Hello! My name is Rachel. I am 35 years old, mother of two lovely children, who are 6 and 3, and I have managed to sustain a marriage to a narcissist for the past 7 years. I blog about my journey of leaving a narcissistic husband.
We have all heard the phrase, “the show must go on.” But the ones who really understand it are those people who lived it by being stuck in a toxic relationship with a Narcissist. When you find that you need to put on a show whenever your partner is around, that is big sign that you are being controlled by a narcissist.
I am now three years removed from being submerged in a suffocating marriage with a narcissist, however, when I think back to what I went through and how I felt, I had an epiphany. I distinctly remember whenever my ex walked through the door, I had to prepare my 3 year old and 6 year old to treat their father a certain way in order to stall their father’s bad moods, suspicious antics or lecturing behavior.
I found myself telling my children that “Daddy’s going to be coming home soon and they better smile, and give him a big hug” and I would plead with them to be on their best behavior. I quickly learned that we had to go through this role playing because in the past, if my narcissist were to come home and we were all doing something other than waiting there to greet him with smiles on our faces and our full attention, he would be offended and feel that we “did not appreciate him.” He would then go on a pity trip and lecture us, scold us and say that we did not love him, etc. It was ridiculous, but true. It would put a dampener on the rest of the evening and we all walked on eggshells.
So, I would find myself trying to prepare my little actors to put on a show for Daddy. A show that would hopefully, delay the narcissist’s antics for a later time. But it was never for long. The children and I were always in survival mode, just waiting for the next little thing to set him off.
During the marriage, I didn’t actually see what I was doing, or how his behavior truly affected us because when you are living it, it can be difficult to see through it. However, now that I am safely away from my narcissist and in a healthy relationship full of mutual respect and adoration, I can easily see what lengths I went to in order to try to protect my children from their narcissistic father.
If you find that you need to be anyone other than your true self when your partner is around, that is not a good sign. Be aware that all of life is not a stage, or at least it shouldn’t have to be. My advice as someone who has lived through it, lower the curtain and walk away and it is best to ignore the curtain call, let the narcissist get the bows he craves from someone other than you or your children.
A few months ago, I woke up from a dream that seemed so real it made me dizzy. I always have taken my dreams with a grain of salt. In the past, I have met people with skepticism when they discussed their dreams somehow giving insight to what was going on in their lives. Well, I have learned many lessons these past two years and feel that a deeper understanding of what is going on in your life can absolutely manifest in your dreams from time to time.
In my dream, I was stuck in the back car of a roller coaster and my Narcissist ex husband was in the front car with the kids and no matter what I did, I could not get to them. That dream so completely summed up my relationship over the past 7 years with him.
In a relationship with a narcissist, there are extreme highs and extreme lows. They put you on the pedistal and toss you down into the pit, as I have described in a previous blog. When things were good, they were great, and when he was displeased over one thing or another, (no matter how trivial) things were horrible.
Now that I have broken away from my narcissist, life is inconcieveably better. The best thing I have ever done was to leave him. I have a job I love, my kids enjoy their school and I finally finished building my dream house! And just then, wouldn’t you know it…when I was happy to be on my way, on my own… I stumbled upon meeting a good, honest, and intelligent man who loves and respects me and my family. And I met him only 2.3 miles from my new home as matter of fact! It is funny because I swore off internet dating, as that was how I met my ex narcissist 8 years ago. Since I entered the dating scene, I vowed that if I was ever to date anyone in the future, I would have to meet him face to face purely by introduction or by accident.
Eventhough I have been guarded since leaving my rollercoaster of a relationship, I have had two years to reflect on who I am and what it is that I want. I now have the confidence in myself to trust my gut again. I am determined not to make the same mistakes in future relationships.
That is something that toxic relationships with narcissists do, they rob you of your joy, your confidence and your ability to trust and love others by shattering who you are. Whereas, a healthy relationship is meant to build you up, not break you down.
I am enjoying where this relationship is taking us. It feels incredibally rewarding to trust and love again. He gives me space, but makes room in his life for me and treats me like I had always hoped for. It is funny how something as simple as being listened to when you talk can make you feel so loved. He always makes time to talk to me about my day, and he actually seems genuinely interested in what I have to say. I no longer feel like my thoughts and opinions don’t matter. I am loving every day of our journey together and haven’t seen one red flag yet and it has been 6 months.
I see what my narcissist is doing in his relationship since I left him. He is up to the same old tricks. My ex narc had only been alone one month before he snagged his next victim. Irena is a 26 year old Ukrainian”au pair.” He got her pregnant after three months and they are aleady pregnant with baby #2, and it has not even been a full two years since she landed on US soil. I see how he drives at least 300 miles every other weekend and has moved another 3 times since I left and plans road trips and plane flights on a whim, dragging her and the baby along. I vividly remember how exhausting it was trying to keep up with him when he was on one of his roaming tangents.
I am so greatful that I jumped off of that rollercoaster, that is one ride that I will never board again.