So My Latest Narcissist…

…oh lord, what do I say?  The signs were all there.  He charmed me from the beginning; he was “perfect.”  He was too perfect.  He did everything for me.  Only…something was always not quite right with him and I knew it.  I chose to ignore it.  I was in a financial bind and he showed up at the right time after inveigling a way to actually meet me.

We worked at the same company for 5 months.  I went in as a temp, knowing that the assignment wouldn’t go permanent.  He noticed me from the beginning, or so he says, but waited four days to actually manipulate things so he could come sit and get to know me.  When i think back on that conversation, it was all about him.  He didn’t ask a word about me.

He was charming.  He invited himself on our first date.  I was going hiking and he just invited himself along.  He was so obvious and so “sweet” that I said:  “well, why don’t you come along.”  Turns out he doesn’t hike.  He strolls.  Slowly.  I didn’t find that out until we were at our destination. So we strolled.  He was separated, he said – had been for more than a year, and was filing for divorce by the end of the year.  He promised.  He swore.  He said he couldn’t envision himself back with her.

I believed him.  I wanted to.  I’d been told by all who knew him (and they were all co-workers) that he was a great guy and I couldn’t do any better.  I had a cardinal rule at the time:  Never date a married man, separated or not.  I broke it.  We had a great time.  I suggested we get together again sometime soon. I didn’t expect it to be the next day – which was a monday.

I got home before he left work and next thing I know he’s texting me saying he is 20 min away and bringing supper.  I was very taken aback.  We hadn’t discussed this.  But I thought it was kinda cute (red flags are NEVER cute) and so I told him to come on.  For the next 15 months I had no evening to myself other than Wednesdays when he was “paying bills.”  With his wife.  I questioned it and got a glib response to the effect that they were both still responsible for the expenses…

Uh huh.  I swallowed it.  For around four or five months he was able to keep the mask from slipping, although I saw it go a little cockeyed a couple of times when I asked about his plans for filing for divorce.  He would tap dance around it, tell me he hadn’t thought about it, anything to just shut me up.

He told me he and his wife had lived separate lives for years prior to him telling her he wanted to divorce.  While they lived beneath the same roof, they didn’t share a bed.  Just expenses.  Co-workers corroborated this.  Of course they did – that’s what he told them. I still don’t know the truth of it, but I suspect it.

Each day, after work, he’d come over, spend a couple hours but was always home by 9.  That must have been just before his wife came home.  She worked a strange schedule.  Then he started spending saturday nights at my house, and when I thought to ask, he said he just told her he was out with friends, and when it got late, he just crashed at whatever friend would take him at their house.  Lie.  Big lie.

He was supporting me, financially.  Groceries, gas, paying bills I couldn’t pay and I had no clue where his money was coming from, until he told me he’d taken a loan from his 401K – and since it went into the joint account (notice he didn’t give it to me to use as I saw fit, even though it was supposedly for ME), and he told his wife it was for a person at work who was in need.  Well, I saw about $500 of the $5,000 loan he took.  His wife spent the rest.  No apologies to me, just anger when I asked him why he’d done that instead of putting it in his own account.  Seems he didn’t have his own account – yet he’d been “separated” for more than a year.

January I caught him in a whopper of a lie.  Big one.  He denied it until I pushed so hard he had to admit it and then it became my fault.  You know how that goes.

That’s when he started withdrawing, stonewalling and gaslighting.  He grew cold and distant and any emotional support I thought i was getting went away.  In reality, there was no emotional support.  HE can’t empathize.  The only feelings he can feel are his own and those are all about how right, good and wonderful he is, so naturally I should have no problem with him.

I won’t go into the gory details, but suffice it to say that he discarded me when he realized I was way too close to the truth about him.  My niece had just died, and this man couldn’t even ask how I was holding up.  When I told him about it (stupid me) he replied “sorry – sucks.”

