What do you say to a woman who is in an abusive relationship with a narcissist?

brentons-waterfalls-5.jpgThis is long but I want you to read it all…WE each compare our abusers and think the others abuser is always worse than our abuser , while we are still not convinced to end our abusive relationships..

We look for help that we filter into two parts of our thinking in order to justify whichever path we choose, to stay with him or leave him or to take a break and let him back later on.. The road is twisted and winding and we each have alot of baggage to drag along and sometimes forget which road we are on or if we are coming or going.. .since after all we are under the spell of our abuser…..

The more I saw the ‘signs’ in mine[abuser], and heard the advice from others to ‘get out’ ..

I refused to believe and thought if I can love/believe enough that it will get better; and try harder that I can make it all work and no matter how bad it got I just kept trying ove rand over and over and over and over….I then would get tired after several years at a clip and leave but so miss him that I would delude myself futher into thinking it wasnt as bad as I thought or said it was..

I would then polish my memory[revisionist history,coverups etc] to make it seem like I looked at it all wrong and then even would blame myself for whatever happened and then he somehow had a sixth sense and he would suddenly show up when I was again vulnerable and we would start over and over and over and over..

He’d make his promises and promises and promises… He was the same, he never kept any promises..I’d hear a whole repetoire of excuses, old and new and would have a series of behaviors I could choose to respond to…. violence was one…..and when that door closed as I sought legal help I was still willing to accept him and be with him as long as he didnt physically hurt me anymore or get drunk as he used to…. Instead he was logical, methodical and verbally assailing.

So his game plan changed. He started more working more on my mind and environment, making himself indespensible… starting a bejillion projects that only he could finish… but never did.. ran me into financial ruin… again and again and again…would allow me time to bounce back and even ‘act repentent’ at times when he’d return from any absence, short o long and sheepishly worm his way in and even let me think I was in control…for a time and then start tearing my life apart again and again and again….

He switched gears as the kids got older.. would act normal to me and ‘pretend to be teaching’ them things a father needs to teach and effectively pitted one against the other traingulating and dissecting the family into allies and foes that often traded hats as his mood changed or if he was losing ground with one source and bouncing to the next gaining renewed strength through one child over another or all against me and so on, taking turns and keeping us all off guard.

I did this dance for over 26 years and my feet hurt!!! I may never dance again!! I finally got off his merry-go-round/dance and am free for 5 yrs now…

Regrets??? That I didnt stop the dance/or ride 26 yrs ago when everyone warned me and the sick part is that I opposed myself in order to be with him…

I went against my own better judgement every time in the bizarre hopes that ‘this time will be different’… I was addicted to him like an alcoholic is to cheap wine! I found every excuse I could to remain in the situation….

In the end, he wasnt satisfied anymore and there were no things that pleased him any more.

My health deteriorated mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually- the lemon was squeezed dry!! All I looked forward to was death to free me from his malicious grasp.. thinking I hadn’t the strength left to bother breaking away as I saw no future beyond him…

It took me a total of 14 yrs to break away[people sometimes serve less time for murder!]…back and forth…divorce initiation, put on hold in the hopes he would change .. living apart for 7 years but he still came back almost daily to walk to and fro and take whatever amused him for the moment, even to just taunt and torment me..

The only ‘energy source’ he had left to feed off me was my will to live and he was slowly draining that out bit by bit….I knew it and let it happen. I went down the pit of the well to the bottom with him..

I still lied to myself and thought that once we hit bottom that there was no way to go but up and that he owed me so much in every way at that point that to let him go would mean I would get nothing in return. That also made me hang on longer.

When I was at the bottom I even had to help him seek a new energy source! [ a new wife]

I had gone as far as ‘the divorce’, yet he didnt acknowledge it for 2 more yrs telling me that he ‘owned me’ and since I had no outside help as I burned my own bridges as I went through this macabre dance to win his love which never existed!

It finally came that to have nothing was more than I had with him.

Nothing started to look good…

I then worked my way into helping him finish his destruction of me, so he had to move on to a new energy source and finally I was free. He met a woman online that didnt want a husband as we would think, but a man to be her dependent as she is in the military and gets paid extra to have a dependent, so a money deal was born and he naturally jumped at the chance and is finally gone.[Ironically, she was more like him than he thought and she now controls him!]

Starting over with nothing, I was in deep depression for a time lingering at the bottom of the pit of the well… and so one day started to crawl one step at a time til I was able to crawl out of that well and see the light….I was weak worn out and old but I was finally free…

It wasnt as comforting as I had dreamed it would be as I was fightened alone and ruined.. but then I looked to serve others doing volunteer jobs and getting out into the world again, as I was used to serving him and they took less from me than he did so I learned to float on top of the waters for a time as I looked for dry land and reached the shores.. From then on it was baby steps in getting my life back..I found that I could start over and did.

