How to recognize and recover from the sociopaths – narcissists in your life › Forums › Sociopaths, narcissists, psychopaths as partners › Help! Desperate to break free from my narcissistic/sociopath husband
September 10, 2019 at 3:41 am #54172
Hi – I am desperate for help/advice, feeling totally hopeless. I just don’t know if I am ever able to break this cycle, and I am terrified it will destroy me/my sanity. Apologies for the LONG rant – this is the first time I am sharing my story on a forum – and I don’t know where to begin or end.
I’ve been with my narcissistic/sociopath husband for over 7 years, and we have an amazing 5 yo son and 9 yo (step)daughter. Just before we met, I had moved from the U.S. back to my home country, after a painful divorce. I was with my first husband for 14 years and he fell in love with someone else. I was forced to start my life over again and started dating online way too fast, just to forget the past.
So I met my current husband. Right after the first date, our whirlwind intense relationship took off. We talked and laughed non-stop; every date was exciting- he would come up with the wildest plans, take me to the best restaurants, concerts, festivals.The sex was mind-blowing. Our 3rd date was a 12-hour drive to a friend’s wedding. I was so in love, so quickly- I only wanted to be with him– even ignoring close friends and family.
Then I noticed – how cold, unsupportive and uninterested he could act towards me- and others close to him. How he had a grandiose view of his own talents (he plays guitar in a few amateur bands and tries to get gigs at venues way out of their league). How he despises weakness. He will literally abandon me when I am sick; get angry at me when I ask for help. I interpreted it all as quirks – after all he was so great in all other areas. I knew he had a history of intense, short relationships, with according to him, all “crazy” women. He has a daughter from an ex – and she left him abruptly when their child was just a year old, because she found out he had published naked photos of her on explicit (dating)sites, taking on her identity and chatting with men.
YES – that’s right, I knew about that – and I stayed. What’s worse, I knew he had done this multiple times, to various (ex)girlfriends – resulting in several police investigations. Still, I stayed!! Thinking with me all would be different– I was convinced I alone understood him and could help “fix” him. He assured me he would NEVER hurt me the way he had with his ex-es; because I was his one true love. He said he had been in therapy and all these issues were resolved and in the past. My friends thought he was amazing. He made me feel on top of the world. Things were so great – that he introduced me to his daughter, who he was very protective over. He let us bond, when she was at his place at the weekends. The 3 of us went on vacations; I changed her diapers; bought her toys; I really started loving her.
But then, BAM!!! A year and a half into our relationship: he discarded me. He broke up with me via text message, because I was “wallowing in grief over my mother’s passing and he was fed up with it” (she had died from a brain tumor 6 mos earlier; I was very close to her…). He refused explaining or talking – just cut me off.
I was devastated. I’m beyond ashamed to admit that at the time, I was maybe more devastated over the break-up, than my mom passing. Soon I met a new guy, a genuinely nice person, no BS. He was attractive, caring, smart, funny. He wanted to be with me all the time. Instead of being grateful – I got bored real fast and he only made me obsess over getting my ex back.
Then I was shocked to find out my ex had posted pictures of ME online, creating fake profiles, describing me as a masochist nymphomaniac. I felt so violated. I confronted him and demanded to meet up. Here’s what’s baffling: I went with the intention of telling him what a vile pig he was — but when I saw him; he was as charming as ever; he apologized profusely; he told me I looked amazing; and sure enough we ended up having sex all night long.A few weeks later: I discovered I was pregnant!! I was shocked, but SO happy. I’d always longed for a child, but after my divorce had given up the hope it would ever happen. I was now 39, so this pregnancy felt like a miracle, a gift. When I told him, he was super excited and asked me to move in with him and be a family. So I did. Looking back today, I cannot fathom WHY I chose to go back to him — when it was so painfully obvious that he had severe issues. It’s not like I was some sad little creature, unable to create my own happiness: At this point I had a successful career in advertising; an amazing group of friends; a great apartment. People saw me as a kind, strong, capable woman, with so many options for the future. But all I wanted was to be back with HIM. I refused to see him as a bad person. We got married, and our beautiful son was born. He is the best. We have had many happy times as a family. My husband can be wonderful and he is a great father — most of the time. We still laugh a lot, we go out and do fun stuff, go on great vacations etc. But it’s also been years full of all the narcissistic/sociopath destruction imaginable. He can be so un-empathetic, when I need him most. He will even ridicule me if I cry. When I point out flaws in his behavior- and how easily he could make more of an effort to be nice – he turns it into a crazy argument, twisting things around and blaming ME for HIS behavior. I am consistently forgiving, denying, suffering, breaking, feeling like I am losing my mind. Always trying to empathize with him.
