A Narcissist Discarded Me: Yet, She’s the One That Needs to Heal

I fucked up.

I checked my narcissistic** ex-wife’s Instagram.

I should have known better. I should have just smothered the idea, sat up from the computer, and basked in attention from a bunch of girls on Tinder.

But no, I fucked up.

I found myself scrolling an endless stream of selfies and family photos with her new husband.

Littered amongst all the duck lips and self-absorbed gym pics were quotes expressing how she had never loved someone like she did now, she would be a ride or die until the very end no matter what (she told me that, too) and that she had to remind herself daily she would never let someone else determine her self-worth again. I can never be certain, but as I read each post, the more I found myself feeling slight jabs against me. She knew I would eventually read them.

As she stood in the mirror at the gym in one selfie she reminded her followers (I summarize):

It’s not how much you weigh that matters. #85lbsDown. It isn’t how much you lift either. #180lbDeadLift. It’s how you treat other people. #BeKind

I’d just like to know what part of having multiple affairs is categorized under kindness.

**Note: I hesitated using the word narcissist, but my therapist suggests that it’s a legitimate descriptor. I further hesitated to even write this post because it borders on the very edge of retaliation I preach to avoid, but female narcissism often flies under the radar in a world where narcissitic personality disorder is dominated by men and I hope there’s a lesson here amidst the hurt I’ve endured.



I try and remind myself I have nothing to feel guilty about despite my own mistakes.

I apologized to her for those.

I’ll never see an apology in return except for a half-hearted “I’m sorry…I just don’t love you anymore”. Right up until the very end she would suggest she couldn’t think of a single time she was disrespectful in any way toward me and providing examples was just bringing up irrelevant past issues.

But I feel a sense of resentment less toward a lack of apologies from her and more toward myself in not only allowing myself to be subject to mistreatment for so long, but also feeling regret for how I ultimately reacted toward that mistreatment.

I Handed Her The Victim Card

She’s played the victim card perfectly and my biggest regret is that I gave that to her. That’s the unfortunate reality with victims of narcissism. Especially tough dealing with female narcissists, since our society assumes the male as the perpetrator to the vast majority abuse.

There’s a further ignorance in society that manipulation and emotional abuse isn’t as traumatic as physical abuse. Different, for sure, but invalidating one to give priority to another doesn’t help anyone heal.

While bruises fade, the psychological destruction that follows physical and emotional abuse lasts forever. Dealing with years of gaslighting at the hands of narcissism has changed me in fundamental ways.

I will never be the same.

That could be said for anyone, male or female, that has been abused emotionally or physically.

We lose trust. We lose confidence. We lose perception of love. We lose comfort in the security of familiarity.

She took all those things from me and yet to all of those around us it would seem as though I took all of those things from her because I reacted in anger.

To the world, she was suffering from my disapproval.

To the world, I berated her.

To the world, I was always depressed.

To the world, I had de-prioritized her.

To the world, I was angry over nothing.

To the world, I was delusional.

To the world, I always had trust issues.

To the world, I was intimidating to her.

To the world, I was judged by a handful of moments of reactionary anger set in motion by years of underhanded degradation and covert insults.



Unfortunately, I gave her all the ammunition to make herself the victim when the reality was she tore me apart for years, slowly and methodically. Unless we were doing something that was getting ourselves noticed, I was tased by a sense of destroying my self-worth to push for a nicer car, a fancier house, that next vacation, or something to ensure we didn’t plateau in a way that left our lives un-share worthy.

I could never be ambitious in my personal passions and feel a sense of pride from her. Meanwhile, I could never quite measure up to displaying enough pride in her own accomplishments. If I wanted her to share in pride for my projects, I had to do something that got noticed or that earned more money. She deflected that back on me by making her feel that way. Like most couples, we argued about finances at times, but I was always proud of her and supportive of her decisions as long as she was happy – whether she earned more money or not.

As I realized this amidst the discardation stage, I responded in anger, not just to her infidelity, but to her completely abandoning the marriage and family unit 14 years in the making.