The following saturday, even though he knew I was dealing with my niece’s death, learning a new job, my mother’s illness, and some other pretty heavy stuff, he texts me:  “I bought a Hyundai.  Here’s the link so you can see it.”

Huh?  Why do I care about his car?  Well, it turns out he felt he “failed me because he couldn’t fix my financial situation.’  (God complex.)  Instead of being a normal person and accepting failure and moving forward or trying a different tack, he just dumped me.  It was an excuse – he wanted me gone – that way I wasn’t a drain on his finances and he could buy a shiny new car.

That night, I was under great duress and I emailed his wife a letter that stated this man had been having an affair with me for 15 months and it included things she probably needed to know if she wanted to make intelligent decisions about her life.  I doubt she heeded them.  He read her email before she did and blew my phone up, frantically attempting to get ahold of me to beg me not to tell her – you see, I’d also said I was mailing a hard copy in case her husband read her email and deleted it.  He rang my phone and texted so much that I had to silence it.  He even drove by my house to see if I was up.  His last text said “Now that you have me at your mercy, I’m begging you to let me tell her myself..”

Yeah. Right.  Like that would ever happen.  So I sent another one, snail mail, to her mother’s address, which is where she’s living.  I have heard nothing since then, and while I’m thankful for the silence, I think the other shoe will fall, in time.  I’m watching my back carefully.

I loathe him; I despise him; he’s a liar, a cheat and a fraud, and I know enough about NPD to know I need to have no contact with this man.  Maybe telling his wife was the wrong thing to do, but at the time, I felt a helluva lot better!  I dunno now.  Hey – maybe it will serve to get them back together (as if they were ever really apart!) and then he won’t be out there hurting other victims.  Who knows – he’s a Narcissist and they always find their supply.

He’ll tell his wife whatever she wants to hear right now – because he stands to lose a ton of money if she divorces him.  She was hoping – for almost three years now – for a reconciliation.  So apparently he wasn’t as “separated” as he said he was.  It’s just that her schedule was wonky and he exploited it to get his supply.

He hurt me badly.  It started in january – maybe before.  I still didn’t see the signs.  I thought he was depressed, I wondered if I was going crazy, I tried to work with the stonewalling and would confront him on the gaslighting.  None of that works.  He’s a narcissist.  I know all this.

Lesson learned:  You can still get caught in the trap.  There’s a lot more to the story, but I won’t tell it.  It’s not worth telling.  He’s a liar, a cheat and a fraud and if his wife has any sense (and I don’t believe she does) she will divorce him.  My guess is, though, that she’ll take him back because he’ll be so contrite after being caught.  Things will roll along very well for a few months and then the monster will be back for her.

At least he’s out of my life.

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So I’ve Been Away For Awhile…

…and I apologize.  I can’t promise I’ll be here too often, but I’ll try.  I found temporary work, which might turn into permanent, so let’s all pray it does!  I actually like the company where I’m placed, too.  Amazing.

Yesterday, I had to leave at 3 pm with what I can only describe as a migraine.  I’ve had bad headaches, and the last one was 2 years ago, but this beat everything.  Could hardly see, the smallest noise felt like knives stabbing my skull and light was intolerable. So I went home.  A few hours of lying in the dark with complete silence helped, but when I stood up I lost my cookies.  Good thing the bathroom is only a few steps away from  my bed.

I’m home today – woke up with the headache back, but not quite as bad.  Still feel nauseated.  So I called out.  Where is this going and why is it on a dating a personality disorder website, you ask?  Hmmm. Well, I’ve met a man.  Or shall I say he met me.  We’ve been seeing each other for 6 weeks and while almost everything is right, there is one biggie that’s wrong.  First the right:  He’s always there for me.  Totally.  If I need anything, he’s there.  He’s with me 5 days out of 7, but he gets sent home at night.  He takes excellent care of me; he takes care of me as a husband would (should) – not conspicuously; not with grand flair; not with a “look at me” attitude.  He sees a need and he just seems to fill it without show.