His horrendous addiction to creating sexual profiles online keeps coming back. Several times the police have interfered. To the point that he will be taken to court. I have arranged psychiatric help – he was diagnosed with Cluster B personality disorder, but denies it. I carried this burden, this big secret for so long. At times I had no choice but to confide in friends, while still trying to defend him. Many were so shocked, they refuse to see him anymore. When my husband finds out he is not invited to certain parties because of that – he gets angry at ME – and somehow I end up feeling guilty. The stress has turned me into an insomniac – and I can barely eat most days. I have become a shadow of myself. I quit my job – because I decided to invest the limited energy I have, to be the best mom I can be. My son is a happy, bright boy and I always told myself his father’s flaws haven’t affected him. Lately though my husband is starting absurd arguments with me, while my son is present.
I always shielded my own father from the truth about my husband. I didn’t want to make him worry. So my dad always thought my husband was a fab guy. Recently my husband accused me of being an insomniac unemployed lousy mom — in front of my father. I was so fed up, I revealed everything my husband has put me through, including the issues with police. My husband went nuts. I guess it was a huge blow to his ego. He shouted he wanted a divorce, that I had to leave HIS house, and he would get full custody because I am crazy and useless.
Next day I left to go stay at friends, taking my son. I informed my husband – and then I went “No Contact” for the first time. I felt so liberated, strong and determined this was the right move. I slept, I ate healthy foods and I read everything I could about narcissist/sociopaths. Every description is 100% accurate. Finally reassurance that I am NOT crazy, that I deserve better and that I should get out. I had to return home 5 days later to get some stuff – and again my husband went nuts. How could I leave him?? He apologized, and said I was overreacting and ruining our life; our son’s life. He begged me to stay. Despite all I had read about not getting manipulated, I felt sorry for him!!!
At the same time – he started a smear campaign – turning my family against me. Again – he managed to make me look like the crazy one.
All my new-found confidence has crumbled. I don’t see a way out anymore.
I have had therapy in the past, but nothing I learned there works when I apply it to my reality.
THANK YOU for taking the time to read this. If you have ANY words of advice – PLEASE share. You may well save some of my sanity 🙂
September 10, 2019 at 8:38 am #54173Donna AndersenKeymaster
jenny2424 – I am so sorry for your experience. Let me validate – your husband is a sociopath (someone who could be diagnosed with antisocial, narcissistic, borderline or psychopathic personality disorder – see how Lovefraud explains this on “What’s a sociopath?” page.)
Anyway, here is the bottom line — he will never change. He will always treat you badly. He will also be damaging to your child. It may not appear so now, but he will manipulate your son just as he manipulates you. Also, keep in mind that he views you and your son as his property. he will fight to get you back – and then establish control over you again.
We have lots of information here on Lovefraud that can help you. You also might want to check out our webinars. We have two coming up that I think will really help you – “Start your recovery from emotional and psychological abuse” and “EFT tapping to break your addiction to a sociopath.” Yes – what you are feeling is an addiction – that’s why it is so hard for your to leave him.
You do need to get away from him. The longer you stay, the harder it will be.
