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My Narcissistic Ex-Husband

Reflections on loving and living with a Narcissist.  Let our experts guide you toward the healing power of moving on and allowing yourself some time in the spotlight.  Get advice on healing from his behavior and finding yourself again.

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It has taken me a while to get to this place, but I must say that I am happy to have arrived. I totally feel sorry for the other woman, the one who was the final straw in our marriage, and the one who he now calls wife. I feel sorry for her because, you see, whether she believes it or not I have been there, living with a cheater I couldn’t trust.

Cheaters Gonna Cheat

When I first met my ex I was 19, quite attractive, and in the military where the ratio of attractive women to men is something like 1:100, or it was then. I was looking forward to my new life as an adult on my own, looking forward to traveling because I was scheduled to be stationed in Germany after my schooling, and looking forward to leaving my mistakes in the past.

The first night I got to my new duty station I met him. It was late, I was exhausted, and I walked into the dayroom to get a drink out of the machine. I noticed one, lone couple in the room – she sitting in his lap nuzzling his neck and licking his ear while he watched the television. When he heard me come into the room he turned his head slowly  toward me, his gaze starting at my feet, working up to the top of my head, and then resting on my breasts. He finally looked up to see my stone cold death stare and he grinned.

Understand, the entire time this was going on his girlfriend was grinding in his lap.

My first impression should have been the one I stuck with. What a self-involved, arrogant son-of-a-bitch.

The Glove Has Been Thrown Down

Do you remember how in some movies the knight would toss down his glove to signal the issuance of a challenge?

When I gave him my usually oh-so-successful icy look it was the equivalent of issuing him a challenge. Had I smiled and seemed even slightly interested he would have never looked at me again. Hollywood would have us believe that being pursued is desirable but often in real life it is just a narcissist getting high on what he sees as a challenge to be overcome.

I did everything to stay away from him. If he sat by me I moved. I called him names. I was sarcastic, one of my family’s most valued characteristics – we are incredibly good at sarcasm. I even poured an entire can of Sprite on his head to cool him off.

Nothing deterred him from his goal – me.  He informed me that he was not at all looking for a relationship, he just wanted to talk.

He seemed to know what to say, to know what to do to soften that well hidden, romantic girly-girl in me. He finally broke me down and we began to date.  In a time and place when sex was pretty freely given I was surprised that he was not physically affectionate very often but he blamed it on his military bearing and I didn’t know then what I know now.

Narcissists have their own agenda.

Narcissists Share Everything – Sort Of

It seemed like he understood so much about me. I shared freely about myself, my past, my fears, hopes, and dreams. He did the same.

He told me about his ex-girlfriend (not the one I had seen that first night), who he had hung out with in high school. He told me about how they had broken up over and over again, how she had hurt him, and how he was healing.

He even told me how much I was helping him heal. I was so impressed that he was able to share those deep emotions and so giddy that I was actually helping him get over her that I did not stop to examine the uneasy feeling I kept getting.

Silly me. I didn’t realize that half of what he was sharing was lies and he was only sharing the truth to a depth he could control. While I was letting him into the bottom of my soul his had a false bottom.

It was part of the game.

Marriage Is the Beginning of the End for a Narcissist

So we were married. Interestingly enough he cheated at his bachelor party but I didn’t find out until after the wedding. Nothing like seeing a half-dollar sized hickey on your groom’s body that you didn’t put there.

Of course he had an explanation –and it certainly wasn’t his fault. Although I should have annulled it right there I didn’t.

During the course of the next two years he cheated more than once. I can’t remember how many times honestly, and I probably don’t even know how many times. It was never-ever his fault by the way. In fact (surprise, surprise) it was most often mine.

Things seemed to settle down and then in year seven he cheated again. This was big, he couldn’t decide if he wanted her or me and told me he would just live with me and date her until he decided. He also said he had kissed her but never had sex with her. Somehow reason won out and I told him he had to decide immediately on one or the other – and I really didn’t care whether he’d had sex with her or not.

I just think that an emotional affair is as bad as a physical one – and maybe even more of a betrayal.

He chose me and we went on. I don’t have any knowledge of him cheating until the very end but at this point I can’t say for sure. I don’t even really care.