It has taken me 5 yrs and I am emotionally, spiritually and mentally well again and can recognize evil now when I see it and flee! I don’t surrender my soul to anyone on earth anymore.

Physically I am still disabled but gaining ground and starting to live again. I am surviving and doing well for the most part. I am at peace and doing things that I like and was deprived of all the years I was with him. Life is brighter and meaningful. I have a good relationship with God and my children, who are now grown and on their own with their own families.

I lived through hell on earth and have no one else to blame… I let him abuse me and use me .. looking back I could have gotten out many times before but Iwas too fearful .

Had I not been so fearful of being alone when I was younger and more attractive and had a chance of meeting someone who could have loved me, I waited it out and will probably remain alone for the rest of my life…

I am here to share my story with you to consider rather than to tell you what you should do, since I lived perhaps 5 different lives with this man and true, I survived it all [barely] and can empathize with anyone like yourself, who is on that same path I once was on.

I know I can’t tell you to run and dont look back, because that might give you the strength to stay a while longer with your abuser and I dont want to offer anything that would enable you to convince yourself that ‘your’s isnt that bad or wouldnt go that far with you and enable you to continue in your delusion as it is your delusion. I wouldnt do that to you!

You say you want help but deep inside you want a reason to stay with him and change him so you can get back what you lost.


You will never get back from him what he already took from your soul.

You have to take back your soul and go through the emptiness and find new things to fill it with, not things you continue to let him steal away.

You have to break free and face your own addiction to him and break free from that.

That is the hardest part since it remains in present tense always.It feels easier to focus on blaming him for things and wanting to talk about possibly setting yourself free, but there is a part in you [in us all] that longs for him to love you still and make it all right , to make the suffering have a purpose and a reward.

There are no rewards in staying with him or letting him back into the drivers seat of your life! There is only cutting your losses and burying the relationship. It never was alive anyway.

You are in love with a dead man, one incapable of doing anything good or wholesome that will help you to improve as a human being, but further infecting your life with pain.

So you can choose to stay on that macabre merry-go -round and keep missing that golden ring forever , or get off and find a different ride….

You can waste your life, spend your youth [ you will never again be any younger than you are today] and you can hide away from those who see it happening to you, isolate yourself from friends and family and resources, you can surrender whatever identity and self respect may still be tucked inside of you and lie to yourself and stay with him, OR YOU CAN GET OFF THE BUS AND START A NEW LIFE!! It wont be easy, but it wont be as hard as continuing to let him drain your life out of you~like a vampire.

It will take time, you will feel empty, lonely and disoriented for a time, BUT that is only temporary and you will rise again at your own pace and you can live again in peace, contentment, accomplishment and even meet a new love when you finish unloading the baggage he injected like formaldehyde into your heart.

You can do a whole lot better if you choose this day to free yourself and stop listening to those thoughts that roam in your head about staying with him any longer. Fight the impulses and set yourself free!

I didnt take back my freedom until there was nothing left. I regret that I didnt, but I am glad I finally did get free.

I am still a Christian and still love God.. for years my excuse in staying with him was that bible verse about God hating divorce… a strong excuse.. as I also had to overcome separating myself with him as being equal in my mind to separating from God… It wasnt!

WE are called to peace and God doesnt want anyone living like this either, so I dont know what your beliefs are and am not saying they have to be like mine, there are other people here that have the same experience outside of religious beliefs and still come to the same conclusion!~

So ‘good luck’ and I hope you find and give yourself what will make you happy instead of settling for less…and less and less and less… til you are gone.
For me, it was the grace of God that picked me up and set my feet on that dry ground and it was renewing my devotion to God by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that opened my eyes to see what it was I had allowed myself to live in and as all these years.

I know now that today is the first day of the BEST of my life and embrace each day in freedom as a gift from God and now Jesus is first in my life and protects me from men that abuse and keeps me safe.
I am back to doing my artwork again and even set up a little website that perhaps I can develop into a business one day, for now I am posting my art there in prints and notecards, to share them with others. My website is www.AveHurley.etsy.com and my healing has been in part due to my keeping busy with an activity, my art and my faith, my volunteerism, my family.My life has alot of blessings that keep me going stronger every day.

So set yourself free, find something youa re good at and do it. Your life will be more fulfilling and happy if you do!



