My Sorry Tale (Marksax)

Well, firstly, I believe that Lisa should receive some sort of award for services to humanity. It was through this site that the ‘scales fell from my eyes’ and I realised what I was dealing with.. I now have the ‘It’s All About Her’ book as well. Thank you Lisa, I will always be in your debt.
So, where to start? Well, my story must surely be one of the most pathetic shared on this site. I’ll try to keep it as brief as possible since otherwise it will become un-readably long. I’ll restrict the account to the ‘best bits’.
I was married for 16 years before I met my Narc. I wasn’t happy in my marriage which is absolutely no excuse for what happened later. No matter how conniving the N can be we all have choices and I am ashamed of my own behaviour. When I met my N I was suffering with depression and had attempted marriage guidance counselling with limited success.
I met her through work. She was successful, reasonably attractive physically but what really stood out was her personality. Others have commented that she lights up a room when she walks into it. She was flirty with me and, stupidly, I followed my genitals into bed with her.
What immediately followed will be very familiar to anyone who has been sucked in by an N. She was extremely attentive, wanted to spend as much time with me as possible and within a very short time was saying that she thought that I could be the love of her life. She complained that she was in a loveless marriage and that all of her previous relationships had been marked by the exploitation and, on one occasion, sexual aggression of her partners. Despite the glittering public persona she seemed vulnerable and desperate for tenderness and understanding.
There were numerous texts, long, longing emails and so on. Our sexual relationship was great although restricted by both of us being married to other people at the time. We booked into hotels on Tuesday evenings (which we used to refer to as ‘Super Tuesday’s .)
Eventually, inevitably, we were discovered. We both separated from our spouses. She rented a small house and I moved into a rented room. I should say at this point that my finances were significantly more precarious than hers. She was (and is) very comfortable whereas my wife and I had generally scraped by. No matter though. When everything was resolved, she promised, she would pay off all of my unsecured debts.. Hmmm. Did she? What do you think??
My wife was devastated as were my two children. I will always carry the guilt of that with me. Happily I now enjoy very good relations with both my children but it took a while to get over what had happened. During one heated conversation my wife (who was in the same line of work as me and the N) told me that a colleague who had known the N for a very long time said that she was prone to going from man to man since she became bored very easily. First red flag missed. My N was incensed when I told her this and she swore to tackle the colleague about his outrageous comments. I don’t think she ever did though.
Apart from such ‘hiccups’, my extremely precarious situation financially and the angst with my wife and children, our relationship was blissful. There was much talk of being ‘soul mates’ and so on.
Fast forward 2 years. We had a couple of wobbles but are still in a relationship. We decide that I should move in with her. We have put it off this long to avoid further upset to the children (including hers – she has a young daughter by her husband). My divorce proceedings are very acrimonious. My wife is taking the whole ‘woman scorned’ thing to a whole new level. She tries to drag the N into the court proceedings as much as she can, with an obvious view to causing as much embarrassment to her as possible. My N then suddenly announces one day, 3 months after I moved in, that I should move out again. We will still be a couple, she stresses, but will carry on more discretely so that the wife will be thrown off the scent. As soon as the divorce proceedings are over we can live together again and everything will be lovely. I agree with some obvious reservations..
I move to a miserable little rented studio flat (apartment with one main room). I can’t afford proper furniture so I sleep on a mattress on the floor and sit on a bean-bag sofa (I kid you not). Two weeks later we have a conversation on the phone one evening. She is miserable and complaining in the petulant child voice that she often uses that she is lonely and I am not there when she needs me. I point out that it was she that insisted that I move out. The phone call does not end well. Since I am very empathetic I get a feeling that something is up. I had set up a home email for her since she is hopeless with IT so I log on to it and find that she has joined an on-line dating site. She has already lined up a first date with someone. I am absolutely devastated and phone to confront her. She is incredibly cold and detached and just tells me that I have not been making her happy. So that is it.
Over the following four years (yes, four – I did say this was a particularly pathetic story didn’t I?) she has cheated on me well over 10 times. The same pattern every time. She becomes distant and disconnected. There is no aggressive ‘devaluation’ – her method is more passive-aggressive. She will not tackle the issue head on but just disconnects with me until I realise that something is up, do some snooping and confront her. She then dumps me until the new source of supply falls short and she returns to ‘hoover’ me back up. If I recounted every pathetic, self esteem sapping episode we would be here for a long time. I will, therefore, merely highlight the classic narc behaviours which she exhibited and which I only later saw as such:
• Complaining that she was not my priority (always completely unreasonably) in a spoiled child tone of voice.