Sex, which had never been the normal do-it-like-bunnies newlywed sex, dwindled until there were six week, and even longer, gaps between our times together. I felt unattractive and undesirable and, looking back, I was aging badly and really becoming unattractive, too.

We went to counseling on two separate occasions. I suspect neither counselor was experienced in narcissism. The second counseling seemed to fix the problem. We were having much more frequent sex, even making out in the car, and I thought we were over the hump. We had been married nearly 30 years and I was in it for the long haul.

Enter, the Other Woman

Let’s cut to the chase and just let me say that I found pages and pages of sexting and pretty steamy emails between his high school girlfriend and himself. Keep in mind, the man was 50 years old. High school was a long time ago. There is nothing like knowing your husband has been sitting in front of the computer reading personal porn from his girlfriend before he comes upstairs to you to really make your ego deflate to a black hole of self-loathing.

He even laughed in one of the emails and mentioned how I was desperate for those kinds of emails from him but they were all for her. He signed the letters, Always, [the narcissist].

I was furious for a lot of reasons, but the big one was he had signed his cards to me, Always and forever [the narcissist]. When I confronted him he informed me that (are you ready for this fine example of narcissistic logic?) Always and Forever was much better than just Always.

Predictably he let me know that he was having trouble deciding between the two of us and wanted time to decide. I pretty much helped him decide right then.

They have made it sound very romantic to their friends and family. They spun it like high school lovers find each other again after 30 years!  It sounds sweet and lovely but they failed to mention she was married and so was he… and he left six kids and a wife without looking back or concerning himself with how they would fare.

That’s just not as sweet and romantic, is it?

So, Why Do I Feel Sorry for the Other Woman?

Well, because I have a great, peaceful life with a husband that loves me and puts my needs on par with his own. He also happens to find me attractive, thank you very much. My work is going well, I will be on a family vacation on a cruise ship when you read this, and life is just all kinds of good.

She has my ex-husband (no take backs!!), who she is basically supporting, and who is no-doubt still a narcissist whether he has revealed that yet or not. He cheated on her in high school as I recall, he cheated on the girl he was seeing before me, and he cheated on me. At some point he won’t be able to blame me for every bad thing that happens in his life and he will have to find a new martyr. She is the trophy wife now – how long is that going to last? You see, I have been where she is but her future is my past.

Does she really think that he is going to be so different with her?

Yeah, she probably does. And, honestly? He might be. I hope so because, no matter how willing she was overlook the fact that he had a wife when she was messaging him about having him take cherries out of her hoo-hah, I still think that any woman deserves better than what he has given women in the past. I really do hope it works for her.

But forgive me if I grin for a moment when it doesn’t. You know what they say about karma, right?

See, you aren’t alone in your experiences. If you need somewhere to vent, to share, and to get empathy join First Wives World today.



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  • Comment Link Marie Saturday, 04 April 2015 02:22 posted by Marie

    It makes me sick to my stomach that man I dated and loved for 3 long years was dating another woman the whole time. He was such a great lier and manipulator that he got away wit it. I found out in the worst way, I caught them together. I wasn't upset with her initially, because she didn't know about me either. We compared story's. It was beyond awful. A week later I found out she has taken him back. He never apologized to me, and he has hurt me so badly. I broke down in a counselors office today, desperate to get past the pain and rejection. I feel used, deceived and violated. He was making "love to me" he told me we were exclusive. It was all lies. Now he gets his happy ending with this idiot woman who obviously has no self respect. I don't want him back. I just wanted him to suffer. He is not suffering at all. This woman told me they were recently discussing wedding venues. The man I thought was my love was planning a wedding with someone else. What were his plans for me is all I keep asking myself. Why did I have to find out this way? This was so inhuman. I have been made a fool of and its so hard to deal with.