10 thoughts on “What do you say to a woman who is in an abusive relationship with a narcissist?

  1. Thank you so much for writing about your experience! I’ve been involved with a narcissist for many years and finally I think I’m really ready to end it (if he pays me some money he owes me !). We were divorced after he cheated on me again (2nd or 3rd known affair) and once again physically attacked me (for probably about the 20th time).

    Numerous hosptal visits, counsellors, mediators, pfa’s shelters and the like… endless sometimes.. but out of fear I let him back over and over as I hear many women in my position do. Why do we do it? I dunno…security, love, hate, fear, ego, sentimentality, hoping he’ll change… all that and none of it, no one can really understand unless they have been through it.

    Since then we have broken up and gotten back together several times in a close, affectionate relationship, but it continues to be toxic to me, hurtful, and unfulfilling as I always seem to think there is an expectaion he will meet but never does!

    I know we will never remarry, so there’s no future, but he just keeps coming around as though he cant find another gig somewhere else. I think he’s just waiting until he meets someone else and is using me in the meantime but as I wait, I am becoming more attached again and dont know how I would feel if he suddenly did find someone else and left me altogether. I dont know which is worse, being with him or without him.

    Most think I am crazy to be in this position, maybe I am but I think it goes far deeper than that.

    Like most abused women, I don’t have anyone to talk to about this, my friends just think I’m a fool to be with him anyway, have no patience with me to hear anything about it, and they don’t understand how hard it is to extricate myself from him.
    I oppose myself with mixed emotions and become my own worst enemy through my resistance to change my own circumstances and free myself from his control over my very soul.

    But I really want to. At least when I look at my circumstances logically. But then I am not always logical.. And I’m not sure how to do it if he won’t go away. I am afraid either way I think.- a love hate thing..an inability to see beyond the fear.All my energies are spent in managing this situation in a way that I dont get beat or robbed as much as before.
    Compromise, I keep [doing it more and more while he remains steadfast in his manipualations, I am like a puppet and he is pulling all the strings and I have no strength to resist him. I am tired and worn out and simply submit.

    I’m also afraid of him because he’s been very violent with me in the past and has hurt and injured me. I had him arrested after the attack before the divorce, but he “slipped” once after that and I didn’t do anything. This was a few years ago.
    Now I look carefully to not ‘set him off’ and as long as I walk on eggshells and do his bidding, I feel somewhat safe and secure, but empty as a woman and worthless as a human being.

    But I’m always afraid he might “lose it” again sometime. I still love what I delude myself into believing is the “good” part of him { the Dr.Jeckyl} and don’t want to cause him trouble (and fear possible retaliation), but I really need to get him out of my life. It is the Mr.Hyde part of him that terrifies me and is so unpredictable.

    Like you said, it is life-draining. Do you have any suggestions on how to do it? i am so torn loving the image of his good side and always hoping he will change, but it never lasts long… I am torn to my soul and need to find the strength to resist his flatteries when he is acting like “Dr. Jeckyl”, I have to force myself somehow to admit to myself that ” Mr. Hyde” is always right behind him!

    Thanks for listening!

  2. I am free from my abuser now for over 4 yrs however the emotional abuse within me is still having its affects as I am basically a recluse and have not entered into any new relationship since then.
    I am at peace, however I am 53 and not healthy so that is what I choose to be alone for now. If I get healthy I would like to meet a decent guy, if one exists out there for me.
    I found alot of help with the writings of Sam Vaknim who wrote a book called Malignant Self Love and he moderates a forum on yahoo and has helped me more in 1 month than shrinks could in 10 yrs!
    I suggest you join, its free and very informative and has all the needed resources to aid in recovery both for you and for anyone wanting to help a victim and find the right things to say that could help.
    It is in yahoogroups.

    I would join it and tell my friend to as well.. just read what others are doing to get free and the resource links that Sam provides. Bear in mind however that he doesnt believe in God and wrote badly about Jesus, since Sam is an admitted narcissist and looks at the bible from a human point of view without any godly insight. His remarks on other narcissists are uncanny however and very informative.Unfortunately he claimed Jesus was a narcissist, not acknowledging the fact that God is the only one that should play God and Jesus is the son of God and one with God, so Jesus is no narcissist. A narcissist is one who is not God but acts like he is.


