I’d opine 99.9% of the time, when someone walks through the doors of NPD Abuse recovery, there is an OW in the picture. Moreover, I’d say the OW is not necessarily your rival but a tool the Narcissist used as part of the devalue and discard routine. Whether you’re dealing with a pathological or a normal person betrayal is hurtful; however given the unique journey one takes in order to recover from this type of abuse, I think focusing in on the role the OW plays will be helpful in terms of seeing with clarity how much this really has nothing to do with you or your worth or even the OW.
After we’ve been dragged through the mud, been to hell and back and stood by our partner, forgiven all their b.s. and loved them unconditionally, out of nowhere the narcissist does an about face and begins for no logical reason to project their hatred onto us. This is not really a hatred per se, but rather how their own self loathing manifests. They project it onto those closest to them while they run for cover into the arms of another where they can hide their secret from someone who doesn’t have the keys to the vault…YET.
Narcissists never attach or love and so to believe they ‘hate’ us I believe is an error – they don’t hate us they envy us because even with flaws, the one thing we do posses is the ability to love, to attach – to FEEL. They are trapped inside their own bodies, and only know two very primitive emotions…anger and fear. I often read blogs and articles and I observe many attach ‘jealousy’ to a narcissist; however, I don’t think that is accurate as when we think of jealousy we might opine (as normal people) that we’re talking about someone’s ego that is a little shaken over the fear of ‘loss’ of an individual’s love. I read how some were ‘accused’ of cheating. That’s not jealousy when we’re speaking of a narcissist that is projection…that is their disclosing what they’re guilty of. They always have supply but since people are objects to them, they absolutely will project even if they’re the ones guilty of the sin because although they don’t love you…you are an object – their PROPERTY. It’s important to be clear here to help break the cognitive dissonance.
Narcissists tire very easily. They cycle through people. Many will ask: “If that’s so, then how did I end up married 20 years?” I can’t answer that with any authority but I have my suspicions. Narcissists will get married, but not for the same reasons normal people get married. Narcissists marry because it is part of their image. It says to the world, “I am normal, someone loves me, I am somebody, I’m not crazy” they have children not for the same reason normal people have children but as ‘trophies’ and very often go on to devalue and discard their own children once they no longer worship them. They cannot register that children grow up and have their own thoughts and feelings and will disagree and rebel. A narcissist sees that as an attack and a loss of property – a betrayal…that is how fragile their egos are and how distorted their minds process normal human development. There is primary supply and secondary supply and a narcissist will interchange the statuses of the supply stock according to his whims. A wife becomes secondary supply the moment she says: “I do” she may not be aware of it, high off the happy love fumes, but slowly without being aware of it, she is broken down bit by bit by bit until she is operating within a shell of herself.
I think for many of us as women, we fall prey to this because we are molded to be the caregivers, to love unconditionally, we accept a certain amount of machismo is just how men are wired. In my case, the narcissist kept very long hours “at work” I did not register this as an opportunity for him to play out his other life I really believed he was ‘hard at work’ and he’d come home in a pretty stable mood. I had no reason to suspect anything but since they cannot feel they have no guilt so it would have been hard to detect anything strange – they are pathological liars. If a woman is pretty secure in herself and committed to being a good wife, I can see how easily one can be deceived as with any healthy relationship there is trust – and so you may not have encountered the other life he was living unless and until you presented with some need and stood firm on his needing to be there. That is when they will buck and rebel, and you will have to be punished for having the audacity of having any true need or expectation. Sure they’ll take you to the supermarket, or drive you somewhere, spend a little time with you to keep it smooth – they’re not stupid, they’re just not into you – but they’re not into anyone, it’s not personal. It’s really hard to explain the dynamics. I can only write about this now with some type of level head because I’ve recovered. Much of my earlier writing did show an indication of a woman gone mad. I was the same crazy as his ex wife, and the one before her, and the one before her, wash.rinse.repeat. I suppose I only made it four years with him because of the distance he was able to maintain throughout the relationship and because being very independent myself I didn’t feel I needed him to fill me, and so I sat on this side of the relationship with one view, while he was out there trolling for a fix. This does not mean there was something inadequate in me, rather there is something defective in him. Within a month of breaking up he had a new woman living with him. What can I say? This is what they do. It’s got nothing to do with me. That is what is so important for a ‘target’ to own. There was nothing you could do about this. They’re sick.
So, what does it really mean when a narcissist decides you need to become privy to the other woman? While devastating to us, for a narcissist, it simply means he’s bored. It sounds simple but narcissists are simple. They’re six year olds stuck in an adult’s body…this individual never grew up emotionally or mentally. They have all the trappings of appearing grown up, they can talk like a grown up, but they really don’t own what they say they’re masters of illusion. I recall the narcissist’s ex wife sharing he walked into the yard one day and just told her straight out: “I don’t want to do this anymore I want out” there was no ‘working it out’ maybe trying counseling…nope – he simply changed his mind and POOF! Just like that ten years of a marriage down the drain. NOW, he did justify it with many examples, and yes she did appear crazy, and he documented many a reason for his needing to be out of there, including the indirect suggestion he might have been a domestic violence victim…see how that ‘projection’ triangulation, abuser by proxy thing works? He was able to smear her and get a group of others in his corner to protect and defend him against this horrible, terrible, ogre of a woman…until the next one is “horrible, terrible and an ogre.”
