It has been 3 years now since my narcissistic ex-wife left for the final time. It has also been approximately 2.5 years that I have known about narcissism, and 2 years since I implemented No Contact in earnest.
Let me begin by saying that things DO get easier over time. The first year or so after she left, I was absolutely devastated, didn’t know if I was coming or going, and was convinced that I couldn’t live without her and/or would never find anyone else. Having no communication with her was NOT what I wanted but I knew that I had to do it. It was incredibly difficult and, of course, she could not understand why I was doing it, even after lying to me for months and seeing someone else behind my back.
It has gotten to the point that we do not even acknowledge one another. The fact that we continue to work at the same facility presents many opportunities for us to run into each other, and we do every few weeks. That I have ignored her every single time has resulted in her applying the same technique (even though she doesn’t know WHY she is doing it). I cannot actually recall the last time that we spoke face-to-face and it has definitely been over 2 years ago. It feels really odd to say that let alone do it considering how close and inseparable we were for so many years. It almost seems inhuman.
I have also been successful in my responses to her “inquiring” phone calls. The last one was back in February of this year when she called my work phone to inquire about license plate tabs for her car that I am still paying for following the divorce. She didn’t need to call as it has never been an issue. She also didn’t call or text my cell phone because she knew that I wouldn’t respond. Anyway, the call lasted 30 seconds at the most as every question she asked I simply answered with a yes or a no and added no additional or supporting information. I could feel the inability to understand in her voice, as if she was saying “Don’t you realize who this is? You HAVE to want to talk to me!” I didn’t budge.
Since then, she has not tried to contact me. In fact, because she doesn’t want to experience the rejection that I have heaped upon her, she calls other people to ask me questions that she might have that no one else can answer. It happened just this week where she had a legitimate work related question but rather than call me and get an impersonal and abbreviated response underlining my rejection of her, she called an administrative person that sits across from me who then had to come over,ask me the question, and relay the information. How immature is that???
Here’s the thing – the fact that I haven’t had to interact with her and that I look the other way when I see her has accelerated my ability to see things realistically and has lessened the sting and pain of the memories. In the past, when I would see or look at her, all those loving, incredible memories would flood in. Having no contact and no interaction with her has allowed me to more easily see the “real” her, the person that was with me but was actually using me and the rest of the world for her own needs and selfish desires. I can more easily see how she did things that I thought we were doing together were nothing of the sort. Anything and everything we did together was simply another chance for her to look for new or additional opportunity, for something that she could use immediately or later on, including new partners.
I have finally removed pretty much everything associated with her from my house. If I hadn’t so staunchly implemented no contact, I would like feel like I still had some kind of connection with her and would have been unable to get rid of things. The fact that she moved on to someone new so quickly didn’t prevent me at the time from thinking one day she would be back. Not knowing about narcissism at the time, I would’ve welcomed her return (which would have been the 5th time she would have come back). Oh, she has left that poor bastard too for what appears to be the final time after leaving him and returning to him several times in the way that narcissists do. I don’t need to imagine what he is thinking right now as I’ve been there.
My dating life has also changed as a result of no-contact being successful. I previously dated just to prove to myself that I was worthwhile and also in an attempt to get over my ex. Now, I date at a slower pace and don’t get freaked out if I don’t have any prospects at a given time. That has actually resulted in multiple, simultaneous opportunities where I have to actually choose rather than forcing myself into a situation.
I will admit that some of the improvements in my life are simply due to the amount of time that I have been away from my ex. I will also admit there are still times where I do have pleasant thoughts about her, things that I miss that we did. However, if I had broken no-contact, I am certain that I wouldn’t be where I am as she would be taking every opportunity to try to control me in any way that she could. Remember, once you belong to a narcissist, in their mind you belong to them until the day you die, even if you aren’t with them. I am pretty certain at this point that my ex DOES NOT see a way back in, that the barriers I have erected are pretty impenetrable.
It’s truly not how I want it to be. It is how it has to be.