  • Comment Link Ally Sunday, 15 March 2015 02:29 posted by Ally

    I suppose, because we can actually "feel" for others...we don't want anyone to suffer like we did.
    In my situation, the other woman, was always the other woman. They had a thing going on, back and forth..on and off for a very long time, years. I was married to him for 11 years, then I 'escaped' from that hell hole. She to was married, while they were having their fun together, but her husband was murdered. After I left him, they soon moved in together. She had started getting a check for herself and her son, from her husbands death.
    My ex had big issue with moving, from place to place...constantly. Not only would he not pay bills like he should have, he was just lazy as hell to. I am sure, her new income meant he would not have to work again, until her son reached 18 yrs old, that was the case. They moved from motel, cheap cheaper motel.
    I knew what I had been through with him and I knew, she to would feel his wrath...and her son. She is an African American, so is her ex, who is also black, but claims to be native american. My ex seen blacks as a lesser group, or not as good as others. There was never any doubt that he was black, but you could not tell him or his immediate family that!! They were better than that, or so they think anyways. So, this son of hers, whose a dark skinned AA, starts getting abused by him, often. The mother as well, but the boy really got it bad. Any attention she gave her son, he would get jealous of. For whatever reason, she calls me out of the blue one day, about 7-8 yrs after I had left him. She starts to tell me what her life is like with him, how her son is being treated. Normally, I would have hung up, knowing how all of this got started to begin with. She had pretended to be my friend, then they had an affair. I did use to think, she deserved whatever she got coming to her, but..I didn't have the heart to think like that. I certainly didn't think her son deserved any of this. I reminded her, that I had made it out...and so had others, who'd been with him in relationships. I let her also know, she didn't have to stay, her son and her was being abused. I guess, because I knew, where she was at in her life..with him, she needed someone who understood. I understood, oh...I understood! So, we had these girly chats every now and then, until he came home one day...and he asked her who she was on the phone with, that ended that! He was too afraid that I would talk her into leaving him, give her some advice...which I was trying to do. There was no way in hell, I could not voice my opinion on that matter, especially with a child involved. I thought about that along time. I was reminding myself, of how little support I had. I did have my sister when it came down to the hardest part, which was leaving him...and needing a place to go. As far as anyone else though, it was nobody else...He had support from his family. I wondered, because they lived so far away, if she had any family or anyone who she could reach out to. They were actually living in the town, in which he wanted to 'escape" to. It was the town where he had demanded that I move to, before I left him. That and it was to cut-off any close support that I had back home, my sister, who was a threat to him for supporting me. I refused, flat out refused to move with him anywhere! Besides being evicted from every home we had ever lived in, literally...he was not a responsible person at all. I did however have to 'play" him, in order to make my move, without getting hurt or killed by him. I used the fact that he could not stick around and argue with me, to push him out the door as quick as I could, that's the day that I left him. I in fact, had someone willing and ready...and waiting, to come pick me up. I had a home, ready to go to..I don't think it was like that with her. She had became completely dependent on him and his enablers...his family. That plan had been originally for me, but I didn't fall for it. I saw it like it was, she didn't. She didn't realize, how hard it would be to leave. Now, she fears staying and leaving. Her fear, is the things he will say and do, to her and about attempt to hide his abuse towards them. I put a lot of "thinking" in her mind. I let her know, that I knew, he would play the victim, but of course..and try to come out of it smelling like roses. I reminded her of the source, how he was always about pain and suffering, together or apart.
    I do hold some hostility towards her, a very small amount...but nothing that would ever prevent me from helping her or her son. I just can't help but to feel so sorry for them both, it's a terrible situation for anyone to be...even when it was someone who hurt you in the past!

  • Comment Link SharP Thursday, 29 May 2014 13:04 posted by SharP

    This is good stuff. The new gf was picked off the internet to replace me. They have played happy happy perfect couple. Doing all of the things with her that we did or I wanted. (Sinister music please) then he moved into her house. It has been some time now. AND things are changing. Mr. Wonderful is in her owned house and their income has magically combined as they play house. He is set up now yo really turn her into the old me. I know what comes next. (Sarcasm) it will be different with her this time because she is so special unlike that crazy ex of his. Let the narc games begin. I realized that she didn't have a clue what is going to come next when she said to me... I am sorry that you never lived a normal life with him. Yea I did. On and off. In the beginning. Strung along here and there. Extreme, wonderful highs and come at you out of nowhere downs/lows. Look out new gf. It is going to be quite a ride. He hasn't changed and even though you are wonderful in your own way. You can not be wonderful/perfect enough to change a narc. She is now the old me.