I am not really sure what to title this, or even where to start. I guess narcissistic hoovering is really what happened, but it feels so much more genuine than what that communicates. Im sure many of you saw this coming, because this is what happens with toxic relationships, somehow they suck you back in…
So ill just cut right to it. He hovered me back in a couple months ago by making a total transformation and making me think he was really genuinely changed. I KNOW. How could I fall for it? (Seriously, I knew better and still, it happened!) Well, its complicated and I have actually done a ton of reflection and praying about it. I can’t tell you I know the solid answer and no two cases are exactly the same, but in my case, here is how it went.
What Had Happened Was…
He did change. I scared him and totally rocked his world. I straight up showed him how messed up he was and he saw it, somehow by the grace of God, he saw it. And he has changed. I will give him that, the big, giant, red flag behaviors have stopped, the yelling, sneaking around, etc. All that has ended. And there are good days. But this is what all of this has made me realize, he is actually mentally unstable/ill. Narcissism isn’t being mean all the time, its a true mental condition. And maybe he does have a bit of bipolar and BPD mixed in. The core behaviors that lead him down the dark path of rage and anger are still there, the base of self absorption and lack of being able to understand another persons feelings and viewpoint, the gas lighting. And here is the deal: he doesn’t know. He’s not doing it on purpose, so to speak, its deeper and more subconscious that that.
Maybe some people do know they’re messed up, maybe they’re really evil and just don’t give a flying f*ck what you think. Maybe a large majority of narcissistic hoovering is really genuinely, intentionally deceptive. But, I’m realizing that, at least with my husband, he has NO IDEA and furthermore, he simply cannot comprehend another persons feelings as being anything outside of /unrelated to himself.
This is not to make excuses for him, it still sucks knowing that as long as I am with him, I’m pretty much on my own. It’s liberating to realize that though, and it makes it easier, after all, I would be on my own anyway. It still sucks, and I know eventually I won’t be able to deal with it anymore. And I still kinda kick myself because I was out and now I’m back in it. But, I have my girls back every day, so thats major. And as long as he’s not flying into crazy psychotic rages, I can handle it.
Where I Ended Up, So Far
Am I settling? Totally. I know, and I WISH there was a good answer for it, but there isn’t. Any choice I make has major downsides. Thats what happens when you get involved with someone who has mental issues. There is no easy way out or easy answer. And I decided that, with my current life circumstances, the ages of my children, and my own mental/emotional state, staying is the “best” choice for me right now. Does it bother me? Yes and No, for now my kids have a relatively stable day to day life, that is super important to me. Like, number one priority. I have at least a little help paying the bills and managing daily responsibilities, and the girls have their parents around pretty much whenever they need them. Those are big positives.
Negatives: he’s still moody as hell and pouts like a baby when he feels neglected. That’s super irritating. I still doubt and double check most of the things he tells me, and always will, (thats just smart). He still refuses to really understand me beyond the surface, which is depressing because thats not my nature, something he would realize if he tried to really get to know me. Thats pretty tough to deal with, especially as the therapist we’re seeing tried to get him to acknowledge it and he stonewalls with “Im just so confused…”. (Seriously, therapy is almost amusing because now, a month and a half in, she’s starting to see though him- amazing- and push him to really talk about his feelings and he can’t do it. She also sees right through his attempts to manipulate the sessions, seriously, she’s pretty impressive). So those things are pretty isolating for me, emotionally. I hate surfcey fake relationships and to be forced into something like that with my spouse is really difficult.
I have a feeling deep down that as I continue to put myself back together and shield myself from his crazy, we will eventually be so far apart that a break up will just naturally occur. That could be wishful thinking, but who knows. I have big plans still for myself, and I don’t know that he will really be on board for all of them. I still can’t imagine being with him in 20 years, like it would be a miracle or a major defeat, one of the two. But I feel like I have made peace with life for now.
I have done some serious growing up in the last 8 months and have learned a TON about myself. For instance, that being “happy” is super complicated and sometimes the thing that gives you the most satisfaction (making sure my girls are ok) actually makes your life kinda sucky sometimes. That God is pretty interested in my day to day as well as my overall existence, that He will provide, and be a better partner in life than my physical one. Purpose and doing what you want to do are totally different things. And also, a lot of people you think have it all together, totally do NOT. I have made a lot of real life girlfriends that know what I’m dealing with and support and pray for me, which is amazing. There is a lot of good in my life I didn’t have before all this, for sure. And Im figuring out my path one day at a time. New goal: how to be married to a narcissist and not let them take over your life… I’ll keep you posted.