Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
I married a narcissist and now trying to divorce one!(627 Posts)
Oh god, I have just realised that I married a narcissist and only whilst trying to divorce him have I realised this.
I have just read a post which appeared on Facebook about being married to a narcissist.....and it describes 100% my marriage.
I have written a fair few posts on here lately about trying to divorce my husband due to his unreasonable behaviour and getting advice. I couldn’t understand why I felt guilty, why I thought we could be amicable etc etc. Thank god I have left him. Even though I’ve left with my body and mind in shreds. He had been telling me how guilty he feels about my recent M.E diagnosis and I’ve been saying....oh don’t feel guilty it wasn’t you who has made me ill.... but yes, it bloody well is you
that has destroyed my body and soul....bloody bastard, and there was me apologising. What on earth has this man done to my brain over the last 11 years, I’m apologising for leaving! Wtf! I’m trying to make sure he gets a fair settlement because I feel sorry for him and all the while I’m getting more and more ill!
I have to deal with this man for a long time as our son is 3. I’m seriously going to need some coping strategies!
Yes, it comes as a shock when you realise what you have been dealing with.
It was a psychologist who helped me understand the disorder yet it still took time for my brain to catch up. I still hoped he was reachable but I have now finally accepted it.
It helps that there are lots of resources on the subject and your healing will come from acceptance and not feeling guilty for not seeing the real man. I feel guilt for my DC but the separation has meant his impact on them is limited. You can't co parent with someone with NPD as they will counter parent. Remember he will always do what serves him best, sometimes that may mean he plays the doting dad but it never lasts. It has taken me approx 2 years to recover and I am still physically recovering.I knew the marriage harmed me but it was shocking to know the extent of the harm as the body always keeps the score.
Once you figure out NPD you will see Ex's triggers..he will need to win, he will use you as a scapegoat and he will seek alternative supply aka attention. Sometimes that attention will be negative so beware of him causing fights which seem to be out of the blue. Learn to not react. I dont always stick to the rule but I generally never respond to a rant email until I have given it 24 hours to settle down.
I warn you. I'm years down the line and am still in recovery.
I absolutely feel your pain, whilst I never married one I was with one. I didn't even know what a narc was until it was almost over and suddenly it was pointed out and I could see it all. I felt physically sick that somehow this strong confident woman had been turned into a completely broken woman. Even after therapy I'm still dealing with the aftermath that only a narc can leave with you.
But take comfort in knowing you are now heading in the right direction. I do hope you are ok
The part which I found the most difficult was for him to understand what his actions had done. He will not accept that he was wrong. He simply used to say that in his country women are tougher and can take the arguments. And me my favourite response.....you make me angry!
He still and he genuinely thinks he is the victim won’t move out the family home. I’m still at my mums with our son in one room. He is really pathetic the way he is dealing with this. And deep down I can hear his words “you think I f*****g need you”. So why he is making our his world has ended I don’t know! But all of this is having an impact on my health still! I hate this man! I’m seriously worried about his state of mind!
Rainbow, cut your loses my dear and focus on healing yourself and looking after your son. Don’t give him any more headspace. Chin up, war paint on, and give yourself abig hug and thanks for getting rid of him.
@Rainbow03 that's the thing with a narc. They emotionally can't see what they've done and they won't ever. They create a fabrication of events in their end. This lie of how it's your fault is to protect the perfect image they like to think they are.
Best rule I learnt, you will never change a narc.
@Rainbow03 I cut of my mother who was narc. It’s only after about 6 months I realised life was infinitely better without someone telling me what a shit job I am doing at life (I’m not) and the retracting statements saying oh but you do try so hard.
Then when I cut her off my mother contacted all of my friends and family to tell them what an awful thing I’d done to her cutting her off when she’s been sooooo good to me. I’d never told them she’d been telling me I was never going to amount to anything, I wasn’t good enough, why can’t I just be like everyone else’s daughter who are all doing so much better than me.
First I was angry but now I’ve learned to stay away and those who will judge will judge but I’ve spent so much time and energy drifting away from looking after myself I’ve learned the best thing I can do to get over this is to focus on myself, get myself better and if it were my ex I’d also make sure I looked the best I’ve ever looked for myself, and ignore ignore ignore!!
You can communicate with him through other means speak to your solicitor and do not jump at whatever he is deliberately throwing at you.
He has taken so much from me over the years and now I’m worried with my M.E diagnosis that he has taken some of my future also. The doctor said that M.E can be caused by prolonged stress and by becoming accustomed to living on the edge until you eventually burn out. I’m waiting on counselling, hopefully once my head gets better I will feel better!
I’m with you. Admittedly my exH is towards the lower end of the spectrum (had a relationship with one high on the spectrum before him which was why I never picked up on it this time).
I’m having the same feelings as you. I spent 15 years married to him thinking that our marriage was pretty good. It’s now glaringly obvious that it only appeared to be good because he conditioned me never to rock the boat and to let him do what he wanted. The only few times I did something that he disagreed with (point out that he was treating me badly/made him take and hour out of work because I needed to be driven to a medical appointment/argue) he responded with what I thought at the time was distress and sulking but in retrospect was a lesser form of narcissistic rage. He’d disappear for 24 hours, Male me think he was going to hurt/kill himself (without actually saying those words - it would be implied), turn off his phone, wouldn’t look at me for days when he got back, drive like a maniac etc. I can now clearly see that this was all conditioning me to be too scared ever to question him or stop him doing what he wanted. And so we lived in domestic bliss because I learned not to have needs or feelings.
Eventually I had a brief affair which triggered me leaving. I didn’t leave for the man I had an affair with - I left because it opened my eyes to being unhappy in my marriage.
