I left him in April, Friday the 13th to be exact. A whole lot happened that I won’t go into here, but I am trying to build a life for myself in the here and now. I’m following a support group on facebook for narcissistic abuse support and recovery and seeing a therapist weekly. He is not a monster, not nearly as bad as what some of these people are dealing with. I remember the true sociopathic narcissist I was with for 10 months back when I was 19 and my husband really is a great guy in comparison. However, he does gaslight me. He does lie to me. He does speak to me in a condescending tone in front of others and argues in a circular fashion that makes me feel like I’m the crazy one. He is financially abusive- spending however much he wants on whatever he wants but I have to beg and plead for most anything over $50. I remember standing in Big Lots trying to convince him to buy me a beautiful mirrored jewelry box for $20. The one I had was 25 years old and a cheap Chinese wood thing that was so rough, the dust wouldn’t come off when I cleaned it. I got the mirrored box but it took 10 minutes of pleading and two passes around the store. The 20-year fight over a new stove is a prime example. Maybe I will explain that one in another post.
He disregards my ideas and my opinions, sometimes saying I am flat out wrong, even when I have science backing me up. Did you know it has been scientifically proven that hot water freezes faster than cold water? When I tried to have a nice science-y conversation with him, which he would normally like as long as he was the speaker, he about blew a gasket. He argued he took physics in college (early 1960’s) and we could stick hot and cold water in the freezer right now and test it. I told him a scientist proved in 1969 that it was true in controlled experiments. Google proved me right and he argued you can get any answer you want off the internet if you look hard enough. (BTW, it’s called the Mpemba effect, named after Erasto Mpemba) He was full of rage and having a full-on tantrum, stomping around, screaming, and I just watched in amazement. I didn’t cry and get upset like I normally would have during one of his rages. It was like I could see him in reality for the first time.
Way back when we were first married, we had an argument over how the sex of a baby is determined- the whole x and y thing. I actually went to the library and took out human biology and sex books to prove I was right and he still insisted he was right and I wasn’t hearing him correctly. I should have known back then where this was headed, but I was in love. I thought he was just stubborn. It turns out he is pathologically stubborn.
The sad part of all of this is he has been getting worse as he gets older. He is meaner and yells more often. He yells at his sister on the phone. He was yelling a lot at one of his oldest friends until he figured out the friend was having cognitive difficulties. He still slips up and yells at him sometimes. And he yells at me. Not since I left, of course, he is trying to win me back. But if I were to go back, the yelling would return.
I reposted this pic yesterday on Facebook, thinking about him sneaking around and lying to me about meeting up with people for dates. When I woke up this morning and saw it again, I thought about all the times I had to sneak money to help my sisters out. We had enough and they were in a bind. Or the times I would pay a vet bill, half cash and half on the credit card so he would not know how much I actually spent on one of our cat’s medical needs. I thought about the times I lied about how much I spent at a store or out for lunch with my girlfriends so he wouldn’t be mad. Or the hundreds of lies: “I have a headache” because I was too heartbroken by his actions and did not want to have sex with him. When I tried talking with him about feelings and intimacy, he just did not get it, did not want to talk about it, and would change the subject to something he wanted to talk about. Or he would use the old stand-by, “my parents left me alone as a child. I never learned about hugging and closeness- I don’t like it”. Well he didn’t want to learn it from me. I give up. I am going to be single.
If you are interested in reading more about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, here is a good starting point. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/evolution-the-self/201311/6-signs-narcissism-you-may-not-know-about