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Where I Am Now- One Year Later

Its been a year now, after divorcing a narcissist, and Its the strangest feeling ever. I’m sorry for being10 things i've learned after divorcing a narcissist silent for so long, I just needed space to get through this last part without trying to explain it to anyone.

Im doing really well, I have a great job, a great financial footing, a great direction and I’m in a happy, healthy relationship. I feel like I’ve left the pain behind me, and taken the lessons. Sometimes it feels like it happened to someone else, and I guess in a way it did. I was a very different person then, I shut myself down a lot to survive everything and I’ve come back to life now.

I think for a lot of my life I let things happen, life happened to me, it was almost never something I chose or planned. I put way too much faith in “fate” and I dont do that anymore. I still belive in a higher power working for me, very much so in fact. I wouldn’t be where I am without some kind of divine providance, however, I dont blindly follow life anymore. I make damn sure I can see where I am going, or at least know all the posibilities of where it could end up.

I think I am pretty much at peace with it all after divorcing a narcissist. It sucked, really really bad. I would never reccomend living with a narcissist. But, I wouldn’t be who I am now, or where I am now, without having lived through it, and I really like who and where I am, so how can I be bitter? Sometimes I am still sad, heartbreakingly so, because I know I never deserved to be treated like I was, and I still worry about my kids, but I really believe its going to be ok in the end, and as strong as I have become, they will become as well.

I know you caught it, and are dying to know, I have met an awesome guy. He is sweet and caring and my opposite in a lot of ways, which is actually great! And at the same time, he is dangerous and strong and exactly the kind of guy who makes me feel safe. It’s really different being in a realtionship with no mind games, someone who actually likes me and wants me in his life, someone who I can actually respect. And its challenging too, because old habits die hard, and I question everything after divorcing a narcissist, sometimes more than once.

I think thats good, actually, I know I’ve chosen him and not just “fallen” in love, and I know he’s done the same with me. He actually encourages me to be more of myself, supports my dreams, and wants me to do well on my own. Which is a total departure from being with someone who hated me for my sucesses, and wanted me to be nothing without him.

And its freaking amazing to be with someone who is also your friend, who you want to talk to and tell about your life. It’s such a simple thing for most people, expected. But for me, for people who have been with someone who was your enemy, its like breathing fresh air for the first time in years.

All that said, there are a few big lessons that have stuck out over this last year after divorcing a narcissist, and I feel like this is important. The aftermath doesn’t have to be total destruction, life can happen again. You can get better!

10 Things I’ve Learned After Divorcing a Narcissist

#1. He Wasn’t the Cause of all my Problems

So this might be hard to explain, but while he definitely encouraged problems and made things hard for me, and did cause quite a few problems, some things I struggled with were my own issues. Weather they were reactions to my ideas of how he might react or just fear of failure myself, he didn’t cause every single issue, and so when I left things didn’t magically set themselves right. I still have had a lot of work to do on my own, on myself.

Its been much easier without the constant criticism and with being able to enjoy some of my successes. But I think a HUGE key in recovery is to accept responsibility for your own life, and that includes some of the things your not proud of. When you can do that, you can shake the victim label and mentality and get on with your life. I love the quote “I am not what happened to me, I am who I choose to become”. Yes it shaped me somewhat, and it will always be a part of my past, but I am responsible now. Thats freeing, if you let it be.

#2. I Am Stronger and Smarter Than I Thought I Was

I don’t know that I ever totally doubted my ability to make it on my own, consciously anyway. I think I thought I could do it but it would be really hard and I didn’t know how. Even still, it was super terrifying to go for it, and turns out, I can do it. Granted, I have had help, which has made all the difference. Because at first I don’t know that I could have made it without a helping hand. It did take me a few months to get back on my feet, but here I am, doing pretty great! Obviously things could always be better, but I am pretty proud of how far I have come and the stability I have managed to create for myself and my kids.

#3. Freedom Can Be Overwhelming

So, on the flip side, the idea that you can now do anything you want is a little scary. Somehow it feels like you “should” do all these things and you might not be ready to do them. Even if you want to. Thats ok.

I think I had big ideas and plans and some of them I accomplished and some I haven’t yet, but some I decided I just wasn’t ready for, or it wasn’t actually the person I wanted to be and I discarded the idea altogether.

I think it takes a while for you to come back to yourself after divorcing a narcissist, and for me, it had been 15 years since I had been my own person, and at that time I was still a teenager, so was I really myself yet even then? Figuring out who I am has been fun and scary and crazy and I have made some missteps, but for the most part I think Im settled now. And Im happy with who I have become. Its a process, don’t expect to suddenly figure it all out and be all set. Have patience with yourself, you’ve been through lot!