I remember early on in my process the deep pain the devalue and discard caused me. I remember being made aware of many of his sources of supply at the tail end, it was like opening a Pandora’s box and it was a descent into the bowels of hell because I could not comprehend how one person could exhibit so many different disguises. I trusted this person implicitly, I was not possessive, I gave him his freedom, and believed him to be someone he wasn’t. When that box opened up and all the shit came flying out, it was too much at one time to absorb. It was as if he was living a completely different life. Some of the women he was practically stalking. That sent a chill up my spine because this was not someone who decided ‘the love was gone’ or ‘had a moment of weakness’ or fell to ‘temptation’ – no this was a dude clearly desperate and using anything or anyONE as a substitute for a drug. It became clear to me why all the women before me were ‘crazy’ and I began my road to recovery. The discovery that it was also possible he’d hit it up with another dude was pretty much about as far as I could go with this…my mind was tattered in shreds, but the writing was definitely on the wall that this cat was beyond my ability and skills.
Narcissists in many ways know how to survive. Their inability to attach allows them to prey on people, it’s a sport. When a woman marries a narcissist she’s going into it thinking this is for life come hell or high water, but she’s not really making that decision, she’s been led to believe that’s what she believes because he’s mastered the ability to appear as a soulmate. See, Narcissists target their victims and know how to get inside their heads. They’re able to size you up, figure out where your weaknesses are and play them…you won’t see it but that is what they do. They can spot fresh meat – naive meat, good hearted meat and usually they make the best morsels. A marriage provides a home base for a narcissist. They get a built in housekeeper, chef, social event organizer, they get an unpaid slave and built in sex but they aren’t going to give but so much. They will give the illusion of giving, they’ll do a couple of things here and there, and they generally will be quite agreeable, rarely might you argue and that is why one is so cluster phucked when it comes crashing down because you would have believed you got along so well. You might have gone so far as to believe you were soul mates…but that is exactly what narcissists are experts at…creating the fairy tale…UNTIL, they’re bored with the story. Until somehow he feels threatened. The threat doesn’t have to be real, he just has to feel it. Many are working out Mommie issues…if a narcissist tells you that you remind him of his mother…that ain’t a compliment. RUN! It’s about to get real nasty…
In surfing online I happened upon the following:
“A pathological narcissist’s perception is that a relationship is not needed. the only thing they desire is the ILLUSION of self-sufficiency, not dependency, which is how they interpret another’s love. they do not love because they believe love is a dependency, an obligation, a liability and a detriment. they require immediate gratification and are not able to stay around for the deeper emotional connection which is derived from a long term commitment. they confuse physical love and emotional love. they cannot comprehend the feeling of emotional love. it is a void for them. when the physical love is no longer excitiing, they believe love is waning and eventually dies.
Sadly, they are pathetic human beings, who do not understand themselves and their behavior. most of them never will, even with years of therapy. however, the best time to begin is during middle age when they see the repetitive pattern in their lives and see no alternative ways to live a deeper, happier, fulfilling life you cannot feel personally rejected by them. you can only feel sorry that they live such an empty existence.”
I remember him in his rage screaming: “Don’t you see!? I’m an ADDICT! I’m empty!!! What? You think YOU can fill me?!!!” only now does what he said register…it was disclosure and no, he wasn’t an addict per se, as in actively doing drugs, but he’s a narcissist and his past addiction was more than likely self medicating that dark void. He’d been clean 20 years…that part I do believe, but there is a difference between getting clean and working out the issues that led to the addiction in the first place. I’m not sure with his background IF that would be possible without completely destroying him which is why today I don’t hate I can have compassion from a distance…I could not allow that hate to fester inside me, although entanglement with him has left a scar, it’s also brought a gift.
For me, I don’t have enough time in this lifetime to take the walk down therapy lane with a narcissist. I just don’t. I’m sorry he suffers, but I love me too much to take a roll of the dice, I was lucky to get out alive and with my sanity intact. I can’t judge another’s actions, one has to hit their own rock bottom before they wake up and see how depleted they’ve been left catering to the bottomless and insatiable pit of need that is part of the package with a narcissist. This is not codependence either!
About 1/3 into this journey, the new ‘target’ contacted me under the guise of having some questions. I reached out to her before that because he owed me some money. While devastated, I didn’t want the man and so really did not care about anything else other than my property be returned. My words to her were: “You can have the boobie prize gift wrapped.” and I meant it. I tried to reason with him, but given he was off on his spite fest, he figured he’d play with me. The thing is, I have a little of my own defiance and so while hurt, that did not mean I was going to put up with his garbage. I’m a fighter. At a certain point I had had enough of his bullshit and I drew the line and told him straight up: “I don’t care HOW you get it, I don’t want to hear your sob stories, you get it one way or another ask the new chick for a check but I want my money or I will SUE you.” They don’t expect that…they expect you to cower in fear and cry and whine but they don’t expect to be called to task or held to their obligations. I also warned him since I know how he’s a master at triangulation I’d be letting the new lady know why we were going to court and so I sent her a note as the new birdie thinking maybe she could whisper some sense into his head while getting her sweet nothings in. She didn’t answer for a few months then out of nowhere I’ve got a message in my inbox and I presume she saw a few red flags and yes, I let it tear I told her everything she might need to know as a new target. This wasn’t to get him back, but rather to try to save someone from devastation. She tried to 8 ball me, said something like she’d deny the conversation if I ever let the cat out of the bag…poor thing. She closed with: “He told me he used you” thankfully this was not a revelation…sadly she didn’t quite catch the ‘admission’ was disclosure. She married him. We know how the story goes from there…it takes a ‘special‘ person to marry a narc…only the best will do.