Hi. I’m new here.

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  • #273869

    Is this a judgement free zone? I hope so. I have somewhat of terrible story to tell. One which makes me question myself time and time again.

    I met my husband as a teenager. I lost my best friend bc he wooed me in. I should have known back then he was trouble. My best friend dated him but cheated on him and left him. We were kids (15). He made me think she was the problem. He gave me his sob story, we started dating and that’s when the manipulation started.
    I dropped all my friends to become part of his friend group. I was on top of the world, finally hanging out with the cool kids. (Again, remember at this point i was 16 with already low self esteem.) He would tease me in front of our friends, Ditch me all the time for the guys, always put me last. I put it up with never fully understanding why I could bend over backwards for the guy but he couldn’t show me an ounce of affection when we were out.
    We’d break up and make up because well…high school. We broke up at 19 (his decision) and I started dating an amazing guy but then my narc came back a few month later and again lured me in with his apologies. Things went well for a few years. His friends all got girlfriends and started hanging out with them more so he was lonely and convinced me to take him back. Again, I was only about 20yrs old by then.
    2008 now 25/26 We got engaged, married, bought a house, got a dog…1 yr into marriage he fell into painkiller addiction. I unknowingly enabled him. We still had our two children. I wanted to leave but didn’t want to have a “broken family”. I wasn’t a child of divorce, didn’t know what that was like, didn’t want that life for my own children. So I stuck with it. There were nights I would cry, beg, plead with him to be a husband, a partner, a father, show me affection, love, be intimate. It all fell on deaf ears. I did everything alone with the kids, I managed the household so he could sleep off urges to take pills. He would go through 150 painkillers prescribed only to buy more off friends. He would lie. I would hide pills. He would find them and take them. I started to track his spending and sometimes his cell phone, fearing he would overdose. His addiction became my addiction.
    2016 I lost my job of 10 years. My sibling and a parent were diagnosed with cancer within weeks of each other, I started a new job in the midst of all this. He had to detox and withdrawal from pills because I wouldn’t get insurance until 90 days later. I couldn’t be there for him like I should have been. I was managing a household, two kids, grieving a job, grieving my family and their cancer treatment. He went out one night and crashed our 1 paid off vehicle because during withdrawal period he fell asleep at the wheel. I had little sympathy and more resentment which in hindsight I do feel bad for but again, I had so much on my plate. I started a new job I absolutely hated. I was struggling alone. I had no one. I began talking to a friend as emotional support, a friend of the opposite sex. One would say I guess it eventually led to an emotional affair one of which I was not proud of. I was lost but all the meanwhile still trying to get my husband to see that we needed counseling. He refused. He started tracking my car, he started calling me a whore, telling me our marriage issues were all my fault. I wasn’t there for him in his time of need. He tarnished my name to his friends and family. He made me to be the monster.
    Currently I am looking for a way out but financially I’m not sure it’s feasible. I’ve been trying to get out for so long, we have no relationship whatsoever but he still holds on dearly. He is holding on because he, at 38, has no responsibility. If I leave he will have to fend for himself. He is accustomed to someone making sure he has money in his account, making sure his bills are paid, Taking care of the children, mowing the lawn, cleaning the house, cooking, doing all the things I should be doing with a partner but I’m doing them alone.
    He is also a video game addict who plays Xbox from 8am-2am on weekends, comes home from the days he actually does work and naps. During this pandemic he never once asked the kids to help with their schoolwork. If I leave him alone with the kids they call me because their father is too busy playing games or sleeping to get them food or anything else. (They are 7 & 10 now).
    But I somehow am the bad guy. Never mind the years of neglect. Never mind that I begged and pleaded to get help for him and us. He stalks me, harasses me via text and social media, intimidated me, manipulates and guilts me to stay because without me he couldn’t survive.
    I know I’m not perfect but I know I have been mentally abused since 16 yrs old. I know this isn’t right and I just want out. 22 yrs is too long.

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  • #273872
    Renee Swanson

    I am so sorry to hear all this! Your story is all too familiar. They always make everything your fault. You work SO hard to make things right and to help the situation. Yet it is not only never enough, it is fuel for them to blame it on you. Everything is your responsibility to fix and your fault when it doesn’t get better. An impossible situation for anyone to live in!

    Do NOT blame yourself! You said, “I couldn’t be there for him like I should have been.” But what about him being there for you, and for your kids? Don’t carry that responsibility on your shoulders. It sounds to me like you were there for him for as long as you could be, even at the young age of 16. But he was never there for you. You have been taught to believe that it is all your fault.

    My ex was also a gaming addict. It was extreme! I remember one day talking to a friend, I said, “I know that I should have fussed more for him to get off the games, so this is partly my fault for allowing it…” He stopped me right there! “No! How could his gaming addiction possibly be your fault?!?” He was right. This is a full-grown man, a husband of 20 years, a father of 2 boys. How he spends his time is his choice, not mine! The fact that he had absolutely no relationship with any of us is his fault, not mine!

    Here is a link to a blog post I wrote. I think you will find it helpful.

    Life with a Narcissist: An Exhaustion Like No Other

    I wish you much peace on your journey of healing!

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