“Joao’s” Story

narcissistic behavior in relationships

Dear Dana,

I should be working, but instead, here I am sharing my story with a bunch of strangers. Reading through the messages, it was obvious how much we all have in common. I will be very careful not to divulge anything that would give me away especially because of my job.
I am getting a divorce after 30 years of marriage. A marriage that I knew I had to end after the first year but there is where the story becomes so surreal that I came to the same realization that most of you, who have gone through the same experience have, and it is that I must walk away from this marriage quiet. And that talking about it with anyone would be inviting disbelief and shame.
I have 2 children that depend on me and that are coming to live with me after the divorce and it is important that I share where I am. I will be careful with the details but it is enough to say that I am 1.3M in debt after having a business with 40 employees and a salary of 7 figures.
I am devastated emotionally and every single day I have to remind myself that I need to SOMEHOW survive and SURPASS this because my children believe in me so much. Because of my job, I had my own personal driver. Town cars and limousines were a daily thing on my life and that is where the full damaged of what she did to me becomes real. I feel that I am being narcissist by stating this.
When my 13 year old tells her, ” Mom, I am old enough to remember the limo and the house we had. Dad was really successful” she answers, ” Your father was lucky. He never did anything. His people did all the work. It is a good thing you remember because he will never get any of that back.”
I am feeling lost, weak and worse of all, 100% suicidal. Every single day I have to tell myself that my children depend on me and  I meditate and recollect how I built 2 businesses from nothing, walking 45 minutes to work when I didn’t even have a car, and that I started alone and then one employee until I had close to 50 people on the payroll.
Still the feeling is there.
I heard so many times.  I know it is not true but it is there on my head over and over again. YOU ARE A LOSER.
…I will use bullet points otherwise I would never be able to finish:
1- Met my wife, who had just arrived in the US with a boyfriend. Broke up with him the same night she got here. He paid for her trip to US but the reason for the broke up was that he had arranged for them to live together and she had known him for just a month. She told me, “How does he expect me to go live with him? We have only been dating for a month.” PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE EXCUSE IN HER MIND.
( NOTE: little did I know that for the next 30 years, I would be confused by the same excuses and I use the word confused because her explanations always seemed somewhat believable. Always. And it came down to ” this was a big misunderstanding. I would never.. say.. do.. this. Ever.” But I was always left with the feeling that something was wrong.)
2- She was and still is a stunningly beautiful woman. Physically. If you were to meet her you would place her among the 50 most beautiful woman you have ever met. Even now at 50 years old. And that is relevant because throughout the marriage she would always come home sharing the stories of how many men approached her and how horrible it was that she had no peace to just enjoy whatever she was doing without being bothered by men.
3- From the first day she met me, we were never apart. She dumped her boyfriend and gave me all her attention from the get go. She had sex with me the second night we met and moved herself into my apartment within a month without asking me. I came home and all of her things were in my closet. The boyfriend was angry as hell and told stories of how he felt used by her to come to America and claimed that they have had sex, which she denied. The truth is that on the first year alone we shared an apartment she slept with 3 different people including this ex-boyfriend once more. I didn’t find out that until last year and the way she found so that I knew makes her the most scary person in the world for me.
4-  We had a baby within the first year and that was marked by a ride on an ambulance during an emergency because she had some sort of infection and I ended up trying to console her while she pushed me away and blamed me for her disease. It was the first time she accused me of something I had not done and the first time I remember feeling really confused by what she was saying. At the hospital, a doctor asked me if I was cheating on her and I said no.
The nurse took me to another room and gave me one of the most painful conversations I have ever had in my life. I was 22 years old and remember to this day a precise feeling: I felt right here and then that I was being punished by this nurse. The coldness, the way she handle the exam and her parting words to me: ” You are so lucky to have such a beautiful wife.” and she walked away. I felt confused as hell for that. In the end, my wife had a serious STD and I couldn’t tell anyone that I was a virgin when I married her so it had to be her and not me.
5- She had another ex boyfriend that left her in our country and came to US and around the birth of our daughter she began to tell me and anyone who was interested that HE was the love of her life and again. A CONFUSING FEELING one can not properly describe.
6- On our second year of marriage we shared a house with another couple and when I got extremely sick and passed out, and according to the husband, he told me that at the hospital, she kicked me on the ground over and over again. His wife was not home and he said that he had to push her away from me and that our 2 year old daughter was in tears screaming for her mother to stop. Her explanation came swiftly: ” Why would I do something like that? ” She later told me that he had been making advances at her everyday while we were there. I found out from her later that the night I was at the hospital, they went home and they had sex while my daughter was in the next room.
7- A month later she convinced me to take our daughter back to our country to visit her mother and later on I found out that the LOVE OF HER LIFE was back in our country. It would take year for me to put all the clues together. She asked me to buy a house there at the same place where this guy had a house with his wife. She tried to convince me to go back to live there and when I refused she said left my 2 year old daughter with family members while she went away with this guy. While there, in the short period of 3 months, she slept with 3 different men. Another detail I would not find out until years later.
