Fog has lifted and the truth has never seemed clearer

Yes, it's true, my 11 year long stretch of trying to determine and fix my husband's personality disorder has finally come to an end with a conclusion that I'm satisfied with stating is exactly the cause with no further doubt in my mind. 
I must however admit that the answer does not give me any comfort or hope that my marriage will get better, in fact it assures me that unless I do some soul searching of my own it will without doubt only get worse. 

I haven't visited this forum in a while although I use to frequently scroll through posts hoping for answers but mostly just longing to know I wasn't alone and that others relate to the chaos I have lived in for so long now which gave me comfort and reassurance that I wasn't crazy and it's as much for all of you who unknowingly gave me reassurance as it is for my own written validation that I'm sharing the diagnosis that has taken me 11 years to recognize. 

What blows my mind the most is that it's just so obvious, in fact it's probably mentioned in nearly every post under this topic yet I never really processed it and I believe there are likely many others out there much like myself. I consider myself to be intelligent, I'm extremely introspective I had a long career as an investigator in law enforcement and my focus was victim's of domestic abuse of all things, yet I was totally taken in by this and I can only assume it's because I did not want to face what I'm facing now so therefore I ignored the obvious and searched for other causes but the simple answer to all my husband's behavior can be summed up in one word...manipulator, yes, it was that simple. He does not have ADHD or any of the many other issues I've tried to pin it on and my eye opening moment came after reading one simple article that I happened upon just a couple of weeks ago, an article that has forever changed me. I can honestly say that although he hasn't gone down easy the entire dynamic of my marriage changed literally over night and it wasn't due to anything other than the changes I made within myself. 

If any of you think you may even possibly be dealing with a covert-aggressive personality as defined in the below article it may be life changing to read further into how you are possibly being manipulated.  Please do not take this offensively if you or your spouse does in fact have ADHD, I am in no way claiming that's an inaccurate diagnosis, my only intention is to give back to this community by sharing information that has made a huge difference in my life with people who may benefit from this knowledge, 

Everything below this point is an excerpt from

How Dost Thou Manipulate Me? Can We Count the Ways? |

Recently, one of the readers commented on another reader’s question about how to deal with a troubling and manipulative relationship.  In their comment, the reader made the excellent point that many times manipulators combine tactics in a way that makes the manipulation more effective.   This got me to thinking about something I probably haven’t emphasized enough in prior articles, namely the infinite number of ways some characters can find to manipulate and take advantage of others.  In my books In Sheep’s Clothing and Character Disturbance I outline the most “popular” tactics manipulators use.  But I also point out that shrewd manipulators not only combine tactics sometimes but also have an arsenal of techniques that is virtually endless.  Still, I don’t go into detail about all the various tactics and combinations of tactics they can use.  And while I’ve posted some prior article that expand a bit on the various tactics manipulators use (see:  Another Look at Manipulation Tactics), I thought it important to elaborate a bit more on the nature of manipulation tactics in this article.

Most of the time, people get manipulated because they don’t trust their gut instincts.  While at some level they might suspect someone is trying to get the better of them, they often can’t pinpoint anything that objectively confirms that hunch.  This makes them feel a little crazy.  Besides that, the manipulator can speak and act with such apparent conviction and intensity that the other person starts doubting their initial impressions and reactions.  Once that doubt creeps in, and especially once the manipulator notices that fact and plays upon it, it’s “game over!”

A good manipulator can use almost any tact, or combination of tactics:  deny they’ve done what another accuses them of doing, act innocent and/or offended, turn the tables and reverse-accuse, blame the victim for suspecting, doubting, or “falsely” accusing, etc., and do it all with such apparent righteous indignation and the other person is almost sure to cave in.  The key is to know the victim’s vulnerabilities and to effectively read their responses.   This enables the manipulator to pick the tactic or combination of tactics most likely to work.  And what really does a would be victim in is their hesitancy to believe that there really are people in this world so calculating and heartless that they’ll use all kinds of tactics to get their way with no compunction or remorse and put on such a civil facade to mask it all on top of that.  That’s why it’s so absolutely essential in this day and age to understand the nature of character disturbance and to be in a position to make fairly decent and accurate judgments about the kind of character with whom you might have a relationship.  And it’s toward those ends mainly that I have geared my writings.

The other main reason folks get manipulated is because when they engage with the manipulator, they don’t take a step back and assess what’s really going on process-wise in the interaction.  They actually listen and respond to what the manipulator says and does.  And then, like getting whiplash, they later realize they were taken in but long after the damage is already done.  So the key is to be very aware of the process as it happens.  To listen “for” and not “to” the kinds of things the manipulator says and to watch “for” the various shifty behaviors they typically exhibit.  Being alert to what’s really going on in the interchange is absolutely essential to avoid being disadvantaged.  And it also empowers a person to resist manipulation no matter what tactic or combination of tactics the covertly-aggressive person might throw at you.

What I’ve tried to do in both of my books is to lay out an easy to understand framework for becoming a much more astute judge of character.  Once you know what kind of person you’re dealing with, it’s easier to anticipate the kinds of things they might do in a relationship with you.  Really knowing yourself and knowing the kind of person you’re dealing with – that’s where the real power is.