Discarded By A Narcissist

This is a difficult post to write because it brings back so many feelings of inadequacy.  Phyllis sent the following comment, and I feel compelled to respond in this post.

“My husband emailed me last night. He is planning to start the divorce after finishing the 2009 taxes. He still “loves me.”  Yeah right!”

This comment clearly illustrates the confusing nature of a relationship with a narcissist.  In one breath he says, “I’m filing for a divorce.”  In the next breath, hell in the same breath, he says, “I love you.”


This only makes sense to a narcissist.

When I was married, it wasn’t unusual for Mark to give me extra money for groceries, clothes for the kids, or something for the house.  I did have my own checking account, and most of the groceries, kid stuff, and decorating things came out of my account.

It was understood, however, that I should not go out and spend extravagantly.  I would have to explain the purchase of a new CD or a book, or the occasional box of chocolate.

Somewhere during the time that we were going to the marriage counselor, he came home from work and handed me a check.  I put the check in my stack of paperwork, and figured I’d deposit it the next time I went to the bank.

Later that day, I got to shuffling through papers, and I glanced at the check, and gasped.  Of course this must be some kind of mistake.  I walked up to Mark with the check in my hand, and said, “Honey, this must be a mistake.  You can’t have meant to give me a check for this much money.”  He calmly looked at me and said, “I figured you’d need something for a down payment on an apartment, when you decide to move out.”

My world started spinning and a million questions ran through my head.

I thought we were working on this?

Is he kicking me out?

How can he actually kick his wife and kids out of his house?

How is it that he knows this is over, yet he’s still going to counseling?

How did he decide on such a large amount?

Do I cash this check and run with it?

How did I marry such an asshole?

About two months after I received (and cashed) the check, Mark came home to find the three of us packing boxes.   When Mark saw us packing, he offered to help us move out.

At this point, we were going to counseling; he was still telling me he loved me; and he was offering to move us out and pay our first month’s rent on an apartment.

I felt I was drowning in mixed messages.

I’ve since read a lot about how narcissists quickly discard those they love.

Once they learn that their source is no longer interested in being a source, they are quick to move on and find a new victim source.

By handing me the check, he was attempting to get me out of the picture, so he could find someone new.  But, he continued to tell me he loved me so as to keep the door open.  I could come to my senses, realize that he was the best thing that ever happened to me; and make the choice to continue playing the role of source.

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  1. I did it again! I wrote the best comment ( hah hah ) and then it all went away. I am just barely able to use a computer. Anyway I said that this was the best article that you have EVER written. (Maybe I am a narcissist and love to see my name in print. Another hah hah.) Your description of your leaving and some of the final months of your marriage was sad and funny all at once. I felt as if I was there with you! And I am so glad that you cashed the $9500 check. Smart girl /woman. Love to you , all our friends, and the kids.

  2. Don’t you just hate that when you pour your heart out through the keyboard and the computer hits the delete button. Trust me, even those of us who spend way to much time on the damn things, hit the wrong buttons once in awhile. Kudos for keeping up with technology. I hope you keep commenting, especially since all your comments are so flattering. :)

    Disclaimer: I swear that I have never met Phyllis in person. I met her (virtually) through this blog. We are not related, although I wish we were, and I do not pay her to say these nice things. But if I ever make a dime off of this, it’ll be due to all of her nice comments.

  3. Rebecca Frittata

    Can’t believe how many of us smart, compassionate people fall for these lying freaks. They are so good at their game and love destroying one victim after another. There is a lot of great info out there now ~ and the consensus is that they are not human! No feelings, no capacity for empathy or love. Pathetic and dangerous. My advice to anyone still SUCKED IN and STUCK is:
    LEAVE AND NEVER LOOK BACK! It’s the only way. My sweet “soulmate” took everything from me and then turned cold. Physical abuse is the only thing I did not suffer, but he pushed his pregnant wife out of a moving car and had a gun charge with a toddler in the house, before I met him. He is a sick pig and I am healthy. Please get out NOW!!!!! You will be so glad you did.

  4. Rebecca,

    Thanks for commenting.

    I celebrate your health and strength.

    Like you, I am constantly amazed at how many smart people are duped by narcissists.

    It’s scary.

    p.s. love your last name. ;)