8- I send money for them to come back and she showed up at the airport WITHOUT my daughter. And she ended our marriage a couple of days later and went to live in someone else’s house working as a caretaker and housekeeper. She was pregnant and would eventually come to me for help. Again apologizing and reminding me of her horrible childhood and that if we didn’t get back together she would leave our daughter in our country and go back there. I took her back and brought my daughter home. Unbeknownst to me, SHE HAD JUST LEARNED HOW TO MANIPULATE AND CONTROL ME FOR THE NEXT 30 YEARS. Threat to take the children away and he will do anything you ask him to do. I am desperately confiding in strangers because I cant talk to no one else. Something tells me that many of you have been here before.
NOTE: I have just realized that I could write a book about this and there is so many things that explaining is no longer possible and I am asking too much of you. So, here is the list:
– Told me many times that the best sex she ever had was with her ex boyfriend.
– Pointed at a guy in a pizza place and told me that all the girls were crazy for that guy and no wonder because he looked so much like her boyfriend.
– I came home to find my 2 children: 7 and 10 absolutely desperate. They did something that upset her and she had them packed a bag because she was going to take them somewhere. I will never forget the face she had when she greeted me downstairs and tried to convince me to go along just so that we scared them into behaving better. I asked them what were the kids doing and she told me they were packing. I ran upstairs and I will never forget what my 10 year old daughter said: ” Dad is home lets talk to him. maybe he will let us stay.” I hug them and help them put their things back. Nowadays, she claims I am the one who told the kids they had to go. Needless to say, the kids are so confused about this that even today at almost 30 years old they don’t talk about it.
note: I can’t believe I allowed this woman to get away with so much.
– while I was working and going to college in NYC she began another affair with her PARAPLEGIC BOSS. Yes. You read right and yes, she told me that she felt more sexual with him than she EVER felt with me. When I told her I wanted a divorce she now knew exactly what to do. ” I work as a housekeeper and caretaker. I hate this place, you’re the one who likes it here. I will call immigration and they will send us back.” We were illegal at that time. I came to study and run out my visa.
– She took my kids to his house for dinner and told me that she wanted to see if he liked the kids so that she could move in with him. Again she threatened to take the kids away.
–  I took her back and left school and moved my family elsewhere. By that time, we had 2 children. Within a week of arriving on the new place, she got my 2 children together and told them that we had problems and that they were going back to NYC alone without me. They were desperate. Again, I convinced her to stay and I will always hate that this country always believes the woman or I would have been out of this hell a long ago.
– I built a business from nothing to over 3M dollars a year. She told me daily that I did nothing and that my guys did all the work. When I bought her a 45k car she told me that the car was for old people and exchanged for a 65k car.
– When I gave a child, who was selling newspaper on Christmas week, $20 SHE WENT BESERK with the kids in the car. ” I made plans for this money. I have things I need to buy.” HER BUDGET? She had 15k in cash with her. 15K!!!!!!!
– I need to be careful here so no one can pinpoint where I was living. when my son, now 17 lost 4 friends for suicide in a period of one year and a half,  he became depressed and had suicidal thoughts: One day, while I protected him during an argument she told him SARCASTICALLY:
” What? You convinced your father that you will kill yourself? You are a loser. A coward. You don’t have the balls to kill yourself. That is what your father told me to convince me to married him. If you don’t marry me I will kill myself.”
I called our psychiatrist, we were in therapy at the time and begged him to help me. We gave my son help and he was fine. Later on he told me that ” I don’t know how to say this dad, but I don’t like mom. I think mom is evil. Many times when I wanted to get milk in the fridge I would first see how she was and check if it was safe to go there without her picking a fight with me.”
– At that time, I was making over 3M a year, had 4 cars in our garage and lived in one of the most expensive places in US and this woman was still unhappy and creating chaos in our lives.
– When I told her that I wanted a divorce. That our therapy was not working. and that I wanted to find someone else, she told me: ” Go ahead, do you know how many times you have told me the same thing over the years? Go ahead. Who’s gonna want a piece of s**t like you.”
That was 4 years ago and I told her okay. And began the process of separating from her. When she found out I was serious she went crazy: threats of not allowing me to see my kids. ONLY WITH SUPERVISION and what a nightmare. I went to a lawyer and he told me that I had to get used to the idea of losing the kids because the court always sides with the mother and it will be a he said/she said in court and the courts don’t care about infidelity as much as you think. SO AGAIN. I took her back and she paid me back by having an affair in CA with someone she met at a park and getting another STD that landed her in a hospital. I never had sex with her after that, going on 3 years now.
I need to stop. There are so many of this stories that I am SO TIRED.  I AM EXHAUSTED AND EMPTY and the song from JEWEL ” FOOLISH GAMES” describes exactly how I feel and felt over 30 years.
My children are sleeping now and I am here writing this hoping that one of you will take the time to tell your story and how YOU ARE BETTER NOW and that I should BELIEVE THAT IT WILL BE BETTER TOO.
And now we have a chance to become citizens this year and again, she is asking me to wait until we become citizens because otherwise IF I OPEN MY BIG MOUTH we will lose our chance to become citizens. We have 4 children now: 29, 25, 14, 13
