From Joy to Desperation
Hi my name is Joni and I have been married for 25 years to what I have discovered is a very narcissistic man.. At first it was just as you said.. he was charming he was endearing and he was the man of my dreams.. Then he started cheating.. I think it really started much earlier than I was first aware but being busy raising 6 kids I didnt have time to look up let alone look into anything. He was never helpful, he wasnt a partner and he never did his share of anything but complain. I worked while he got to "follow his dreams" one after the other of failed ventures while I worked and cared for kids and a home.
Then when I was so exhausted from working being a mom and trying to take up all the slack in the relationship he started to cheat. At first I didn't realize that he was staying up all night and having his flings right under my nose. The only interaction we would have was when he wanted sex. He would wake me up in the middle of the night.. get his pleasure and leave again. This went on for about a year when I finally got so fed up with it I told him to stop. That I needed more than just a visit in the middle of the night, that I needed a husband and a partner. So he started to cheat. First is was with my own cousin.. She was like my sister and had been close with me since we were young kids. It was such a double betrayal that I could not even wrap my head around it. Every time I tried to leave him he would physically hurt me or stop me from going. I took this as a sign that somewhere deep inside he still loved me what an idiot I was.. There was no love only control. If he lost me he lost his facade of a a normal family and life. He started using drugs on a regular basis and this only made things worse.
Our sons were involved in a major car crash in 2004 and we moved to Colorado. I had just filed divorce papers days before the accident and then everything else went on the back burner. It was two years before I could even breathe again let alone think about everything else. When I did look up again he was still haing mutiple affairs. He could not stand the fact that my attention was on my child who has a traumatic brain injury and not on him all the time. He was not helpful or supportive but complaining that his needs were not met.
He started working as a CNA and then working for an agency that sent him to different towns to work. This was the key to him reinventing himself and having affairs in every town he went to.
'He has always blamed me that I am not a good enough wife that I cant give him what he needs or wants no matter what I have done. He even talked me into doing things that I would have never have done trying to prove my love only to have him turn it around and use it against me.
I now know that its not all me.. and that it will never change I have to get out and let it go. The kids are now grown and they too have suffered enough at his hands. Thanks for letting me know I am not alone.. That this is a real issue that affects other women too