Narcissists. The granddaddy of all crazy-makers. Narcissists cannot empathize with anyone, meaning they cannot relate to your feelings. They only feel their own wants and needs. They are emotionally stunted, like a perpetually demanding two-year-old. It is always about them. However, they can be extremely charming and charismatic, as they have learned how to be the greatest salespeople to get their needs met. They can charm and mimic compassion for brief moments in order to get their needs satisfied. They expect only the best and can be the most materialistic—demanding trophy-relationships, endless objects of success, only well-known acquaintances, top-notch services, lavish vacations, etc. They have disdain for emotions in others and often think even less of people close to them. They try to control everyone around them and will use every available tactic to gain control. Many high-ranking executives are narcissists and consequently tend to create a narcissistic culture in their company or division. Source: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/counseling-keys/201403/how-handle-crazymaker
One of the most difficult things to process during this divorce has been facing the reality that the Narcissist never really loved me. He had me convinced for so long that our love was special, it was destined, we were soul mates, God made us for one another. It sounds crazy… I know it sounds crazy, but oh boy did I drink that Kool-Aid. I think that holding onto the belief that our love was some special and magical thing helped me to get through the hard times. It almost made the struggle and the drama and the constant emotional exhaustion seem worthwhile. I mean something so special would take work right? It would require strength and perseverance.. if it were easy anyone could have it.
While I have ignored the feeling in the pit of my stomach for a while now, the reality smacked me in the face last weekend. The Narcissist decided that I should know that he has developed feelings (and started sleeping with) a new girl. As he described SouthernRose to me it couldn’t be more obvious. She was young, 25, and naive. She had grown up in a small town, and was raised very Christian by her grandparents. She was married to a man who cheated on her multiple times, verbally abused her, and didn’t appreciate her. My Narcissist was attracted to her because she was innocent, she was naive, she wanted to grow and learn from him, and she was head over heels in love with him. His big internal debate (that he somehow thought I could weigh-in on) was that he liked her and found all of these things about her great, but he was worried that she wasn’t as successful and driven as he needed her to be.. you know to be at his level.
In this very same conversation the Narcissist explained to me that he has been propositioned by MANY women over the past 2 months since I have moved out of the house. One of the more recent women who wanted to go on a date was a doctor. After telling me how hot she was.. I asked why he wasn’t interested in her. His response was eye opening! He said that he didn’t think he could date her because she “wouldn’t need him enough.” He then went on to explain that I didn’t need him anymore, and that was one of the reasons why our marriage failed.
When I met the Narcissist I was 23 years old, I grew up in a small town – I was not worldly, but I was definitely not naive. I was college educated with 2 degrees, lived in a major city for 4 years, and was working a good job and supporting myself. At the beginning of our marriage all I wanted to do was be a wife and someday a stay-at-home mom. I was driven with my career but my heart and my passion was ‘old-fashioned.’ I just found fulfillment in taking care of my husband and our life together.
Of course, no matter what I did it wasn’t enough for the narcissist. Over the early days of our marriage I morphed into a trophy-wife of a person I still can’t even believe. I became a fitness buff.. I ran 2 marathons, did daily crossfit workouts, and had a 6 pack. I died my hair black, I spent endless time tanning, and I wore more makeup and glitter than I can explain. I also dressed like a stripper. We lived on a tropical island so minimal clothing worked, but his taste was straight up stripper. He also didn’t like me to wear panties or bras. Aside from the appearance, I managed our house, our finances, did all of the errands, and took care of him daily. I became known by all of our friends and his co-workers for baking the most delicious cookies and cakes and pastries and delivering them on base almost daily. We had a spotless house, dinner was always ready, and heck I even took off his boots when he came home (usually dressed in lingerie).
Somewhere along the way his desires for my perfection shifted. About when he decided to get out of the military.. his mind shifted to the idea of having me as a “sugar mama.” He had always raved about my education and my former career and found pleasure in the fact that I walked away from all of it for him. Now he became fixated that I needed to go back to school for my MBA so that I could have a kick-ass career and support us. I actually loved school and was always pretty good at it so I entertained the idea. I pushed back because I wasn’t sure that we would see the return on our investment for the degree when I already had a Masters and I was hoping we would start a family and I would stay home.
Eventually I was coerced into the idea, I took my GMATs, got accepted into the MBA program and started up my career again. Over 3 years, (and all while dealing with a Narcissist having an identity crisis while transitioning out of the military) I completed my MBA while working full-time through 3 job changes. I nearly tripled my income over the course of that time, and was promoted 4 levels. The problem was that with all of my success, the Narcissist didn’t feel like I needed him anymore. I gave him exactly what he wanted, but he couldn’t figure out how to have the kind of control he was used to with a woman who had successfully done it all without him.
I literally gave the narcissist EVERYTHING he wanted and it was never enough. I realize now that no matter what I did or how many times I transformed myself it would have NEVER been enough. The Narcissist never loved me. He loved the ways I loved him, he loved the ways I took care of him, he loved the ways that my character, identity, looks, and image reflected on what people thought of him… but he never loved ME. He never appreciated the things that made me special, the things that were important to me. I don’t even know that he ever noticed them. He saw me as a project, as an insecure girl who was head over heels in love with him… and he scooped me right up with all of his charm.
As I continue down this path of divorce and of healing, I need to remind myself multiple times every single day that the Narcissist never loved me. It was never a special, magical, destiny, soulmate kind of thing. It was an insecure little boy trapped inside a narcissistic man who saw me and saw all of the ways that I could fulfill him. When that dynamic no longer worked for him, and really for me, he found within 2 months a younger, more vulnerable girl to fill that place.
The most sickening part of it all, is that there is seriously a line of women jumping at the chance to be with him… trust me, I have seen his phone and all the text conversations. I wish I could warn them all. I wish I could tattoo Narcissist on his forehead. I wish I could explain to them that the blackhole that is this Narcissist will suck all of your life and love and energy out of you and it will NEVER be enough.