I don’t need to tell you that every once in a while when she thought I was leaving she would begin to have sex with me 3 times a day. I had no idea what narcissism was and erroneously, like everyone else, thought it was simply someone overly concerned with their appearance.
While I left 15 days to work, THE FIRST TIME I WAS AWAY FROM MY CHILDREN FOR SO LONG, my wife managed to introduced someone into my 10 year old daughter that molested her for almost 6 months. Our life became a nightmare. I left to a business trip and my daughter was happy. She ran to the door to hug me and tell me how much she loved me and when I came back she was not speaking. She didn’t speak a single word for the next 9 months.
NOTE: I apologize for this being so long but I need to find someone who understands. Someone who has been there. I need to take this off my chest because I am having suicidal thoughts.
I had to close my business to take care of my daughter and the bills began piling up. Still.. and here comes the end and you will be happy to know that if GOD HIMSELF CAME TO EARTH AND TOLD ME of his plan and that we needed to stay together I WOULD TELL HIM TO GO F**K HIMSELF…
My daughter ended up in a mental institution for 10 days and even when she left the hospital, she had two single thoughts: take me back to the hospital or I want to die. She was in so much turmoil that she would leave the home and walk away and my son and I would have to take turns watching her at night so that she didn’t run away. There was a particular day that I sat in the car instead of searching for her and thought that perhaps it would be better that she was dead than in so much pain. 2015 was the worse year of my life.
 My wife? She took a job and disappeared from the home. She spends a total of 5 hours at home throughout the entire week. If you were to ask her you could never tell how sick my daughter was.
I budgeted the last money we had for home, for the expensive private Catholic school and for my daughters therapy. I found a school with girls only for her.
For my desperation, my wife took off on a Friday with the only car we have now and when I finally reached her she had cleaned our bank account. She told our daughter that she was molested by her uncle when she was small and “didn’t do the f**ing drama you are doing.” I have over 6 hours of text BEGGING her to PLEASE STOP because I need the money to be able to get my daughter into school and therapy. She told me that we should put her in public school and that my daughter knew how to play me. She told me that when she said to my daughter that she wish she could give her a dog but I didn’t want to have a dog at home, my wife said that my daughter told her that she would ask me. That I have dad well-trained.” I put my daughter in front of her and point-blank told her the story and my daughter had tears in her eyes and told her mom that was not true. ” Mom, tell dad I never said that.” My wife got her things and went out. Cursing, screaming, deflecting.
She tried to convince me and my 13 year old son to put my daughter into a state mental facility and move from here and start fresh elsewhere. My son was aghast by what he heard. I asked her to repeat it and she said, ” What are we gonna do? Lose everything because of her?”
I had to beg the school to allow my daughter to go there and put me into a payment plan and begged the therapist to see my daughter and that I would pay her soon.
IT WAS THE WORSE PERIOD OF MY LIFE. My poor child got the uniform and wore her school uniform for the entire weekend everywhere. She wouldn’t take that for nothing and came Monday morning she was at school at 6 am. We sat outside waiting for the school to open at 7:30 am.
I have a good friend who lent me almost 100k over a year period and my wife sent this person a letter telling her that I was not working and that I didn’t want to work and that she would never see her money back.
Today the school is fully paid. 12k. We went to see an apartment. My daughter is a straight A student and has a drive that is not normal for her age. She writes at a college level and has a vocabulary that has doctors running to the dictionary.
I now am helping my 13 years old, it seems he will have to repeat the year. While his sister was sick, he was by my side and sending empty school reports to his school. He is home schooled. There was a day where he sat on the ground and I was worried and he just said to me: ” Dad, I just need to breathe. I just need to breathe.” and I sat next to him and we were exhausted. my daughter had one of her episodes. My wife? She was at night school. Studying for her GED.
Until we get out of here we still not totally safe but it is hard to take care of 2 teenagers and rebuild a business again. I appreciate the opportunity to be heard and know that I wont be ever able to tell anyone any of this.
30 years living with a person that is a monster and I can’t tell you all how many times I heard this phrase: ” You are so lucky. Your wife is so nice. So beautiful.”
I had to smile and be polite. If any of you meet anyone who met us and you would take the time to ask they would tell you how lucky I am and that my wife could have done better. I DON’T UNDERSTAND MY LIFE AT ALL.
But I have 2 teenagers that count on me so I have no option but to MOVE FORWARD. I wish I could tell you what I do so you could help me by perhaps buying my work but I can’t. I will settle to hear some nice words of people who have been there and understand what it is to survive this. “Foolish Games” from Jewel pretty much defines what I feel right now.
I hope most of you are better. I don’t wish on anyone what I went and am going through. When my wife tries to convince me SHE IS THE VICTIM I now say nothing but I can no longer be fooled because I have two things she has never displayed: SORROW and REGRET. She moves forward cold as ice.
By the way, her job? The new job? She works as a nurse and THEY LOVE HER. In a little less than 2 months there she managed to replace the woman who was there for almost 3 years by getting her fired. And she is the boss now. It was as she says: ” All a big misunderstanding and thank God they were able to see that she was just trying to help. She didn’t want anyone to get fired.” And I am pretty sure that she is having something with her teacher at the GED school and I AM DESPERATELY TRYING TO PUT ENOUGH FUNDS TOGETHER TO GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE WHILE HER ATTENTION IS ELSEWHERE.