September 10, 2019 at 7:26 pm #54177SunnygalParticipant
jenny Donna is right. He will always treat you badly. He will damage your children. You need yo get away from him. Make an exit plan that he doesn’t know about. It takes determination but you can do it.
September 10, 2019 at 8:19 pm #54179
hi donna and sunnygal – thanks for your replies and for confirming he will never change and I need to get away.
I re-read my own post about 10 times; it’s the first time in 7 yrs I put in words what has happened. Seeing it in black and white makes me feel sick, ashamed, angry – and sorry for myself that I let all of this happen. Also taking into account that what I shared is just the surface of all the unspeakable things he did to me.
I am still obsessively reading books and articles about this subject. The recognition is mind-blowing – and empowering. I am already feeling so much stronger today and such a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I am determined to see this through– to leave him.
Since my husband realized I actually have decided to leave him- he is of course nice as pie – and desperately pretending everything is normal. I know he thinks it will make me into forgive him and stay.
But none of his futile attempts are having an effect on me. I am just grinning and bearing him now – while internally looking forward to a new life without him.
I know it will be incredibly hard to get out – and there will be a load of craziness still coming my way, but it will be worth it in the end!!
- This reply was modified 7 months ago by jenny2424.
September 11, 2019 at 5:54 am #54185lunaParticipant
Hi, jenny2424 and thank you for having the straight to write down your story. I know it helps seeing more clear with what you are dealing with, by putting it down in the open.
As you came to realise, you are in a relationship with a sociopath and there is and will be no fixing of it!
Nothing you would do, nothing you would try, would help him. He is not broken, he is empty on the inside and all you are going to do is to lose your sanity, possible yourself.
Leave him, with no regrets, and do not look back at this relationship with the thought things could have turned out different.
One thing they are doing is to break into our mind and try make us feel crazy and unworthy or damaged in a way (emotionally speaking). This is nothing but a guilt game they are playing, knowing it will work with you, because you are NORMAL.
It is hard to break all connection with him, because of the son you two have, but you can always have someone with you, when you need to meet up with him,because of your child.
Nothing that is not related to your son should be your concern. And no conversation is needed with your husband if it’s not related to your child.
You can recover, you will recover, it’s all up to your choice. Chose now sanity and healthy environment to both you and your child.
Best wishes to you and try not to analyze it so much from the inside, but from the outside and see how would an observer would see all this and what would the advice be.
It is a therapy tehnique, that i have learned through my sessions and helped me a lot:
1. Note down what is the purpose you are after (let’s say, your happiness, you breaking free of him, yoir sanity etc)
2. Note down the first solution you can think of
3. Note down 3 pieces of papers with nothing on it but OBSERVER 1 / 2 / 3
4. Note down 3 pieces of papers with nothing on it but CRITIC 1 / 2 / 3
Noe, pute them all in a circle and move at observer no 1 and see how things are looking from there..then at no 2, 3…then critic…
At the end of the circle you will give yourself the answers needed, because this is a detachment exercise.
Play it for as long as you need.
Stay strong and focus on yourself and yoir child! Take care.
September 11, 2019 at 8:49 pm #54202SunnygalParticipant
jenny- One gal who was going through a divorce got an Exclusive Possession of the Marital Home order through her attorney so she had the home to herself during the divorce.
September 12, 2019 at 4:35 pm #54212
Luna – thanks so much for your response and especially for taking the effort of suggesting this detachment exercise!
Sunnygal – I live in Europe (Belgium), and I assume what you are describing took place in the U.S? I am not sure arrangements like that exist here. My husband is the one who purchased the house (prior to meeting me) – my name is not on the deed and I don’t pay mortgage. I will definitely look into it though!
Aside from the legal part: Throughout our relationship – any minor disagreement regarding finances always lead to my husband stressing: This is MY house, not yours… Even though we are married! I always had a good income, I paid for the majority of our furniture, our groceries – and literally everything for our son (child-care, clothes, activities – everything) – and a LOT for my step-daughter/his daughter. He completely disregards all of that, and the amount of times I have had to hear: You don’t contribute anything to our finances has driven me nuts.
