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Before I was married to the Narcissist: I felt smart. I had great grades in school. I felt pretty. I had too much personality, bigger than life (cocky with it like most twenty year olds naturally are LOL. I am a mother now of more than one. I had humor. I grew up laughing. My family likes to tell stories and smile. I use to walk through the halls at college smiling all the time. I was known for my optimistic smile. It was always there. I was just as quick to laugh as I was to make others laugh. I had confidence. I lived large and bold. I didn't pay too much attention to what people thought about me because I was more focused on learning and experiencing things about them. I was impulsive like most twenty year olds are. I was trying new things as a college student. I was traveling the world, meeting new people and new cultural groups. When all was said and done, I oozed with excitement, adventure and an unwritten future. 

When I was married to the Narcissist: He made me feel stupid. He made me feel ugly. He made me feel like I didn't have a personality. He made me feel like I didn't have humor. He made me feel like I would always say and do the wrong thing at the wrong time: lack of confidence. Well, when all was done to me that he had to do, I was an empty shell of a human being. Emotionless, lifeless, unloved, isolated, unwanted, lonely, mental break down, energy-less, confused, off balanced, broken, questioning everything and second guessing myself. In a NUTSHELL, your self-identity and personality and worth and health goes RIGHT INTO THE CRAPPER when married to a Narcissistic person. 

* My identity became an extension of him. If he had a thought or an emotion, it was suppose to be mine as well. I wasn't to have ideas or experiences of my own. He absorbed me as an extension of himself. It used to make me mad when he used me as a back up to his ideas. Oh, he would say, "my wife and I were talking about that this morning and she and I think this and that." First, we didn't talk about it and I didn't agree with him. Oh well. I usually let it go uncontested. 

* I was not really allowed to have a personality. I didn't laugh or enjoy the things in life that I should have. It was sort of a depression that could not be explained. He was sabotaging my relationships with others and taking the enjoyment out of life. I began to be numb and have no real expressions: no personality. He used to kick me under the table when I began to talk in social settings. He interrupted playtime with my kids and I. It was just small but relentless stuff that you wouldn't think was abuse, but it took its toll just the same. 

* My self worth (emotional health) was deteriorating to a point that life was "just going through the motions." I was working for him, raising four kids, doing all the cooking and cleaning and errands and volunteer work, but he made me feel like I was incapable, unloved and unwanted. At one point some girlfriends were complaining about their husbands. The one girlfriend said, "It makes me feel unloved when my husband does." I remember thinking, "crybaby! I don't think or feel unloved. I know I am unloved. My husband doesn't love me or anyone really." But I kept my mouth shut and was polite as the ladies vented thinking they have no idea.

* My health (physical, mental) had taken a hit. Stress was affecting my health. Walking on eggshells will take a physical toll on your body. Ask who on FWW has thyroid issues, and all the hands go up, and we haven't even mentioned, fuzzy brain, PTSD, Stockholm syndrome, trauma bonding, Narcissistic survivor syndrome, and all those pretty little things that make us look crazy and feel crazy. These things have one questioning their own sanity... It's called crazy making!

The Here And Now, My Life After Being Married To A Narcissist: I have now started dating someone new, and he believes that all the beautiful women are beautiful as a direct result on how they have been treated. It isn't a matter of body shape or looks. Beauty comes from within. A well-loved women glow. He took one look at me, knowing me then and knowing me now, and instantly hated my ex. Oh my, look what he has done to you. What is the matter with that guy? He heard this at a "couples conference" that a woman is like a garden. You water it, weed it and care for it. If a man's wife is a mess, it is his fault for not taking care of his wife. Not all that profound, but it was nice to know that he wanted to go out again. He thought if I can give her some care and attention, she'll be back. The girl he knew was in there somewhere.

He started with encouraging me to dress like I was pretty, to feel pretty because I was and always had been pretty. He was right. I wasn't ugly. How did I get so frumpy? My hair started growing out just because I had no money for a haircut. I gained some weight. He took me here and took me there. He was feeding me constantly and telling me funny stories from his single life. Companionship, care, food, laughter, I began to bloom again. And this attention went both directions. There were things in his life to overcome too. He began to care about himself more as well. He was the man and I was the woman. Before I was the man, and the mother because the ex was the child. I was never the wife because ex had his porn. This is what being in a relationship was like? Who knew?

