Was he a NAR? I am gutted but I do not know if I qualify to be here. I have no faith in myself any more.
Thank you so much for reading my story. I apologize for its length, but I am very grateful to you for taking the time to read this. Before I get to the details, I need to give you some background information. I was shy and overweight all of my life. I never dated in high school or college. When I was in my early 30s, I fell in love with a wonderful man. But he was murdered by his jealous ex-girlfriend when she discovered that he was on the phone with me. As you can imagine, I was devestated. I gained more weight and withdrew from society. I also poured my whole essence into my job--I am a teacher.
After grieving for several years, I tried to make a new life for myself by switching schools. This is where I met S--a fellow teacher/coach at my new school. I was immediately attracted to him when I first saw him. But I had heard that he was married and I knew he was out of my league. I did speak to him several times for the first two years I was there--but it was strictly professional.
As I got used to my new school, I knew many women were attracted to him. I also heard that he once was a womanizer and that he had trouble following through on things he said he would do. (I wish I had paid more attention to these early warning signs.)
During my next several months, I heard that S had gotten a divorce and that he was having a really rough time. This is when our relationship began to change. We would talk more when I saw him in the parking lot at school. He would also send me these emails to check up on his athletes. But in these emails he would always say the nicest things about me like, "The kids just love you. There are not many people in the world like you. You are very special." I knew I was starting to fall for him. And it was so nice to feel special and not be consumed by grief any more. In fact, I was so happy that I actually lost over 55 pounds. I was thin for the first time in my life.
As I lost weight, he began to flirt more and more. But he would also tell me in person or in emails about how much he admired me and respected me. He also began to open up to me when he had problems at school with his kids. He told me I always knew the right thing to say and I always made him feel better. He would sit by me at all of the faculty meetings. And my friends began to notice and comment on how S liked me. I was so happy. To me, we had such an emotional connection--it was time to take it a step further and begin a real relationship.
On the last day of school in 2009, he sends me an email that says, "I love you so much." I could not believe it! He was the first man who ever said that to me and I was elated. But I worried over how I should respond. After much debate and soul searching, I decided to conquer my fears and take a chance for once in my life. I sent him an email in response and I told him I loved him too. I told him how flattered I was, for I knew he could have any woman. I also gave him my phone number and told him I would be home during the summer.
To my horror, he never responded. I had no idea why and I honestly thought he did not get my email. So I sent it to him again--no response. I felt I had made a collosal error. I thought I had come on too strong and he got the idea that I was clingy. I also thought he was "scarred" from his divorce and not really ready for a realtionship. I also feared that I was just too ugly for him.
I spent the summer in such a depressed state. So before school began, I wrote him an email and I apologized for coming on too strong. I also said that I would make no scenes at school. I would always be professional. I also asked him if we could please talk in person when he got back to school. Again, I got no response.
I feared the start of school (September 2009) and how he would react to me. At first, he ignored me; however, at other times he would talk to me as if nothing had happened. I got up the nerve to ask him if we could talk in person. He always said we would, but he never followed through. In January 2010, he began to warm up to me again. He was sending me flirty emails and hug me all of the time. He would also give me the nicest compliments on how pretty I was every time he would see me. We would have these nice conversations after school where we would share problems. He even said we would be getting together. At one point we made a date to see each other on Friday at 7pm. But when I asked him where we would meet, he never answered. Right then I should have known that something was wrong. But I had such faith in this man and I so wanted to be with him. I told myself to just be patient--men hate to be rushed. I sincerely thought that if I would just be myself and act cool, S would let down his guard and bring me fully into his life.
I spent the summer of 2010 spending money on all kinds of beauty treatments--all in the hopes of looking good for him. When school started in September, he was once again standoffish at first with me. But then we got closer again. He would always give me the nicest compliments. And he started to send me flirty, dirty emails. In fact, almost every time I saw him, we talked about sex--the size of his "massive penis", how he masturbated all of the time, how we could have quickies in his car, etc... I am humiliated to say this now. At the time however, I played right along with this. I thought these intimate talks were evidence that he liked me. To further complicate matters, he was coming by my classroom alot to talk to one of his athletes. But of course S and I ended up talking. My students even noticed how he came by often and would have a big smile on his face when he saw me. And lastly, he would still come to me when he had problems. We had these long talks about school issues and his weight, as he had gained alot of weight and I had still kept my weight off. I felt so close to him. I truly thought he was getting close to me. And I did not think there was anyone in his life. He did not wear a wedding ring and once when I asked him what he was going to do over the upcoming summer, he told me he was going to spend time just working out, being by himself and enjoying his dog.
But then there would be other times when I got negative messages. He no longer sat by me at meetings. And sometimes when I would see him, he would go the other way. I knew something was not right and I thought I was to blame. This roller coaster was taking a huge emotional toll on me. I did not know where I stood with S. And every time I asked to talk to him about it, he would agree to talk but would never follow through. (On an unusual side note, I once had a problem with one of his athletes in my class. I sent S an email about the kid. S responds by calling me a "chicken shit" for sending him an email and not talking to him in person. Ironic to say the least--I had been trying to talk to him in person for months.)
