I've been happily married to my wife for over 3 decades, but 3 years ago a narcissist came into our lives and turned it upside down. I now believe that my wife was targeted by this man and carefully manipulated by him. He went about this under the initial guise of being a "spiritual guide, teacher and guru". My wife is a genuine seeker and hungers after spiritual growth and enlightenment. She had recently lost a dear friend, an elderly gentleman who had been a TRUE friend and spiritual teacher to both of us. My wife was grieving and probably longing for someone to fill his shoes - the narc stepped right in!
Using all of the classic and cliché techniques (which my wife and I were unfamiliar with at the time) the narc proceeded to lay the groundwork for a relationship that placed him in the role of nothing less than a psychic vampire and my wife as the "seemingly willing" victim under the control of his trance. Their relationship never became physical but it was intense and obsessive just the same. He became the gatekeeper of her self-esteem, the judge of her spiritual growth and understanding, the only person who truly loved her, understood her and wasn't trying to control her. He became her addiction.
Early on something felt "wrong" about this "friendship". My wife has LOTS of friends, even old boyfriends and their wives, which we still see and have a healthy relationship with together. It is not unusual for my wife to meet some of her old friends for lunch and to catch up on their lives, she always tells me about these visits and often invites me to come if I want to. These sorts of open and casual friendships have not been a problem in the past. This one was different.
He started out by asking my wife to write him a letter, identifying all of her goals, her dreams, her fears, insecurities and what she was seeking out of life. With this information he promised to help her achieve these things. Looking back, that letter became the perfect blueprint for manipulating her. It contained all the leverage and hot buttons a Narc could ever hope for. He then played the part; he became the epitome of everything that was positive and desirable in my wife's eyes. Any fears and insecurities became targets; he had plenty of ammunition to attack her tender spots. His life story was FANTASTIC and GRANDIOSE and he sold himself as the one who was capable of understanding her in ways NO ONE ELSE COULD. He presented himself as the remedy for ALL her fears and insecurities and proclaimed to be a Cosmic Soul Mate sent to her by Divine Forces.
Contact between them recently ceased after the Narc pressed her to maintain daily contact and ultimately asked her to make a choice as to which path she would choose.
Long story short.... my wife and I are both trying to heal. We believe we have learned what we are dealing with but our situation is a little different because it wasn't the primary relationship and so my wife is left with trying to go through all the withdrawal symptoms associated with going through a relationship with this narcissist and I'm left with trying to recover from an emotional affair that my wife is not truly responsible for. This relationship caused my wife to have to lie and sneak in order to maintain contact. I struggle with issues of trust and anger. I could go on and on but the fact is we want to move on and we want to be here for each other. Any insights and advise for us in this messy triangle would be welcome.