Spineless, Manipulative, Pathological Liar.
Soon after I discovered my live-in boyfriend of two years had been spent the bulk of our relationship on Craigslist Casual Encounters and random hook-up sites, I spent days online trying to figure out how this could have happened to me. I would have never thought I'd ever find myself in this situation, and after googling countless infidelity sites, I stumbled upon a blurb about narcissistic men. It led me to this forum, and I'm so relieved. I thought I was going crazy, but it all makes so much sense now.
From the beginning, our relationship was complex. We had dated each other casually at first. He ran hot and cold with me, so I blew him off. He spent months pursuing me, trying to get back into my good graces. He was charming, funny, intelligent, and a little mysterious. He claimed to have been cheated on numerous times by his last long term girlfriend, which was years ago, and said he was terrified at first of getting into another serious relationship again. I empathized with his story. He seemed so sensitive and kind, I figured he'd just had a rough few years navigating the emotions that went along with his last break-up.
The relationship became serious quickly. We moved in after six months of dating. In retrospect, I realize I should've pumped the breaks and spent more time getting to know him better, but we had so much fun. I thought he was my best friend, and we were inseparable - but there were red flags that I foolishly ignored. He had terrible bouts of depression that would keep him in bed all day. I tried cheering him up and encouraging him to get active, but it was impossible to pull him out of his funks, and he refused to talk to me about what he was feeling.
Sex with him was always an issue. Initially he had ED, which gradually improved after a few months. I assumed it was insecurity about being cheated on in the past, but then the sex stopped completely. I tried talking to him about it, but he said he felt pressured and didn't have a sex drive. I tried to turn him on other ways, and he'd ask me if I was a "nympho", and say "God, why can't you stop thinking about sex all the time"? He said I wanted it too often, and it was a turn-off. Meanwhile, my self-esteem plummeted. I'd never been denied by any man I'd dated sexually, and I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. He told me he found me sexy and beautiful, but I'd be lucky if I got a peck on the lips every night. I told myself sex wasn't the only important thing in a relationship, and maybe things would improve over time. Meanwhile, I was going nuts. Months dragged on. I thought about ending it, but I didn't cheat. I was in love, and convinced it was all worth the rejection eventually.
Once the intimacy started to dissolve, he began lashing out at me randomly over totally insignificant things. I moved his jacket from a chair to the closet, and he flew into a rage when he couldn't find it. He told me to "use my head" and "why can't you think more logically about things"? Once, I didn't pull his clothes out of the dryer quickly enough, and a wrinkled shirt was the end of the world. He gave me the silent treatment for a full day because of it. Initially, I actually thought it was funny that he was getting so worked up over such tiny little things, but then his mom came to visit from out of state for several days, and his rage reached a new level. He had ordered a pizza late one night, and the delivery was late. He called up the restaurant and went ballistic. He screamed at the poor server on the phone for ten minutes, hung up, punched a wall, and stormed out. I was in total shock. I went to a friend's house that night, came home in the morning, and our apartment was spotless. He bought me a huge bouquet of flowers, and apologized profusely, swearing up and down he'd never do it again. He admitted he'd lost his temper, but said he was stressed out about his mom being in town (huge red flag, duh!). He appeared so sincere and remorseful, I accpeted his apology, but I remained on edge for months. I felt like I had to tread lightly at all times. I began questioning everything I was doing during the day before he came home. Was everything clean and in it's correct place? Had I said or done something to upset him?
He began asking me constantly who I was texting, emailing and meeting up with. Meanwhile, I was so trusting of him, I never thought to check up on where he'd been, or who he was communicating with. I was so wrapped up in the dysfunction, I couldn't step back and really analyze his behavior. I knew I wasn't acting like my usual independent self. I felt unsure of my abilities, and depressed about my path in life. It didn't occur to me until now that it was all directly related to my involvement with this seriously broken man.
I found out he had been cheating on me with random single women (and hookers) a few weeks ago. I borrowed his laptop and his email was open when I logged onto his desktop. The exchanges began years and years ago, so obviously he's been addicted to anonymous sex for a long time. I got tested immediately (thanks to the zero sex in our relationship, I hadn't contracted anything from him). When I confronted him, and told him he needed to leave, he broke down crying, told me he had a major problem, swore he'd go to therapy, stop drinking, etc. I'm in the process of securing a higher paying job, so I can afford our apartment by myself. As soon as I switch jobs, he's gone. Until then, I'm playng nice - being polite, and acting as if nothing is wrong. I spend a lot of time away from home with friends, so I don't have to see him much, but he has no idea I'm dumping his ass as soon as I can. I found out a few days ago that he's right back to exchanging emails on Casual Encounters. He has no idea that I know, and when he come home from work with that pathetic sneaky smile, saying "baby, I love you", I'm revolted. I think he's totally pathetic. He thinks I'm so stupid. I have no idea how many other women he's done this to.
This situation has been insanely difficult for me to deal with. Navigating the array of emotions and insecurities has been exhausting. The hardest part is knowing I've been in love and so giving to a person who couldn't give a shit about me. It's all been one huge lie.
Though it has been a total nightmare, I'm trying to view this as a time for me to focus on making much better decisions in the future. He'll continue to be totally dead inside, while I can go on to thrive and be happy in the future. Coming so close to losing myself completely to a thoroughly rotten person has been an enormous wake up call for me.
I think about all the women and men who have encountered these emotionless parasites while dating, and it's nauseating. Many of them probably don't know the depth of sickness narcissists carry around with them. I plan on spreading the word to all of my single friends.