For years after I realized that my husband wasn’t really interested in me I would have fleeting thoughts of divorce. I wondered what it would be like and always came back to the same thoughts.
- I will be poor and broke.
- I will be lonely and sad.
- The kids will emotionally fractured.
My situation sucked, but I was used to it. Why would I jump into the unknown? I was in complete agreement with Shakespeare’s Hamlet. And makes us rather bear those ills we have, than fly to others that we know not of.
It Went Down, Y’all
I kicked the ex out in a fit of rage. I wasn’t thinking clearly and honestly I wasn’t in control of my actions. All of the years of struggle and frustration just spewed out, unlocked by one stupid action on his part - the one thing that would put me over the edge.
He cheated again.
In the time since that night I have often thought that it was a good thing that we did not keep deadly weapons by the bed. I was not rational and yet I did the most rational act of my adult life. I kicked him out and the next day I put ALL of his stuff on the front porch and told him to have it gone by 5 or I was sending it via FedEx to his girlfriend’s house addressed to her husband.
The Internet is a wonderful thing. Just as an interesting note, both my ex and his girlfriend blamed their spouses for their divorce and swear up and down that infidelity was not involved.
Of course not. We you aware that pigs could fly?
1. I Didn’t Expect to Get Over It so Fast
Divorce from a narcissist is ugly. I was scared.
When he was gone things happened that were not at all like I thought they would be. In fact, all of the well-intentioned advice I got from people about how horrible my life would be was, in fact, wrong.
I cried the night I kicked him out. I did. I was nearly hysterical for hours and then I sort of calmed down and just cried on and off until I looked like some sort of an alien with a bulbous red nose, swollen red eyes, and blotchy skin.
The next day I cried a little bit, maybe a couple of hours total, but I made homemade pumpkin fettuccine with chipotle and grilled shrimp and I immediately felt better.
The next couple of days were up and down. I would be almost suicidal and then I would be fine. Within two weeks I was not crying and not feeling desperate. I don’t know if that is a short time or an average time or a long time – I just know that I expected to be an emotional mess for months. After all, I had been married for 30 years.
You may be different. It may take you longer to get over your relationship and move on. That’s OK.
2. I Didn’t Expect to Get My Looks Back
I don’t know what it is but being married to a narcissist will make you old and ugly before your time. Here’s the good news – it’s reversible!
Within two weeks I had lost 14 pounds. I expected that because I don’t eat when I am upset. I don’t eat much anyway but when I am upset I skip meals for days. It’s not the best way to lose weight but hey - I have no thyroid and I am over 50 so I’ll take it however I can get it.
It wasn’t just my weight, though. Stress lines on my face began to disappear, I lost the deep, dark circles under my eyes, and I just looked better. I had people who knew me stopping me in the store to ask what was different. I went and bought some nice clothes at a store, not a thrift shop. I had my nails done for the first time in my adult life.
The physical difference was uncanny. In just a month or two I lost about 10 years.
3. I Didn’t Expect to Be Financially Blessed
I had been a stay at home mom for 30 years, in other words, I hadn’t worked since 1979 and it was 2009. I didn’t have a college degree, I had been out of the job market for what seemed like centuries, and I didn’t have any marketable skills. I had six kids at home that would want to eat more than once a week.
That was a scary place to be.
I am making a comfortable living, certainly more than the ex ever made. I have a savings account and excellent credit despite the fact that he left me with 60k in debt to pay off. I buy groceries without crying when I pay for them, worried that I have spent too much. I buy the kids clothes when they need them. A book deal last January meant that my current husband and I could take the kids on a weeklong cruise this past May.
I bought a new van for the family car and a Jag for my kids to drive. My husband bought me a BMW (2 seater) convertible for my birthday. The car I had when I was divorced was a broken down van with no heat, no air, and only one door that worked. I have an updated kitchen that’s almost finished, a deck in the back and a driveway. I had none of those things before 2010.
4. I Didn’t Expect to Be Loved
I did not expect to get into another relationship at all, and certainly not so fast. I didn’t expect to meet a man who would be just as or more giving than I was. I didn’t expect to find someone who would want to get involved with a woman who had six kids at home and a ramshackle house.
I didn’t expect it to be healthy.
I married exactly thirteen months after the separation almost exactly to the day. I kicked him out the end of October, the divorce was final the end of February, and I was married in November. I know that experts warn about doing that, especially after an abusive relationship, but it was right for me. I have never once felt like I made a mistake. I have never been happier or more secure.
5. I Didn’t Expect the Kids to Be Happier
When you get a divorce it’s hard on the kids. It’s emotionally shredding and difficult. I expected there to be tears, issues, rebellion, and adjustment issues but there wasn’t. It was weird, but the kids were relieved.
It wasn’t until weeks later that the older ones came to me and told me about physical abuse and emotional intimidation that I had not been aware of. They told me that I had seemed so happy in the marriage they didn’t want to “break it up”.
I was devastated that I had not protected them. Lesson learned – always be upfront and don’t cover things up.
We had none of the expected struggles blending my new husband into the family. The kids loved him from the beginning and he has loved them. He has offered them parenting, provision, and protection in a way that they never got it before.
Abuse Is Not Better than the Unknown
My take-away from all of this is that nothing is worse than abuse. The unknown can actually be a pretty nice place.
Living with a narcissist is like a terminal illness. It eats away at you from the inside out, day after day, until you are so weak that you don’t care anymore and the last of your essence fades away. Since my divorce I have been happy, secure, and content. Living in a healthy relationship is indescribable. The worst day I have had with my second husband is better than the best day I had with the narc.
What about you? Are you afraid to move on into the unknown? Join First Wives World today and talk it over with people who understand what you are dealing with and can help you make a decision that is right for you.
Image Courtesy of Flickr's Creative Commons, User: p-duke