Discovering that you are married to a narcissist is rather Earth shattering. Especially when you didn’t notice it for a long time.
That’s been my life…
The discovery still keeps rocking my world and I find myself bound in moments of grief so raw. Grief over what I thought we had vs the reality. Grief over the real love I felt and the dreams of the family we built.
Women are often the memory keepers. We build photo albums and capture the moments to be preserved. We tend to hold the memories in our hearts. But when you discover that your married to a narcissist you start to question all of these memories.
Was he always a narcissist, or did it happen gradually? When did you give over the control? When did you allow yourself to be so manipulated?
Some of these question’s wont ever be answered, and others don’t need to be. Finding peace in your heart to accept what is and move forward with healthy boundaries is a must. I still have some days where the tears fall randomly or out of the blue. I still question and I still wonder why. I am allowing myself the time and space to grieve but I am also moving forward.
As a caregiver my natural reaction is to take care of everyone else around me. I spent an entire marriage taking care of his needs above my own. I spent my days doing for everyone else and forgot that I should come first in my world and everyone else secondary. I can’t possibly take care of anyone else properly if I am not taking care of me. Getting divorced has shown me all the ways I failed to take care of me, and all the ways I allowed him to belittle me. All the little ways I wasn’t important in his world are huge red flag warnings for narcissistic behavior.
I chose to believe him and doubt my inner voice. I chose to believe every time he told me that the people he worked with didn’t like how he was affectionate with the women he worked with. How he was a hugger and he wouldn’t ever cheat on me. I chose to believe each time he came home and belittled me for not feeling well and then would go to his room and stay there for hours without having any interaction with his kids or I. I chose to believe that he just was having a hard day, or that it was stressful being a cop and he deserved time to decompress.
What I didn’t do was take stock of the facts and evaluate how these actions were all bad for me. How my health was declining because I wasn’t being supported, loved and cherished. How my stressful day at home with 4 kids several animals and the mounting weight of taking care of all household finances, running my own business, homeschooling 4 kids, planning field trips and trying to do it all on a miniscule budget was effecting every aspect of my life. I will forever be grateful for the fact that I was able to raise my children. That they are the people they are because of all I did to raise them mostly alone because he never participated. I am now learning to balance my needs with theirs as we all go through this process. My kids have been an amazing support and I for them.
Together we are forging onward to new dreams.