#4. Most People Can’t Understand What You Have Been Through

Psychological abuse is tricky, and sneaky, and hard to explain and pinpoint. But the truth is, unless you have lived it, you don’t really understand what its like. You can empathize and you can try to imagine, but really, its impossible.

It kinda used to bug me that no one “got” how bad it was, until I realized that in order for them to really get it, they had to have lived it, and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. So I have had to let that go, I don’t want the people I love to really get it. They should know the facts, for sure. But the understanding, that I don’t want.

Being able to talk to friends who have gone through this is amazing, having you all is amazing, but support is still valid even if there isn’t full understanding. And really, I don’t need them to fully live my past with me, Im not going that way. The future is ahead of me and as long as they can forgive occasional over-reactions when something triggers a reaction to the past, we will be fine.

#5. Sometimes Other People Can Erase Bad Memories

For me, I have found that the best way to diminish the power of bad memories after divorcing a narcissist, is to make new ones! With new people, and new experiences. I started dating a little earlier than I thought I would and while none of them (except one!) was a keeper, I think it was important for me to shake off all the old feelings around being in a relationship. I had a lot of negativity in my thinking about love and relationships and dating really helped me to separate that and stop making generalizations that weren’t true.

I would caution that there are a LOT of frogs out there and if your still feeling emotionally fragile than don’t jump in the pond, you will get your heart broken. For sure. But if you feel like you can catch and release as necessary, its helpful. Plus, there is always the chance of finding a good one!

#6. I Still Have to Deal With Him

Just because the divorce is final doesn’t mean he’s out of my life. We have kids and so I still have to see him and we still have to talk. Or at least text. And we still have to make decisions together regarding the kids. Its frustrating for sure, especially since working together has never been something that happened, ever.

So the dream of “freedom” after divorcing a narcissist, well, its pretty much just a dream. I am free in regards to my life, and he obviously can’t control me anymore, but he’s still on the fringes, and will be forever. Kids bind you and figuring out a way to be ok with that is a big step for recovery.

#7. Its Okay to Want What You Missed Out On

I kind of thought that after being married to, and after divorcing a narcissist, I would NEVER consider anything like that again. I was going to be alone and happy forever. No man, no problems. Yeah, that wasn’t real. The truth was I just never wanted to be with a Narcissist again, still don’t. Who would?

But everything I thought I was getting into when I got married? Yeah, I do still want that. A partnership, a best friend, someone I can laugh with and build with and grow with? Someone I can respect and count on? Definitely.

10 things i've learned after divorcing a narcissist#8. Privacy and Boundaries

I learned to hide everything that was even a little bit important to me while I was married, and at the same time I couldn’t ever say no without consequences, so learning how to rebalance all of that has been tough. I think the knee jerk reaction is to always comply and I really resist that now, I want to actually want to do the things I am doing. I feel like Im pretty successful with that.

But the privacy part, thats harder. Talking about feelings has really never been something I was super great at, and after years of having my feeling ignored or mocked, I got really good at keeping things to myself, even after divorcing a narcissist. But being in a relationship with someone who actually wants to know whats up with me and cares, well, I have to talk. And its tough because I got so good at not talking about myself, sometimes I don’t even realize Im not sharing. Im definitely still working on that.

#9. Its Never Too Late for Dreams to Come True

Just because you may have lost years or decades in in a terrible relationship, doesn’t mean I can’t still achieve amazing things in my life after divorcing a narcissist. Many times success comes after a youth spent in hardship or struggle, and I are far wiser now than I was when I was younger. I won’t discard my dreams just because of my age. Its not too late!

#10. I Haven’t Really Changed

I haven’t really changed. All the crap I lived through may have matured me, may have made we wiser and more cautious and maybe less trusting. But I am still me, even after hiding myself as long as I did, even after living with the depression and fear and sadness, now, being out of it, I am me again. I didn’t lose me. Im still kinda goofy, little crazy, not afraid to try (some) new things, I still love my friends with all my heart, I still spend way too much time inside and work too hard sometimes, and forget things and never forget other things and love to learn and dream big. I haven’t really changed, and that makes me really happy.



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40 thoughts on “10 Things I’ve Learned After Divorcing a Narcissist

  1. Rachel says:

    Thank you for writing this! I started following you last year right as you were leaving and I pretty much binge read everything you had written within a few days. I had just realized that my husband was a narcissist, after years of torment and feeling so confused and alone. Reading through your words, I literally felt as though I was reading my own diary. You do not know how much comfort your words brought me in some of the darkest nights I have experienced, they were the only thing that validated what I had been living through and gave me the comfort knowing that I was not crazy after all. You have given me so much hope and I still ponder back on the words you have written now, as I still battle with leaving my husband. We have been married for 10 years now, with two kids (5 and 2). It has been such a horrible experience, and I am just now coming to realize that he is not responsible for my happiness! I am in control of me, and he cannot take that away from me. Reading what you said tonight, just confirmed this even more for me. I left my husband about 4 months ago, only to be hoovered back in with his love bombing and empty promises. Things are drifting back to the way they were before and I am confident that I must leave him for good. I am working on getting all my ducks in a row and trying to figure out the best way to minimize the collateral damage that it will cause my children and me. Anyways, I just wanted to let you know how grateful I am for your strength and bravery, and that you have given me the validation that I needed when nobody else could. I am so happy to hear that you are doing well and that there is goodness on the other side. Thank you and God bless.

