coming in) have worn thin. They are now in the long summer days, and now they are back to reality, and now the lieutenants are hoovering me also and want me back. Sure they do. Too bad. They forgot what he is really like, because in the past they told me he was happy when I was around, but at some point they became jealous of me: over nothing. It was unnecessary. They actually forgot that he is a Major Sulking Handful. I helped stabilize him for 3 years. I enjoyed it. Too bad now. I am done. Sometimes people fantasize too much about toppling a person, labeling that person as a rival, not knowing or forgetting they are benefiting from the way that said person is a stabilizing force for the Narcissist. People need to be careful for what they wish for. But once people reach the tipping point, they are blinded of course, by their emotional thinking. Too bad. I am almost completely out of the entanglement with all of them. And, I never should have fell for him anyway, of course, because he is a Narcissist.

          3. PSE
            Are you planning on returning to the toxic workplace you are currently in or looking elsewhere? I thought they would possibly have started a smear campaign to get you fired by now. Are you concerned about losing your job?

          1. PSE
            Oh. I thought you were off on sick leave and then extended it. I didn’t realize you had quit.

      2. This sounds a great deal like my narc’s marriage and IPPS. I don’t know how other narcs approach their IPSS, but mine has been very open about his intentions: He does not intend to leave his wife. He values her greatly and she will continue to be held in high regard and to retain her seat as his Madonna, but she is not his romantic/sexual outlet (i.e., whore). She is aware of his affairs. He and she both feel that his affairs strengthen their marriage by enabling them to live more happily together and to enjoy a high lifestyle and a marriage that has spanned multiple decades, because he is able to pursue certain personal interests and activities that he needs for his happiness, which do not appeal to her and which she cannot perform.

        I am not surprised that a mistress would react poorly (and even with some volatility) to learning that the IPPS is grateful for the IPSS. I think you are correct in your conclusion that they must have had some hope of being next in line to the golden pedestal, no matter what they may have been told. In my case, for the aforementioned reasons and because of my own personal situation, the arrangement works, though I have at times had to remind him that while I am no Madonna, I am also not actually a whore.

        I am a bit hesitant to think of or refer to this situation as a “devaluation” when it occurs in a straightforward manner and the IPPS is happy with her life, as in this case. It is a matter of perception by the IPPS. There is no question in my mind that he is a narc, no question that she is an appliance just as surely as I am, and no question that there is a Madonna/whore bifurcation in his mind (and on which side I fall, despite my being a highly educated, successful, professional and conservative woman “by day”) . I think it is a very evolved adaptation to a circumstance where a narcissist committed for a variety of reasons to a marriage with an appliance that serves the majority of his interests and needs very well, but falls desperately short in a vital area. He’s been brutally honest with me about his mindset, and I engage with him willingly, so if I end up feeling hurt and disappointed in never sitting upon the pedestal, it will be completely my own fault.

        1. Sarah, remember, you are looking at his marriage to his IPPS from the outside. You have no idea if she is practically a living corpse or not. And also, I have never heard of a man telling his IPSS or DLS or anyone else in his intimate matrix, that he has an exciting and fun and interesting intimate life with his IPPS. If anyone has heard this, please let me know. The IPPS is usually presented as lacking in the intimacy department. to the other women. Sometimes the husband will say that he does not have any intimacy at all with his wife, when that is a lie, but it pleases the other women greatly, to hear this. Because IPSSs and DLSs et al, want to to believe that they are better than the wife and even hope he does not have intimacy with his own wife. Their emotional thinking has no empathy for the wife. Because to think other wise wounds these women emotions and dampens their desire to compete with and even topple the IPPS, and then they are no longer passionate with the wife`s husband that they are really just sleeping with, or even in a more substantial relationship with. That’s no fun for the man, right? So he often tells the other women what he intuitively knows they want to hear. Disparaging his wife to them. Until he doesn`t. Or they figure it all out, very painfully, on their own. Especially those that wanted to topple the wife, when the husband has no intentions of allowing his wife to be toppled, for whatever his reasons are.

          1. Princess! Something really resonates heavily with me from this post. I was a living corpse. Best descriptor as of yet for how it felt. I also really appreciate the insights you display.

        2. If he’s honest about it…. I actually think that’s honourable. No marriage has to be a 1950s cookie cutter version. You are all consenting adults who agreed to an arrangement. There are worse scenarios out there.

