When she met him, he had just started working for a marketing company. Since he was at the beginning with building her career and struggling to become a successful businessman, she thought that he was insecure and that was the reason why he wanted to always be the center of attention, be right about everything, and to be constantly praised and validated.
She believed that it is only a phase and that he will change when he’d gain more confidence. She believed that he needed to accomplish the things he wanted before being able to love her, listen to her, and show compassion and empathy.
She tried to help him in every way she could, but his lack of empathy was pushing her away. She tried to talk to him about it, but he got angry every time and even made her feel that she was the problem in the relationship.
Whenever they went out with friends, he made fun of her and was very demeaning and condescending. And when she would tell him that he hurt her, he would say that she is overly sensitive and stupid for not knowing how to take a joke. Then, he would continue saying that others found it funny even though he was insulting her.
She was tolerating his behavior because she grew up in an abusive family, so it all appeared and felt “normal” to her. Whenever friends would come over to their house, her husband was always the center of attention and he would always say something mean to someone and hurt their feelings. So, after every social gathering, she felt the need to apologize to those present for her husband’s behavior. And whenever she tried to talk to him about it, he would present himself as a victim and say that she shouldn’t have apologized to them because they were the one who insulted him.
Her friends and family were telling him to leave him and were desperately trying to show her how bad he is for her. But she couldn’t see it at the time. He had her tied to him and it was impossible for her to walk away. She slowly distanced herself from these relationships, and she was only seeing her family in friends on rare occasions when he was not at home.
At first, she was fighting with him whenever he crossed her boundaries, but every time he would start blaming her instead and after a while, she gave up and decided to stay silent because she didn’t want to fight. So, she became accustomed to not have boundaries, to not being heard or seen, and not being treated with the respect she deserved.
However, one day she came across an article that talked about the narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). After she started reading all about this kind of illness, she realized that she has been dealing with a narcissist the whole time.
Suddenly, all of it made sense: his inability to love, his lack of compassion and empathy, his constant need of praise and admiration, his need to feel superior to everyone, his mind games… everything.
The literature she was reading said that these people never change because they don’t see a problem with their personality.
But, even though she knew everything, she was still unable to break the relationship. He crushed her self-esteem so much that she felt as she was giving a part of herself and that she will never heal from that void. She was terrified and heartbroken at the same time.
But, she did it. She left him. She cut him off her life because she has had it enough of his lies and abuse.