Here is my story in a nutshell.
I am a 34 years old woman, I lived with my husband for 15 years. I thought, if there is perfect marriage, ours is that. He was a charming man, everybody loved him. I thought (and all our friends and family members agreed), that God made us for each other.
We are both musicians, so we formed together a special mode of life, what was really enjoyable for us. It seemed, that it was a unique relationship, the magic hadn’t passed away for 15 years. We talked until dawn about serious topics, or fabricated funny stories and laughed for hours, went to tours, concerts, parties with group of friends, and supported each other in work.
We liked the same music, films, and artists. We reached more and more goals from year to year, I felt, that this relationship was getting stronger and stronger.
In January, he told me, that he decided to leave me. I was shocked. I haven’t perceived that something went wrong between us, so I asked him to tell me, what was the problem. He told me that: “Oh, of course, you don’t understand, that I want you to get out of my life.
You always forced me to be with you, but I never really loved you. I have tried to flee from this relationship for 15 years. At the beginning, I started to court you, because you were beautiful, clever, everybody wanted to be your boyfriend in the group of friends, but they told me it’s impossible to get you. I was proud, when I told them, that you were my girlfriend.
I was a fool, I don’t know why I didn’t drop you in the first months. You destroyed my life. I don’t know who I am, it’s your fault! You are the only one in my life, who is able to understand me, my thoughts, my fears, my gladness, my sadness, everything.
You were my best friend. Don’t you think, it’s abnormal? You are the perfect woman, your personality is developing, you are clever and logical, it’s frightening! When I had a problem, you always helped me! Why? And I hated the arguments! When you knew that I was not right, you wanted to talk about it! I don’t want to talk, don’t want to understand you, it’s too complicated for me. You had influence on me, I see everything through your eyes, I don’t know what I think, what I want or who I am.
From this moment you are not my wife, I don’t care about your feelings, don’t except humanity.” He left me alone in the flat. I cried all the night and I tried to puzzle out this hotchpotch. I thought, that one of us were going mad, but I wasn’t sure that it’s not me.
The next day he came home, and he was very angry, that he found me in our flat. Shouted me, to get the dog, and get out from the common flat. He didn’t care, if I had place to go or not. He told me: “Everything’s changed, because 6 days ago I met with a fan girl of my band and I kissed her. I am madly in love first time in my life, I have been never as happy as now. And she is better than you, she can give everything, that you never could. She is not so perfect, beautiful and clever like you. She is admiring me, whatever I do. A few days ago we had an argument.
Although I was stupid, and unfair, the girl calmed me down, and consoled me. You have never done the same, it’s your fault, that our arguments were so exhausting! She is the best thing in my life, I never want to lose her, and I will never hurt her.” I asked him, not to tell the girl every seconds of my suffering, because it’s degrading. He said, in that situation I were not allowed to ask anything.
My friends asked me not to leave the flat, unless he paid me. He wanted to go, but he couldn’t find a place, where he can bring all the instruments and tools, he worked with. So, sometimes he was here, sometimes he slept elsewhere. His behavior was unpredictable. He blamed me for weeks, later he told me, he didn’t know why he was so heartless, or that he was in trouble, because he could not control himself. He was cruel, miserable, very kind or aggressive in turn.
It was good to him, if I listened him quietly. But he blamed me, that I wanted to hurt him, if I reacted anything. He made me feel, that he was the victim of the situation. I felt that was a honor if he listened to me for a minute. I thought that he was going crazy, but as I tried to understand the situation, I found, that his behavior is not strange for me.
The perfect man
I was sure, that he was the love of my life, now I say he really was he perfect man for few months in every year. We had very good and long conversations about the life, about the future, about the work, politics, religions. We talked about our personal problems, he was helpful, had good ideas, and gave me really good advice. He was very-very funny, we created jokes and laughed for hours. He was very attentive, and polite, he always delighted me with small or big surprises.
We were happy if we walked, if were on holiday, or went to a party. If he went to group of our friends without me, he called me on phone, and told me, that everybody wanted me to be there, and he really missed me. He was proud of me, he told everybody, that I am the perfect woman for him.
We agreed in which film to watch, which concert to go, we spent time together, and had time alone, creative work together and separately. He loved what I’d done, my songs, lyrics, the food what I cooked and everything. But a few things were so strange. He reacted unkindly if I cried, he told me, he didn’t know what to do in that situation, but he tried to learn to be kind if I cry.
The another strange thing was, that he never protected me if someone bothered me, sometimes he was angry for me, because I tried to save myself. He told me, he was not happy if I broke his image, because he tried to be kind with everyone. When we were with friends, he were very kind with everybody, but he particularly liked when we met with young, silly, unpractised musicians, who were admiring him.