    1. Krista says:

      Hi, I loved reading your words as well as I am living the sane life as you. I am struggling with leaving because of my kids and fear his manipulative ways and have been afraid he and his Narcissistic Mom will persuade my kids , age 14 and 13, to leave me and live with him

  2. Carol says:

    Your life is a reflection of what you think you deserve. Many hugs from across the ocean, I hope you continue to grow in strength and love. Xxxx

  3. Kim McCulley says:

    I am so happy for you. I left John 8 months ago and am going through the divorce proceedings now. I don’t miss him at all, I am so much happier now, and I know it will be awhile before I find Kim again.

    #4 of the things you learned is hard for me. I can’t explain what I’ve been through to anyone. It’s true, if someone hasn’t been through it, they can’t possibly know what you’ve been through. The heartache, being yelled at for hours and feeling worthless.

    I thank you for sharing your story because without it I would still be feeling worthless. I want to thank everyone for sharing their stories because I am stronger.


    Kim McCulley
    Ex-wife of a narcissist

  4. ChrisisChris says:

    Congratulations on your new relationship! I just found you on Pinterest. 🙂

    I could have written this. And that whole wait before jumping into the pond? Yes! I didn’t and it was a nightmare. By the time I met my current, WONDERFUL husband I had sworn off all men. It took time to learn to trust myself again and my gut feeling.

    It will be five years April 6th since we split. He filed for divorce April 22nd, my birthday. I celebrated the best gift I had ever received at the time. Three years later the pain of such cruelty crashed over me and I felt like I was drowning in a sea as wave over wave of pain enveloped me.

    We have two boys – 15 & 17 – together. Life is hell. What a narcissistic person will do with your children to hurt you is beyond belief. He continuously turns our older son against me, my husband, and my younger son. He has refused to our younger son for more than two years. He grabbed him by the throat. I filed a police report. “It never happened.” He told our son he could never return or see him until he tells the police it never happened and has the report rescinded. I could write for days. You are right when you say no one who hasn’t lived this will understand. They won’t! Until he turns on them. Oh, like he turned on his parents. Now they realize everything they heard about me was a lie. We get along quite well now. (He hasn’t spoken to them in 30 months.)
    All this to say please be careful still! I don’t know how old your kids are but life will be in constant turmoil until you can grey rock him. I look forward to the day when I can completely ignore his cruel words (and those of his wife, his last girlfriend our marriage).

  5. Chandra Baker says:

    Thank you for sharing! This gives me hope and inspiration for the stage of recovery I am in.

  6. Tricia says:

    Thank you for sharing. I can relate so well to each point. Big hugs!!

  7. Renee says:

    Thanking you for validation… That we aren’t all crazy like they make us feel and not being able to explain our situation to anyone because they don’t know what it’s like to live with a narcissist.
    I’m coming out of a 26 year marriage, I’ve left 3x
    and it is the last …. Divorce filed for but he keeps delaying with excuses thinking I’ll give in ..Guess what I have nothing but time…
    I will survive this I am strong…but I appreciate your words of encouragement, strength, just life in general because it’s not over…it’s just beginning I still hurt, I have bad dreams, I have lost my children and grandchildren he’s in their
    heads and has them thinking the same thing I’m crazy too, but I have to take care of myself now
    they are grown and have to make their own decisions and choices I’ve always tried to keep my family together they mean everything to me
    and that is how he controlled me….
    I still doubt myself, feel odd going out on my own
    I take one hour at a time everyday.. I will over come !

    Blessings for you and your family and all who have been subjected to this emotional abuse that no one deserves….


