For those of you suffering the woes of the post-narcissistic relationship, I’m here to tell you that it does get better. Yes, I know, right after the devaluing (devouring is more like it) and that final discard, the feeling is so devastating that you don’t think you will be able to survive. You will.
I will admit, 3 years ago right now, I could barely function. The woman of my dreams, that just happened to be a narcissist (something I wasn’t aware of at the time), decided to leave for the final time. Of course, I fell right into her little trap, begging and pleading for her to return, telling her how perfect she was for me (and this is after she had already discarded me on three previous occasions – yes, some of us learn slow). What I didn’t know is that she was already seeing someone else, although quite honestly, I had questioned the possibility of that over and over for several months before she left. I knew what she was doing – I just didn’t want to admit it.
Throughout the divorce, she continued to lie to me, feeding me just enough BS to think there may be a chance for her to return once again. Unknowingly, she was milking me for everything she could get. The more I thought she might return, the more I gave her to show her how good I was, how nice I could be. Being the actress that she is, I had no clue that she had no intention of returning, that she was lying to me, or that there was much more to the story. There was even a period where she started having yeast infections (no, we had NO physical relationship whatsoever after she moved out – clearly she was having one with someone). I remember thinking, “hmmm, she never had that occur the entire time we were together”. I continued to believe her lies.
Once the divorce was final, she continued to act as though she wasn’t seeing anyone AND that she was my best friend. That is when I learned about narcissism and started putting everything together. It all started to make sense, and that’s when I knew she must have someone in the wings. Shortly thereafter, once she had a few months of pity from her friends for being the poor single divorced woman with nobody, she “announced” the new guy with great fanfare. Even though I figured that was the case, I was crushed all the more. NOTE – A friend of my son saw her with this guy on two separate occasions before our divorce was final. He didn’t tell me as he knew it would be horrible. I wish he would have told me earlier…
The next phase had me numb and crushed for several months. At the same time, now knowing about narcissism, I absolutely ignored her. I wouldn’t give her the time of day, wouldn’t look at her, wouldn’t say a word to her, wouldn’t even acknowledge her presence. This definitely had a negative impact on her as it indicated to her that I no longer “belonged” to her, and once you are with a narcissist, they believe you are their’s until death, no matter how many partners they have, have had, or will have. The silence has been going on for over two years now. It is as if we never met. It has become my new normal regarding her, but I am sure she is still really bothered by it.
She has attempted to call me on a few occasions, but I act nonplussed, answering in one word answers (yes, no, bye). She has pretty much given up at this point and now treats me like a stranger too. How dare I stop treating her like the princess that she is? She just doesn’t get it.
At three years since she left for the last time (and it’s likley the last time only because I haven’t given her the opportunity to engage or come back), things have gotten better for me. I am finally able to be alone and actually enjoy it. I have dated a few too many women (sadly because for the longest time I was looking for a duplicate of my ex), but have finally settled down and have been seeing someone for 4+ months now.
With that said, I still think about the ex-narcissistic fairly frequently. Given the non-stop and relentless activities that we did (knowing now that she had to be busy ALWAYS so she didn’t have time to think about how empty she really, truly was inside), I have a myriad of memories regarding my ex. For several years, I absolutely loved my life with her. In her narcissistic way, she really did make herself into exactly who and what I wanted, and I adored everything about her. Sadly, the mask did begin to slip once I said “no” to her a few times. How dare I? Luckily, I can now balance the good that occurred with the bad, acknowledging that a lot of what I witnessed wasn’t what I thought it was. She would have been just as content with anybody, as long as they provided her with what she wanted.
Yep, she ruthlessly discarded the poor bastard that came after me, and she has moved on to yet another poor bastard. This is after her dumping 3 husbands before me (yes, I was the 4th and that should have been a bigger red flag – I just figured I could do better than the others). At this point, I don’t really care. I feel sorry for her (and for the new dudes) as she continues to be a mess and they don’t know what they are in for.
Me, I am fine. I have learned a whole lot about narcissism (although I wish that hadn’t had to), I have met a lot of attractive and interesting women, and I have one that I am having fun with, something that evaded me for several years. There are a lot of phases that are necessary after the narcissist leaves, but I did get through them. I can even think about my ex without becoming so depressed that I can’t eat. In fact, she has become more of a lesson than anything else.
What is that lesson you ask? There is that old adage “If it feels to good to be true, then it probably is”. Think about that. I wish that I had.