Conclusion: I guess you can heal from a narcissistic relationship!

Be brave ladies and do something that makes you feel pretty, just because you want too. Out with frumpy and however else he made you feel. Don't listen to his negative voice in your head. Water your own garden if you have too; be pretty and smart and successful and happy. And find your "before-the-Narc-self” and blend it with the "new and smarter" you. (((Happy Healing)))

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  • Comment Link Elizabeth Gower Monday, 11 July 2016 17:03 posted by Elizabeth Gower

    "My life's blossom, would have bloomed saved by the bitter wind that stunned my flowers

    On the side of me, in which you in the village could see in the dust I lift a voice of protest!

    My flowering side yee never saw, yee living ones, yee are the fools indeed, who do not know the ways of the wind or the unseen voices that govern the process of life." SpoonRiver

    I have been reciting this poem since I had to learn it as a personal monolog in an acting class I was in, right before I married a narcissist. I thought this related to what you wrote about your life. I understand the worthlessness that you felt after they spin their endless, life sucking webs, and appreciate your perspective. I hope you continue to own that beautiful smile and share it with others.

  • Comment Link christa clark Friday, 20 November 2015 04:08 posted by christa clark

    I actually did 2marriages like this. The first I was strong enough to leave but he played dirty pool and won custody of our 2 kids...they were quite young. The second time around I stayed in the marriage. I had 2 kids with him also.....was quite scared to leave thinking the same thing will happen again of losing the kids. I finally got the courage to leave when my youngest was 16. It saddens me that my youngest wanted to stay with him after our talk of leaving together. My ex got to him and convinced him to stay with him. I just hope over time my son will see and grow to be on his own and go his own way once he graduates and begins his life. I on the other hand is learning to love myself and find myself.....with the help of loved ones around me family and new friends that I made. I lost a lot being with him. Now that he is not with me I am learning andgrowing:). He still tries to pull me down but I won't let it happen. I get stronger every day. Here is to new beginnings!!!! It is beginning late in my life at the age of 50 but it will be a happy ending of the rest of my life.

  • Comment Link Carm Tuesday, 17 November 2015 17:28 posted by Carm

    This issue is not only relevant for solely women. I've known very good men who have gone through some absolutely awful things in their relationships with a Narcissistic wife. Using children to manipulate and coerce, or the all time classic of throwing out the random suidicde threat to get them to always come back home where they are not safe, not healthy, and certainly not happy. Any person who does such things to their spouse I find I revile so much, even knowing that they are sick and need help, but a narcissitic person refuses help, refuses to acknowledge their wrongdoing and the effects of their actions. It is hard to find resources to for people to help themselves, perhaps especially men because of the stigma of seeming weak, but I know women also often go through hell, and often are victims of more than just mental abuse, and also if there are young children involved especially. This article gives me hope for the people going through this - they have only to see they are not alone and they can and will move past this if they have the courage and determination to take back their life.

  • Comment Link Beth Tuesday, 17 November 2015 16:41 posted by Beth

    I could have written this! They were made from the same mold! It has been 1 year now since he threw me and the kids out of the house after I discovered his Match account. The divorce is a nightmare, it is his new life's mission to annihilate me.

    I just had a comment for momof3girls… you are right. You DO miss a lot of time with the kids, and that is the part that sucks the worst for me (I have 3 also)… Still I don't regret the split. But a word of advice - get as much documentation as you can so that if you decide to take the leap you can get more time with the kids. I was too nice. I should have used my pics of his unregistered gun, kept track of how much he was drinking and over-using his pain meds, how he screws everyone in business and mistreats people all day, text messages that show how he abused me. Hear/say evidence is not evidence in the eyes of the court, unfortunately. Take him down hard! Because he will do the same to you in a second!