    1. Amy Schissler says:

      OMG, it is so reassuring to me to hear someone else talk about their spouse’s control over their lives through trying to “keep the family together”. My ex has done this since day ONE. He doesn’t want to be “blamed” for the divorce so has coerced me by pressure with the kids to do holidays “together”…where we are supposed to look like one happy family(and my kids were in their late teens and twenties when we divorced!!). Meanwhile, he quietly belittles me, and exaggerates my reactions to things to make me look like the “harpy”; and then lookes perplexed and surprised to the kids as to my “over reaction”. OMG, I am so STUPID I keep falling for this…he is the Santa Claus daddy even to my kids twenty and above….visits them on the coasts (we both live in the midwest) during work “stops”, takes them and their friends out for expensive meals etc…..I plan a wonderful Christmas and he manages to put in a freakin’ hot tub on his third floor deck(he is a contractor), the week before Christmas so suddenly that is the BIG attraction (and not what I have planned)…but I look like the BITCH if I try to change things or alter plans….BUT “WHO WOULDN”T WANT TO TRY THE HOT TUB,,,,COME ON, MOM”….and I f’ing seethe and go in the hot tub. I have not learned to say NO!! But I am done, after several emotional blowups over thisChristmas, that I was really looking foward to for the first time since the divorce, that he manipulated (but the kids can’t see)and I’m sure is delighted with my “inferior” reaction (oh, poor nutty mom). OMG, he is SO f’ing good at it (I know he is only meeting his own needs) but it is so f’ing infuriating after dancing to his tune for 26 years to the detriment of my physical and mental health. And I am still letting him f’ing do it!! So I don’t look like the uncooperative bitch to the kids!! HELP ME! So if this is uncoherent…I’ve lost it tonight, as once again he has managed to manipulate me into looking like the weak unreasonable ex-wife…and he only wants the BEST for me…of course…Oh help me.

      1. Lynne says:

        Maybe next Christmas, you can plan something just as wonderful, but invite some single people you know who don’t have a family to share that with. Knowing he will work hard to sabotage anything you do, just plan to invite some non family over. People who would actually appreciate the hard work and thought that you have put into having a wonderful holiday. I wouldn’t tell him or the kids a thing. There are tons of people out there, maybe even other women who are facing a Christmas alone, or without their kids(because the kids are at the narcissists house), or even older people who would absolutely love to have some time to have fun, normal, edifying conversation and food with someone like you. As I said, I wouldn’t tell him anything about it and I probably wouldn’t even tell the kids. You still have lots to offer, just in a different direction and among different people. If your kids show up, fine. If not, well, you keep doing you. Be true to yourself.

    2. Luci says:

      Thank you for posting this! I truly felt as if you had stepped into my life as you wrote this. I have been out of my 18 year marriage just over one year. I think what hurt me the most is that I truly loved my ex whom I considered my best friend for nearly 20 years. I felt so stupid when I discovered he was having an affair as if I was an idiot for knowing what was happening. He played the perfect role as a husband, father, and Christian. Then out of no where I was blindsided by this monster that he had become and continues to be today. He not gave up on our marriage but abandoned our children. Who does that? How could I have loved this man for so long and not seen the signs? Thankfully, I survived his best attempts to kill me and the girl I thought I was. Today I am so grateful that I don’t have to waste one more second living with a low life that never deserved me or our beautiful daughters to begin with. I pray he and his bimbo get every single thing they deserve for what they have done and continue to do. I get the best two things he has or ever will produce; our daughters… my daughters. I know that succeeding is the only true path for me and my daughters. I am told that both Karma and .God will someday handle my ex and those that hurt us. I have decided not to wait but celebrate the gifts I do have and he will never again experience. Best wishes to you and yours! Luci

  8. Anna P. says:

    You have no idea how much your blog has helped me lately. I’m in the process of divorce, was married for 1 year and 7 months, had a beautiful baby. I know I was with him for a short period of time, but his emotional abuse was the worst that has ever happened in my life, he was driving me crazy (doubting absolutely everything in my life). I was depressed and anxious all the time, I was isolated from my family (wasn’t allowed to see them), I couldn’t drive, had no access to money and of course I was a retard, good for nothing, piece of $h!t (all the names you could think of I was called). I’m still working on myself but reading this update has given me hope that I’ll be fine. I’m just worried about my baby, she’s only 1 year old and I fear that he’ll treat her the way I was treated.

    1. Cindy L Throgmorton says:

      Be so thankful that it was such a short time, I was married to my N for 46 years! You will still have time to find your true love, but find out how not to hook another Narc. Go on you tube and research how they entrap codependent women who were raised by other Ns. Number one, they get your story, (bad dad, etc…) and they become your fake soulmate and the man of your dreams. Don’t give them your back story.
      Don’t be too giving and loving at first, til you see who they really are. They rush you to sex and marriage to lock you down quick, because most people see who they are in a few months and get out. So take time on the next relationship, narcissists love bomb you, candy, compliments, fun, then as soon as they lock you in, they start the devaluation, they can hardly wait to get to that. And they tear you to pieces every chance they get. I was married for 46 years, and was in love with him, til I found out 3 weeks ago, he was in a sexual relationship with someone else. He is out now, but deep down , I am fighting myself, I want to go see him, but I know he will pull me back in, they like to reuse their harem members over and over.

