The narcissist turns into a husband who has two sides. He will come to your rescue, treat you like you mean the world to him and then, stab you in the back by demeaning and belittling you. Nothing is more emotionally confusing than marriage to a narcissist.
I was 22 when I first met him. We worked together and I was young and had just come out of a very messed up relationship. He was there for me. He was supportive and kind and made me feel better about myself. I dated him briefly and then moved away. We remained friends and a few years later, I went through a tragedy and he was there again.
He offered to fly out and go to the funeral with me, he was, kind, and supportive. We talked about getting back together but I didn't want the long distance relationship. Again, I moved on. And then, 13-years later I was far away from home and going through another tough time in life and he swooped in again. This time, he took me in and supported me until I got back on my feet. He was kind, supportive, and romantic in the beginning and then it all started to change. I didn’t see it or I didn’t want to see it.
We got married and then my fairytale happy ending turned into a nightmare. I had married not only a Narcissist but someone who also had other psychological issues.
How did I get there?
How did I not know and why didn’t I see it before it was too late?
It wasn’t really until I saw him do the same thing to his now girlfriend that it really sunk in that this was indeed his pattern and part of his narcissism. She was experiencing a traumatic event in her life when she met my Ex and he was loving, kind, patient, and supportive of her and got her hook, line, and sinker just as he did me. The pattern of a narcissist is not going to change.
The behavioral patterns of a narcissist don't change!
Narcissist like to come in and “rescue” you. That gets them into your life and gets you hooked. It’s when they think they have you hook, line, and sinker they drop the act and you begin to see their abusive nature. Their act of “saving” you, being there for you, and being supportive endears you to them. It gives them a lot of attention from you because you are grateful for what they have done for you in your time of need. It’s when you start making the normal demands of a true relationship that their true colors come out.
What did my marriage look like a narcissist?
Here are just 5 things my narcissist used to do. Have you seen these behaviors in your marriage?
1. His needs and wants were of utmost importance. When I would express my need for more support, intimacy (not sex), and for him to place the needs of the family above his own, he would strike out verbally and emotionally towards me. It had to be all about him at all times. When it wasn’t, he was abusive to not only me but to our children. He hated the fact that the children got more attention from me and my family than he did. He never wanted children actually and reminded me of that constantly.
2. He put others down to make himself look better, including me. This is a classic trait of a narcissist. They will put other people down to make themselves look superior. There wasn’t a day that went by that he wasn’t putting down a group of people or putting down my family or me. He even put down our children. All in an attempt to make himself look “better”. He even used sexual harassment in the marriage to make me feel like I wasn't good enough for him or could please him the way he wanted. When we were intimate, it was all about him and when he was done, he rolled over and went to sleep. I felt like a cheap prostitute.
3. He used words and actions to keep my self-esteem low. He blamed me for everything that was wrong in his life and our marriage. It was always all my fault. I had ruined his life, spoiled his fun, messed up our finances, moved us to a place he hated living, etc. This was all in an attempt to keep me lower than low so that I wouldn’t stand up to him or leave.
4. He thought he was owed a certain lifestyle which was beyond our means. Our debt was incredible and kept growing because if we didn’t take vacations, hire someone to take care of the lawn, have the latest/greatest technology, then it wasn’t a life he was willing to be in. He thought he was “owed” a certain lifestyle and nothing was going to prevent him from getting it. There were times I put my foot down because the kids needed clothes or needed to be involved in activities and that really set him off.
5. He tried to come between me and my family. This is very common. I felt at times isolated because he would perpetuate anger at my family and not want to spend time with them. If I had had friends, he would have done the same with them. I was trapped in my home and that’s the way he liked it. He had no friends either. So, even if I did have a way to get out and be with friends, I paid for that. He either wanted to do the same even though he had no friends to hang out with, or he made me feel horrible for taking a break and having a good time.
Narcissism can present in many different ways. It can vary based on the man that you encounter. What I can say is to go with your gut and pay attention. There are some very real signs that you will see from the narcissist if you are around them long enough. One thing to keep in mind, if it seems too good to be true, then it very well might be. If he seems so great and loving and kind, then it may all be an act. There are cases where it isn’t, but just follow your gut and really access your relationship before making any long term commitments. Question his past relationships and what went wrong. If they all seemed to be the woman’s fault, then that is another sign something isn’t right.