Yes, I wear glasses. I got them in 3rd grade and was so proud of them! Even though contacts are so great now and Lasik surgery is more affordable, I’ll never get rid of my glasses…they are like a part of me. In fact, my mother says they make me look smart. Apparently, I look pretty dumb without them! 😉
When I met Sarge, my glasses were rose colored and he could do nothing wrong. Nothing. In fact, for a while, I thought he was as close to perfect as I’d ever find in a mate. Now, of course, I realize he was mirroring me to give me exactly what I was looking for. After a while, small things would pop up and I’d excuse them easily. He had a bad day…he was worried about finding employment…he didn’t like having to live in his grandmother’s basement, etc. Of course I rationalized his behavior and words…he was near perfect and even he could fall from the pedestal I put him on at times.
Our first couple months were awesome. We’d go out to dinner (me ALWAYS paying) and he’d say: “Where does Professor K want to eat?” He said I deserved to make choices and decisions because my needs and wants were the most important thing to fulfill. Wow! I picked the restaurants, the movies, the activities and I thought how wonderful this man is to want to please me so badly. Then, the devaluation started to occur, and suddenly, my wants and needs weren’t acknowledged at all. Everything we did centered around him, and if Sarge was having a bad day, I’d have a bad day too. Obviously, co-dependency kicked in because of his ‘love-bombing’ and I believed I needed this man in my life no matter what. Plus, my rose colored glasses would see these infractions in a more understanding way. What he said wasn’t his fault…he had been abused as a child. What he did wasn’t his fault…he had PTSD from his military deployments. I knew he COULD be ‘perfect’ for me so of course, these things were just blips. Nothing to worry about. Things would get better. But of course, they didn’t.
After Sarge left me for the first of many times, I started thinking logical for once and made a pro’s and con’s list…here it is (verbatim but with current commentary in parenthesis) :
- Sex (GREAT at first…then he would withhold it and act like I was a nymphomaniac if I wanted it)
- Fun riding motorcycles (of which I bought and still owe for… $14,000).
- Cuddling (when he felt like it and I deserved it)
- His smile (that was the best part of him and it always melted me)
- Hurtful/horrible words
- No emotional empathy
- Lack of support from family attacks (he never defended me…and his family was ruthless at times)
- Lack of communication
- Physical abuse
- Closes self off
- Never reaches out to me (I had to initiate everything after the idealize stage)
- Moved out without telling me
- Acts embarrassingly in public (like a child)
- Always has to be right (and if he wasn’t right, there was a justifiable reason for it)
- Selfish (financially, emotionally, sexually, etc. After Sarge got his first paycheck after finding employment, he bought a $600.00 helmet instead of paying me back for things or getting me something…for some reason, that really hurt. I made him an awesome t-shirt quilt, bought him a guitar because he said he wanted to play, got him art supplies, etc. The ONLY thing I have from him is an infantry badge. At first, I was extremely touched by this, until he ordered more of them and I realized it was not a unique thing.)
- Never says thank you (nor did he teach his kids to thank me either)
- Discloses our personal life to others (I can’t believe the things I expressed to him and he would tell his exes and family…it felt extremely violating.)
- Allows his exes to hurt me (the ex he cheated on me with actually came to my house and put a note in my mailbox saying I was to stay away from her and her children because I was so dangerous. Me. Dangerous. I’ve worked with kids and students all my life and have never ever treated anyone badly. I have no idea what he told her for her to say that but it was such a blow to my good character).
- Makes his exes a priority over me (it’s funny…his ex girlfriend can say and do anything to this man…anything. And he accepts it and forgives it. If I even tried to bring up a subject he didn’t like, he would either shut down, pull away, or berate me. Hmmmm.)
- Has a dysfunctional family (his mom and grandma would never have accepted me although his brothers liked me, as well as his cousin and grandpa).
- Says and does inappropriate things around his children (even with his kids, he was the center of everything and his kids cry out for attention. I really worry about them.)
- Addicted to his phone and very secretive about it (hmmmmm…)
- Won’t follow through with committments
What’s interesting is this, even after writing these down and saving them…looking at them often when he was gone that first time, I still took him back again and again and again. It’s as if my logical side took over just that once, and then his pulling back and pushing in played on my emotions to the point I could look at the imbalance of this list, and still take him back. When I made this list, he hadn’t cheated on me yet and even after that, I allowed him back. Twice.
But guess what? My rose colored glasses are coming off! I’m seeing this now so much more clearly. And over the last couple of weeks, I keep asking myself what I saw in him and why in the world would I ever want him in my life.
Want me to tell you why? Because I became addicted. He played me and manipulated me and indoctrinated me to where I would accept anything. And I did. But the more time I’m away from him, the more clearly I’m seeing him. That’s something I’m so thankful for. I feel like at least some of my rationality is back, even if my emotions are still a wreck. The glasses are off.
This is what I know: after you have been pulled into a narcissistic relationship, your ability to see things clearly is severely altered. And when people point things out to you, you simply cannot understand why they don’t see the great person underneath the actions. And I’m going to admit something to you…if he were to come to me again, I’m very scared my emotions would rule. I pray I would never take him back, but then again, I stayed with him so much longer than I should have. If he hadn’t discarded me, I’d be with him still. Distance is making me smarter. Closeness would make me a victim. Again.