  9. Mary says:

    I have been so fortunate to find a long time friend, who it turns out went through the exact same thing with her divorce and reasoning behind it. We plan on making sure we get together once a month at least now. I can tell she totally understands by her mannerisms/reactions to things I say.

    Reading this is hopeful for me, just in the beginning stages of the divorce process. I had left once before and was lured back in by his promises which never happened, just like my counselor had said it would. But of course I had to give it yet another try.

    Discovering there was a name-narcissist, to what he was, has helped me learn so much as I keep studying.

  10. Poppy says:

    Thanks for sharing, I’m so much hopefull after reading this and believe that I will get through….

    1. Ro says:

      I am still waiting for the divorce to be final. I am now living with my mother for a month now supporting each other emotionally ( mostly me) and financially. I never new I was living with a Narcissist until I started reading articles and quite honest I am confirming it through this conversations. This is my third and final divorce attempt. The prior two ones I guess I wasn’t ready to be strong enough to fight and like one lady commented before, I believed in his empty promises and changes.Things happen for a reason, because it has been quite the battle. A Narcissist is a coward person that uses all the possible methods to turn you in and to put you down. He cowdarly uses the children (the oldest) to play mind games with just one purpose…to destroy you. I am fighting for the love of my daughter who is 12, who has turned againts me. My son 7 is a complete sweetheart and firm with his feeelings despite his age.. I still have a lot to go through ….I know, but I rather to be free now that to live the rest of my live with a man that never saw me as a person that could do better without him. I felt dead and unloved. A machine working for my family without much consideration, responsible for pretty much almost everything. I appreciate the words of encouragement and the “10 things learned after divorcing a Narcissist”. I will keep them as my goals. And Yes! I felt the same. Thank you!!

  11. shelldog20 says:

    I am ending a 31 year marriage and could relate to everything you wrote. Even at 64 I know my future will be brighter than my past. It is so good to have my life back. I don’t know the woman I was in that horrific enmeshment. Thankfully so many lessons learned about people and myself. Thank you and much happiness in your future. I think you’ve got this!!

  12. Beth says:

    I could have written this! I left my narc husband of 17 years for another relationship. The other man was so mind glowingly wonderful. Together we did so much to undue all that hurt and self doubt in me. Unfortunately he died. I am in utter despair, yet recognize that my life is better than with the narc. I would never go back. Problem is, he psychologically kidnapped my teenage kids. I have had. no relationship and very little communication with my children in over a year. I have taken him to family court, but this is not being recognized as child abuse. My kids are miserable and have gained significant weight. Instead of seeking refuge with me, they blame me for “breaking up a happy family because of my selfishness”.

    1. Cindy L Throgmorton says:

      Going through the same thing, my kids have sided with their dad.

  13. Berlina says:

    I am really pleased that I found this community, I like some other ladies on here was not a ware that I have been married to a narcissist for so long over 40 years now.I always thought though that his general behaviour and his treatment of me and the children in particular were way of the mark.My husband has had numerous affairs,I forgave him the first time but he just repeated it over and over again each time treating me like the bad one in the marriage.I have been subjected to Psychological, emotional. Physical and sexual abuse.I thought this was normal and carried on working as a registered nurse firstly part time when the children were small and then full time when my third child started school ( we have 3 children).I have now retired and have realised that I have been living with a narcissist all this years, the turmoil my children and I have been through is hard to describe, I could write a book. After learning that there is a name to my husband’s behaviour and that he is a narcissist I started researching and finding more about the condition my husband has fitted the description not only has he fitted, he is described as a malignant narcissist as he fits the whole criteria of a malignant narcissist. I do know now that our children have been damaged very seriously psychologically and emotionally because of the environment they grew up in.I blame my self as a mother that I did not protect them, I was naive with blind loyalty to a man who has Never loved me as I now realise a narcissist is incapable of unconditional Love.I am very grateful for coming across this community.Have for a while now been telling my husband to leave my home which I paid for by the way since I realised that he is who he is a narcissist I (told him numerous times to leave ) but he has refused to do so.I feel trapped, I am afraid of him and I have told him so. His narcissistic personality gets worse it seems as he gets older, I now can’t go out in public to functions as I get to be publicly humiliated. I want to walk out but I am afraid he will take my house off me ( the house) is in my name a precaution intuition told me to take as he has always been wasteful with his money, that he often stole money from me and the children.He once emptied our joint account without my knowledge, when I found out and confronted him there was no apology he just said “ I should have known” and further said “ you knew” now this was utterly confusing form as I di not know. He also stole money from our psychologically disabled son’s savings account to give away to a 9 year old boy to buy expensive tranors( shoes) the Psychiatrist said our sons psychological trauma was caused by my husband but he did not elaborate and now I look back I am very deeply troubled by that. Please help me, I do not know how to proceed like I said earlier I feel trapped and desperately un happy he subourtages any relationships with my female friends in one way or another.

