Leaving 24 year marriage with narcissist. Need support please

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Onefoot

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I am finally standing up and getting out of an increasingly emotionally and verbally abusive marriage.  As he aged, his behaviors and coping skills deteriorated to the point that our teenage kids, adult child and I asked him to leave the house.  We were all walking on egg shells, trying to avoid his anger or months long silent treatments when he was upset with someone.
We have been separated 7 months, the divorce filed last month.  During this time, he has become increasingly verbally abusive and manipulating, trying to intimidate me about money matters, calling me terrible names, and using the children as pawns. 
His youngest child was particularly hurt by what she witnessed and called her father out on his behavior.  He responded with a 7 month long silent treatment that still continues.  She is only 14 (and an adopted child).  As hurt as she is, she has decided she doesn't even want to see him now.
Somehow he is blaming me for her current decision not to see him.  (I understand that with this disorder he can't bear to accept the responsibility for his actions, and likely feels little empathy for her).
  Our 15 year old son, who has special needs, just wants to please everyone and is extremely stressed by any kind of conflict.  My husband continues to see him every week and often buys him expensive presents.  (I worry about my son's susceptibility to manipulation, and I am extremely protective of him.)
And all the more painful for his little sister, when she sees the differences in their treatment.

In addition to dealing with the end of a 24 year marriage, I am dealing with the verbal abuse, financial manipulation, and children's issues.  As he never wanted me to work after children, I have been unemployed for 23 years  Although I have a college degree, I have few employable skills. My son and I are in therapy, which is helping.  My daughter will begin soon.
I just feel like no one understands what it is I go through with this man.  It's not something you can explain to people without sounding a little crazy yourself.  Other friends who have been through divorces have had husbands who want to be fair and to protect the children at all costs.  I feel so isolated.  This is so hard in about four hundred ways.  I am trying to learn how to stop letting him mess with my head, how to stand firm on my values, and on what I know is reality.  I am trying to learn how to stop absorbing the terrible words.
I could really use a community of people who understand.
Thanks for listening.

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AlmostGayNow

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Re: Leaving 24 year marriage with narcissist. Need support please
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2017, 03:07:29 PM »
It sounds like you are living in a complete horror show and you are at your wits end. Just by reading your description of your situation I can already bet dollars to doughnuts that he doesn’t behave like this around anyone else or he has been such a horrible version of himself there is no one in his life to witness it (no more friends).

The line you used at the end “it’s not something you can explain to people without sounding a little crazy yourself”. What you are describing is a secondary gaslighting.

Check out the toolbox here on this site there is a lot of good information that will help a lot. I’m sure you are already an expert in these matters, you have already mentioned one of the defining characters of these people. The inability to accept responsibility for the way their behaviour effects the people around them.

You are not alone.

You are not crazy.

We see you, and we hear you.

If I could give you a hug through the internet I would do it in a New York minute.

24 years, that’s one shy of a life sentence.

It’s time for parole.

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xredshoesx

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Re: Leaving 24 year marriage with narcissist. Need support please
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2017, 05:53:42 PM »
welcome to the forum, almostgaynow

we are looking forward to hearing more about the PD person that has brought you here.  you can make your first post in the welcome mat, or in the part of the forum that relates the most to the PD/ uPD relationship that brought you here.

It sounds like you are living in a complete horror show and you are at your wits end. Just by reading your description of your situation I can already bet dollars to doughnuts that he doesn’t behave like this around anyone else or he has been such a horrible version of himself there is no one in his life to witness it (no more friends).

The line you used at the end “it’s not something you can explain to people without sounding a little crazy yourself”. What you are describing is a secondary gaslighting.

Check out the toolbox here on this site there is a lot of good information that will help a lot. I’m sure you are already an expert in these matters, you have already mentioned one of the defining characters of these people. The inability to accept responsibility for the way their behaviour effects the people around them.

You are not alone.

You are not crazy.

We see you, and we hear you.

If I could give you a hug through the internet I would do it in a New York minute.

24 years, that’s one shy of a life sentence.

It’s time for parole.

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lifeline

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Re: Leaving 24 year marriage with narcissist. Need support please
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2017, 06:43:18 PM »
Welcome to OOTF lauriema.

You have taken a lot of really big steps in the right direction, it sounds, and so have your children. 

This forum, I have found to be an absolute haven, a place where I can bounce stuff around, ideas, observations, coping techniques, and strategies for moving forward with life after Narcissistic Abuse.

Read, make yourself comfortable, and take comfort in knowing you are not alone in these experiences, that likely over 24 years of marriage have made you feel a lot of self doubt.

Be confident, follow your gut, and with regard to your stbx, keep to yourself.  Tell him nothing, work on Gray Rock (see the toolbox), and of course while stuck in residence, keep the peace for the children.

Take care of yourself.  Don't forget to: Breathe, eat, hydrate, and love yourself. :bighug:
"Only I can change my life.  No one can do it for me."
-Carol Burnette

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Foreignwoman

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Re: Leaving 24 year marriage with narcissist. Need support please
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2017, 07:26:25 PM »
Lauriema, welcome to this site, so sorry to hear the reason why you are here though. It sounds like a long rough path you have walked with this man. It also sounds like you already have great insight in what's been going on. We all here suffer from some sort of abuse and find that it helps to write here to feel less alone. We have a great toolbox where you can read about what to do in your situation.
We hope to see you on the boards.

Keep posting.

FW
Freedom is never voluntary given by the oppressor, it is demanded by the oppressed.

Martin Luther King, Jr

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moondance

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Re: Leaving 24 year marriage with narcissist. Need support please
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2017, 07:58:03 PM »
     My heart goes out to you and your kids. I have recently separated from my mentally ill, pd, ptsd husband of 30 years and am dealing with similar issues to what you are describing.  Unfortunately when kids are involved we still have to have contact with them and can't completely cut things off as some on this forum have been able to do. I'm so envious of that. So all we can do is try to limit our interactions as much as possible and use the tools on this site to change our own reactions since we can't change them.
Good for you for getting therapy for  yourself and the kids.  It sounds as though you are coping as best as you can.  Keep posting and educating yourself about his behavior. Most importantly, be gentle with yourself, take care of yourself and try to find those small moments of joy and peace in your day that remind us of why we're so glad not to be with them anymore!

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Lighthousegirl

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Re: Leaving 24 year marriage with narcissist. Need support please
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2017, 10:42:14 PM »
Hi - i have similar experience of behaviour after separation - an escalation in verbal abuse, and intimidation, blamed me for everything under the sun including youngest child not wanting or trying to spend time with him. . . . Blahblahblah. Therapy has helped me see clearly through this.
They are incapable of accepting or taking any responsibility. I had to learn not to JADE, remember the "three Cs " - I didn't cause, can't  cure and can't control his craziness; and find out how to create and enforce boundaries- amongst other things.
I also was 23/24 years in. It's really difficult after such a long time to work out how/when you ( i/we) got to where we were. . .  but more importantly how to find out where I wanted to be and find a route towards that.
Give yourself a break, :) it takes time to learn how to look after yourself and your children in this new world.
I made mistakes - got drawn in to his ridiculous triangulating, baiting etc etc. But you are on the journey and the toolbox here is invaluable. As is reading others' experiences and realising how you have / can react, behave in similar instances. Knowledge is power and having as much up your sleeve as possible is hugely beneficial.
I'm just over a year out now, (he moved out - i think he thought i'd beg him to come back) and when i look back at how scared and powerless i felt this time last year - it feels like looking at a different person, i have travelled a long way in that time. You will get through this too.
Peace and light to you
LG