  4. Gosh! I was just about to ask whether a Stepford Wife experiences less emotional pain because in essence they are largely treated well. And if they’re not into sex so much, perhaps even see these other women as doing them a favour?

    But reading Claire’s comment makes me think perhaps not. Claire I’m so sorry he did this to you. It must have been horrendous for you. Pleased to read that you’re learning that you don’t need to be perfect. I could definitely help with that one!

    HG, is there a particular type of empath who would generally be subjected to this? more a CD/ carrier type perhaps?

    I know I’m far to imperfect to ever be cut out for that haha

          1. any empath? blimey! I would have thought my imperfections would have led me to break them before they broke me. Possibly if they’d have got hold of me when I was much younger and more malleable.

          2. i dont know maybe. It’s hard to think back and recall exactly how painful my experience was. perhaps I could have been taken down that path?

          3. HG
            Your article states that only a particular type of empathic individual is able to perform and endure the Stepford role. Is this ‘type’ to remain unidentified pending further information about it? I understood that to be Alexis’s question.

          4. It can be applied to any empath, but only certain ones can perform and endure it, it is too much for others.

          5. You mean any empaths individual threshold? Not a type per se—but their own characteristics and value sets?

          6. Lorelei
            What I understood was that any empath can be SUBJECTED to it but only certain ones could perform or withstand it. I also understood that he was not volunteering the school and cadre of empath. Only he knows the reason, but on the off chance that it is because no one has asked him directly……

            HG

            What school and cadre of empath is best able to perform and endure the Stepford devaluation?

          7. HG,

            Like NA and others, I’m also curious about the school and cadre of what Empath would endure a SD.
            In your opinion, is Celeste (from Big Little Lies) of that particular school and cadre?

          8. WC, I am not going to answer yet as this would foreshadow the analysis of Celeste Wright.

          9. Thank-you. I figured on that…will you touch on cadres, in your analysis?

          10. Ah thank you NA for making my question a bit clearer. I only skim read it this time (can I please go to e dungeon for this HG?) as I’ve read it many times previously and so missed the sentence you referred to with regards to only being a certain type of empath who could withstand this.

            Yup, I’m pretty sure I’d last 5 minutes before I ate everything he didn’t want me to eat, wore everything he didn’t want me to wear, then purposely making a mess of the house in every single room. Of course if he wanted it messy I’d make it tidy!

    1. Trust me, alexissmith2016, the money and the gifts didn’t bring me happiness! I love sex so I doubt he was cheating. I was so blinded during the seduction state that he ( same age, Uni degree, high paid job, personal wealth) wanted to merry me for the whom I am; not for my outlook. I was raised in a loving family and I was taught to treasure the soul, not the body or the wealth . Sadly, my fairytale turned into a nightmare .self doubts , sleepiness nights, tears, you name it. He didn’t want children because he didn’t want to share my love and devotion to him with a child! This hurt as hell! Luckily I have my job, new friends, so I am able to move ahead with my life. I adopted some of his traits ( silent treatment ) during the marriage as a coping mechanism, just to survive mentally. His father is narcs as well so I tried to show my ex that love does exist , that respect and carrying for each other are important as much as the material possessions . No success , he was cold than ice. And my family and his mother asked me to stay( I have reached a point once packing my suitcase and going back overseas) – to help him to change for good. It didn’t happen . I was so brainwashed that I was even considering breast implants surgery to look even more attractive to him. My books ( I love reading classics) were nonsense for him, my martial arts passion- same. My job accomplishments- nothing. It was a tough ride in the golden cage.

      1. Claire
        Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. This is a side of life that I am not privy to.

        Do you think that Melania Trump has a similar experience to this, from your insightful observation?

        1. Absolutely Carolyn! We are both of the same part of Europe – her homeland is very close to mine. And Melania is few years older than me . So it was kind of norm, of cultural tradition for our generation ( born before and after 70s) in some Eastern European countries – we ( girls) must always look presentable( “put some lipstick in the morning darling, before wake him up “- an advise from women magazine) be excellent housekeepers, have decent jobs and devoted to their husbands no matter how they treat them. When I look at Melania I see a beautiful woman with a sad, broken smile. I can see the shadows in her perfectly done face, the shadows of unhappiness . The rare moments I saw her looking genuinely happy were on few photos – one walking with her son, just 2 of them and another visiting a children’s hospital and interacting with the kids. She usually looks cold and distant but I am sure this is a mask.

