Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist

by Amanda A. (follow)
Surviving Abandonment (8)      Narcissism (3)     
It is not normal, healthy behaviour for someone to suddenly abandon a marriage. Marriage is supposed to be about commitment and mutual respect and discarding somebody without so much as a glance back, shows a serious lack of disregard for the person that for one day at least, you thought enough about to marry.

According to the new woman, my marriage was unhappy. Well, I'm glad she got the memo because I had no idea. If he was unhappy, a normal response would have been to communicate this to the person that he was married to, not find a woman on an Internet dating site, have an emotional affair, escalating to a physical affair, and then wait until your wife see her naked in your bed, before you decide to tell your wife that you haven't loved her for a long time.

I know the lies he has told her about me, because he told the same stories to me, about his previous wife and I lapped it up, because I wanted to believe. I should imagine she believes I am controlling, I have probably had an affair, I am mentally unstable and generally made his life miserable, so what a stroke of luck that his soul mate appeared when she did. Talk about deja vu! How many soul mates can one man have in a lifetime and how lucky for him that they appear just when he needs them to help him get away from the current psycho that he is with.

The new woman will be blinded by his charisma, like I was. But for me, with the benefit of hindsight and a lot of serious reading, it is pretty obvious that someone who behaves in this manner has some serious character flaws at the very least and probably suffers from a personality disorder. In fact, I am pretty sure that my ex-husband suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

My marriage lasted only three years, in fact he sent me flowers for our wedding anniversary, only a few days before I discovered them together - who does that? But it doesn't matter if it lasted three years or twenty years, if you were suddenly abandoned, I want your new mantra to be, "I did nothing wrong, I wasn't given a chance to fix it, the fact that he left in the manner that he did means that he had no regard for me or my feelings, he has serious issues, and he has done me a favour because I can do better than someone that is able to treat me like this."

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Narcissists are only interested in themselves and they lack concern for other people. They can look as if they care, but it is always a tactic to get what they want. They manipulate and exploit people, and they lie constantly, even when they don't need to. They are coldly calculating and incredibly persuasive, but at the same time their thinking is erratic and impulsive. They are self-destructive and they destroy those around them. They never take responsibility for their behaviour and they tend to have addictions - alcohol, tobacco, sex and gambling, to name a few.

The narcissist lives for the admiration of other people, they can't handle any sort of criticism because they are desperately clinging on to their own arrogant superiority. Ironically, they are quick to blame and criticise others but they can fly into a rage if anyone suggests that they could improve or do something differently.

Narcissists like to be in relationships because it means they have a constant source of admiration. They use their partner as a mirror - they like to see themselves through the other person's eyes, but of course it falls apart when the cracks start appearing.

Becoming a Narcissist's Supply

The narcissist needs a supply source, someone to constantly tell them how wonderful they are. The narcissistic relationship begins as a whirlwind romance with constant 'love-bombing'. For future reference, it is not normal for someone to be texting you twenty times a day, every day. I was flattered because nobody had ever given me that amount of attention. I know that is what he is doing to the new supply now, and he will continue until he knows for certain that she is hooked. He told me that I was his soul mate and that he was sure that we had met in a previous life. He sent huge bunches of red roses to my work, which I ended up paying for when I paid his credit card debts off.

love bombing, whirlwind romance, narcissism

There were some inconsistencies at the beginning, but I quickly dismissed them because I wanted to believe in the knight in shining armour that had appeared. He asked me to marry him very early on, and I was overcome - nobody had asked me to marry them before. He moved into my house without asking and I felt uncomfortable with his heavy drinking but he showered me with affection, so his faults were a small price to pay. And after all, his ex-wife was making his life hell, so it was understandable that he might drink a bit too much. His ex was a psycho and so was his sister, which explained why he never had Christmas Day with his family. I remember one of his ex-wife's friends ringing him angrily on the phone one night, and he just collapsed on the floor demanding to know how everybody believed the lies his ex-wife was spreading. The poor man what had he done to deserve this?

In retrospect, I know I had no boundaries - a person with healthy boundaries would have not allowed him in. Also a past filled with psycho ex-wives, neighbours and family members will make me suspicious from now on. I wanted to believe in the fairy tale and I ignored my intuition. I am by nature a compassionate person that likes to help and he fed off my codependency like a vampire.

