My former mother-in-law showered constant praise on her second son. His older brother was kinder and more interested in people, while the younger brother considered himself most highly.
He’d landed a good job and worked hard at impressing his bosses. But eventually, shallowness seeped through.
When introduced to him by chance, he asked me when I’d like to have our first date. My close girlfriends were impressed. Due to his persistence, I accepted.
It was all about him. Then he suddenly said, “I think we’d make attractive children together.” He added that his mother was encouraging him to marry.
I stood up and hurried home, alone. What drives someone to be so smug?
Glad I ran
Google’s definition from April 2023, says this: “Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental health condition in which people have an unreasonably high sense of their own importance. They need and seek too much attention and want people to admire them. People with this disorder may lack the ability to understand or care about the feelings of others.
“The disorder affects more males than females, often beginning in the teens or early adulthood.”
I wrote to you several times about my trials and tribulations after leaving my 45-year marriage when almost age 70 in 2020.
My ex-husband drank himself to death so I'm no longer paying alimony. A sad end. He’d been my best friend, lover and rock through the challenges we faced.
Then, his greedy sisters had him sign a bogus “new will” from the internet. He had so much brain damage and wouldn't have had a clue of what he was signing.
I've paid them off by taking a line of credit against my house and told them to take a hike on demanding half my pension.
However, I’m looking at the positives: If my husband had actually signed a separation agreement, I would’ve been paying a mortgage for $250,000 since Nov 1, 2020 as well as the alimony. And I would’ve lost my home that I love.
I made my son joint owner. He says to not rush to pay off the line of credit but to enjoy life.
Not Made of Money
It’s sad that your once happy marriage suffered from your late husband’s alcohol addiction. But your drive to carry on positively and handle those seeking to benefit from your loss is impressive.
Fortunately, your son’s advice focuses on your years ahead: Simply put, “enjoy life.”
Readers’ Commentary Regarding the man’s wife who says he “Doesn’t Get It” (November 18):
Reader #1 - “The dad spends a few hours weekly being the fun guy. He takes the kids on activities. His wife does the day-to-day mental load... scheduling, organizing, disciplining, and problem-solving. Her husband should take a more active role in the less glamorous parts of parenting.”
Reader #2 – “Why doesn’t he just ask his wife what he can do to ease her burden? Women usually do handle the bulk of the responsibility, planning, child care needs, and household tasks.
“Yet far more of this could be shared if the other partner only took some initiative.
“Welcome to the fundamental fact that men and women see the world differently.
“I found it best if each parent lists the activities/chores that they do. What he sees as being important she may not, and vice versa.
“Also, generate financial statements, noting all assets, debts and cash flow. Then consider the financial impact if he cuts back on some of his work time?”
FEEDBACK Regarding a rocky second start to school (Nov. 13):
Reader – “Any young person who’s been made to feel particularly lonely in school should look around for others who might also be feeling that they’re outsiders, but on the fringes of the various cliques. Then, show an interest in befriending them.
“Don’t think that they must be losers who aren’t worth your time. And, also join an extracurricular activity which you already enjoy, making sure that you contribute positively to its purpose.
“Soon, with new friends and activities, your school experience will improve and you won’t have time to worry about unfair gossips. If some of your peers confront you with old rumours, stand proud and dismiss them with an amused smile and a bored wave of the hand.”
Ellie - Many people know how terrible it can feel to a child, adolescent or teen who’s being treated as an outsider and shunned.
Tip of the day:
Know yourself, know your limitations, be wise and compassionate. We can all use more of that.