Then he talked and talked for hours like a preacher, and knew everything better like others, and I saw he was really satisfied. I didn’t like, when he called them to our flat to preach them, while I ran up and down like a servant.
As I dug in my memories, I found, that there were a “silent terror” period also for few months in every year. He was very tired, he was laying on the couch, played with telephone and watching TV. If he had to go to the Post office, he had to relax one day before and one day after. There were sorrow on his face and his look was very cold. When I hugged or kissed him, just looked me without feelings. If I asked a question, he didn’t react anything. If I waited for answer, he told me, that all my questions were stupid. He made me feel so boring if i had a joke, or a story, and even more boring if I had a problem.
If I told him anything, he shaked me down, he wanted me to understand, that he is tired, or couldn’t pay attention, because he had too much work (two weeks later). His advice was, talk with my friends. At night, when we went to bed, I laid next to him, or kissed him, but he was just staring at the TV. If I had done something what made me proud of myself, he told me, that it was not great, just normal, I didn’t have to be so proud. In this period I always felt, that my feelings died, I blamed myself and tried to wake the perfect man up.
The loud terrorist
When he awaken from the silent, bored terrorist period, he attacked me, that we didn’t have enough sex, and it was his prerogative. I tried to tell, that I wanted him, but he was so cold, he said, that he tried to show me how he loved me, but I hadn’t pay attention, and nothing is good enough for me. Everything was my fault, if I had problems, he had bigger problems. If he made worse of something, he shouted me for days.
He told me, that I never had care about his wishes, for example, two months earlier we went to a restaurant, but he wanted to go to another. I asked, if he had told me that. He answered, that it didn’t matter. When I tried to talk with him, when I tried to tell, that he hurt me, he answered, that I thought that I was so perfect, or he told me all my faults. Sometimes he broke down and explained, that he is victim of his parents, or the external conditions.
Sometimes he simply lied something, and when I told him, that I know that was not the truth, he modified, or shouted me, that I complicated everything. In this period he hated everything, that he loved in “perfect man” period, and everything was my fault. (For example, while he was every time sad in the perfect period when he had to go to a party without me, in this period he shouted me because he had never went alone to a party, and it’s my fault.
Or he always told me, that he didn’t like restaurants, cause my cook is the perfect taste for him, in this period he shouted me, that I were silly if I thought that cooking was important, because he didn’t ever take care of what he eat.) He made my feelings questionable. For example, his drummer college, who “loves” every woman in the world, told him, that every woman is a bitch, so I am a bitch too. So the guy encouraged my husband, to have one night stands with band fan girls.
When somebody had told me that, I was very angry. I told my husband, that the drummer’s action had hurt me, that’s why I would never ever make the favorite food to this guy. My husband said: “Oh, you can not accept, that his opinion is not the same as yours.” I felt, I lost my common sense. And I have hundreds of examples like this.
This period was reflected in other way sometimes. Then he was sad, because as a musician, he had not reached the goals, he had imagined when he was a child. It’s important to know, that in our country, he is one of the five most successful guitarists. But he complained, and he was jealous for everybody, who reached anything he couldn’t, even if they had less success, money or acknowledgement than he.
In this situation, I always scrapped myself, to help him. I was quiet for days or weeks, while he shouted. When he finished, I told him all the values he had, and I shown him alternatives, that how many things could be built based on his knowledge. I asked him to make a plan, and I promised, that I help him. And I really helped. What for? He is more successful, but he is not more satisfied. And he hates me, cause I helped.
In every 2-4 years, there was a period, I called it doorstep. After the silent and the loud terror, he forced me to tell him, how had I demonstrate, that I love him. In this time he blamed me for my and his faults, and I promised, that I change for him. I was a fool!
We divorced in no time. Now he is in another flat, I stayed in our home with the dog, an estate agent sell this flat. For 15 years I thought that I were in safe, I felt my home was where he was. It’s very hard to see the reality. I start a new life, I need time to recover my self-confidence and the belief of my common sense. I didn’t understand what happened to me. I found your page, and read every articles.
I am afraid, that I was in love with a narcissist. It’s hard to believe. Sometimes I hope, that he will make up his mind. But I know, that I never want to live this way again. Thank you for your help! Your articles make me stronger, and help me not to suffer from his manipulations. You help me to believe, that this steps are painful today, but now I make a chance of a better life in the future!
If you would like to share part of your story, please email it to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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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- Episode 26: Live Stream from March 8, 2017 - March 14, 2017