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Walking on Eggshells

Everything came very close to an end in these last couple days. To the point I began filling out divorce papers and had him look at child custody situations. Course, after all that, he realized I wasn’t going to fold, and he came and apologized (so that makes maybe 8 apologies in a 13 year relationship). Anyway, realizing my financial situation and where Im at with a car (one is in his name only and has a high payment, the other is in his sisters name, joys of the shitty credit we have), I am trying to just let it all slide under the rug and act normal. And for his part he is acting slightly more human. I actually got a complement on my baking last night.

I find though, that the entire experience has left me very depressed. Like I would feel better just having left him and dealing with all the pain and desperation that would be going along with that. I feel trapped by bad feelings! Like damned if you do, damned if you don’t kind of situation. And somehow, No I feel like a totally failure, like I’m stuck in this situation and its my fault. If I could only get my shit together and control myself, Save money, work more productively, than I could be free. And then I start questioning myself, like if I really wanted to leave than I would do these things. I guess the honest truth is, I DON’T want to leave. I DON’T want to not see my girls every day, I worry SO MUCH that he will neglect the baby if he has her and her brain will develop expecting to be ignored. I Worry he will damage my older child as well, and she will think her value is totally based on her performance, because that’s how Daddy treats everyone. I AM scared, I have never been totally on my own, and somehow, I guess I haven’t been able to totally let go of my desire for a whole, intact family. My subconscious hasn’t gotten the message that hes toxic yet, I guess.

And then there’s the fact that the mess he made throwing things in his anger, is still sitting in my living room, he hasn’t touched it. If he was really sorry, if he really felt bad about the argument and the things he said, would he not try and erase the evidence of his bad behavior? But no, I see the mess every time I come down the stairs, and I realize, he doesn’t care. He just doesn’t want to lose me, because i AM useful, I AM productive, I DO contribute and he NEEDS me. And that SUCKS. In other words, he will never admit that we need to separate, hes just trying to scare me into submission by telling me I will be homeless, without a car, and no income. And that no judge will grant me custody in that situation (so obviously we will be going to court?). So all that tells me is that divorce will be much more expensive than I hoped. I will need a good lawyer, and money. And I will need to move out WITH the kids and be financially secure so I can support them.

I worry now, that I might actually be in danger. I read every day that its a short leap from throwing things and destroying property to physical abuse. I keep a bear spray in my nightstand, but who knows if I would be able to get to it, and using it inside might be a bad idea… I hate to think that, but I know its not out of the realm of possibility. Its terrifying. And I’m sure that’s his intention. So what am I doing? Why am I letting this go on? Why cant I get myself together? This self criticism isn’t helping, but I’ve been trained and its really hard to stop.

So, I find myself back at square one, tip toeing around the house and around my life in an effort not to spark his temper. And also, researching, learning, and collecting evidence so I have a chance in court. And its still unbelievable. But I’m realizing that this is really my life. Its just hard to motivate and get things done. Especially when I’m in this hopeless mood, and I have to do things I DO NOT want to do. My new ADD meds help, which is the only reason I am motivated enough to get out of my cocoon and write this, in the hopes it would continue to motivate me further, but what else can I do? Doing the things I KNOW I need to get done, seem as difficult as running a marathon right now, if not harder.

The other thing, I see happy couples EVERYWHERE now. And I know they probably still have issues, but normal disagreements sound wonderful to me. I want someone I can be HAPPY with, someone who laughs at my jokes, at the things that make ME laugh. He hasn’t laughed at what I think is funny in years. I want to have FUN again. My damsel soul wants someone to save me, to protect me from this monster I found in my life, to give me a safe place to heal. And I also know, it would be better to do that for myself. And in the deepest darkest corners of my heart, I suspect that the ONLY way he will ever leave me alone, is if I make myself so undesirable his pride would never let him take me back. Which would mean publicly cheating on him. I don’t know if I’m brave enough for that! But I still keep it as an option, like last resort? I don’t know…

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13 thoughts on “Walking on Eggshells

  1. There are parts of this I could have written myself. You are not alone.

  2. Katie says:

    I left a narcissist back in 2006 when I had 4 children between the ages of 3 and 9. It has not been easy. What I have had going for me is a financial safety net, even as I had some unusually difficult obstacles that I don’t share publicly.
    My advice for surviving what you seem to want to undertake:
    Do everything in your power to make him feel like this is his idea and that you are simply a burden to him. An affair partner/girlfriend is your savior. Let him see you as pathetic, weak, and someone he can do “better” than. Endure his condescension, pity, and smear campaign. Anyone who likes him will hear horrible things about you anyway and if he can maintain his superiority complex he is less likely to tear you apart.
    There’s a strategy called “grey rock” (google it) I’ve used it. It works.
    It will take all of your self control and strength, but consider the merits of continuing to serve as secondary supply (still propping up the ego) as you do things to motivate him to move past the devaluing phase and into the discard phase. Ultimately, the joke is on him because you are not actually pathetic- you are only appearing pathetic to let him walk away from you.
    Today I own my own home, have 4 great and well adjusted kids, a job I love and am single by choice. That said, it has not been as easy 8 years. The biggest problem you will need to look out for is other disordered personalities who will treat you even worse. Do not have the goal of meeting a good man who will rescue you and your children and teach them what love looks like. Sociopaths can smell that motivation a mile a way and will take advantage of it and then rob you blind from the little you have left. A man will not save you. You will save you.

    I have my freedom and a life without a master. The new wife (the one who was idealized even as he devalued me in the cruelest way- but that’s on her because they began their relationship while I was married) is now where I was.