If you would like to share part of your story, please email it to: mystory@thriveafterabuse.com.

Also, please make sure to let me know of any name changes you’d like to have made–and please keep details vague enough to protect your identity and/or location if this is a concern.

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I am a self-help junkie, former advocate for victims of domestic violence, current psychiatric RN, as well as being a recovering victim of Narcissistic abuse.

My goal is to educate, empower, and inspire other abuse victims in understanding more about what happened to them (and how to prevent it from happening again), as well as how to go on and rebuild an amazing life.

Even though I have had a lot of "in the trenches" experience with highly manipulative people of all kinds, I consider myself to be a student of Narcissism, mindset, motivation, healing, and life in general, and am by no means an expert on any of these topics.

It's for these reasons, that when you are reading my information that I encourage you to hold to what helps, and let the rest go.
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About Dana 347 Articles
I am a self-help junkie, former advocate for victims of domestic violence, current psychiatric RN, as well as being a recovering victim of Narcissistic abuse. My goal is to educate, empower, and inspire other abuse victims in understanding more about what happened to them (and how to prevent it from happening again), as well as how to go on and rebuild an amazing life. Even though I have had a lot of "in the trenches" experience with highly manipulative people of all kinds, I consider myself to be a student of Narcissism, mindset, motivation, healing, and life in general, and am by no means an expert on any of these topics. It's for these reasons, that when you are reading my information that I encourage you to hold to what helps, and let the rest go.