  3. Thanks for sharing your encouraging story of your struggle. I often find myself jealous when I read these stories. I’ve been in an abusive marriage for 22 years. My husband was seriously physically and verbally abusive early on in our marriage. But after he was arrested for strangling me he knew I held all the cards and he’s been only verbally since. I can’t say that I love him anymore, I don’t think I have for 20 years, but I stay with him out of sheer fear. I know what he’s capable of. I do have children and I believe I stayed because I imagined all the terrible things he would do if he were out of the house and the relationship. It always came down to fearing for our safety, whether it was physical or emotional. I felt he would make it his life’s purpose to make our lives miserable. I was and still am so afraid of the unknown. Everyday I dream of life without him. For 20 years I’ve looked forward to a new life, but now I’m losing hope and need renewed strength. He’s killed my spirit and the spirit of my children. My kids are now 21, 20 and 15. I’m so ashamed that I didn’t see what I was doing to them by not getting out 20 years ago.

    I am using the resources you and your visitors provide to help me find my strength again.

    Thank you for that. Ann

  4. Thankyou Ann for having the courage to write.Most of what needs to change has to come from within you and writing is a good start, not matter how long it takes to change .You can not change him, but he is changing you~ You need to change yourself to become able to be free and stop the damage to your children. My kids[5] were all damaged by him and also me as the younger ones only recall when I became combative back and the fighting was frequent. Mine rarely hit me after the first few trips to jail. He did the damage already however and resorted back in the end.I took mine back for 16 yrs because I was afraid of him and thought I could ‘manage’ if I let him stay- careful not to tick him off too much and making it clear that physical violence would bring in the police and courts – but the verbal abuse I became so accustomed to- as though I deserved it and believed I could handle it. It changes you inside however and brings you low.
    By the time I finally broke free it was more he was looking for a new ride anyway-I was all broke…I waited TOO long and my health is poor now. My credit is ruined and I live below poverty!~! BUT I AM FREE AND HAVENT NEEDED ANTIDEPRESSANTS SINCE HE FINALLY LEFT~!~I live modestly and do as I please.I wish I did it decades ago as that would perhaps have impacted where I am at today, but it is one day at a time and I wouldnt trade my current freedom to be ensnared ever again.
    The hardest for you now is with a 15 yr old. I divorced mine when my youngest was 14 and we battled for 2 yrs over her, because he wanted to retain control and bribed her occasionally and when he found a new wife that was barren, he thought to present my daughter as a gift to her~~She almost went! Then he did some stupid things and she realized it and wanted out so I brought her to my oldest daughter’s out west to finish high school while I finished my battles with him.He was already remarried but in my face daily, not living with his new wife for nearly a year [internet marriage!]
    My emotions were so extreme through out the breakaway that I know I couldnt ever tell someone to leave their man, as no one could tell me. Somehow when others would want to rescue me and tell me to break away, I would feel sorry for him instead and give him another chance-year after year.
    He even moved back in with me while married to the other woman, since she went to Guam and he sent his furniture there and was supposed to fly out to be with her[with my daughter in tow] and because he didnt have access to my daughter he missed his flight and my son brought him home to stay, initially overnight missing his plane and staying 2 months offering to get an anullment!!
    HAH!- Fortunately my oldest son just came home for Christmas and helped me convince him to go to Guam~ ……………..and I lived happily ever after…[mostly although I can not say that when I cried after he got on the plane whether it was more relief, joy but also a bit of sadness for the relationship I never had with him for 26 yrs…He vowed when leaving he would return [no doubt]… so before he was due to come back, I moved across country out of his reach…Now he lives in Virginia with a tough military woman who takes no crap from him but cares for him as she gets extra pay for a spouse, even if it is a louse.He stays home and cares for her cats!! I can not imagine why I was so afraid all those years of him!
    It was my own imagination over what he could or would do since he did try to kill me a couple of times..
    I should have stood up to him years ago~Maybe if I had I could have done something differently, dont know now.. dont care~!
    This new wife beats him up! Imagine that????She is still alive and he dares not lay a hand on her??? These type of men need to be subodinated and subdued!! What a concept~
    So if you are staying with yours any length of time, I would suggest separating as much of you finances as you can and have a hidden bank account he can not access or check on.
    Stop hiding out and get involved in some social community things or volunteer work, job, anything so that he will be less inclined to hurt you physically and less verbally.
    Rekindle some friendships with strong friends that arent afraid to stand by you and ‘document’ what is going on.Keep a journal- always tell – too much if necessary but dont keep anything in the dark- except from him~!
    Develop a mystique about yourself and dont empty your guts when he demands you give account. Give him less and less to go on so he begins to wonder about you and that will unnerve him enough to stop mistreating you as much.
    Stand up to him and never cower~ Always let him know that what he is doing is unacceptable and that you will ‘tell’..these guys hate the idea of being told on… even if there is no one to tell, their imagination runs with idea of being betrayed or snitched on~!
    You can be at a picnic or party and everyone is talking ‘light’ and you can make it like a joke in telling how badly he speaks to you and in turn make him look like the fool for being so mean.. You are a woman, you can pull that off- dont let him get away with pulling crap on you anymore.Make him have to give account to anyone he and you are in contact with. ALWAYS KEEP YOUR COOL HOWEVER- AS he is used to pushing your buttons and thinks he knows how you react.
    You cant change him but you can change how you react to him.As you do this you will rebuild your own self esteem and become stronger. You are stronger than you think- it is just untapped right now.
    Up until mine left , I saw him as that tough mean 33 yr old I became involved with. I failed to see when it transformed to all bark~he already lost his bite before we severed ties!
    Within months of marrying his new wife, she actually beat him up one weekend that she visited him and broke his shoulder and gave him a black eye~ a week later he called my kids manipulating them to have me take him to the hospital-[he couldnt drive any longer after trying to run me over when he was drunk a few years earlier,so lost his license]
    I reluctantly brought him to the hospital and they said his injuries were done by a woman or some one with small hands~! I didnt even know he was married at the time as he kept it secret for months.
    The point is, she didnt know him as a young man and had no fear of him and when he obviously pulled some crap on her, she let him have it full throttle~She also controls all the money and the bills and he can do nothing apart from her except if he leaves but he is lazy and old now and doesnt want to be on his own…so he does what she wants…what a concept!! he never did what I wanted.. Now if only I had a baseball bat when I was younger maybe I could have put him in his place when he got abusive and it would have stopped…..[hindsight only] Oddly I felt indignant that they asked me if I had hit him as I never had the nerve to ever raise a hand to him even when he hit me…Also I felt a bit of anger when I found out he was remarried and that his new wife beat him up…[He may have been a bum but he was my bum, sort of]
    WE are now divorced 7 years.. my how time flies when you arent being abused~~!!!!…..I cant say the same for him however.
    I talked with him on the phone last year and I knew I was free… no longer afraid and he is a tamed animal now, while with her… so KUDOS to the new misses~!
    So if she wasnt afraid and stood up to him, she managed to get what she wants out of the relationship, he is also taken care of and its a win win.