Devaluing the Target

All of the narcissist's energy goes into maintaining the image that they portray to the world. My ex-husband was always proclaiming that he was a legend where he worked and that he made amazing money because he only worked half the year (two weeks on, two weeks off). But while other men, in his situation, had paid off houses, had nice cars went on overseas holidays, he lived from week to week with no assets and no money in the bank.

When I met him I believed him when he told me that his ex-wife had lived above her means, and it was all her fault that they had no money after twenty years of marriage. I dutifully took him in, he paid no rent. even though he was supposed to be making huge amounts of money. We bought a house and the deposit was my savings - he had none. When it came to paying day to day living expenses I paid everything except for the mortgage which came out of his pay before he could spend it. I believed him when he told me he was broke because he had to pay child support.

We got into deeper and deeper debt as he ran up credit cards. I took over our finances because I could see myself becoming homeless when we couldn't make the mortgage repayments. I gave him a generous amount of pocket money each week but it was never enough. I am sure this is when the devaluing started - I had become controlling just like his ex-wife. The cracks had started to appear. Once I took control of the money out of necessity, I was reinforcing the fact that I knew that maybe he wasn't quite as wonderful as he was portraying himself to be. I wasn't useful to him any more because I couldn't mirror back to him the picture that he wanted to see.

I think it was about this time that he started to seriously look for somebody else to tell him how fantastic he was. I remember when he was away working and he told me that he didn't have Internet access. I went on Facebook one night and noticed he was online. I jokingly sent him a message accusing him of talking to another woman. His response was a complete over reaction and ironically I know now my intuition was probably spot on. I got so upset it wasn't long after this I deleted him as a friend on Facebook. It was also hard for me to see all the constant flirting. Now I can see that he never had any respect for me, but at the time it was easier just to choose not to see it.

'Gaslighting' is a common tactic in the devaluing stage. You know something is not quite right but you can't put your finger on it. If you ask them, they tell you, you are imagining things or being overly sensitive. I could tell from his phone bills (which I paid) that he was in Adelaide, when he was telling me he was in Moomba, but he always had a reason which even though most of the time, made no sense, I was just desperate to believe, so I did. Who wants to face the truth, that the man that you married can look you in the eyes and lie to you. Who wants to believe that the man who said you were soul mates is now getting enjoyment from watching you crumble as you try to cling on to what you thought was real?

The Discard

Being discarded by someone that you thought loved you, is the worst feeling in the world. Being discarded by a narcissist is worse because they have destroyed your sense of self and continue to lie right up to the end. He told me that he needed to move out to find himself and that he wanted us to have date nights. I feel sick when I realise that I was sleeping in that bed with him on our date nights and that the other woman had been sleeping in the bed the night before. I still find it hard to believe that someone could be that cruel. I was so broken, so emotionally damaged, so psychologically scarred that I will never again be the person that I was.

He has brainwashed me to such an extent that I was stupid enough to fall for his lies a second time. He had got himself in dire financial trouble and knew that I would help him. I didn't give him any money but I helped him organise payment plans and do his tax. He knew all he had to do was tell me that the other woman didn't understand him they way that I did, that he realised now that he must have been 'sick' to break up our marriage, that he realised he had made a big mistake. Of course, once he had got what he wanted, he unceremoniously dumped me again.

I am determined to stay away from him now. I have blocked him on my phone and on my email and I am determined that it will stay that way. I think the second discard made me realise how pathetic he really is and how I can only get better from here. I think that is the secret - getting past the facade that you have been believing for so long and seeing the man for who he really is.

Some good has come out of this situation - I now have clear boundaries, I'm not so trusting, and if anyone texts me twenty times a day or wants to marry me in the first month, I know now to steer clear. I am glad now that I am free of the anxiety and constant drama that went along with my marriage. I am responsible for me, and only me, and it is a nice feeling.

I hope this article resonates with someone and that someone can get some comfort from my experience. People like my ex-husband have gone through life hurting and manipulating people and they shouldn't be able to constantly get away with it.

discard, narcissist, abandoned wife

#Surviving Abandonment
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