  1. Dear Jaoa,
    Wow! You and your children will “need” years of therapy to unwind everything that has occurred. Your “ex” is frankly a, sociopath. She is a dangerous sociopath. You MUST not speak to her, unless it involves the business of raising your children. She is akin to drinking a bottle of poison. She will vacillate between being nice (to pull you back in)only to “discard” you when she realizes she can hurt you the most. NOTHING will ever be her fault. NOTHING! So,I know from experience how strange love can be, but she never loved you and she is incapable of loving anybody, including herself. So, my advice to you would be: 1) Never speak to her again. ( She will just lie anyway) 2) Ask yourself what there is to gain and what will change if you do speak to her. ( The answer is NOTHING) 3) Do not give up hope my friend. Your life can now become, “your life.” I would recommend you read a book by Viktor Frankl. It is titled: Man’s search for Meaning.” It will make you realize that your response to what happens in life is ALL you can control. Your ex will end up alone in the end. Physical beauty has a shelf life. Good luck!

  2. WeWe all expect others to love us and treat us as we would treat them. This is true imaginarium. When you are raped as a child you view life differently. You can never truly trust another. My step father tried to save my life. He lost his. My birth father 29 years after the fact handled the perpetrator. With two men trying to save my life, I still have zero trust of anyone but God. I, too, didn’t speak for years. Who would believe me? My mother covered everything up and disowned me because I spoke, I reached out to her for help, justice. Your wife, narcissistic, or not I’m sure suffers from the incest which violated her trust. Her attacking everyone is a result of same and perhaps will never recover from same. I do not condone her behavior. I’m only explaining what I see for your own peace and as a precaution of what your daughter will most likely go through. Treat and teach your daughter to only accept the utmost respect from men. Any sense of something less, she should turn and walk away. She has become accustomed to abuse by her mother and disrespect by the person who assaulted her continuously. It will take great energy on your part to convince her of her worth at every turn. Not overly attentive, idolatry, but sincere respect for her as a person, a human being. Validate her. She will in turn expect that from others. It’s a safety issue. A survival issue. You need to go no contact with your wife. Present your case, as you have above, to a divorce attorney who specializes in representing fathers. There is a forum for men who want custody of their children who will support you in this emotionally and financially. It will be a difficult course of action. You must do this for your children, yourself, and your wife. Your tolerating her behavior is not helping her. She needs therapy, deep therapy, without children or interference from anyone in her life in order to overcome her childhood trauma, before she can have any hope of living a peaceful life herself. She is running scared and insecure and is trying to find her own respect for herself through others. She was also violated and is utilizing her looks to survive. I would also suggest family therapy with each child and at some point their mother once she has received her own therapy and is exhibiting progress. When my son was raped, I lost my mind. I couldn’t protect him. I couldn’t protect myself. If you are a victim, you live as a victim. Your child will take on your weaknesses, unbeknownst to you … until, they too, are victimized. Each child of yours needs to know this so that they too don’t become a victim. And, their children as well. It is the greatest struggle to protect yourself from displaying those characteristics. Each person needs to work on themselves and in coordination with the others’ therapy in order to overcome this, or it will become generational. The greatest therapy is God. He is real. He is merciful. He is peace. He is love. All things work together for the good, for those who are called according to His purpose. What you instill in your children, will remain with them. With all the pain I have experienced, I know this. Three fathers gave their lives for me. My step-father, my birth father and Jesus Christ. When the pain swells and memories overwhelm, I know this. They respected me enough to give their lives for me. I don’t mean death … I mean they stood up for me whatever the cost. They took the necessary roads, actions … they showed me that I am worthy of their love. Your wife, remember, is also a victim. God hates divorce. No contact will allow her the time to obtain therapy and realize her value is more than her looks, her body, sex. She, also, is worthy. This will also allow your daughter to come to realize the same. Yes, she was victimized. All is not lost. God will not forsake you. Her father will not forsake her mother because she, too, was a victim. The hatred poured out towards you, that she trusts to pour out towards you, and her children … you, on some level, make her feel safe enough to release. Not a healthy release … anything can be shifted towards the narrow path. Anything. Seek God. Your daughter’s victimization perhaps brought your attention to same so that you could see your wife more clearly in order to save her as well. Her seeing you save your daughter could have instilled anger in her for not being saved herself. Her threatening to take the children away … she’s crying out. Her crying out may have lead to her narcissism. Narcissism, I believe is crying out to be noticed. They often play the love bomb in order to catch you … yet they have no foundation in which to keep you … because nobody every cared enough to “keep” them, protect them … their voice was never heard. They were silenced. They will constantly test you in order to receive some sort of validation that they exist and have worth … are worthy of love. If someone is violated at a very young age, their value to others is skewed. They will constantly search for a way to retrieve it, to be accepted, to cover their tarnish, to exist. No matter what they accomplish in life, they will not accept themselves as adequate or worthy. God is the only answer. He provides. He blesses. Treat them, each of them, as God’s children and respect them as you would respect Him. He is the only hope. God bless each one of you through these trials. He “is” refining each of you. Notice this and you will see the glory.

