Article on denial of remorse and gratitude (part three)

“Avoidance of Bragging…most narcissistically motivated people rarely boast…Rather, they “drop” information”

“Narcissistically driven people…need to preserve a sense of needlessness and faultlessness…induce a sense of distance and inferiority in the recipient of the information”

Interesting.  The memory that popped into mind reading this part of the article was when my husband and I both took the NTE (national teacher’s exam) many years ago.  Part of the reason we took the test was because we were homeschooling our two kids at the time, and we were thinking about moving to a state that would have required such a test.  Part of the reason I took it was because his parents were vociferously against homeschooling, and had been extremely rude and unpleasant about it. 

His parents both had teaching degrees.  They both had siblings that had teaching degrees.  His sister had a teaching degree.  I didn’t have a college degree, but never mind that he sabotaged attempt after attempt of mine to get that.  I wanted that piece of paper, that certification of ‘Pass!’ because I was tired of their condescending and patronizing treatment of me.

His scores arrived first in the mail.  There were three tests, and each one took two hours the day we tested.  He scored very high on the general knowledge test (mathematics, science etc.).  It was the only one that held significance to him.  He scored not so well on the two hour test that was all about communication.  That test required listening skills as well as writing, and I knew he’d be in trouble when we got to the listening part (that became something he’d joke about later).  He flunked the professional knowledge test; i.e. the part that was really more perspective and philosophy for hands on situations.

As far as the professional knowledge test, that thing was seriously bogus.  Epic scale bogus.  I’d looked at a brief practice test for it, and it was kind of crazy.  It was a multiple choice test, and it asked questions like this:  You hear that Bobby has a gun in his locker.  Do you A) Demand he open his locker so you can search B) Ask Bobby if he has anything in his locker C) Become friends with Bobby and hope he’ll confide in you.

The correct answer (back then) would have been C.  Of course now there have been school shootings, so the correct answer surely has changed.

There were also questions on how to deal with the parents.  You’re teaching something controversial, and a parent objects to it.  Do you A) Consider what they have to say and consider withdrawing it B) Tell the parent that you’re the professional and to suck it up or C) You’re the professional, but it’s wiser to placate/deceive the parent and then continue to teach as you see fit.

Yep.  The correct answer would be C.

I told my husband that when I took that test that I’d choose whichever answer seemed to be the least common sense or the most wrong ethically.  I really did that for every question when I actually took it.  He answered in the straightforward way and flunked it.

Back to when his scores came.  He quietly smiled at the general knowledge score in the upper 90’s.  He expected it.  Naturally, I made a fuss to the kids about their smart daddy.  I was nervous about that test because of the huge Math section.  I’d avoided Math like the plague for so many years at that point, in fact…I avoided it as much as possible when I was in school!  I just never liked it.  I took as much time as I could while still being the mom of young kids, and tried to refresh myself in Math.  A few weeks of scattered study felt insufficient, so I was very nervous about the Math.

My scores finally arrived.  General knowledge was high 90’s like his.  Communication test was 99.  Professional knowledge (the test that I choose the most stupid answer) was 92.  Suddenly, any conversation from him about that examination disappeared from the face of the earth. 

But his parents were coming over.  I was actually kind of excited because I expected (yes, remember I was still young, stupid, naive, and hopeful) him to to do that casual drop of information thing to his parents (the way he would about himself) about my scores.  Here was my moment to shine!  Here was when he would show that he was proud of me!

Yeah, yeah.  Zip, nada, the big nothing.  Anticlimactic meal came and went.  It felt awful.  Back then, it was just one more time that I felt that nothing I did would be good enough, and nothing I did would ever count.

Reduced to simplest form:  He can bask and smile quietly in the light, but has never seemed motivated or okay with it shining on me.

That really sucks.  I don’t even like that expression, but it seems apt to describe how I feel about it.



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4 Responses to Article on denial of remorse and gratitude (part three)

  1. Exodus says:

    Yes, it sucks! It really depends on who is listening before my husband will cast me in spotlight. For example, if his parents are the listeners, he won’t ever say a kind thing to me. If it’s one of our customers, yes he will but, not in front of me. I believe that our husbands are more inclined to speak highly of us in the presence of people that our husbands need acceptance from. In other words, they use us as props to support their shining image among those they respect.


  2. Exodus says:

    I want to change the last sentence in my above post….change the last word ‘ respect’ to ‘ admire’
    because it occurred to me that N’s don’t respect anyone but they do admire people that seem to admire them.


  3. They make it all about them and want people to see how wonderful they are even if it means making you invisible. The company I work for was asking for a particular job skill. I told the manager of the department about my H and bragged about how good he was at his job (which is true). I was his connection there. He worked somewhere else but for a much lower pay and because of me knowing the manager, he got a interview and gave my PAH a very generous offer. His current place didn’t want him to leave because of these skills so they made him a counter offer over the amount of the company I work for. He ended up staying and got a huge raise out of it, over and beyond. Moving ahead, we were at my family house and I over heard him telling my sister about the sweet deal. He told how God had blessed him (this is true) and how he had got such a big raise from his company but not once did he mention that I got him the interview, nor how I gave him a very good recommendation. There was no mention of God using me to help him get that raise. It was as if I wasn’t even there. It made me feel really low, like I didn’t exist.


    • Exodus says:

      I’m just curious. How could someone know G-d and trivialize and disrespect His teachings by behaving the way your husband does?

      As far as the PA/N behavior: In his mind, you didn’t have anything to do with him keeping his job. You dropped out of the equation as soon as he received the counter offer. At that point anything you did to get the ball rolling becomes insignificant and I would bet if you told him how it hurt your feelings that he might say something like, ‘ Well, hon, I’m the one who got the job to begin with. They would have never offered me a raise if I wasn’t worthy of it. I earned that raise all on my own.” My husband does the same thing all the time. They have a very selective memory that usually doesn’t include us unless it’s something negative.


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