So you’re asking what’s wrong…

Well, while he’s been separated for almost 18 months, he has yet to file for divorce.  Okay, I know that with some men, unless they  have what they consider a really GREAT reason for filing for divorce, they’re just gonna wait it out.  He wasn’t looking for a partner and neither was I. We just sort of saw each other and a loud click happened.

So we talked about it.  He’s very open to talking – about anything.  He listens.  He also tries to “fix” but that’s a male tendency anyway, so I just chalk it up to that.  For now.

His plan is to pay off all joint debt, because his wife doesn’t make a lot of money.  The kids are grown, so he will have no child support to pay.  He’s saved enough money through investments for his kids’ college educations, even if they want to go to grad school.  He wants to make sure his wife is not left in dire straits and will be able to support herself and he wants the courts to agree that she is able to do that.  He wants a quiet, no-fault divorce.  This will mean giving her the family home, which was his grandparent’s home.  She lives there and the kids grew up there, so he feels she should have it.  It’s his to do with what he wants, so I stay out of it.

He hasn’t told his kids about us yet and I’m cool with that.  It’s only been 5 weeks.

Why’d he leave his wife?  That’s a very important question.  One that he answered with total humility.

Prior to my asking the question, I’d heard from folks who have known this man for 15 or more years and was told there wasn’t a better man.  I was told how horrible his wife was to him, and how none of these folks could understand why he stayed with her for 24 years.  I heard nothing good about her from these individuals.  From him, though, I heard only that “things just got so bad I finally couldn’t take it any  longer.  The last 10 years of our marriage seemed to be all about what I did wrong.  During counseling, it wasn’t about working things out; it was about how much she could tear me down in an hour, bringing up things that I’d apparently done wrong 20 years ago.”

He didn’t trash her.  Didn’t tear her down.  He simply said the above, and that one day, he woke up with the realization that he wasn’t a horrible person and that he was worthy of being treated well.  So he moved out.  My big question was: “will you ever go back to her?”

Without hesitation, he said:  “no.”

Now, here’s a man who married young, and prior to me, had only been seriously involved with one woman -and he married her.  He knows no other way to act than like a husband and that’s how he acts when he and I are together.  I find I don’t mind it at all.  I rather like it.  I just wish he’d hurry up and file for divorce.  What bothers me is that I’m saying that after only 6 weeks of being with this man.  Some would say:  “when it’s right, it’s right and you just know it.”  Others would say:  “whoa!  slow down!”  I’m saying both and neither.

It totally feels right.  He’s got no narcissistic tendencies that I can ferret out; he appears to have no ulterior motives and so far, he’s just “there” for me.  He encourages my creativity, doesn’t attempt to isolate me, helps around the house, helps with gas money and food, and I feel totally loved, wanted and appreciated by  him.

I’ve been warned about rebound syndrome.  Thing is, this guy wouldn’t know rebound.  All he does is commitment.  He had ample opportunity to date after he left, but he took the time to get himself together.  He doesn’t want to “date.”  He figured that if he was supposed to be with another woman, that woman would turn up, so he didn’t look.  He doesn’t force things to happen.  And then, one day, we found ourselves sitting next to each other and started talking.  Things went from there.

I don’t know if I’m rebound for him.  I don’t think so, but maybe that’s just because I don’t want to be his rebound.  I don’t want to be anyone’s rebound.  I want a nice steady partnership and I believe this man and I can have that.  Again – is that simply because I want to believe it?  I don’t know, but at 50, I don’t have a lot of time to sit around waiting.  It’s not like I’m 20 and can take my time.  I’d like a life-partner and I’ve done the internet dating thing – that doesn’t work.  I’ve joined groups and dated – that doesn’t work.  I’m thinking that just meeting someone out of the blue like this isn’t coincidence and I’m going to give it a shot.

I’m happy, contented, a little scared, very vulnerable and on top of the world.  All at the same time.  Yet…I know infatuation and this isn’t it.  Hmmm.

Lord, let me do this right!