Editors note: Lovefraud received the following story from a reader whom we’ll call, “Lorraine19.”
I married my husband after one year of dating. He was charming and funny I knew he wasn’t always the nicest of guys but he was never out right mean. Well I guess he was but I didn’t take it that way I just assumed I had done something wrong.
I didn’t even realize until 25 years later when he cheated on me, and blamed me for cheating on me, that I wasn’t crazy. Throughout our whole marriage he never once apologized. He never once thought he had to and he never once thought he was wrong. Everything he did was the fault of mine. I had caused it, I had made him react, I had done it, I had whatever, even if he called me a name.
And I reacted badly he turned it on me, and the kids and him would say it was my fault, because they wouldn’t hear what he said, or didn’t think it was that bad, which it may not of been, but after the 600 time it was a push button for me and would send me through the roof.
About once a year he would absolutely explode — ransacked the house, throw things around, break things, hit me, whatever. The kids would go running, locking themselves in a room, he break the doors down. I would be punched, kicked, hit, had my head shoved through a wall. And when my head was shoved through the wall, my daughter actually came down and told him he had to leave, while I was sobbing. That was the first time we kicked him out and that was it.
After 20 years of marriage I let him come back after six months. It was good for two weeks and then the same old thing began to happen again.
After being told for 15-20 years that everything you do is wrong, not good enough or it should be done this way, I finally quit doing it. That would be cooking, cleaning up after him and the children, basically everything that a mother should be doing, I just stopped and I started working very late and getting a bigger paycheck and letting him handle it all. And I basically lost my children to him mentally, and everything they did involve their father and not me, which left me feeling very neglected and very sad.
When I found out he cheated on me, the children immediately dropped him and did not run to his side, as he assumed they would. They came to my defense. That was extremely irritating to him. He thought that he had them all so close to him, that they would just agree with him, but they did not.
I started researching narcissism I knew it meant that somebody loved themselves I did not know even remotely close to what it was one of the first things I read that I knew my husband was a narcissist, was that they say, “I never said that.” Oh my God he said that all the time and made me look stupid!
I’ve come to understand that my ex-husband is a psychopathic narcissist. It took me close to eight months before I was even in a place to say I was glad I wasn’t with him and it took me almost a year and a half before I knew I was thankful that he had cheated on me.
I could tell you story after story after story of how stupid and blind I was, and I wish to God I would’ve read the stuff years ago, because I stayed for the sake of my children and it has wrecked all of their lives. I mean they’re normal, they’re going to college, but none of them are “normal.”
None of us come out of our bedrooms because my ex used to sit in the living room and watch TV all afternoon after work but he’d be sleeping and if any of us change the channel we get in trouble, so eventually we all just went to our own rooms.
He’s been gone two years. We still all sit in our rooms. None of us know how you actually move forward, it’s like we’re stuck in a rut. I know how to do it, but I start to have panic attacks when I think about having to cook, or sitting in the living room for more than a half an hour, any of it. It just makes me physically, ill literally physically ill.
I don’t like going to my family‘s places. I don’t like to go anywhere except for out with my friends. The only time I’m comfortable is out with my friends, and my children are exactly the same.
He has damaged us, and still thinks it’s all my fault and that there’s nothing wrong with any of us.
His parents blamed me for years for his being miserable. Well… he’s still miserable! Whose fault is it now, I wonder, because I don’t speak to him.
And since the day I kicked him out, none of his family, not one cousin, not one grandparent, nobody has contacted me to see if I was OK, or how I was doing after 25 years. They all make me sick.
I just turned 50 and I’ve decided for my next 50 years I’m going to dance and I’m going to be happy and I’m going to live my life to the fullest — as soon as I figure out how to come out of my bedroom.