          1. Claire, many of the women from Eastern Europe that have immigrated to the U.S., that you speak of, are giving the American women in NYC some real tough competition for the men. Many of the men here love them and discuss them a lot, as well. These women are usually very focused and goal oriented and a force to be reckoned with.

      2. Ah Claire it sounds awful. I cannot even imagine what it must have been like at all. Not even close to imagining. I’m glad you’re here and away from him now.

        It’s refreshing but almost more heartbreaking somehow to hear that you came from a loving family. It’s impossible to know. I guess like some others have commented I was used to abuse and although I somehow knew it wasn’t right it wasn’t until my experience with the N thst I finally recognised it as such.

        Huge hugs and love to you. You will find someone who will make you happy, im sure xxx

        1. Than you so much for your kind word,Alexissmith2016xx! I just replied to Caroline that it was a cultural stereotype in some Eastern European countries that the society brainwashed the girls – once you married, you devote yourself to your husband and children. During the process you must not gain weight, you must have your hair done, nails, etc and you must do all housework as you must have your job as well. Not all men share those “ values” like my father -he really loved my mother and shared the housework and didn’t expect her to look immaculate 24/7. Sadly most men of my generation share the stereotype . I am glad the Millenials ( both genders) abolishing the norm, the expectation of the Stepford wife.

  5. Being a Stepford wife took its toll on my health – the wake up call was when I was diagnosed with a serious health condition. The endocrinologist explained the reason – stress. I was exhausted trying to be the perfect wife – keeping the house and my self immaculate . Heaven forbid if i gained a kilo – my weight was under constant surveillance. I still count every single bite of food as a result . The worst part was not the devaluation itself but the feeling of loneliness and isolation. I moved overseas to marry Mr Mid Rage so my trusted friends and family were overseas. It was not easy to make new friends during the marriage in a new country. The isolation hit after the divorce when almost all friends that we had ( his friends actually) despised me to dare to divorce such a successful person. But how comes when outside we were the perfect couple? I was shickec to such an extend that I didn’t want to talk about.Only one couple of friends noticed some traits in my ex behaviour on social events and asked me few questions . I opened to them and told briefly what really my marriage life was under the closed doors. Those friends and my job kept my sanity during the long recovery process. I am still working to repair the damage – reminding myself that I must eat ( sounds silly but it is true), that I don’t have to look constantly polished ( track pants are allowed at home ), etc. Yes , outside our marriage looked perfect, but it was just an illusion.

    1. Claire—just wanted to mention that I may have actually devalued your experience by commenting with the insinuation this didn’t sound so bad. I understand devaluation is abuse, period. Just know this if you saw my comment. The grass is often greener in someone else’s yard. I think I crumbled so hard because it went on so long—the daily psychological torture, regardless of the brand is never pleasant.

      1. Not a problem at all Lorelei! For me to open and share on this site is like catharsis; i kept for an year after the divorce the pain inside. I was blaming myself and I was ashamed to talk about the hell I was living in – only my closest family member and one married couple ( the friends that supported me during the divorce) knew about. I hope you have healed after escaping the torture. Blessings x

        1. Awe Claire—I am so sorry you struggled with the shame of living in the home. As soon as I read that I related, I recall that feeling quite well. I felt it too and wasn’t quite sure why?? Why do we carry the shame? We were never really the authors of the torment yet we carry the shame for them as well. They are industrious creatures in this craft of deflection aren’t they? HG shares that a really awful feeling for narcissists is when the walls feel they are crashing in on them—something about the construct falling apart. (?) Part of me wishes I could create that for my ex because I feel I was robbed of so much time. That seems awful to think that way but it has crossed my mind.

    2. Claire,

      I’m sorry for your experience. I didn’t have exactly the type of devaluation that you had but I understand the “appearance” on the outside to others as a ‘perfect’ or near perfect couple…I had a couple friends who knew something was wrong but I never opened up to them until I got ‘out.’

      I can’t imagine that level of control that it still affects your eating. I’m so glad you had those insightful friends and that you got out.
      On a lighter note – I know you didn’t mean it – but I enjoyed your typo this morning “Mr Mid Rage”…I chuckled; it’s perfect.

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