It seemed like she had thrown it all away in a blink of the eye, cutting me completely from her life as though I never existed – right down to deleting every image we ever took together from her Instagram. It was as though my wife had just died and yet still showed up at my door each week to pick up our daughters.

Coping with that was ridiculously challenging and I felt like I was arguing with a being that was holding my wife hostage inside her, desperately grasping for anything that would remind her of the woman I married – the woman I loved and I thought prioritized our family – was still inside her. She wasn’t though. She never was.

I’m not a suffocating person, but I found myself begging before her, suffocating her emotionally to feel something for me as it only pushed her further away.

I’m not an angry person, but I found myself losing my temper at being told my feelings were unsubstantiated and that logical reasonings of the 4 stages of love didn’t apply to our marriage because the heart just knows what it wants. Hers just didn’t want me any longer.

I’m calm. I’m patient. I’m understanding. I’m rational.

I became someone I’m not. I became someone so hurt I sought to emotionally destroy what was hurting me just as much. I lost patience, I lost my calm, I lost rationalization of situations, and I completely lost my sense of logical thinking.

I lost my sense of self-worth.

My biggest mistake in life was losing myself in losing her.

In losing myself, I retaliated against the divorce with hurtful words. I regret that. But ultimately, I blame myself. I know I shouldn’t, but I fault myself because I worshipped her. I gave her everything I could and didn’t accept telling her no and I never set deal breakers. I let my insecurity put her on a pedestal and when I lost myself I recognized how years of worshipping her ultimately led me to want hurt her in the very end because I had worshipped someone that didn’t value me in return.

I regret trying to make her feel how she made me feel, but in that regret is continued pain to watch her share with the world over and over again how I made her feel useless.

I’ve struggled with the idea that her perception of reality is hers and mine is mine. I’ve struggled that I can’t invalidate her reality because it is different than mine.

But that’s the problem with narcissism, it makes us question our own reality and invalidate our own reality.

The reality is feeling useless is experiencing years upon years of being used that culminated with her in discarding me.

Yet, she is the one that “needs to heal”.

Let Me Set the Record Straight

The truth is, I’m not perfect. There are times I was distant I wish I had been closer. There were times I turned down opportunities to provide better for my family because I found comfort in the loyalty to my current job. There were times I’m sure I could have done things different; better. I also think love is an ebb and flow, it is not a constant high of infatuation.

So no, I’m not perfect, but here’s the truth from my perspective. Here’s my reality:

Early in our relationship I found out she was talking intimately with other guys. I brushed it off as something every relationship deals with. I thought, we can work through this. It should have been my deal breaker. Now I find myself amidst her infidelity toward the end questioning all the years in between.

Yet, she’s the one that needs to heal.

We got married because regardless if I was ready or not “if I really loved [her], I would marry [her] so [she] could save money by living off campus”. She even suggested we could have a wedding years after it was recorded by the courts. Not agreeing was indicative of not loving her. That should have been a deal breaker.

Yet, she’s the one that needs to heal.

Not long after, she had a mental break down when I was unable to buy her a “$3,500 cookware set from Royal Prestige”, making me feel like I was unable to provide for her. That should have been a deal breaker.

Yet, she’s the one that needs to heal.

Upon getting married, as her husband I was now supporting her through college, putting my personal goals on hold as I struggled to keep a roof over our head through her college years. I brought money into marriage from years of hard work that went directly to her education and a life together I wasn’t really ready for. But if I loved her, I had.

Yet, she’s the one that needs to heal.

When we a lost a potential twin early in pregnancy, I dealt with the loss in my own way, quiet, but not overly dramatic. As she shared our grief to social media, I internalized it and focused on the beautiful, healthy child we had. I was never sad enough about that situation for her.

Yet, she’s the one that needs to heal.

She complained I rarely bought gifts, but everything I ever bought her ended up returned for something different. When I stopped trying, she said I failed to put effort into surprising her.

Yet, she’s the one that needs to heal.



As our lives changed, taking luxury vacations, buying expensive purses, upgrading our home, or providing materialistic items was more difficult with increasing expenses including daycare and cuts to income. She measured my love for her based upon providing materialistic things for her – I know so, because she said so. It wasn’t just a love language of gifts, it was full on “you just don’t love me anymore because we don’t take a bunch of weekend getaways or buy Coach purses like we used to”. That should have been a deal breaker early on.

