As women we hear that if a man wants you then you will know. That men make time for the things that they want. That a real man will be intentional about you and never leave you to wonder. But I’m here to say that is bullshit. Society positions women to believe that love is suppose to hit you like a ton of bricks and that it’s love at first sight. But that is the wrong message.
When I met the man that would eventually be my husband. He was attentive and seemed like he was so in tuned with his emotions. He was intentional and made it know that he wanted a future with me. Being the hopeless romantic I am, I just figured that I had finally found a great guy. That I was going to ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after, that it was finally my turn to have a good life.
You hear the term Narcissist or Narcissistic Personality Disorder all the time now. But nine years ago it was hardly ever talked about. I didn’t know about the terms love-bombing or reactive abuse. I didn’t realize that there was a thing called coercive control. Triangulation. These are terms you learn after having your sanity questioned each and everyday.
I knew that I wasn’t being treated the best, but coming from a childhood filled of domestic violence, alcohol and drugged addicted parents, I didn’t have the best understanding of boundaries. My childhood made me a giver and a people pleaser. Perfect pickings for a narcissist.
The man that would eventually become my husband made it seem like I was the best thing that had ever happened to him. He told me so many beautiful things like he had prayed for his forever and God delivered you. He told me all about his childhood that he had been raped and that I was the only person he ever felt comfortable telling because my spirit was so wonderful. His time in the military and the three tours of duty he did.
Within weeks he told me he loved me and that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. We knew that we wanted to get married and have two more kids together. I already had two and so did he.
Little by little, there was cracks in the foundation of the relationship. Things that didn’t add up, but I chalked it up to PTSD from the childhood rape and the war. Behavior that I made ok in my mind because I wanted to see the good in the person that I thought I wanted to spend my life with.
I moved across the country to build a life with this person. I thought I was happy. Not realizing that I was slowly becoming conditioned to accept subpar treatment. Becoming addicted to the highs and lows of such a toxic relationship thinking that my relationship was the best thing that ever happened to me when my gut kept telling me that something was wrong. I lived each day like I was walking on eggshells and like an elephant sat on my chest.
Even though my spirit was rejecting this man, my heart wanted to see the good in him. So I stayed. I thought my love could help him see that getting therapy and working on himself could set him free and lead us to living the life that he promised me.
I stayed through him flirting with other women, him not consistently working, him getting fired for sexual harassment. But nothing was as bad as when the discard came. A simple fight and my husband left me, our daughter and my older kids. Without a backwards glance, in a manner that was so brutal I couldn’t see anyway past it that to harm my own self.
Even after I got out the hospital my concern was to repair my marriage. I didn’t know what a trauma bond was but I quickly learned. I was so use to the fighting the highs and lows. The bouts of love-bombing and then the lows of the devaluation that accompanied it.
I felt crazy, wondering why my husband didn’t love me enough to fight for us. I went looking for answers because I never got a straight answer from him. So I checked phone bills and made contact with a number that kept calling and find out that my husband was in a full blown affair with a woman who he had around my child.
So I did some more digging and contacted the only person in his family that was willing to tell me the truth about my husband. That he had a horrible past of lying, he had lied about his military career. He had never finished basic training.
He had a past of indecent exposure. He had exposed himself at the job he worked with his ex wife at. He had a past of voyeurism and he had been inappropriate with members of his family and the rest of his family had covered it up.
I couldn’t believe it. I had married and had a baby with a monster. Someone who lies for sport and collects women to use, abuse and discard as he sees fit and I was his latest victim. He told me he had never loved me and he was only with me for convenience.
After experiencing what I was sure was the worst pain of my life, I went on a mission to understand what happened to me. And when I came across NPD I was sure that my husband was suffering from this disorder.
I knew that any hope I had of a successful marriage had been placed on hold because it was impossible with the person I was married to. If I wanted a successful marriage I had to leave my current one, go heal and try with someone else.
Part of me was mad and scared. Filled with hatred and anger because I didn’t deserve the things that had happened to me. I was painted to be this unsupportive, abusive wife and the whole time I was being set up to look like the crazy one.