    If you choose to stay with yours, then at least learn to stand up to him and defend yourself…Better yet, get your credit separated and finances separated, get your own money together so yours cant ruin you like mine ruined me.Always have a safety net…I had good credit ruined by my ex and cant own a house anymore thanks to him, nor get loans as he maxed out mine and they defaulted and I couldnt catch up and lost everything. Be smarter than me.

    🙂 Ave

  5. Thank you so much for writing your story. Sometimes I feel so alone in the way that I feel. I try to share my feeling and people react as though I am crazy.
    My husband and I have been separated for five years, in which time we have both lived with other people. His relationship, with the woman he was having an affair with, has been over since last November. I am still in mine.
    I lived with my husband for seven years. In which time he had many affairs and over time began to become more and more abusive. By the end, it seemed the bruises had only enough time to fade before more would replace them.
    It’s strange to say that that was the easy part. I waited for him to hit me, even pushed me to do so, so that the mental abuse and verbal attacks would come to an end. It’s amazing how I blind myself to what happened and it is only in reading or watching someone else’s story that I realize what happened to me.
    I have gone back to him three times over the past five years and am even now considering doing the same. Each time he says he has gotten his life right with God and that he is different. Each time I want so badly to believe him that I convince myself that he has.
    He uses a lot of scripture as to why we should remain together and my soul is torn in two trying to make sense of it all. I pray daily for an answer, yet when I feel I come to one, my mind quickly changes as I convince myself I am gone.
    He never leaves me. I think of him always and what could have been. What should have been. There is so much I love about him, so much I miss. We have four beautiful kids together and each time they go to him, I cry. I feel that I should be there too. They should have their family together as one.
    I ask myself often if I am only holding onto a dream or is it real? What does God want from me? Am I to continue to forgive him, as Jesus does for me?
    I just don’t know anymore. I’m afraid of going back to him again and giving up the life I now have for nothing. Even if he could change for five years, it would not be worth my time. I feel unable to give myself completely in the relationship I am now in. I have a good man, one who has proven through patience and kindness that ge truly loves me. He deserves better.
    Again I thank you for your story, sometimes I need a reminder of how far I have come. I will keep you and others who also live with and through this horror in my prayers.

  6. I was caught in the same dilemma for decades,having 5 chlildren and ‘he’ knew scripture better than anyone I have ever met before or after our relationship ended.

