I’ve been asked how it is that I can stand to stay married to a narcissist.
For the longest time, I never really had a good answer. Honestly, the best I could do was shrug and look confused as hell. That was the best I could do, because for the longest time, I didn’t know why I was still here- sweeping the same floors, washing the same clothes, and having the same sex (OK…that’s a lie. That part is phenomenal…but that’s not the point- *ahem* Moving right along)… And it isn’t as though he was particularly dreamy, or super-nice to me- even in the beginning- so we can’t all give each other knowing looks that say, “Oh, She’s stuck in the past. She’s addicted to the dream.”
That just isn’t so… I never had “the dream”.
I never really thought that this relationship was some kind of dream come true. I never deluded myself into thinking that this would be my ‘happily ever after’. Really… that never happened. So why did I do this to myself?
I don’t know how to answer without sounding like a mental patient. It’s so incredibly frustrating.
When it came to committing to this relationship, my gut instinct was to high-tail it. To get the hell out. Run as far away as I could and never look back. And on the day my narcissist proposed to me, everything in me was screaming “No!!”
Except for one, small, quiet voice inside me…
Why I stay married to a narcissist…
There was this little voice, in the back of my mind. A soft, yet powerful voice that was saying something different. This totally unassuming voice was whispering to me. It was telling me to stay. That I had to stay. At least, for a little while longer. It was saying that I had work to do. There was something I was supposed to do here. I know…that sounds crazy, doesn’t it?
But here’s thing…
It felt right. The voice, I mean. It sounded as though it was speaking the truth to me. I can’t even begin to explain why, but there you have it. I knew that the voice was speaking the truth. I knew that I did have work to do here. This was contracted before my soul incarnated on this Earth. I can feel it. And, I know that makes me sound even more crazy, or deluded…but, i have no false illusions when it comes to this marriage. I’m certainly not expecting that a “happily ever after” is in the cards, or anything.
From what I can tell, there are a few differences between my situation, and what I read about most other women experiencing. The differences are sometimes very subtle, but they are, nevertheless, there. And I know they mean something.
For one thing, my narcissist doesn’t affect me the way most women are affected. Again, this is based on the accounts I’ve read by other victims of narcissistic abuse. It’s true, I’ve developed anxiety, and C-PTSD, and I now suffer major panic attacks, from time to time. But, the thing is, once I realized what was going on… well, I started getting better. His bullshit started affecting me LESS… and, actually, it started challenging me MORE.
It challenged me to beat him at his game. It enraged me, that this… this…”man”…would have the NERVE to abuse me so ruthlessly. That he would have the audacity to so carelessly rip and tear at me, as though I were of no real value. How DARE he? Oh, it made me mad alright. Very, VERY mad.
My husband was never able to convince me that I was the one to blame for all of his destruction. Maybe that’s because he isn’t a very good narcissist (LOL), or maybe it’s because I have a good, generous dose of (I hope, healthy) narcissism myself, that I could always see right through his lies, and his manipulations. They never “worked” on me. (Except for the one where he convinced me that he didn’t want to be the way he was. And even that, I still believe was the truth… he just doesn’t have the strength to admit it, except for the times when he becomes “lucid”- or aware- of his NPD).
Now, don’t get me wrong, his tactics frustrated the hell out of me, and caused me a lot of pain, suffering, and even trauma…but, not how I always hear it being described. His persistent delusions never fooled me. They got me to think…very hard… as to whether, or not, my particular narcissistic qualities were harmful, or destructive. I questioned myself often. And I still do…mostly because I felt so guilty, for putting my family through some pretty rough times, before getting my head on straight as to what exactly was going on here.
I never doubted myself for too long, though, because I could see the differences between my arrogance, and his. The main difference being…I wasn’t hurting people without remorse. I’d never once had anyone on their knees, begging me to ‘just be kind’. I never found him explaining to me how this, or that, was “not exactly moral”. He never had to bring to my attention that I was acting without integrity. Most of all, I am able, and more than willing to, take full responsibility for the wrong choices I make. I’m willing to do what I have to, to make things right. I CAN admit when I’m wrong.
I definitely have more work to do, on myself, to become much less reactive to his infantile tactics, but I definitely feel like this means something. I feel like there is something here that I am supposed to see…something other than the parts of myself that need “fixing”, and healing… and I feel like I’m getting so close to it… I can almost touch it. It’s right there in front of me. I know it. The answer is there…the reason why I stayed this whole time.
The reason I went out on a limb…and am still here, hanging on…
~The Narcissist’s Wife