Yet, she is the one that needs to heal.

She claimed I controlled all the money, yet all of our accounts were joint and she never showed an interest in our finances until our lavish lifestyle took its toll on the credit cards. In fact, they were so joint that she was easily able to empty them and leave me to deal with getting cash advances to pay the mortgage when she left.

Yet, she’s the one that needs to heal.

My ambitions and retirement goals were always considered “greedy”, but everything she requested from me was wrapped in materialism. That should have been a deal breaker.

Yet, she’s the one that needs to heal.

In an effort to compromise, we set a weekly allowance for ourselves of free spending money to splurge on whatever we wanted. She spent it all, then wanted more and I obliged. I saved mine and invested it toward bigger financial goals – then she took all of that in the divorce, too.

Yet, she’s the one that needs to heal.

She told our daughters when she moved out, it would only be for a little bit. She never moved back in. I wouldn’t suggest she blatantly lied to our children if not for the fact she was already well under the way to ending the marriage.

Yet, she’s the one that needs to heal.

She just claimed she wanted to live alone and be by herself, yet only a month later she forced our children to move in with a guy they barely knew.

Yet, she’s the one that needs to heal.

As I became more aware of her infidelities, she dismissed them as my insecurities causing delusions, that I was paranoid, suffocating, and isolating amidst that time. That tends to happen when someone is cheating on you.

Yet, she’s the one that needs to heal.

And when the affairs came to light, she said they were all my fault for making her have them because I was insecure that she might be having affairs, so she might as well have them. My distrust was founded as I had never encountered feelings of mistrust in our marriage before…and I continue to struggle with feelings of distrust.

Yet, she’s the one that needs to heal.

She never once apologized for her affairs and instead told me “[she] doesn’t love [me] anymore” and that I make her puke even looking at me.

Yet, she’s the one that needs to heal.

She sat at a table with her best friends telling them about our marriage woes and how I was paranoid and distrustful. Then she turned around and fucked her best friends’ (note the plural) husbands only to later claim her friends were cruel to her for washing their hands of her existence. She was so entitled that she expected everyone to write her mistakes off as a a misunderstood 20-something mid-life crisis and so above everyone else that she wasn’t going to stoop to the same level of cruelty as the people that disowned her.

Yet, she’s the one that needs to heal.

Despite all of that, I suggested we give our marriage, our 14 years of memories, and our children a chance at a happy future as a family together with marriage counselling. She said she had zero interest in attempting it. 14 years together would come to a screeching halt on me in a matter of months. It was never really genuine anyways.

Yet, she’s the one that needs to heal.

When I was spiraling in my depression, the one person I would have sought comfort from to love me and help me through, was the same person that abandoned me and continued to push me further into it.

Yet, she’s the one that needs to heal.

One of the last things she told me was “it has nothing to do with the way you look, you just need more muscles, some tattoos, and get a beard” and that was that. No investment in my ability to gain those things and no sense of compromise that maybe those things weren’t who I am. She knew that when we married. She just left.

Yet, she’s the one that needs to heal.

When I fell to rock bottom amidst divorce and realized I needed to get some serious psychiatric help and committed myself to the hospital, she took the opportunity to fabricate an exaggerated story for the justification of her actions to cheat, to leave, and to paint herself as the victim for why I hospitalized myself.

Yet, she’s the one that needs to heal.

When my therapists and psychiatrists told me my feelings of reactionary anger were justified and validated – that I had been emotionally abused, gas-lighted, and manipulated by narcissistic mistreatment for years, that was unacceptable for her and instead of telling her therapist the truth, she left out all the important details (like her affairs) that allowed to her to spin the same label around on me from her therapist.

Yet, she’s the one that needs to heal.



When we came home drunk and argued one evening over her not wanting to leave the bar while I wanted do a more romantic date for just the two of us, she tripped in the hallway. I reflexively reached to keep her from falling. She told everyone I assaulted her.

Yet, she’s the one that needs to heal.