    I was planning to stay for the kids too, until they were in college. My therapist told me that I was doing the kids no favors because if I stayed and acted like everything was ok, they would model his behavior and our relationship in their own adult lives. Lucky for me he kicked me out, I guess - I didn't have the guts to leave! After I got into my apartment I found a photo album of before-him pics and I couldn't even recognize that happy girl. I feel like I'm half-way returned now, and much healthier. I think I actually would have died in that environment somehow. Well good luck.

  • Comment Link Marti Tuesday, 17 November 2015 10:04 posted by Marti

    Pretty bra every chance I bought one, they were uncomfortable and I didn't wear them most of the time. When I need to feel pretty I wear one. I haven't gotten all of me back but piece by piece I am

  • Comment Link Jenn Rockefeller Monday, 16 November 2015 19:31 posted by Jenn Rockefeller

    I saw myself in every word you wrote. I was also married to a narcissist. I was emotionally and physically abused. I was everything you described....broken, felt unloved, unworthy, etc. My ex was so good at playing the victim, that he got custody of the children. They live on the opposite coast than me, and the ex does a great job at keeping them away from me.

    I have been to therapy. I am also with someone new....we just celebrated 2 years of marriage last month. Yes, it is possible to recover from abuse by a narcissist.

  • Comment Link momof3girls Sunday, 15 November 2015 20:14 posted by momof3girls

    How are you supposed to leave the narcissist when you have several young children? By leaving him I would be missing out on so many days of their young lives. Plus if I'm not around who is there to shelter them from his narcissistic banter and ill sense of humour. Bad taste and terrible manners do not constitute an unfit father in the eyes of the court.

  • Comment Link Anonymous Friday, 13 November 2015 17:21 posted by Anonymous

    Exactly spot on reality when dealing with and married to this type of person. And if people haven't lived this, it is difficult for them to fully understand or even believe that this person could ever be abusive. Because they put their mask on for the rest of the world to see. My abuse was hidden, mainly verbal, emotional and financial. He was brilliant at putting bruises in places most people wouldn't see. He stopped himself when choking me right before I passed out from it. But always, always making sure his threats of worse, so I didn't say a word. Only once did he make the mistake of leaving the imprint of his hand wrapped around my arm. I was so used to the bruises that I didn't even notice it. I put on a running top to meet a friend to walk. And that was the first time someone looked me in the eye and asked is he hurting you. Of course, I said no. And of course I covered up for him. When a colleague at his work called and inquired if he was abusive to me or when he was drinking became violent, I again covered up for him. Each and every time someone asked me after witnessing something that just didn't seem right or didn't quite add up, I would change the subject, make an excuse. But all of those times, I was the one believing my lies and my excuses.

    The absolute worse now that we are divorced is the way he projects the things he does, and thinks on to me as if I do it. The constant verbal and emotional abuse and the threats. Which as anyone that has lived like this knows, a threat he can do with one glance or the look in his eye when you know he is about to unleash a violent attack. And the lies! He lies big and small. It is so strange. And he even began to lie to people so much about me, that I actually think he believed his own lies. He would say one of the outrageous accusations to me about me, and I was there so I know the truth. But it was if his lies had become his reality. He told the same or similar lies about his first wife to me. So now that I am hearing them about me, I know they are not true about her either. The smear champaign is relentless. They go friends, family anyone that they know that you know. And of course everyone believes the N because, you are absolutely an insecure, inarticulate, emotional basket case for them to see. While he is confident, cool and collect to all of the world to see.

    I am in the end stages of this nightmare. But the scars that have been left deep within my children will never go away, and have yet to fully come to the surface.

    When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. If they refer to an ex as crazy, RUN away from that person, because likely he made her that way! And if someone seems too good to be true and wisks you off your feet very quickly and begins saying you two are soleMates, and if you feel things are moving very quickly...they are! Those are sure signs he is a N. I wish I had known people like this existed. But in my sheltered and naive upbringing, this type of person was in horror movies, and serial killers and they were not people that lived in the neighborhood you did, or went to the same school with you, or to anyone not his victim, seemed like the nice, considerate, intelligent person. I could write novels on this person I have known my entire life that no one warned me about. I kept thinking there had to be good inside of him, some redeeming quality. But no. Pure evil through and through. They say the eyes are the windows to the soul. It is very true. Most N's have noting behind those eyes. They are empty, vacant almost. And the only time you see a sparkle is when they are about to really hurt you. They have no soul, no empathy, no feeling. They do not understand any of those things because they have grown up with out them. And to them their behavior is normal. Because it is their norm.