    I failed to realize t hat the devil knows scripture better than any of us and how to manipulate its use to bring us into bondage and ultimately to destroy us.

    As a narcissist, your husbandnis possessed and has no conscience, other than to fake it in order to manipulate you into giving him repeated opportunities to destroy you.

    He will promise you anything and even ‘behave’ for ‘x’ amount of time~ may even stop hitting you~! Dont let that fool you~Your gut instinct already tells you not to go back, but those taunting familiar religious & romantic spirits remind you of the dream you had/have of him. That is a fantasy~ bait~ that will never nourish you , but will be your downfall.

    Such spirits are demonic and liars, incapable of presenting the ‘whole truth’. I thought if ‘mine’ would only stop drinking that everything would be okay. I thought, if he had another baby that he would be happy.I thought if I persevered that he would someday wake up and realize that I truly loved him and then reciprocate… All fantasies, all wishful thinking, all lies~!~

    I traded the truth about my faith in Jesus for the lie that it was tied to him and him alone and that I had to continually ‘forgive him’..which opened the door to make my life hell. I rationalized that I was forgiving him as I was forgiven. I never went with any other man after the first time I was with him and I was tied to him for 26 years. Even now that he is remarried I remain alone.

    I know academically that I am free and religiously I am no longer ‘bound’ but the damage was so deep, that even when I attempted some luncheon dates, I felt like I was cheating or I couldnt appreciate the person I was talking to and failed to adapt to initiate a new relationship….too much baggage!~

    I waited too long and am now older , unhealthy and physically damaged as well as emotionally. I think at times how nice it would be to be loved by someone for real, but it seems unattainable for me at least.I stop at the temptation to dwell on loneliness as I know that would only lead to depression, which opens the door to oppressive spirits to taunt my thoughts..Has your mind ever raced with sad or horrible thoughts and the ‘what ifs”????? They are straight from hell!!

    I have peace most of the time and have been busy and am no accustomed tomy own solitude. I am closer to Jesus now than ever before and yet I am not even in a permanent church home, so I really am alone physically and socially. It would have scared me 10 yrs ago to think that I would end up this way, but to tell you the truth, it is far better than beating myself up emotionally rationalizing staying with a man who only faked loving me and never made my life better or any easier. Sure he had and has some interaction with the kids.I was so caught up in how I hurt, that I failed to see the long term picture as to how it affected my children and their emerging relationships and marriages~!

    My oldest daughter ran off at 16 , married a guy who ended up beating her and they were divorced only after she met the man she eventually married and is still married to. She is having her 8th child soon, however their relationship is fraught with damage and their life is hard because they can not connect as they should and they struggle to remain together.

    My oldest son, was married at 20 and devastated by his first wife cheating on him while he was overseas and afterwards he had several bad relationships, now has a bad attitude towards women, is remarried and not treating his wife as he should.

    My middle son is alone and lonely. My youngest son has had several failed relationships with narcissistic women and now is developing such traits himself as he is tired of being a victim.

    My youngest daughter suffered through our divorce, but we remain close and after a couple bad short relationships and trust issues, she has found and is married to a great guy, but they have to constantly check their motives and be certain to treat each other well.She learned by what we went through and set strong boundaries for herself that protect her.She does however have alot of heartaches to deal with.

    So you see, to stay together for the sake of the children is wrong if the relationship is dead wrong. Mine would surfacely treat t he kids better after we broke up so that I would be jealous and want to be together again. I played that game for 7 years til I finally had to break away altogether and thought once he remarried that I would be free but still have a degree of bondage left.

    I know the driving force within you wants to over ride reason and better judgement because your feeling like it is still unfinished business and cant handle the rejection of your love from him as evidenced by his maltreatment of you.You want desperately to be accepted by this bully and have him stop lying and want him to love you and only you as you have a special place in your heart that is sorely broken by him, even though you claim to have a new better man, it feels hollow and you feel guilty about it.Deep inside you long for him even though you have taken the steps to be with another man who treats you better.

    If you can resist the temptation to return to the procreator of your children, strip away the romantic notions that you hold in your heart for him[which serve ony to break your heart] in time you will grow to love the man you are with [if he is the right one for you] or meet the one that will be a soul mate for you.

    You cant meet your soul mate while hanging onto your past with the wrong man.

    No one could tell me to leave my X or stay away, I was drawn to him for 26 yrs and now that I am divorced 7 years, there are still times I miss him and negate the horrible things he has done and even rework history in my mind to think that some of it wasnt ‘so’ bad… [it was!]