In our 14 years together, I slammed a baby gate once out of anger in our final months together when she came home drunk in the middle of the night 3 hours later than planned. I had mono, I felt like shit, and she had absolutely empathy. She took that incident as proof of intimidation against her.

Yet, she’s the one that needs to heal.

At the very end, we talked on the phone one morning at 9am, she said she wanted to work on our marriage. She said she had both feet in on working on our marriage and fixing our family. I received an email at 11am that she had filed for divorce basically as she sent me that message – putting the filing fee on our joint credit card.

Yet, she’s the one that needs to heal.

I kept falling for her bullshit even then. She said she didn’t want child support because we made the same amount of money and we basically had 50/50 custody. I was blindsided at mediation when she demanded child support. Meanwhile, she was moving in with a boyfriend that would subsidize her ability to retain her lifestyle.

Yet, she’s the one that needs to heal.

I like how she told our daughters that mommy and daddy were separating because we argued a lot lately, and then turned around and introduced them to a guy with a record of domestic assault and an environment where my daughters continually telling me about arguments and hanging up on each other. You’d never guess that from Instagram.

Yet, she’s the one that needs to heal.

Then when she remarried she encouraged my oldest daughter to call her step-father dad, to which my daughter was not comfortable. That should be my daughter’s un-manipulated choice.

Yet, she’s the one that needs to heal.

My Post Divorce Reputation Is Destroyed

My entire reputation as a boyfriend and as a husband is tied to a perception that I’m something I’m not.

It is incredibly difficult to heal amidst that.

And that perception is validated every time someone “hearts” her status in finding the confidence she never had because her self-worth was destroyed [by me].

I never laid a hand on her in 14 years together.

I feel confident that I never degraded her.

In 14 years together and 2 children, we had certainly succumb at times to the mundane aspects of a relationship. Butterflies didn’t greet us every morning like they had in our Honeymoon periods – when we first met, our engagement, our graduations, our marriage, our first house, our first child, and our second child.

Our life had plateaued into a familiar comfort of what our family was and would be. We were no longer the center of attention. Just because our life was no longer on a seemingly perpetual up and up didn’t mean I didn’t wake up every morning wanting to be with her, but that comfort of familiarity our little family had was no longer good enough.

And then I was discarded.

She found someone new to regain those butterflies.

He gave her the bigger house she was always jealous her sister had that gave her those butterflies.

They bought an expensive new car together to give her those butterflies.

They married each other less than a year after we divorced to give her those butterflies.

Leaving me to pick up the pieces after everything I sacrificed, everything I did for her, was just part of a bigger plan to use me until I had no more worth to her desire for the next best thing.

Yet, she’s the one that needs to heal.

There’s a Lesson in the Pain

As I look back, I see all these moments in hindsight where my feelings weren’t validated. I see time and time again where I should have been the one to walk away. I see multiple examples of ignoring my personal limits and deal breakers in order to keep her.

Why?

Because I was insecure.

I let her ultimately discard me after years of bending over emotionally for her, only for her to discard me. I should have been the one to break up years ago.

Instead, I let my insecurity put her up on a pedestal that valued her over my emotional pain. I was disgustingly loyal to someone that didn’t show me the type of love I desired and instead of moving forward, I let her devalue me over and over and over again.

But that’s what unconditional love is, right? Wrong, because what existed what not mutual love and respect. Unconditional love is not about continuing to put yourself out there for someone to stomp you. We should walk away well before that happens.

Because if you don’t and you continue to worship that person under the guise of “unconditional love”, you merely kill yourself emotionally in the process and when you do so, you become someone else entirely that you don’t aim to be. When you become that person in response, you end up purposely destroying the very person you used to worship because you realize you were worshipping someone that never loved or respected in return.


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Landon

Hi, I spewed out all the shit you just read! I like long walks on the beach (but I'm mostly surrounded by cornfields), challenging the status quo of the dating scene, fucking all the rules of dating and encouraging men to live their best life. When I'm not trying to keep the lights on around here and raise two little girls, you can find me drinking and partying - you know the key Wallstreet success...ballin'. Follow Me On: Medium | Wordpress

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