We split nearly 2 years ago and were amicable for the first year. I thought we’d done brilliantly. But then I met my new man and it all fell apart. He is so jealous - real ugly jealousy. The mask has slipped completely now. He can only sustain being his ‘normal’ pleasant self for a week or two at a time now and then the slightest thing sends him into the same narcissistic rage (sulking, disappearing, implying he’s suicidal then turning his phone off etc etc) and it’s lasting longer every time. I am exhausted with it and my stomach is constantly in knots because o wouldn’t put it past this man to end up taking his own life purely to spite me, and our daughters would be absolutely devastated because they adore him. I don’t know what to do.
Sorry, I didn’t mean that to turn into an essay, I just wanted to show that you’re not alone and thought you might recognise some of the behaviours. I honestly thought our marriage was ok until I had the affair (which I am not proud of and bitterly regret - it if I hadn’t been turned into a repressed shell of a stepford wife then it would never have happened in the first place). It’s only after leaving, meeting someone new and seeing how he can’t help himself but reveal is true colours that it becomes clear.
I’m dreading ever meeting someone else. He had told me numerous times during the relationship if I ever had an affair with another man he would kill them and me. Whether these are just blustering words I don’t know. I know that if I did meet a man now it would set off something in him!
I am convinced my ex is a narc. He plays the victim and runs around to everyone telling them I'm this and I'm that.
He has put nasty things on fb about me, accosted me in the street, stole my dog, bought the house next door to me. I have an injunction against him which he is defending.
He absolutely plays the victim and makes out he hasn't done anything wrong and I won't leave him alone.
It has certainly taken its toll, we separated 18 months ago, I don't react to any of it but he won't stop.
The whole world revolves round him and he can't or won't see his actions.
Ha. Yes mine said he is gong to buy a flat as close too our son as possible! He even asked if he could convert and live in our garage.....ummmmm NO!
I was married to, had children with, and divorced a narcissist. It was hell. This was before the internet so I had no idea what I was dealing with.
Please DO NOT waste your mental energy on worrying about him, his settlement, his future. You need to concentrate solely on yourself, your settlement, and your future with your son. @lifebegins50 is correct in saying you cannot co-parent with a narc as they will always work against you.
You will not be able to settle anything reasonably because there is no reasoning with a narc. NPD is untreatable. They are incapable of empathy and need to feed their disorder. He will lie as easily as breathing, and will believe his own lies as truth.
You will need find a solicitor who understands about divorcing a narcissist.
Look up “Grey Rock Technique” which is an excellent method of dealing with a narc. There are lots of articles about it and some excellent youtube videos.
You mentioned that he’s said if you ever had an affair he would kill you and the other man. Has he ever been violent towards you? Do you think he is capable of being violent?
Is he capable of being violent....yes, In his past there has been acts of physical violence. He was fired from 2 jobs in the last few years. One for shouting at a female employee and she felt intimidated and the second he had a male employee up against the wall by his neck.
Has he been physically violent towards me.....no never hit me but his temper is very scary and violent and I always remove myself. His whole face and body changed it’s very intimidating!
I wonder if it's best to report his threats to the police, and start keeping a record of the incidents in case you need them for court?
Yes the solicitor has told me to keep a record in case I want a non molestation order.
I’m still going through a tortuous divorce 6 years down the track. He has been truly awful. I basically offered him everything on a plate, just to get him out of my hair, but he’s been uncooperative, dragged his feet and out right lied throughout. I’ve ended up taking him to court which has cleaned out pretty much every penny I have. He basically told the judge that he wasn’t cooperating because I chose to leave so it’s my own fault.
I have absolutely been through the ringer with this man. At the beginning I was like you OP, I felt guilty for leaving. He played nice until he actually had to do something, then he just dug his heals in and did nothing.
The best advice I can give you is to get a solicitor, if you can afford one or don’t already have one, and only communicate with him via them. Do not get sucked into talking, arguing, pleading or getting angry with him. It’ll achieve nothing and it’ll only upset and stress you out. Belt and braces all the way, everything done via solicitor and contact arrangements for DC done by email. If he wants to play silly buggers let him do it all on record.
I’ve got a solicitor now, paid the £800 retainer last week
My husband told me what he would give me. I accepted, it was a good offer. I paid the solicitor for one hour, about £280. Came back said great let’s do it, solicitor said it’s a good offer considering everything. He then says wait I’m not happy with that anymore I need to get some advice! He just back tracks on everything!
You should read about Ongoing Traumatic Relationship Syndrome. There is definitely a link between stress & illness. By the end of my marriage I was desperately depressed with lots of stomach issues. I’m 3 months out and so much better already - still got a divorce to face though!
Best of luck to you OP xx
Rainbow03, having divorced my narc exH I can tell you it is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. There are plenty of articles online to support you through this process. Psychology Today has been particularly helpful as have some groups on FB. The more you know the more you will understand how these characters operate. It is not your fault, trust and believe that first and foremost. And go grey rock as much as possible, for your own sanity.
This article sets out the grey rock technique a PP referred to.
Develop very slopey shoulders and a teflon exterior when you have to deal with your ex. Visualise yourself putting it on before you meet.
Give up on the idea that he will ever "get it". He won't, and you'll bring yourself huge stress and anxiety by holding onto that hope that he'll suddenly see the light.
And get support from a really good lawyer who is experienced in dealing with this type of character.
It's important that you inform the police, and your solicitor, about his threats and violent past so that the police can "flag" your address and your name. Narcs can turn very nasty and the most dangerous point is when they are being left/divorced by their victim.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Get started »
Please login first.