  • Comment Link AlittleBIRDYtoldMEso Wednesday, 11 November 2015 23:56 posted by AlittleBIRDYtoldMEso

    This is an important blog article. Please... if this hits home.. listen. Don't be trapped forever. As someone who has been there, dug their way out and found some hope- if it feels wrong- it is wrong. Your body knows. It will tell you. Your guts, your heart- you know when your being treated wrong- but you try to justify it and think it will change or they will grow. Sick or "wrong" people do not change- and even if they could- IT IS NOT UP TO YOU TO CHANGE THEM- GET OUT WHILE YOU CAN. Please. Mental abuse.... lasts and lasts and lasts. Cuts and scars, broken bones can heal. But... the damage of mental trauma and mental abuse can last a life time. Leave an abuser. Do it for yourself. Life is short they say. No. Life can be a very long hell in the right hands. Go life a long beautiful life instead. YOU CAN DO IT. I PROMISE. LEAVE.

  • Comment Link Bonnie Tuesday, 10 November 2015 15:48 posted by Bonnie

    I have been married to a man for 25 years an who has been putting me through all this. And telling me that one day he cares for me and the next he don't. He has ruined my mental health, my emotional state. He is so mooding an he also does this advoid thing he stays way to avoid talking to me an seeing me, ohh how this hurts.
    I am seeing a lawyer now an a psychologist for all he has done to my mental abilities.

  • Comment Link Amanda Tuesday, 10 November 2015 13:09 posted by Amanda

    Yes, yes, yes! When I meet him I had so much love to give and it was never reciprocated. I was put down and ignored in so many ways. I did everything for him and my kids and it was never acknowledged, and I was told again and again that I was the one who couldn't love, who never gave. He was my fourth child. He discouraged me from spending time with my family and criticised their lifestyle and beliefs. Whenever I would say something in a group setting he would "correct" me and talk over me, embarrassing me and making me doubt my intelligence. Whenever I brought up something he did that hurt me, he would always turn it around to accuse me of something. I was acting suspiciously if I went out wearing nice clothes. And on and on. I am on my own now, we share our kids and I take care of myself without apologies. I realize that I am better at loving myself than he was at loving me and I don't have to believe all of his negativity! I feel whole, on my own.

  • Comment Link Nina Sunday, 01 November 2015 20:57 posted by Nina

    This is word for word of what i was living , I am better than i have been in twenty years , I thank you for wording the life i once lived in the simplest of words and thank you for this i know im not alone !!!! Living the life i finally deserve , Hugs and Cheers to all the survivors and prayers for the angels .

  • Comment Link cheryl Wednesday, 28 October 2015 15:25 posted by cheryl

    Thank you

  • Comment Link Elaine Newman Tuesday, 27 October 2015 18:41 posted by Elaine Newman

    I'm a year and a half out of a marriage to a narcissist I'm healing but damaged I'm on my own but God willing I will find love not control someday, reading this article makes me feel strong thank you.

  • Comment Link FreeSpirit52 Wednesday, 21 October 2015 09:33 posted by FreeSpirit52

    Thank you once again for such a wonderful article. What you say is what happened to me and you learn to just be and not to smile or laugh to noisily just in case he reminds you that you are not giving him enough attention or going back to your old ways. Perhaps when I did laugh or sing, that was me trying to find my way out of a dark tunnel. Going to take me a long time to know who I am let alone be ok with me. But one thing that I hope for is to know what real love is and be held by someone who dearly see's the inner beauty that I do hold. I think that is what is keeping going that someone will make me feel whole again. Take care.

  • Comment Link Lunar2015 Tuesday, 20 October 2015 19:38 posted by Lunar2015

    I absolutely loved reading this article!