• Being very competitive with other women in terms of how they dress
• Having a houseful of pictures of herself (mostly taken by me)
• Hardly ever saying ‘thank you’ when I have bought dinner or something else
• When I told her that my sister had picked me up on several occasions from a broken heart which she had given me, I actually caught sight of her smirking in satisfaction!
• Constantly promising big things for the future which, of course, never materialised
• Showing no remorse whatsoever on each and every occasion when I caught her out cheating on me. Sometimes it was so blatant, like her being on the pill or pack of condoms appearing in bedside drawers (I have had a vasectomy..)
• Being unable to accept any criticism
• Constantly talking about herself in her professional capacity and negatively comparing others to herself
• Being hyper critical of any girlfriend which her ex husband took up with and being beside herself with rage and resentment when he landed an attractive girlfriend some 15 years younger than him!
• Creating drama by picking fights over ridiculously unreasonable things
• Being an expert at push – pull techniques, especially via text.
Fast forward again to January 2013. The N had been in a relationship with her latest supply for 5 months and I decided that I’d have to go ‘no-contact’ or I’d go crazy. I succeeded in weaning myself off her although a lot of the time I felt like a junkie going cold turkey. It was horrible. After about 6 weeks she got in touch with me. She wanted me to remove a few things I had left in her garage as she was looking to sell her current house and down-size. It turns out (of course) that this was all just a ruse. The new supply had blown her out and she was looking to hoover..
In the meantime I had been searching on the net to try to make some sense out of what had happened and had stumbled upon this site. I couldn’t believe what I read. Other people had gone through exactly the same things that I had! It was like a road to Damascus experience. The scales fell from my eyes and I was able to start making some sense out of what had been a completely senseless situation up until then. From here I found other sites which gave me additional info and I began to get an understanding about this personality disorder.
Unfortunately, I hadn’t fully unpacked the implications of what I had read. When I met with her she told me, over dinner at hers, about the failed relationship with her most recent supply and how he had seemed to just go cold on her (projection??) She told me of some stuff which had passed between them through tears and big shuddering breaths. I won’t go into it here but, stupidly, I thought this could be the ‘game-changer’ and that there might be a future (I said I hadn’t fully understood didn’t I?).
We got back together and went on holiday for a week. It was lovely. Because of what I had learned though I did not allow my guard to slip completely. I wanted to see if this was the real deal now. Well, what do you think?? Within 3 weeks of returning from the holiday she was on the internet dating again. My immediate response was to want to end it. However, because of my financial situation I was living in digs during the week which I hated and the weekends with her were a pleasant relief, notwithstanding that I knew about her lies. None of the attempts at snagging new supply seemed to be working so she was behaving reasonably well towards me. I continued to monitor..
Having met a few prospective new sources of supply which did not work out (which I knew about through email snooping) she then met one and things appeared to be looking good. They set up a date for her to go and stay with him for the weekend. She was using an old excuse which was that she was going to stay with her friend in London for the weekend. She frequently says that she is with friends when I know she is on a date. Well, I finally decided to grow a pair and end it once and for all. I let her go without saying anything and sent an email on the Sunday evening when she was due to be returning. I kept it calm but just highlighted that I knew exactly what she had been doing, where and who with and the lies over the last year or so. Just told her that I couldn’t deal with it anymore and this was the end. I got a response quite quickly. To my long and sincere email the response was (and I quote) “Just to say that I have received this. We haven’t made each other truly happy for a long time and I’m sorry about that. I hope that we can at least try to be friends.”
That’s it. Nothing else.
What I have come to realise, which I didn’t fully before, is that the lovely her from the beginning was not real. I wanted to go back to her before because I suppose I thought that we might, somehow rediscover that. What I know now is that it was NEVER real. It was all an act. She NEVER really loved me. As much as that hurts it is a very strong thought to hang onto when I am feeling weak. It was all fake. There is nothing to win back because I never really had it in the first place.
Well, the exchange of emails occurred 4 weeks ago. The empowerment of taking back control has partly offset the pain and the fact that, despite everything, I miss her. I thought I was doing great but ran into her in a work capacity today. It’s the first time I’d seen her since. I’ve been completely NC and resisted the strong urge to go and talk to her. She looked at me but turned away and blanked me. As if she had never met me. I’ve been feeling pretty crap since. I suppose I just have to keep going forward and trust that somehow life is going to get better at some point.

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