I loved the school where I was teaching, but the workload was overwhelming. I had over 200 students and 3 different subjects to teach. My friend told me of a job opening at a better school. I knew this was a great chance, but I hated to leave S. I still clung to the hope of him. But I was beginning to feel that the situation was futile. I wrote S a beautiful tribute letter in which I told him that I was thinking of leaving. But I also told him how much I admired him and would always be grateful to him. He responds by telling me that he was tired of my letters and he was not going to read what I had written him. He also stated that he was confused and frustrated with me. He suggested that we talk in person. But when I tried to get him to commit to this, he told me he was too busy to give me even 5 minutes and that I should call him. When I asked for his new phone number, he never responded.
I decided to leave my school. It was wrenching. I was still thinking of S as I had no closure with him. I hated to do this, but I called up a mutual friend of mine and his. I asked this friend if he could tell me what was going on with S. My poor friend had to tell me that S was married the whole time. He and his wife go through these numerous separations but then they always get back together. In fact they were reconciling at the time S told me he loved me. This mutual friend did tell me that he thought S had a "mental illness" but he still loved the guy. (S is indeed the most respected coach at school. He has an outstanding record and he is known as having the utmost integrity and high standards. Now I know this is just a facade.)
I was so humiliated to hear this. I felt so dirty and used. I wrote an email to S and I told him I discovered he was married. He responded by saying that his marriage had endured many problems but they were still together. Then he told me that he could not understand how I could have ever thought he liked me. He told me that I was always just a colleague and that he talked to me no differently than he did any other person at work.
I could not believe what he was saying. So I wrote back to him and reminded him of what he had said to me. He would soften and say that we did have a special friendship and that he respected me. Then he added that we should talk about this in person. And we made several plans to talk, but he never followed through. I kept asking him why he could not have told me 2 years ago that he was married. S kept saying that he is totally private and that no one knows of his personal life.
An alarm went off when he said this to me. I knew he was hiding something. So, I did alot of research on the Internet. To my utter dismay, I found wedding photos of him and his second wife! He had remarried in the summer of 2010 but he was pretending to still be married to his first wife. No one at school knew of his remarriage!
I was in shock, but I must admit that I was consumed with jealousy as well. And I hate to be rude, I could not see the attraction. She is younger, but this girl was short, heavy, and rather plain.
Because I have seen the fatal consequences of jealousy, I tried to handle this in an adult way. I called up S and left a long message on his phone. I told him that I was jealous but I was happy for him. I commented that it was nice to see him smiling in his wedding photos--I told him that he used to give me that same smile. Furthermore, I said that I would always care for him and I would remember the nice things he did for me. I also told S that perhaps he should not give strong compliments or talk dirty to other women, for we interpret that to mean that a man likes us. I said that I did not want anything to happen to his new marriage.
I actually felt better after I left this message. I thought I had some kind of closure and I had ended things on a positive note. Thus, I was not prepared for what followed--a vile NAR rage.
S sends me the most poisonous email. Among other things he says he has no idea how I ever got the idea in my "fucked up head" that he liked me. He told me I was a "fucking psycho" and that he was not a "bad husband." (I never said he was.) Then S asked why I never talked to him to clarify our situation. (That was so hard for me to comprehend. I had asked him to talk to me dozens of times.) Lastly, S basically threatens me and tells me to never contact him again.
I was so mad and hurt. I wrote back to him and attacked him, but I know he did not read it. I could not sleep or eat for days. But the worst part was that I could not understand anything. How could he deny what he had said to me? Why did he contradict himself? Why did he take no responsiblity for his actions? Why did he blame me for everything? Why did he have absolutely no empathy or concern or understanding? Why did he hide his personal life from everyone? How could he get back with his first wife, divorce her, and then remarry within a year? Why did he lie? I was an emotional wreck.
This is when I began to do research on narcissism. And the more I learned, the more I was convinced that he is a true NAR. I went to a therapist to try to help me with this. She basically dismissed my conclusion that he is a NAR--she said that many men have no empathy. My therapist told me that all of this was basically a "miscommunication" and she wanted me to focus on my role in this. I readily admit, that I played a part. With my lack of self esteem and co dependency pattern, I had allowed him to treat me like a dog. But I still needed to try to understand him before I could start to put my life together again.
That is when I found this web site. Without a doubt, you have been a gift from God. But I need to say that I know my situation is different. I was not in a full fledged physical relationship with this man. And I was not physically abused. So perhaps I should not post my story, for I was fortunate in many ways. But at the same time, this has been gut wrenching for me. The first thing I need to know is--do you think this man is a NAR? If I can hear this from others, I think I would feel so much better and I can begin to heal. If you do not think he is a NAR, then please tell me so I can pursue other avenues. I do not have a great deal of faith in myself or in my judgment right now.
Just like you, I feel so stupid, old, used, weak, and gullible. And to make matters worse, I am jealous of his new wife. I think of them together and it rips my heart. I hate the fact that he is still so respected at school and that no one knows what he is really like. And worst of all, it is still so difficult to accept that I meant absolutely nothing to this man--a man I have loved for years.
With that said, I know rationally what I should do, but I am still emotionally tied to my idea of him. I cannot/will not let go. The past couple of months have been pure hell. My friends have been supportive but I fear they are getting sick of hearing all of this. I can't say that I blame them. But I do intend to follow the steps as prescribed by Lisa. I will be grateful for any advice you can give me. And I do so appreciate your letting me tell my story. It does help a great deal. Thank you again.