  5. Your story of what went through your head as you were packing up and leaving I can so relate to. I wondered for weeks as I packed mine and figured out what toys and such I would leave for my daughter’s visitation returns or to pack, WHY this is happening (even though I knew now about the other woman in his life who was now leaving her husband of 20 years to be with him) I still didn’t get HOW he could just toss us out like it was “nothing”. I moved and he helped and had his firemen buddies help too. Minus a big check. He then proceeded to sleep with me for the next 9 months after the split and divorce done. Yep. stupid on my part but still couldn’t let go even knowing ow was now pretty much all but living at my old house and banging around in “my” kitchen. I ended up stopping the sex and it has been almost 6 months since we slept together. He says he is now devoted and comitted to this ow and I have not changed enough for him to want me back even if he and ow did split up. Then next day he said I “made” him say those things about devoted and comitted to ow”. I’m not sure what that meant. Because I asked those questions he HAD to lie and say he was devoted to her and comitted or else I’d see a “chance” for us?? This is what I take from that anyway. At any rate it has been a very hard time to say the least and one year later, I’m still lost and still in love with this narcissistic man. There is no hope of his return, but still feel like he tries to keep his hooks in me just enough to want me to “want” him just in “case” he needs something. Ego boost I suppose. I go back and forth with believing that he and ow will fail one day too and thinking that this woman is just enough of a total doormat with lots of money she got from her ex-husband that it will last a very very long time. I know it shouldn’t matter, but it does. If I see them fail then I get some kind of justification that this wasn’t my fault, I really couldn’t of behaved better and then I would not have been banished from my home nor have to share my daughter 50% of the time with him and ow. I hate that. I’m missing out on her and it is not fair. Any advice here would be so helpful.

  6. Lori,

    Thanks for writing. I’m sorry for all you and your daughter have been through.

    I’ve been thinking about you for a couple days… trying to compose a reply.

    You asked for advice, and I hesitate. I know that I wasn’t ready to hear many things when I was in the middle of my mess.

    This is what I know to be true for myself, and maybe it will help you in some way. I thought for the longest time that I deserved the treatment I was receiving from my husband. I believed that I was as happy as I could expect to be. I believed I was failing him and that was why he treated me the way he did. I know now that I did not deserve to be treated the way I was. I was not a bad person. I was, however, the person who was willing to put up with his treatment. When I made the choice to stop taking his abuse, my life changed for the better. For me that meant having very little to do with him – only conversing about the children when necessary, and most communication took place in emails.

    My situation differs greatly from yours in that I was the one who chose to leave. It is much easier being the one to make that choice, rather than being the one who is left. In that regard, I don’t know how to offer advice on how to get over him.

    It helped me to put my children first. When I did that, I realized I couldn’t stay married to a man who treated my babies the way he did. Perhaps if you think of how you’d want your daughter to be treated, you can get to a point of realizing – down to your core – that you deserve so much better. Missing him is difficult. It’s scary to be alone, but it will get better.

    Just know that you and your daughter deserve better. You deserve to be happy, respected and loved for who you are.

  7. Thank you Jesse. It would seem to be different when you are the dumpee instead of the one being dumped. You had made your choice to get out. I may have “known” on some level I deserved better treatment, but I wasn’t done trying for the sake of my family and I suppose even myself. Even now knowing what his disorder is I can’t help but going over it all again and again wondering if I could do things differently now that would work better. I will not ever be given that chance. He is in deep with his new woman who he feels is better suited for him. Very sad that people in general these days and especially someone with NPD just view everything including marriage as “disposable”. Like a razor or something that when it becomes dull you toss out and forget. This is how I feel.

  8. Lori,

    Thanks for writing and sharing your feelings.

    I completely agree with you on both counts. It IS different being the one who is dumped. And I am also saddened by how quickly we can and do dispose of relationships in our culture.

    I admit that navigating this bizarre relationship with a narcissist is less difficult for me because I CHOSE to leave. However, I will also tell you that he had left me – emotionally – long before I packed my boxes and moved out.

    Sometimes the thing that helps us the most is the lens through which we view things. The lens I use is the one that clearly shows that I had tried absolutely everything to make my marriage work. I had no other choice when I left. Maybe that is a convenient way to look at things, but it was done as a matter of survival.

    I wish you all the best.


  9. Lori,

    If I can make a teensy little suggestion: Listen to what Jesse has to say. Peel back the layers of her message to find the meaning for your life and situation. She has been around this block more than once. She has been to this rodeo over – and over – and over. I know her to be a wise, compassionate person whose words have helped many. In her wisdom, she knows giving advice is not helpful since each person’s experience with NPD is unique. What she does is tell her own story; often you will find nuggets or gems in her story that may apply to your life. The other thing she offers is encouragement.

    If this sounds like a commercial for Jesse Blayne, so be it. I’m just telling you what I know about the woman whose blog you read. The Universe, as Jesse would say, has directed you to the right place.

  10. Lori,

    I left out something very important in my previous comment: Not only should you listen to Jesse, but pay lots of attention to comments from other readers of her blog. They too have a lot of wisdom. Jesse shares her own insights and experiences, but she also serves as moderator of others’ views.

  11. Pat,

    Thank you isn’t enough.

    Love you.

  12. I have tried to stop contact after the breakup but always failed….but today I had an epiphany and I won’t be changing my mind this time. I know I am sane when I am away from psychos like him, and that he is the one giving me no self confidence! My father is a narcissist and I was invalidated so often that I seek reassurance from outside sources instead of trusting myself. And the subhuman narcissist secretly loves it and gets off on the fact that he is the one to give it, that he can manipulate me, and that he is right. I choose to TRUST MYSELF.

  13. Rachel!

    Yay! Listen to your gut. Trust yourself!! Don’t let yourself be manipulated!

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