    I hope you find the strength to start your life over without him and that the encounters you have because of the children, that they be ‘neutral’. I have a working relationship with my X now, in that I can actually talk on the phone with him without being drawn back into his games or control.The more time passes, the stronger you will become and learn to care for yourself appropriately.


  7. I made it. After 24 years I’m actually divorced and I’m so proud of myself. I’m not afraid of him anymore. Like Ave said. Just pinch them off little by little and learn to speak out for yourself and your children and watch them begin to cower. Financially things are tight as I have my soon to be 17 year old son and my 21 year old daughter and her son living with me. But things are wonderful. The long term damage he has done is very evident in my children. Now if I can teach them that they are in complete control of their own happiness and no one can put you down unless you let them. This is my new challenge in life and I will succeed. Thank you Ave for your replyt to me on June 28, 2008. It’s always helpful to have affirmation when you’re struggling with what we’ve all went through. Thank you for this sounding board.

    God Bless to you and all who read this.

  8. Ann ~ Congratulations on being set free~!I find things remain financially tight, but hey, look at the economy~!Life is tough either way, but now you are freed from the oppression~! Now allowing yourself to find yourself is going to be more of an adventure.

    I began working online with my art and learning how to promote it online. I got a free ning site and an msn site and then later learned how to promote them and how to meet other artists. I really stay focused on this and now have a network that I developed and may one day be a business that I can support myself with. For now I am still broke most of the time as things come up but there are so many wonderful people to meet out there in cyber world that share similar ideas that whether I ever meet any in person doesnt even matter. My website now is http://AveHurleyIllustrations.ning.com and you are welcome to come visit anytime. It is a safe family friendly website for artists and art lovers.

    My story took another twist since last we commuicated.It is my other blogs here if you care to look them up. I was in communications online and by phone since my sons were in an accident, but their no longer was that fear or intimidation. He became that different man, the one I thought was inside of him that I had wished he would have become- a man that didnt drink~.But he was grouchy still and an occasional snap on the phone or email kept me in check as I had no desire to see him in person but we began having some good conversation relating to our children and to the bible. He began to tell me things about his current marriage that indicated the shoe was on the other foot still- that as his health had been declining she was taking advantage more and more. He didnt tell me all the details that later came our but was in contact with my daughter and sons. I had an idea his wife was worse to him than he was to me but I thought he could handle it and initially I was less sympathetic as I thought he was getting what he deserved for having made my life so miserable for so long.I couldnt even enjoy my memories as most were bad ones that overshadowed the good ones.

    I had given her credit with him stopping the drinking but the reality was that once he got to Guam and seeing doctors that he became sick when he drank and his blood pressure which always was high, had caused him to stop drinking and he quite smoking on his own as he had done sporadically for years so that wasnt anything to do with his current wife. She still treated him well enough while they were in Guam as she had a prestigeous position as 2nd in command for the AirForce out there and both he and she had to keep up appearances.I warned him to never let her insure him as I had a gut feeling that the only thing she could possibly want from a man like him was to use him as a puppet to cover her homosexuality and he in exchange was supposedly living the life of Riley having all he ever wanted, to be taken care of and not have to work.It wasnt an ideal symbiotic relationship however as he placed himself into a trap he could get out of as he was the type that could not start over alone and needed to make a quantum leap into another household in order to be free of her narcissism [which was stronger than his! a black widow spider]

    He had my daughter check out divorce laws in Virginia while his wife was sent to Afghanistan for 6 months.She still controlled all the money having food delivered to him from a local supermarket so he never went out of the apt. During this time he slept on a bed but when she was home he slept on the floor in their storage room as she was vicariously punishing her father for sexually abusing her as a child. The woman was sicker than he was~!

    While he and I conversed we got along like we did in the early years before we got together when we wrote each other and talked by phone.I liked it that way but didnt know he was in real danger. He told me how that before she went to Afghanistan she made him her beneficiary and that in turn he allowed her to have papers drawn up so he would have and inheritance for his children. He didnt read the paperwork thoroughly though before signing and it wasnt until she was away that one day he saw the clause that the kids would only inherit if both she and he were dead, meaning that the kids would get nothing if she outlived her.

    Knowing she tricked him he told her he wanted a divorce.My daughter found out that since they were married without a prenup and for over 4 years at that point that he was entitled to up to half her net worth which was estimated to be 2.2Million Dollars~ so he had my daughter check out divorce lawyers and all of it was kept in a file in his emails and some were in my daughter’s emails saved, but she didnt keep every one and now wishes she had.