His conviction that it is HIS house and not mine has made it SO frustrating since I decided to end the relationship. I told him I can’t stand being around him, but will endure it a few days a week, for our son’s sake. I stay at friends a few nights a week, but I also need my alone-time (with my son of course) at home. But he refuses to go stay somewhere else – because I apparently don’t have the right to ask him this.
Tonight was the first time he agreed to stay away for 24 hrs.
Hallelujah – I have not been so relieved and calm in forever. Blasted my favorite music, danced around the living room with my son, cooked a healthy meal, read a book… PURE BLISS.
Looking forward to many more days like this, hopefully here in the house that I call mine and my son’s as well…
September 16, 2019 at 4:07 pm #54275slimoneParticipant
Firstly, I am very sorry to hear about your situation. It never ceases to sadden me to ‘hear’ another story of narcissistic abuse. BUT, I am so happy you found yourself here at Lovefraud. Because this is a great place to gather knowledge, and open up to support from other people who really understand what you are experiencing and feeling.
You are not crazy. You have been abused. Feeling shame and remorse when our eyes are opened up to our situation is NORMAL. Many of us here have been in these relationships either for long periods, or perhaps with many different individuals. It takes TIME to figure out what is actually happening, to believe it, to truly accept the reality. But once you do cross that hurdle you can begin to extricate and protect yourself. And though our healing journeys can be arduous, they are also beautiful. They are filled with moments of inspiration and hope. Like you described…PURE BLISS.
Do what you can to savor your glimpses of freedom and use this energy to come up with a plan to leave. The moments of clarity and calm you feel will continue to be challenged, with the goal to annihilate you and any chance of happiness. These types tend to want to see their exes completely ruined. So it will take a strong heart and conviction to get out of this pit he has buried you in. And like everyone has written here, the “good times” with him are just illusions to cement his control over you and your son. It will NEVER change. It will be the same boring chaos over and over and over. For eternity.
I am not a parent but I know there are lots of articles about parenting an at risk child, and dealing with a sociopathic ex here.
September 17, 2019 at 11:52 am #54293macus1529Participant
First off, coming to this site is the best you can do. We all have stories and mine is probably the minority here – I was a mistress of a narcissist. Does it make me a bad person? No, because I had no idea that he was married – and still is. As Donna points out over and over again, the lies are so well crafted, so believable that I had no idea. But -as Donna also points out – the intuition kicks in. Something wasn’t right.
I am one of the fortunate ones on here, I only dealt with him 2 years before finding out. WE had an amazing connection. Something I’ve never experienced before and not since. Yes, I’ve heard too that I am the ‘one true love’ but I also heard that he will not divorce. I wouldn’t want him to, I would not want him anymore. But one thing is sure, that connection is really hard to let go of. Somewhere deep inside, I will always love him but I also ask myself ‘who am I loving?’. He still contacts me because – as Donna says – I am a possession. I ignore him and never respond but the longing for him is still there and maybe always will be.
I asked myself so many questions, is it right for me to long for a married man? If the heart is our best compass, why does it want to follow something that the mind is against? Why is it so hard to follow intuition? What is intuition when the heart is longing for something that the intuition is against? Maybe these questions are for Donna but overall the fact is still the same. I forgave myself for longing for someone I can’t have. I accepted that I will always love him, the laughs, the amazing sex, the connection. But I also realize now that love has no boundaries, no limits, no rules. Love is free to do its own thing. Love doesn’t know that he is married or that his is a narcissist. Love is just ‘it’ and it keeps nagging us and show up. I accepted love for what it is and I have no regrets, no blame anymore. When ‘love’ turns up, when the longing appears, I let it be, I let it be felt for a moment but I move on.
Lastly, despite that I have had ‘no contact’ for 2 years now, I still read Donna’s site because I still need the continuous affirmation that I did the right thing cutting him out.
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