Jenn’s Journey

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

Happy day to you and thanks for joining our Coffee Hour for some transparent, life-happening, real-time sharing! I have asked Jen to continue with her story as it is reaching a lot of women who have endured and/or are still enduring a relationship with a narcissistic person in hopes that it would bring healing to Jen herself and to all who have some contact with any form of narcissism! She picks up right where she left off last week. 🙂

But I have to stay right? For ten years I believed in the ideal of marriage for life. In some ways, I still believe this, though it has tarnished somewhat.

There were enough fun times to keep me hooked. Buying our house and fixing it up was one of those. We got the keys to the house on our third anniversary. I thought we had a great time doing the renovations together, and it was fun to live in our first house as a couple. I had no idea what he really thought but when he left years later, he told me he only worked on the house with me in order to get sex. Furthermore, he said that he had come to view our house as my little museum and he’d always hated it.

Shortly after we bought our house, we bought a fifth wheel. I could hardly wait to decorate the inside of it and go camping! Later, I realized that his excitement over it ended with the purchase. We owned that trailer for seven years and I believe we took it out only five times. The rest of the time it sat in the driveway, though it was a guest room a time or two and that was it. I sold it for $500 when he left since he was not supporting us.

We went on two trips to Hawaii. I had always dreamed of going there with someone I loved so I was ecstatic about it. We genuinely had fun. I was seriously disappointed each time when we got home and things returned to normal.

Normal was not fun. I got home from work before he did most days, and when he got home, he’d greet the cats and head straight to the garage. He rarely asked about my day at work, nor would he share about his. And if I asked, he usually told me I wouldn’t understand what he did so it wasn’t worth sharing. He told me early on in our marriage that if he was reading, he did not want to be interrupted. I tried to honor that, but he read 80% of the time! If he was not reading he was wearing headphones listening to something on his computer or was out in the garage on his computers. Yes, that is plural for a reason.

Normal was eating alone…if we ate at the table together, he ate as fast as he could and went straight back to what he’d been doing before. In the beginning, I’d ask him to go on walks. If he went he’d either walk fast in front of me, or he’d walk real slow and accuse me of walking too fast to enjoy it. Though he had appeared to get into working out while we were dating, that quickly ended.

I love to cook and bake. Most often he turned up his nose at what I made, so I cooked and baked for others. On more than one occasion he’d come into the kitchen while I was baking something for work and ask why I never made anything for him. Sometimes he’d rave about something I bought, but the next time I had it on hand, he’d let it rot. Normal was trips to see my family alone, or if he happened to join, I had to pacify the pouting.

During these years, I read countless books on marriage and relationships. We went to several counselors, but he’d throw up his hands after a few times saying “It’s your problem; you go!” I became more disillusioned and disheartened. Yet, I believed that I could fix it if I just…if only…

Now, years later, here’s what I am learning: Abusers, controllers and narcissists win victims through the “Idealizing Phase” where they use promises, charm, flattery, sympathy, pity, stories, apologies, attention, generosity, gifts and adoration. Once they’ve won the person, the “Devaluing Phase” begins with lies, insults, belittling, criticizing, minimizing, silent treatment, guilt and ambiguity.

Now I know the names for it, but back then I was in constant confusion and sadness.

Until next week,

JennJenn

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