  14. Kim McCulley says:

    June 19, 2018

    Everything you mentioned and went through, was me. I was sitting on the porch crying and I googled “why does my husband hate me” ? All the sudden I see the word “Narcissist” and ended up on this site. I read every story, and thought these are all my stories. I stood up alone on the porch and thought “there’s a word for it”? Literally could not believe it.

    This site has helped me to understand that I wasn’t going crazy, that I wasn’t worthless. That in fact, it wasn’t me at all. He told his friends lies about me and they treated me pretty crappy. I was in such depression. He made me walk to and from work because he was “spoiling me” by driving me to work. He was having affairs with several different woman and was never there for anniversaries, birthdays or even Christmas. He would rant and rave for hours and lift himself and praise how wonderful he was. I did not want to live anymore.

    Praise God to all the women who shared their stories, because I am better because of them. My divorce will be final on August 29, 2018 and I couldn’t be happier. I have a long way to go yet, but I’m on the right road and I am beginning my new journey.

    God bless,
    Kim McCulley

  15. Stephanie says:

    Hard to believe, but I am married over 50 years to a narissist and only just found out by accident in the internet that there is such a disorder. I saw some of these traits, when I first met him and thought that he wouldn´t treat me like he did others, because he loved me. However, he did begin to treat me the same way, as years went on. It really started to get bad about 10 years ago and even worse, when he got gravely ill a good three years ago. Verbal abuse was on a daily basis and then last year he attacked me for the first time in our marriage, because I decided not to put up anymore with his verbal abuse. I separated from him, which he couldn´t handle and then he attacked me again about 4 months ago. This time I called the police and they recommended that I should speak to my husband´s doctor, which I did the very next day. I explained for the very first time how things were the past 3 years, regarding the verbal abuse and the doctor could see the wounds on my face. The doctor advised me to immediately stop taking care of my husband, as care giver and wife, since I definitaley had grounds for a divorce. It wasn´t easy, but I took his advise and never regretted it. I now, after a good 50 years, have a life of my own. My husband is thinking of filing for a divorce, because he feels our wealth only belongs to him. Nevertheless, I´m feeling better than ever, even though at times some memories still hurt and make me sad. However, time will heal!

  16. Ann says:

    I got divorced 2 days ago. Still have an uphill battle lying ahead to figure everything out from here on – for me and my children.

  17. Patricia Weidemann says:

    I love that I found this article today. I also hate that I found it because I cried due to the overwhelming flood of emotions I experienced reading it. I also read all of the comments left. I now have lots of questions that I hope you and your followers can help with.
    I am still in a 25 year marriage with a narc. I only recently found this out by research on “gaslighting”. After a friend recognized the symptoms and sent me an article about it. I can’t tell you the overwhelming feelings I had then but, validation was the main one. So I have been soaking up all information I can find. The more I learn the more it fits. Including that I’m an empath. So now I struggle with myself daily over weather or not I’m being fair in accepting my own accountability for my reaction to his abuse which I realize has made it worse. I have a really hard time with “gray rock”. As hard as I try he can still push my buttons to get a reaction from me because it is a game to him. He sees what I’m doing so he just digs deeper, nothing is off limits, until He hits a nerve. I realize that even the slightest glare at him will satisfy him now. Then I see that seek he has and the next thing I know he will start the “love bombing”. So then ” no contact” makes perfect since. I do want to leave but realized that I can predict his response so I know I have to be very careful do to the fact that “accidents” keep happening. So I have resolved to the fact that I will have to disappear and go no contact with everyone I know. Then he will ruin my financial stability. He will stop at nothing. My situation resembles the movie Sleeping with the Enemy. I’m scared and afraid of what he will do to anyone I keep contact with. Which is why I haven’t left yet. So I know he is still controlling me. I am trying to plan my escape as safely as I can.
    I have saved money and it is in My own account, to which he has not yet figured out access as in the past. He has his own business with a half owned partner. I recently figured out he is imbezeling funds from it, stealing from the partnership. I can’t prove it. His threats are that he can and will drag out the divorce. He has already managed to turn my ( not his ) 34 year old daughter against me. Our 24 year old son has suicide issues that my husband has taunted with purposely to control me with. I’m crazy because who would believe such things. I’m exaggerating everything, I’m sick, I do it for the attention and it’s all completely believable because I’m just like my Mom. I have been in counseling and am sure I’ve experienced a nervous breakdown to which he also uses against me, proving my craziness.
    My parents have the exact same personalities as mine and my husband. People see the dysfunction but cannot even fathom the depth of it.
    So in terms of divorce how do I take steps to keep this from happening? I live in Texas so those laws will apply. I’ve consulted an attorney. However didn’t feel he got the magnitude of my husband’s capacity for revenge. Plus after doing so my husband has become even more ruthless and covert. Taking even more steps to assure his control, such as the accidents I mentioned earlier. They happen not just to me, he is now missing part of a finger. I know it sounds like I’m crazy to even suggest it was no accident. He knows it too.
    I keep reading how you all are getting your life back but I can’t see that as a possibility for myself. If I tell all the happenings, with no proof, I’m just crazy and he’s threatened a mental evaluation to drag it out further. He recently pulled out my gun in the midst of trying to get a reaction from me which is why the “gray rock” doesn’t work. On top of all of that I’ve caught him being cruel to my dog.
    I’ve left before and my last dog died while I was away spending time with my dying brother. It was a mutual agreement that I go, we needed some time apart. Basically he had a new interest so he made it seem as though he understood my complaints with our marriage and time apart would help. This was when I first experienced the triangulation, it was with another man. Which is the other reason I’ve found it hard to grasp the signs. There are differences that don’t fit. Anyway as soon as I left he started love bombing within 2 hours. Sent flowers to my family for me when I arrived. Called so often I had no time to spend with them. Yet he didn’t show for the funeral and the day after told me my dog was sick so I needed to come home. I did, my dog had been poisoned my vet told me alone but when my husband came in he quickly told him that he had cancer. No proof.
    I could go on, But my point is that I feel I’m dealing with more than just a covert narc. Everything I try makes him up his game. I need help to get out. I’m afraid of ending up in a psycho ward if I try to expose him or defend myself in a divorce. He has told me this scenario is what he would do before ever letting me go, because “that’s how much I love you.” Everyone believes he is the perfect loving husband and I’m the crazy, ungrateful wife.
    I’m sure he could convince a judge of it too, He is that good at it. So the only choice I have is to leave and go no contact with everyone. For my own and their safety. That is what he wants So he can still be the victim to everyone.