    Here’s the key: if he feels that he controls the end of the relationship (that he discards you, not vice versa) the process will be much easier to navigate.

  3. Katie says:

    ps- DON’T cheat on him. That will bring his rage and will ironically renew his interest in you because he will want to reclaim his territory.
    Gain 20 lbs, stop wearing makeup and do everything in your power to be unattractive. Look at it as “going undercover” or playing a role. Tell him you have a disease like fibromyalgia and lie in bed all day and never do housework. That will hasten his desire to discard you.

    If you do that then you can retain your good name and your children’s respect. Otherwise YOU might be considered the narcissist and he will be perceived as the innocent victim.

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      I have gained 80 pounds, he complains all the time about my lack of housework skills, I look tired and have lost my sparkle. I dont know what I have to do to make him leave me! Ugh, hes like a tick… I dont know the answer. Thank you for your advice! And yes, I would much rather save myself. Then I know it will stick.

  4. Brooklyn says:

    You described my life in perfect detail.

  5. cordie says:

    1. Do not cheat.
    2. Do not make yourself appear undesirable. Both actions will only lower your self esteem and make things worse. Start an exit strategy. If you are married, you will receive the least financial liability, regardless of whose name is on the title. Seek an attorney advice if married. Hang in there… and lift your head up! You are stronger than you think you are. Now smile awhile and start loving yourself again!

  6. Meredith says:

    This post makes me so sad. I’ve been there. He’s not sorry. He doesn’t have the capacity to care enough about you to be sorry. He’s crushing your spirit and it hurts me to read this because I’ve sat in the middle of my own living room bawling my eyes out because he’s left me in the path of his destructive rages to go out and cheat on me and I didn’t even have the energy to fight with him about it. He always picked on me about how terrible I was at housework, even though I brought in more money than him, had a longer commute, did all the cooking, all the laundry, walked the dogs. Nothing was ever enough for him. Even the night I was packing to leave he was going on and on about how I hadn’t cleaned the floor in the kitchen.

    I hope I go through more of your posts and find that you finally found the strength to leave.

  7. Gonnaleavetoo says:

    This is my exact life….
    Except this week my hubby suggested we separate. I suspect he is speaking to someone new. I’m kind of hoping he is. I feel it will make him let us go easier. Otherwise, I feel he’ll come back in a rage. How I’m ungrateful and don’t realize how wonderful he is. I’m so tired of this.

    1. Samantha Matthews says:

      I have recently begun to hope he will leave, so I dont have to listen to him tell me how I ruined our family for the next 16+ years (until our youngest is grown). Sigh… probably delusional, Im sure he will tell me that anyway.

  8. Linda says:

    Omg, i feel u so bad. I was in a narcistic relationship for over 2 years with several break ups (offcourse by him).
    Now we are seperated for the 6th time and im trying with everything i have in me to keep it that way. This isnt healthy, this is no love. This is only power and controling people and its horrific! I really hope u can manage this untill u found the strength to leave this nightmare. But, after the nightmare comes hell. He trained me in a way that in my head i still find myself needing and missing him and thats insane. There was absolutely nothing this guy could offer me exept pain and grief. He made me a insecure, depressed person with no self-worth and im working hard on those things and to be myself one day again. My thoughts go out to u, keep strong!

  9. Lynda Thornbrugh says:

    I’m wondering how you’re doing today, a good long while after you wrote much of your posts. Please know that by chronicling your painful experiences, your shining light on narcissism in a way that NPD victims can identify with. You’re not just leading yourself out, there’s a whole slew of women behind you. If you’re still with him, I found I could break free from the painful grip my reality had on me simply by visiting a friend or going out in public and interacting with people outside of my situation; the reprieve would give me the strength to keep moving in the direction that was best for me.
    You’re in my heart, sister, and I commend your courage.

  10. anna4569 says:

    Wondering how you are as well.

  11. Tammy says:

    I married my high school sweetheart last year, we had not seen each other in 25 years but I was swept off my feet by what I now know was his fake charm, personallity, compassion, and promises. We married 3 months after we got back together…he pushed hard to get married fast, using the life is too short and you are the love of my life tactic. Imediately after getting married my life became something straight out of a horror movie. The lies, constant cheating, secret double life, and rejection were just the tip of the iceburg. Just in the last month alone he smashed in my windshield, speny every dime of the rent on whores and dope at the casino, gave me a black eye, choked me, spit on me, and this morning when I didn’t make his coffee exactly the way he wanted it he walked into the bedroom where I was sitting on the end of the bed crying, he stood infront of me and urinated all over me from head to toe, then walked out. That was THE final straw for me. I grabbed my jumbo size can of bear spray that Ihat I had purchased after he blackened my eye and I went into the livingroom where he was standing with his back to me, I yelled HEY, and when he turned around I emptied half the can in his face. When he ran for the door I followed and when he turned to threaten me I emptied the rest of the can in his face. I walked through the cloud of bear spray by accident and although my own eyes and skin burned like Hell fire for about 45 minutes it was worth every single second that it burned!!!! I had to go outside because when bear spray is released in a house it somehow quickly spreads to every room and it takes hours with all windows and doors open just to be able to breathe in the house. My soon to be X husband spent 2 hours sobbing and wailing in the front yard with his face under the water hose. I got some video of it for memories and called his friend to come pick him up and told the soon to be X husband not to ever come back because if he does I will be waiting with my backup can of bear spray. I have to spend the entire day tomorrow using a solution of. Dawn dishsoap and water to wipe everything in the livingroom down but I assure you I will be doing it with my head held high and a smile on my face….which will be a very welcome change!!!

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