  3. I am so sorry but the people on this forum understand your pain well. The narcissist projects, makes themselves the victim, is covert aggressive, have their own rules but hold others to a high standard and pretend to be ethical, etc. Hindsight is 20/20 and we want to believe the narc even if bizarre in the moment. I know part of me understood that my ex-husband was hurting me intentionally but I guess I experienced cognitive dissonance. Give yourself a break. I went one day at a time. I focused on my kids too. Often I felt I didn’t commit suicide because I couldn’t stand the thought of my ex being my sons’ only parent. I stayed in a marriage too long because I thought I was doing what was best for the kids, but I didn’t do them any favors. But we realize that after the fact. And I was so confused and depressed I didn’t have the strength to leave the marriage. Took me years to have the courage. I had suicidal thoughts for many years. I tried many different healing modalities but it is prescription drugs that helped save my life. At least it is a bandaid for now. I didn’t respond to typical anti depressants as the problem for me seems to be a lack of GABA possibly due to the many years of stress. I take Lamictal. It is used for depression, epileptics and bi polar. The Psychiatrist doesn’t think I have bipolar disorder because I didn’t have these symptoms before the age of 20. It is s tough drug to get acclimated to but I was desperate for help and tolerated the side effects until my body got used to it. In sharing my experience with antidepressants perhaps someone else can benefit from Lamictal. Regarding bipolar disorder I have read that the victim can seem bipolar because they are having to deal with 2 different personalities, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. For me the process of recovery has been frustrating and slow, but it did get better. Love yourself, you deserve so much better than your ex wife who is incapable of having empathy and uses people. Be glad she is out of your life. You are detoxing from a toxic relationship, so are your kids. Give them lots of love and tell them how important they are to you.
    I hope you have an excellent lawyer, I wonder why they aren’t doing more for you. Oh wait, lawyers have been pretty worthless for me as my ex studied the law and knows how to twist and delay…6 years now. He had me fooled until the end that he would be decent about a divorce. Think about how you could have spent another 20 years or more with your ex and be very glad to be free of her no matter what the financial cost. I’d rather live in a tent than be with my ex. Best of luck to you. This forum has helped me so much to know I am not alone. Thank you Dana.

  4. OMG 🙁 PLEASE, please know this gets better! I was in a similar place to where you currently are. I found myself fantasising about walking into the ocean and not turning around and coming out ever again. I was so lost, bullied, embarrassed, head _______ed and such a empty shell. I was drained, i’d been smeared, had so many friends and an entire industry turned against me. The lies he told were brutal. He projected his entire personality and behaviour onto me, convinced a lot of people I was everything that he was. You have been though HELL and I just want to let you know you are not alone, you CAN, you WILL and you NEED to do this Self love is what has helped me, connecting with others whom are empathetic, loving, caring and nurturing. Your children are so very fortunate to have you 🙁 It breaks my heart to hear that she’s skipped off into the sunset and is (shudder) nursing which is dam scary being that she’s such a evil piece of work. I find they all seem to come wrapped in pretty little packages. My ex has flocks of woman falling at his feet, all conned too into thinking he’s such a “great guy”, “god’s gift” and “father of the year” when he’s a MONSTER behind the public mask and facade. I’m sending you love and healing thoughts and know you will pull yourself out of this nightmare. I hope you do get you and your kids the HELL away from here, and yes, go asap whilst she’s distracted and has new supply! RUN! xx

  5. Dear Joao, saying I’m sorry for what you’ve went through cant even begin to let you know I’m so sorry for the pain both you and your children have endured. I too was very suicidal because of the depression I was in with my now ex npd husband. It will get so much better for you and your children! I don’t forget the trauma he caused in my life but I have myself back!! Thank you for sharing your story as it does help all of us!!!

