I want to first say that I am SERIOUSLY thankful for your blog. I found it a little too late, and pick-me danced too long, but once I found it, I suddenly found the courage to stay strong and give up on the ‘perfect family’ dream. When I found you, it was because I was 100% an Amazon chump and was searching for answers.
I often read your pages asking myself ‘can there REALLY be THIS many narcissists out there?’. I have never even used that word until my husband lost his mind last year. I first diagnosed him (thanks to my chump research) with a mid-life crisis, and I followed all of the advice for such. I even told my college age children that we were going to ‘love him through it’. We tried so hard. It didn’t work.
Then, I diagnosed him as bipolar. I dragged him to a two marriage counselors AND a psychiatrist. It didn’t work.
Then, I found your blog and realized that OMG, he fits narcissist to a TEE. I stopped my pick-me dance and cried in my pillow every night wondering where he could be. I am doing much better now because I am a few months in, BUT……this week, I had a new Amazon chump thought.
My situation is the same as everyone else’s, but in every way it could be bad and go wrong — it did. After a 23 year marriage and wonderful family memories, my husband began a secret life with a 6-foot blonde tramp with fake boobs who is 15 years younger than us. She has two small children and works for the same company he does.
As they were playing house, I was battling breast cancer — I had chemo, radiation — the whole gambit. They were KIND enough to wait until my treatments were over to announce their love and wreck my life, but I fought. I pushed her away as many times as I could, but then he waited until I was on a girl’s beach trip to call me and let me know he would be gone when I returned home.
WHAT happened to this guy?!?!?! WHO calls their wife like that and RUINS her girls ‘finally breast cancer free’ trip like that?? THIS person is NOT who my husband was??? He was a nice, normal guy and I never felt unloved. He was selfish with his time, but he took care of us in every way. It blindsided me and the pain was almost unbearable.
I have now read all of the archives that pertain to my situation, and even though you say that it doesn’t matter what flavor the cake is — it’s STILL CAKE (best advice ever BTW), I can’t help but bring a new flavor to your attention….. STOCKHOLM SYNDROME. Seriously. He has lost his friends, lost most of his family, lost the respect of his children, lost his job, walked away from his home…..all for this girl???
This girl was AGGRESSIVE in every way. She set her sights on the life she wanted, and went for him relentlessly. He was a dumbass and gave in, but I SWEAR, she has brainwashed him. She is like a CULT leader and she always found her way back in. I SWEAR I am not defending him. I do NOT want him back. The things he has done to me over the last year are the meanest things anyone has ever done to me. I am one signature away from a final divorce. I am just putting it out there that some of these home wreckers are evil poachers with serious skills. My husband died the day he met her, and someone new is walking around in his body. My job is now to stay off Dateline.
Please make sense of this and tell me you think he’s been kidnapped and now suffers from Stockholm Syndrome so that I can sleep at night and not obsess over the nightmare ending to my marriage.
Much love to YOU and my fellow chumps. You have SAVED MY LIFE!
He’s not brainwashed, he’s an asshole. He chose this. If he’s in a cult, it’s the Cult of Stupid.
You’ve really been through hell, and it’s normal to untangle the Skein of Fuckupedness, but you must stop diagnosing him. It’s not helping.
If we go with your Devil Made Him Do It defense, then if we remove the Devil — what next? You think he’s all better? Reformed? You want him back?
No, he’s still a man who could cheat and abandon his wife during her cancer.
If diagnosing him as a narcissist (not a leap, he’s behaving narcissistically) helps you leave him and get yourself to safety, okay. But as I say here often, what kind of fucked up it is doesn’t matter. HE IS FUCKED UP. This behavior (cheating, abandonment, cruelty) is either okay with you, or it’s not.
By giving the Other Woman all the power in this narrative, you are defending him. You’re taking a last toke on the hopium pipe — This Isn’t the Real Him. You didn’t invest in a fraud, a bad, bad woman corrupted him.
Don’t get me wrong, she’s an asshole too (stay cancer free, Sparkletwat!) — but she doesn’t have super powers of seduction. He chose to do this. And his volition in the matter is way more painful than thinking he suffers under an evil spell.
He’s not like you. You may share history, but you don’t share values.
How do I know? He’s afflicted with stupidity and look what you did — you threw yourself at saving him. You stood by him. You suffered.
Did he stand by you as you suffered? No. He looked for an escape hatch. He doesn’t love the way you love.
Maybe he loved okay for awhile. You know, like one of those friends you can go to movies with, but are nowhere to be found when life sucker punches you with cancer or divorce. They flit at the superficial level, but they don’t do substance. That’s fine if you need a movie date. It’s not fine when you need a life partner.
You had a movie date husband. He wasn’t tested. There are show-up people and there are cowards. And I’m sorry to be so blunt about it, but you invested deeply in a coward. It happens.
I just ran this scenario past Mr. CL.
“Okay, let’s say I have breast cancer and I lose all my hair and boobs and some tall young blonde with big tits throws herself at you at work. Would you cheat?”
(Totally not a fair question. I’m perfectly healthy and could throw a mean punch. Answer at your peril.)
He says, “I could never do that. And if you got sick, I would never leave you. I’m a Catholic. Life is suffering. It’s the deepest expression of love to take care of someone when they’re suffering. I would want to be there for you.”
(This then devolved in a discussion of how his mother cared for his father who just died, to the point of noble insane sacrifice — she’s a nurse AND a Catholic. Whereas the preferred mode of death in my family is to retire to south Florida, hire Cuban caregivers, and shoo your family away as a point of honor. We agreed a middle path would be best.)
Speaking of Good Catholic Men, we just lost one. I learned yesterday that an old co-worker of mine, a devoted husband and father of three took his kids to the pool last week, and had an aneurysm. He suffered severe brain damage, held on for a few days, and passed away, surrounded by his family.
He was a good man and I am certain between all the prayer requests and MRI updates and convulsing grief, his wife wasn’t cruising for boyfriends.
Because that would be obscene.
Anyone who loves deeply could not hurt you this way. What you suffered was an obscenity. That’s my diagnosis. Think of him as a cancer and cut him out. Save yourself.