    1. Donna says:

      Please leave…… I know it takes times and many attempts but something will happen that makes you snap and leave for good. Mine was he hit my 8yr old daughter over the face with the TV remote. That was it. I was done!
      He had only starting hitting them, pinching them and calling them names 18 months ago when they stuck up for me. We always had an exit plan in place and both girls would run to the car and lock the doors waiting for me to come and unlock mine quickly. He would call us horrible names and tell us to let him in. He wouldn’t allow us to go anywhere without him and he bought a gun into our home 18months ago to intimidate us. He would tell me I was crazy, no one would want me and I was sick in the head.
      I wanted to leave and did 20 times but he would love bomb me and make me feel guilty and I would return. February this yr I left for good and didn’t look back. My girls are more important to me then him and watching what it was doing to them killed me. My 20 yr old son follow him and has turned into him. I had to let him go.
      I filled for DV at court in March and was granted a Temporary Order until just recently when we had to return to court with witnesses. When arriving at court he was so sure he would win, he walked in with his head held high as nothing was his fault and he acted like he knew better then the judge and barrister.
      That was not the case, the Narc showed everyone in the court including the magristrate
      what he was like. Like I was told prior to going in they see this all the time and can see through these men. He sure did! It was the first time ever the Narc was put in a box.
      He not only told the Narc he committed domestic violence against me he also committed it against his daughters and I was awarded what I asked for a 2 yr DV order.
      Please believe in the law it’s there to protect woman and children and it will help you move on with your life without contact. No contact is the only way to stop DV.
      I wish you all the best and when the time is right you will leave. Believe in yourself and have courage. xx

  18. Lisa says:

    Thank you, more than thank you!
    I have been married 30 years to a narcissist and just recently figured it out through marriage and individual therapy. It was such a relief to finally understand it. We have 6 grown kids. Now that they’re grown and on their own I am trying to figure myself out and my next step. I’m scared, but feel new strength having read your insights and successes!!

  19. INFJsoulsearcher says:

    Yes thank-you for writing this!!! I’ll admit I started reading this before but I wasn’t out yet and it seemed impossible so it saddened me to finish. Now I’m 2 months out and although I know I have a long road ahead of me I feel hopeful. I’ve read this entire post and it’s amazingly written!! I’m so beyond happy for you and for myself now. I see myself one day being able to write something very similar. Bless you!! Your an inspiration!!

