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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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I'm writing this post partly in response to the heartfelt comments I received from a recent blog I posted, but also in response to the odd 'other' posts I've written that inspired or gave hope to some of you beautiful women going through your rough journeys at whatever stage you are at in living with or divorcing a narcissist.

There are so many things I wanted to do in my life that I know I would have succeeded at.

I had dreams. I wanted to be a dancer, a Psychologist or an Artist. I know I would have been amazing at all three, but excuses were plentiful and now later in my life, regrets are deeply painful. Which leads me to this. My marriage to my STBX only lasted that as long as it did due to my lack of confidence, fear of the unknown, wondering how to survive with young children, NO MONEY and a whole bag of never ending excuses. I could just reach in and pluck out another whenever I need a 'pass'. However, the day my world changed was the day my STBX unconscionably confirmed he was leaving, and leaving me to deal with selling the house and a ton of debt.

I want to explain to you how I went off the deep end, how I became manic, how I wanted that day to be my last on this earth, how I pictured living on the streets, and that's only off the top of my head. I'm trying to find words intense enough, deep enough, painful enough and devastating enough, but there are none that truly depict what was now, in literally a heartbeat, my new reality.

For so many years I was a molded into a "house mouse", afraid of my own shadow. 

I didn't even write a dozen checks in all the years of marriage to my narc. I didn't understand finances, insurances, car maintenance stuff, or who to call for 'whatever' or even how to file my own income tax! I know this sounds corny, but plain and simple, looking back I can see there was something or someone guiding me. I was on automatic pilot. Even making phone calls was a nightmare for me, but I had no choice and my very first phone call was to find out where I can get financial assistance. That one phone call led to another and another and through never ending (!) CROCODILE tears and crippling fear I persevered because I knew that if I didn't the only option to living this horrific life, was not living it and my love for my children did not allow me to be that selfish. And all it took was 1.5 years: truly a snippet of time for the gargantuan payback.

I regret not leaving my narcissistic husband sooner.

So what's my point you might ask? It's this. I DO REGRET not having left sooner. I DO REGRET not taking back a few good years to have pursued 'my' dreams. I DO REGRET looking into the mirror seeing wrinkles from having 'survived' my life rather than having 'lived' it. BUT, thanks to my life, I am blessed with my beautiful children and finally, my freedom. So while I know deep in my heart that all you ladies are still trying to find your way out, you're road to freedom, please, please, please do it before you let your dreams pass you by. If being free means working as a cleaning lady, a waitress, a salesperson, a dog walker, a babysitter or maybe as a bartender/hostess as I do now then that's great.

I sincerely hope some of you can learn from my mistake. Don't wait until you're 60 years old. Don't wait until you feel like your dreams have passed you by. You would be amazed if you realized how one day you're feeling young and like you have all the time in the world (to do whatever) and then all of a sudden you realize how quickly the years fly. And they do, even though in the worst of times it feels like we are frozen in time. We don't see it coming; we just look back one day and see that the years have passed us by almost as if we never saw it happening.

I know a lot of you women haven't reached your mid-life years so reclaiming your life and finding (new) love is within your reach much more easily than it is once you get older. I would much prefer to talk about dance, psychology or art, but I'm no connoisseur on those subjects. I did however feel the need to talk about something I do know a lot about; leaving a narcissist

For many of you it will be for the sake of your children. But please make your list of what you need to do, the order you need to do it in, how you will do it and when you can realistically expect to be out. Then stick to it! Stick to it! Stick to it! It will happen! I am so grateful to be free and settled in my life now, but rarely a day goes by that I don't regret not having done it sooner. And truth be told, I couldn't have know this until now. Like they say, "Hindsight 'is' 20/20".  

(the blog was originally posted by a community member.)

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  • Comment Link Lisa Campbell Friday, 26 January 2018 19:09 posted by Lisa Campbell

    I can relate to this so well. I would have celebrated my 30th anniversary this year were I not married to a monster. I realize that I never had the chance to live my life while he was living his. I worked, I was the responsible one, it would all be worth it when I was able to retire, right? wrong? It was the excuse I gave myself to get by one more day....then it was 30 years and a 24 year old had taken my place.