  6. Dear Jao, this is classic narc/ psychopathic behaviour…you have to be strong for your younger kids. Please ignore her completely from now on.. form a bond with your kids and let them know how much you love them and will be there for them .. can you report your wife for cleaning out your bank account and have her return the money? Can you also file for seperation (your kids testimony against her will hold weight).. for now, though, concentrate on getting employment, and the funds back from the wife

  7. Joao, don’t give up. I know you feel weak, but you are actually incredibly strong. Your wife is very disturbed and took advantage of your loving heart and giving nature. Just know one thing – she can never win. She has no idea what love is. She will be successful short term, but it will never last. She will always ruin anything good that she becomes involved with. Nothing good will last for her because she will destroy it. That is not winning. I was marryto a narcissist for 20 years, now divorced for 8, and let me tell you that your life is beginning now. Get away from her and don’t look back. Get a restraining order if you have to. You are incredibly strong to have lived with that for so very long. You can now start to build a new life for you and your children, full of good things – good experiences and good emotions like safety and happiness and even Joy. They don’t need a lot of material things, they need you. My life has gotten better and better every year since my divorce, and now I am truly happy. Talk with a counselor, cut the ties and start building a wonderful new life for yourself. This is the beginning.

  8. Wow. Thanks for sharing your story. Personal accounts, like yours, are the best way of educating and alerting the world about treacherous sociopaths as well as increasing understanding for the predicament of victims. If we keep telling our stories, future victims will have a much better chance of being taken seriously.

  9. Pretty hard to put 30 years into one post. I’m breathless and speechless. I didn’t quite understand why your daughter was sick and your son had difficulty breathing. There’s a lot of Drama and Trauma in your family. Actually, your story kind of sounds eerily similar to what horror’s family’s go through when Lyme Disease is involved. Children are often born congenital lyme if the mother is infected. I also discovered that this bacteria can get into the brain and knock out the part of the frontal cortex that’s responsible for “empathy”. Lack of empathy can turn otherwise normal people into Narcissists and Sociopaths. When Lyme inflames the brain this way, it is considered to be a brain injury. Impulsiveness, hyper-sexual, failure to consider long term consequences for actions. You might try googling Lyme Neuroborelliosis and google brain injury. Your life has been nothing short of an insane roller coaster ride. Getting some answers might help you regain your lost sanity and help you put everything into perspective. I’m sorry for what you and your family went through. I hope you’ll be able to find the strength to pull yourself and your family to safety and sanity. Sending you love.

  10. Dear Joao,
    Please know that you’re not alone in your troubles and that yes, these are turbulent times. I can relate, as I myself am [trying] to divorce a malignant narcissist. My 94-year-old father married one – from Communist Romania – when I was 8. She divorced him when I was 16. I’m the oldest in the family & took in far too much responsibility then as a child. So then, I go & jump right back into the frying pan by marrying a Narc & sticking with him thru horrible times. . for 24 years. It’s challenging beyond belief to try & get clear of the monster who is Antisocial Personality Disordered. [I was jailed for 3 days a few weeks ago]. But please know that God works through us in unimaginable ways. With His help, you WILL prevail & come through stronger. I will be praying for you! Faith & peace….Kim

  11. Great website. I hope others find this. I liked Dana’s video/article “Red Flag of a Narcissist #46: Actions Don’t Match Up With Words”. Very useful. Dealing with dishonest people can be very draining. Which is why I am saturating myself with self help books and POSITIVE online information/Affirmations as well as joining groups (A course in Miracles, etc) while I work on making my life what it should/WILL be.

    If you are having trouble being centered or positive, I highly recommend reading books about changing the subconscious mind as well as checking out self help Youtube videos. I have found that saturating my subconscious with positive material is really helping me gain peace/balance as well as clarity over my situation. It annoys the heck out of the abuser, but is helping me greatly! Don’t let them get you down. Fight back by taking care of yourself.

    Here are a couple of examples of what I’ve found helpful: The book, The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy and Youtube Affirmation videos played with Binaural beats (2-3 x a day). Please google “Youtube, Jason Stephenson Self worth and clarity” to see what he has to offer. Play them first thing in the a.m. and right before you go to sleep. Thank God for the internet.

    Thank you Dana! Stay sane and healthy all!

    Best wishes and a brighter future to everyone.

  12. Thank you for sharing those resources! I’m a big believer in feeding our brain with the positive too–and am actually working on a series that is more geared toward healing for this very reason. (Jason Stephenson rocks! I love all of his videos too.) As for the course in miracles, you are like the fifth person to mention this in about a week. I will add that to my “to read” pile, as it sounds really interesting! (((HUGS)))

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