Narcissism – The Crux of the Matter

Me:  “He’s demonstrated that he is more than willing to put in the time.  When other kids his age beg to play Xbox, he searches the internet for tips on golf swings.  Clearly, this is one of his top three passions – it may be the thing he is most passionate about.  We’ve been told by a couple instructors that he is blessed with some natural talent.  We don’t spend money on soccer or baseball or football or guitar or karate.  I really think it’s time we get him some lessons and support him in this thing he loves.”

Him:  “My parents never did that for me.”

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  1. Well that just says it all, doesn’t it?

  2. Donna,

    Yes… sadly enough, it does.

  3. And you wanted to respond, “Won’t it feel good to break the cycle?” ;)

  4. Z,

    I wanted to say that so badly.

  5. I think about his older kids and how it is different for them. They don’t have you. Even if there are let-downs, yours will have such a more positive childhood because you are intervening, fighting, and challenging the negative. Good on you!

  6. Z,


    Good on ALL those parents out there who fight for the best kind of future for their kids. That includes you, Zaira. ;)

  7. I say do it, even if “his” parents never would have. We’re currently spending a little more than we can afford in gas to foster my oldest’s baseball skills. He’s never been on a team before, but he’s been blossoming. I view this as something that can help him discipline himself, something that can eventually afford him a free ride through college, and maybe even something that could afford him a better life than I had. That’s something to encourage and foster. That’s doing a service to our kids. Even if your son doesn’t some day join the PGA, it could certainly prove to be a pleasurable pass-time that lets him relax and unwind. It’s all about doing what you love, isn’t it?

  8. Meredith,


    Now…. could you try to convince my Ex?

    Thanks for writing. I knew you’d get it. ;)

    p.s. There’s no doubt – whatsoever – that I’ll be getting some lessons for Will – with or without his dad’s help.

  9. Could you tell him a little “what if” story? I used to use that one all the time to appeal to his selfish side (only when it was really really really important to one of the kids). It may go something like this: What if Will really learns how much talent he possesses and wants to be a PRO golfer? How awesome would that be if you could watch the PGA and say…hey that’s my kid!

    Is it manipulative or is putting it in a context that he can understand? After all, how else did they get us to cater to them for all those years?

  10. Z,

    You are a genius!

    My presentation sucked. Clearly I need to point out how doing this for Will would benefit Mark greatly.


    Thanks. I’ll report back.

  11. You need to take it one step further, because he’s not really going to care that Will is in the PGA.

    You’ll need to let him visualize all of the attention the FATHER of the best pro golfer on the circuit is going to get: interviews on TV, Radio and even Sports Illustrated!

    Can he just imagine all of the pats on the back from others?

    Can he just imagine how awesome it will be when he is standing in the gallery as Will wins the Masters? (And that Will’s mom won’t be allowed in, but the dad will?)

    Just sayin’.

  12. Donna,

    I’ll have to practice saying that. A lot. And try to say it without choking or throwing up.

    But you are right.

    per usual…


  13. Jesse and all,

    I am chuckling at your comments because they are so sadly true. Everything has to be presented to advantage the N or he/she will never sign off on it. It is so absurd but so true.

    Thank goodness Will and Jen have you to help them deal with the hurt and strangeness of a N parent.

    Warm wishes. : )

  14. Hi Lynn,

    Was thinking of you this morning when deciding about today’s post.

    It’s funny how I naively assumed that divorcing him would be enough. I didn’t quite realize that I’d be tap-dancing on behalf of my kids, for the rest of my life.

  15. Hi Jesse,

    Thanks for your thoughts–I always appreciate them!

    I stayed a long time in the marriage for many reasons: I believed and believe in making marriage work (if possible), to allow my kids to get older, false hope that things would improve, fear of the unknown, and because I knew having my ex as an ex would be a nightmare. It is, but it is better than living with a nightmare day and night.

    I hope you are having a fabulous weekend. Quiet here . . . and that is just what we need this weekend!

    Thinking of you and yours too . . . : )

  16. Lynn,

    Every day I wake and tell myself, “Practice focusing on what is good and try not to let it be over-shadowed by all the negative.” I often tell the kids the same.

    It isn’t always easy. Some days – honestly – I do a real crappy job.

    But I am noticing that our general mood – more positive and less desperate – has improved a lot over the last couple years.

    As I write this, I have to wonder if the getting out of his house isn’t the biggest contributor to our healthier moods. I’m sure it had a lot to do with it.

    Be well, Lynn. ;)

  17. Hi Jesse,

    I know my kids tell me they are relieved to be out of the old house and do not like returning to it. We are emotional beings and surroundings bring back memories good and bad. I felt such an oppressiveness in our old house. The walls have too much pain in them from all the yuck that happened there. That is my feeling anyway.

    I am guessing your kids feel a freshness and relief about being in new surroundings that are not marked by heartache.

    I keep Will, Jen, and you in my prayers!

    Take care of YOU!

  18. Lynn,

    It’s going on six years since we moved out of his house. At this point, Jenny has lived in this home longer than in her dad’s.

    The memories made in this home continue to pile on top of each other until the memories from living at their dad’s are just a thin layer at the bottom of the memory pile. It takes a bit of time, but it does work to smother some of those old, gut-wrenching memories.

    I think of you and yours often.

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