    It was the thing movie scripts are made of. Fatal attraction and single white female were all that would come to mind, how could this have become my life? It was a nightmare, an abyss that almost consumed me. I was days away from dying or ending my life. It was hell. But as Winston Churchill said "if you are going thru hell, keep going". I didn't get off the bus there, but by the grace of God.

    I am at least hopeful now that I have some good years left, that maybe I won't always be alone, that one day my eyes might look less haunted and my smile might not be so guarded. Yes, I am beginning to feel hope.

    My hope is that we can find women before they get to the end, before they've wasted all there years and tell them it isn't just them. That they aren't crazy. That there are people who understand your hell and it isn't their fault that they are there.

    I hope this forum is one step in that direction, but I think we owe it to the others not to stop at an anonymous computer screen. That we look into the faces in the office next door, the break room and grocery store and look into those haunted eyes and say, "it's alright, you aren't alone in this".

  • Comment Link Patti Wednesday, 27 December 2017 07:21 posted by Patti

    Well I am 61 years old and I am really and truly going to finally leave. I have my grown children as support along with my 82 year old mother. Bless her. After wasting 40 years in an awful marriage I will be so relieved to do what ever I want when ever I want. Marriage to this Narcissist has been a prison sentence. As he is slowly feeling loss of his control over me he calls me a narcissist and actually told me this Christmas he spent too much on me, that I wasn’t worth a dime. I thought I wanted to cry but I looked in the mirror and said ITS TIME NOW.

  • Comment Link RBLG Thursday, 30 June 2016 13:48 posted by RBLG

    I have just joined this community. In some ways I still wonder if I belong. Just read a description of a covert narcissist and its as if I wrote it. So here I am...53 years old, 3 daughters who are 19,18,and 16 and they are seeing the bizarre behavior as well. In fact, the affect he has on them is what woke me up. I'm starting counseling next Friday and am finding insight from you all but still feel "guilt" as if I'm giving up too soon. Been married 30 years in July. Feeling desperate to know what to do!

  • Comment Link Trhnsn63 Sunday, 05 June 2016 04:05 posted by Trhnsn63

    I wish I would have had this advice my first year of marriage. I too, wasted 25 years on a Narc. Why? I can really only say that I only had the strength to fight x number of battles at any one time. I had no support system or friends/family for 22 of those years, and his threats of "making sure I never saw my (young) children again were enough to keep me on autopilot, a stepford wife. I finally broke free, with only GODS help. I have regrets, especially when it comes to raising my children in that toxic environment. I regret I didnt have the strength or know how or know where to go for help to get out! If you think you have been or are protecting and doing whats best for the kids, think again. I have been out for 5 years and it has been a long road to recovery for me and my children. The narc leaves nothing but devastation in his wake. It can and does get better with time. But if I knew then, as I do now, that I always had the POWER to leave a long time ago, had the POWER to NOT live in FEAR and knowledge that I did not have to subject myself and my children to the insanity, as I was so conditioned to believe, I would have been long gone well before 25 years of living hell! Life is short, much too short to subject yourself or children to such toxicity! Cheers to the above poster. If the experiences we have lived can help someone to make different choices then we made, (or I made),..than that is a good thing!! Moral of my story: Never give away your POWER. Its not easy to get back!

  • Comment Link authormama Sunday, 22 May 2016 03:53 posted by authormama

    I have been teetering on the verge of leaving my narcissistic husband for years but I can't seem to make the leap. I am financially independent which seems to make him rage even more. The more money I make, the more he belittles me, glares at me, and tells me that he knows better than me. The one thing holding me with him is that our kids (the youngest of four is now 13) love having our family together. They beg me just to be happy and to ignore his antics. But my heart literally aches every day. I feel completely trapped (even though I know I am not). If there are women out there who managed to make the leap to freedom without their husband cheating or leaving himself, please tell me how you did it!

  • Comment Link moonshadow23 Friday, 20 May 2016 13:11 posted by moonshadow23

    I am contemplating leaving my husband because his mother is an extreme narcissist and he seems to be showing similar traits. I fear that leaving him now would allow him and mother in law to turn my son against me during their visits. He is 11 months now should I wait until he is older and less able to be groomed by them? Please help!