Breakup > Suffering Abuse
Over the past few months, I’ve read countless accounts of women (and men) who have been lied to or trapped in an abusive relationship for years if not decades, and it simply breaks my heart.
One woman was engaged to be married to Mr. Wonderful after dating him for two years. Then one day, a few weeks before the wedding, he announced he was moving to Asia to be with his wife. Yes. Already married this entire time. And he just up and abandoned the woman who had trusted him. Wonder how much his wife knows. My guess, nothing.
And he lives to destroy more lives. Without remorse. Without responsibility. Without consequences.
Another woman whose ex is a narcissist, spent 35 years with him before she discovered his pathology. Or, perhaps to be more accurate, she knew earlier, if by no other way than through the abuse and misery, but did not leave because she had children with this man and had built a life with him. She was committed to him, but he was committed only to himself and his needs. Ultimately he left her.
I remember my first relationship in college. I wasn’t happy after about the third month. He was neglectful and cruel, but I just couldn’t bring myself to leave him because I loved him too much. He was my first love and had no trouble bringing himself to leave me the following month. So short lived, but I was devastated nonetheless. Once I got over him, which took far longer than the relationship had been, of course, I saw that the best thing the man ever did for me was leave me. No doubt.
But we are unable to see that truth until we are far enough away from the abuser. Unfortunately, many people are never able to create that initial distance. We see ourselves as too connected to the person in question to even think about life without them, even if it diminishes our view of ourselves. This woman says that she sees herself like a “dog chained to his box.”
These words deeply hurt me. No one need ever feel like this, but the narcissist has an uncanny ability to inspire such unhealthy attachments while destroying their partner’s self-esteem. Before the narcissist’s victim knows what hit them, they are in too deep. This is why the narcissist is so very dangerous. And it is why every expert’s advice is to run in the opposite direction from a narcissist as quickly as possible.
Sadly, most people who fall in love with a narcissist don’t see the psychopath until it is far too late. If you think (even suspect) that you know a narcissist, please read up on it. It will help you let go. It certainly helped me.
Breakup, no matter how difficult it might be to accept, is far greater than suffering another day of abuse. This woman who had been with her narcissist for 35 years says it’s hard to move on after so long. After 35 years, she knows no life without him. But in order to heal her sense of self, she must behave as if her narcissist is dead. For the man she loved is…because he never existed. It’s a very hard reality to face. Hard enough after a few months. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain after 35 years.
The only thing I could tell her was that she had given him 35 years…did she want to give him another 5? Another 2? Another day? This woman is 60 years old and starting again. She’s watching her husband charm a new woman–fool a new woman–and she is unable to do anything about it. She cannot warn her, for who would believe it of such a handsome, charming man?
I say that’s your first clue: charming. Seriously.
If s/he’s charming and handsome and witty and seems oh-so-perfect.
Take a closer look.
That beautiful mask falls away far too quickly, and you see the heartless ogre beneath. By then, you’re hooked in deep.
Take a closer look.
Don’t be this woman in 35 years wondering what happened to your life.
Take a closer look.
The best thing he ever did for her is leave her. Now she just has to realize that. With the help and patience of friends, she will see it. I know I did.
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~ by omgrey on April 20, 2011.
Posted in Romance & Relationships, Trauma & Recovery
Tags: author, broken heart, grief, healing, heartbroken, infidelity, love, non-monogamy, o.m. grey, olivia grey, open, open marriage, polyamory, postaweek2011, relationship advice, relationships, romance, sex, shattered