    She returned from Afghanistan and was mad at how he took care of her cats as the apt had a bad odor. She told him in one email in Oct 2007 that she was done with him and that he was then on notice that their business relationship as it stood was over. He then was checking his options out for divorce and they had a big fight in Feb 2008 when she returned ending in that she said she would see him dead before ever giving him a penny. [ She had collected spousal allowance from the Military for him since they were married and she even somehow claimed my daughter and had obtained benefit for her that my daughter never knew about til filing her own income taxes found out she had been claimed as a military dependent of this woman~ This woman is the head of finances in the Pentagon- very shrewd an calculating!

    He decided that he would make her so sick of him that she would pay him to leave ! at least enough that he could get new furniture and an apt back in Pa along with alimony.

    We were friendly enough at that point but I wasnt willing to give up my freedom to him again as I didnt trust it would ever be ‘good’ again and was happier being alone. My 3 younger kids however had grown closer to him & wanted to see him and talked by phone.I agreed to help him move if he needed help moving but made it clear I wouldnt live with him again, so he decided to stay longer with her til she paid him to leave.He began to tell me that they were going to split up but that he wasnt leaving til she paid him what she owed him by their previous agreement.

    She kept her word though when he had an annual physical it was determined he was having kidney problems and she deprived him of needed medical treatment for months that when he was supposed to be on dialysis she kept cancelling his appointments and let his body go toxic.This was hard on our family as he reached out for help and we agreed to help him.

    My daughter was flying in from Camp Pendleton to bring him home with her but couldnt come til Friday so she called us to tell us we might have to pick him up in Va to get him out of the apt as he needed help walking.Once his wife knew he was leaving & going to be at my daughters, she worked fast.She took away his phones and computer [later claimed he didnt want to talk to anyone!] Then hired a hospice worker to come in for Weds to attend his death!She rented a hospital bed, barricaded him into it and told my daughter she was up all night Tues struggling with him as he was trying to leave the apt ~He got a nose bleed and so she changed his clothes before and after death taking pictures of him asleep on the bed and emailed the pics to my daughter telling her not to come Friday as there was no funeral and he was being cremated.

    She called me an hour after his body was removed.No police were involved since she had hospice present. Turned out he died of hypertension not kidney failure.My daughter called us to go get him on Tues night but it was snowing and the weather channel said it was going to snow all day Weds so I said I would go on Thurs to get him but was apprehensive to actually see him again after 5 yrs.

    So I am left with a bit of regret that I didnt listen to my daughter since that was his last night and he fought to live , had cut knuckles, bloody nose and bruised arms from his wife restraining him in the apt to die. By the time the hospice arrived on Weds he was semi conscious and silent.One hour later he died.

    What an ironic end for him!At least we had talked the last 2 yrs nd most of the resentments were gone and we had made peace for the most part, although we had an argument on the internet site we both belonged to that led to me not talking to him for 2 weeks before his death.

    His wife killed him and collected the insurance but,not before we had an autopsy performed could she have him cremated. He died of hypertension, [from struggling that night before his death!~] and she got away with it because there were no witnesses, only the emails we had that proved she orchestrated his death.

    So it was a sad end to him and I feel badly that the one time the boy cried wolf, he was telling the truth.

    😦 Ave

  9. Ave, I’m so sorry you had to go through all that with your family. It all sounds so surreal. You should write a screen play about it. It would make for a good movie. As you well know it’s hard to imagine that someone could inflict even the slightest bit of pain on another person, let alone live what he went through. No one deserves to be treated like he did despite what he himself inflicted on you and your family. I’m sure it was very difficult for you. I would never wish any harm on my former husband and hope he finds a way to live in peace, but no matter what happens to him I know I will never take him back or let myself be brought down by him. I have separated myself from him totally and I feel in control of my own destiny and loving it.

    I had my annual physical yesterday. In the last year I have been on 6 different medications. As of today, I’m taking NONE!! My blood pressure is down, I’ve lost 20 pounds and love to exercise, I’m off my anti-anxiety meds, and my ovarian cysts are gone. I love my life. I thank God everyday for the strength I finally found.

    One thing I wanted to ask you was if the photo on the top of your blog is a photo you took? I absolutely love it. It has really struck a note with me. The left side of the bridge seems gloomy and eerie, but if you pass over the bridge the colors are warm and bright and the trees seem to reach out their branches and seem to lovingly invite you. It symbolizes the journey I just went through. If possible I would like a copy of that photo. I can see it framed in a large panoramic on the wall at the foot of my bed so it will remind me every day of the happiness I’m feeling on the other side of the bridge. And the wonderful new life I am having.

    God Bless,

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