I, too, married a Narcissist. Mine was perfect on paper: recently divorced, recently moved to our city, hired with tenure to a prestigious university.
I was swept away and I married him after only knowing him for six months. We never had an argument in those six months. Any disagreements we had were resolved amicably. It was an easy going and companionable relationship.
The first rumblings started a week before the marriage, but I didn't recognize the symptoms. Within four weeks of the marriage he showed his true colors. The cyclical mood swings which characterize the abuser: my Narcissist cycled every 7-10 days with THREE days of silence! After 2 1/2 years, I left. I was exhausted.
He was a parasite. And, you know, I never really figured that out until after the divorce was finalized, since he was so good was he at hiding his avarice. He made more money than I did. We were both well employed professionals. When he was hired with tenure at his fancy university, they gave him an option on a university-funded mortgage at exceedingly good interest terms. At one point when he was house hunting, we talked about buying together. But, I told him that I had no interest in buying property with a man with whom I was not married. (Boundary setting.) Well, he chaffed at that a bit. He just got divorced after a 20 year relationship. Yet, I was fully in agreement that it was too soon to get married. Then he says that he will never marry a woman unless he lived with her. My attitude was, we'll worry about that in the future. I think that I handled it well. The point being is once a Narcissist has his sights set on you, he will lie in wait & string you along.
We bought a house & planned a marriage. We were married one week before the closing. Everything was a frenzy. Did I notice that he did not send wedding invitations to any of his friends from that place he came from? Yes. It was far away & short notice & he was busy. He preferred to send formal announcements after the ceremony. I realize now, had the sale of the house fallen through, there would have been no marriage. You see, I was getting married to a man I loved. Later, I would understand, he got married to buy a house which he could not afford on his own.
At that time, the mortgage market was booming. But, he couldn't get a second mortgage (to supplement the university mortgage) because he was not a permanent resident alien in the United States. That's where I came in. The citizen. But, in the end, we did not get a second mortgage. Both he & I ponied up equal amounts of cash with the university mortgage. Before we went into it, we decided everything would be 50/50. OK. After we moved in, all the guy did was WORK. Work on his job. Work on the house. And the money he wanted for all his renovations. All the time, I was broke. My checks were spent before they ever walked into the living room. All the time the emotional upheavals but we never argued about money. He picked fights every 7-10 days. My position was to always remain calm & to give him what he wanted to keep him quiet.
One day, I put my foot down. He wanted something for the house. I said, "No. I cannot afford that. The thing works fine. I'm not paying for that." A day later, he came back. "I'll pay 67% & you pay 33%. How's that sound?" OK. I paid. We also had a joint account for the household costs. Laundry soap, food, etc. Well, I noticed that he paid for his personal dry cleaning with that debit card. Also, I noticed that he used it at the drug store to buy his shaving supplies, etc. Hmm. But, I said nothing. Once I destroyed his sweater which he had thrown into the wash. He made such a scene, I had to buy him a new one. The next time he put a sweater in the wash, I said: "At your own peril. If it is destroyed, I will not replace." He sent it to the dry cleaner, & I paid 50% for that cleaning. Hmm.
About eight months after the catastrophic crash of the stock market & the housing market, I told him I was leaving him. Three hours later, he came back with a printout from the internet. He said, "The house is worth 60% of what we paid. I assure you, I will buy this house from you & take this crash into the calculation. You made a bad investment." I still didn't get it. Anyhow, lucky for me, after he had FOUR appraisals, the house never really lost value. I lost everything which I invested in renovations; I lost half a car; I paid for his divorce lawyer; he broke my possessions & stole my stuff. But, I got almost all my equity out. Still, I didn't get it. I didn't realize even then that he was a financial parasite. I thought that he was just a mean & spiteful, malignant narcissist. We were divorced within 11 months of my leaving him. It would have taken less time but he dragged it out. And, in November when we finally signed the separation agreement, he needed 90 days to raise a mortgage to buy me out.
Well, two months after the divorce, and exactly a year after I left him, I was contacted by a woman. She had been with him from the day on which I moved out. (They can never be alone.) He swept her off her feet. Loved her. Wanted to marry her. She moved into the house after 8 weeks of dating him. (My stuff was still there because he never let me get it out.) I would learn, that first month that I was out & she was in, he proposed to her. He wanted her to buy my share of the house! She refused. But, that week, his parents gave him the money in cash to buy me out. (So much for needing 90 extra days to raise the money--his parents gave him the money some four months prior to the date he signed the separation agreement.) What she didn't know, but I had e-mails from the same time frame of their first weeks, no bank would give him a mortgage to buy me out. (After crash.) He was proposing to her to get her to buy me out. (He was sending me e-mails to come back to him at the same time he was proposing to her! Whatever woman was of no difference, just whichever one would help him keep the house!) She never knew that he was refused mortgages. (She's the one who told me about all the appraisals.) She made more money than him; she sold a house for a small fortune; he had her move all her antiques into his tiny house. Apparently, she paid the taxes on the house but refused to put any money into renovations. She paid for all their meals out because she earned more than him. In nine months, she was out $55,000 with him. And, he wouldn't let her get her antiques. (Just as he wouldn't let me get my stuff.) In the end, he stole from her & broke her stuff. He cleaned out their joint bank account which had $4,000 in it. He did the same to me but our account had only $400 in it!
Another bit I learned, he portrayed me as pathologically secretive. (A.K.A. boundaries.) He couldn't live with a woman who was secretive. He got all the numbers to her bank accounts! All her expensive jewelry went into a jointly-held, safe deposit box! He never got around to giving his account numbers. She paid for all his trips to her house in Florida & to her other place before she sold it. The two of us realized, "He's a con-artist." He gets women to subsidize his standard of living. After that, I contacted the ex-wife. She told me that she lost a bundle of money in her divorce! She, too, had made more money than him & he exploited it to the fullest in the end by getting half of the value of the house which a lion's share had come from her originally! Also, he stole from her a valuable collection of three hundred year old books! In our house, he had an "office" which covered 25% of the entire floor space of the house! He had thousands of books. But, there was this area which displayed a prize collection of three hundred year old books! The ex-wife let them go rather than dicker with him. Good riddance.
In the end, it all came together. I saw. Everything was about a house. The man married me to buy a house which he could not afford. And, when he divorced me, he was prepared to marry another woman to keep that house. I subsidized his standard of living. Oh, and did I mention the taxes? I am self-employed. I made clear that I wanted to file independently. But, he insisted that we file together. During the marriage, I felt that all I did was pay taxes. After the divorce, I would learn. From his pay check, he would have the minimum amount deducted. At tax time, we would share what more we owed. Each year of the marriage, I would pay more & more in quarterlies to the IRS hoping upon hope that would cover it. Never did. In the end, I learned that I had been paying approximately 60% of his personal income tax on his salary! Also, paying 50% or more of his personal living expenses. Within days of him leaving that woman who contacted me, he had a new woman. Also, very successful. Eventually, he sold that tiny house which he purchased with me. Now he lives in a huge place which he bought with the new woman. Good luck to her!
By AKA Agnes Parnell
Photo Credit: Nick Kenrick
"A house is made of walls and beams; a home is built with love and dreams."
Used under Creative Commons License. Via Flickr.com
Photo Credit: Alvaro Tapia
Used under Creative Commons License. Via Flickr.com