  20. Truthseeker says:

    What an inspiring article, Samantha. I, too, am a survivor of narcissistic abuse but met many many more narcissists outside of romantic relationships and I feel it is really important we educate ourselves on the different shades of Narcissistic Personality Disorders. Sharing my story here in hope to help others who might be in similar situations: http://souljournaling1.blogspot.com/

    Much love to all who are on their road to recovery from narcissistic abuse. <3

  21. Suzanne says:

    As with many others, you have validated the drama and erosion experienced when you realize your partner has NPD. After 20 yrs of marriage I am going through a divorce at 68 yrs old. Not what I wanted at this stage of my life, but know it is best for my sanity. Of course, though he initiated the divorce, he is fighting everything.
    But i have a supportive family and know I will make it. Thank you for verbalizing the reality of this personality disorder

  22. Catherine says:

    Been married 20yrs. Changed on our wedding night. I only realised the truth three years ago, after reading up on all the ‘signs’. I’ve been trying the Grey Rock thing and thought I was doing okay to preserve my sanity but his manipulations are often too clever for me. I joined a ‘closed’ group for support and my name showed up on the right hand side of his screen and he joined. I don’t need to share the consequences. Are there no ‘secret’ support groups? Will this show up in his notifications?

  23. Nikki Taylor says:

    Thank you for sharing this.
    So much of this makes.sense to.me after 13 years of marriage to a narcissist. Three years on I am still struggling by fighting the negativity with positivity, focusing on the good things in my life -of which there are many. My children don’t understand and are angry with me for leaving. They live with him. It’s hard but I am persevering. People don’t understand completely – maybe that’s a good thing but it doesn’t validate our feelings any less. I am pleased that you have found someone wonderful -I hope to be so blessed too one day.
    Good luck and be happy.
    Nikki Taylor

  24. Cherie says:

    All of this is so true. I’m still I’m the process now, and waves of sadness still come over me. This is encouraging and honest. Thank you for that.

  25. Joanna Tolhurst says:

    Wow…just found your blog. I was married to a narcissist too, and I’ve found the hardest part is unpacking my role in hurting myself by being/finding myself in a relationship with a narcissist. It’s been hard. And of course co-parenting post separation means that his presence is never far.

    Your post resonated so strongly with me. Really healing is the priority now, learning to trust again, and most importantly learning to trust myself to make good relationship decisions. That’s the hard part for me. Thanks for this blog – it has been completely affirming.

  26. Catherine says:

    Hello, I am ending a 42 year marriage. He left after I told him we had to go to counselling to heal our marriage. He chose to leave (because he wasn’t the problem?). He was living with someone within 2-3 months and I accidently found a Special Auth Request for Viagra. Tells you the depth of his emotions after 42 years. I truly believe I was meant to find that script because I didn’t want to believe that he would ever do that to me. He only text or emails me to try and bully and scare me. I can’t believe I was with someone I didn’t even know for that long and had 3 blessed children by him. He wanted me to continue to stay married to him while he is living with someone because he said it was better for us financially. I am happy to say I had him served with divorce back in November. I cannot wait to be free from his control, and lack of respect for me as a woman, mother of his children and 42 year partner. At 63 years old, it has been hard to come to grips with being alone, but it is better than what I was living. He was becoming more and more controlling and I was actually afraid sometimes that he could not control his temper. Yes he raised his fist, hand at me, called me names and threw things at me. I know I had a difficult childhood and I allowed him to treat me with disrespect for a long time. Thank you for your article….it is inspiring to see other people that have had to face similar situations, even as an older woman. Cathy

  27. Jessica says:

    I just want to thank you for writing this. My husband burned our home down and committed suicide during the process of our divorce. He had lost control and that was the aftermath. I just hope women realize how dangerous these men can be. I can’t help but think how incredibly lucky my children and I are that he didn’t try to take us with him. It’s very comforting to know that others understand the pain that years of emotional abuse can cause. I’m glad you were able to move forward. Thanks again for sharing your story.

  28. Ivy says:

    Thank you for such a well written right on the mark Article. When I divorced my narcissist he totally cut me out of his life pretended like anything we ever had together never existed. This hurt and troubled the children immensely. He remarried within six weeks after the divorce was final. Suckered someone else into it just like he manipulated me. I didn’t even know about it so I didn’t have a chance to warn her.

  29. Bill says:

    I’ve been separated from my wife for about three years now (four?) and I never been healthier and my life is not productive again. I still love my wife but I do not think I could ever stay in the same house as her. Narcissism and hording runs in her family and they act like a cult. It was a nightmare.
    As these articles state, you can never change a narcissist. You can only endure or leave.

  30. Damaged says:

    Thank you you’ve given me a lot of Hope cuz I’m currently going through a divorce with a narcissist

  31. Jodie Seward says:

    This could have been me writing this article! I am so thankful you have the ability to put your experiences into words. As I read your article I felt like I was being validated in how my 20 years of marriage was with my ex. I now Am looking at ways to strengthen myself as I deal with him as we are still raising two teenagers. Life is good for me now but difficult when it comes to dealing with the ex and kids.

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