My husband left our marriage. He left it a lot. He disconnected emotionally from it... He walked away physically from it... and he most definitely went outside of it sexually. He left our marriage all the time. But I was never allowed to...
We married in the backyard of our home, with our closest friends and family in attendance. Of course, I say closest friends knowing that my husband never actually had any friends. There wasn’t anyone in the world that saw the real him except me... and he told nothing but lies to everyone he knew. So the people he considered to be his closest friends were whoever was filling a void for him at the current moment, or contributing to his present delusions, or feeding his ego. These “closest friends" changed often, as they no longer served his needs, or as they distanced themselves as his lies become apparent, or contact just ended while he was stuck in a depressive episode.
My husband seemed to feel guilty about everything (seemed...because he never actually felt guilt about anything). Maybe a side effect of being a compulsive liar, and always waiting and wondering when someone will catch on. He mistook every conversation as an attempt to blame him for something. He was immediately on the defensive, and in an angry way. I would always focus so hard on maintaining composure during our conversations. Always sure to never raise my voice or use the wrong tone or to sound accusatory. This deescalated some situations, but seemed to anger him more in others.
On one particular day, I confronted him about the pain medication missing from my purse. He initially denied it, as he always had, but eventually came up with an excuse as to why his actions were my fault. He began screaming at me about how he HAD to take a bunch of pills so he could black out and not deal with his miserable fiance and shitty life. He called me filthy names, degraded me, and let me know how much he couldn’t stand being with me.
For whatever reason, this time, I had a different response. At the time, he had only spoke to me this way a couple times before, and although he would apologize after, I realized I was not interested in someone who found me to be miserable. Nor was I interested in someone who claimed to love me, but saw my pain and suffering as completely inconsequential. So I grabbed a suitcase and went into the closet and started to pack my clothes. I did this without haste or rudeness, but almost as if it was a favor. I mean, he can’t stand me right?! I was happy to walk away and stop making him so miserable.
I was completely taken aback when he followed me into the closet and sternly let me know I would not be going anywhere. It was the first time I saw this monster living inside of him. While I had been conditioned to handle our conversations in the appropriate manner, I had no techniques pre-planned to deal with a situation such as this. He held me up against the wall while punching next to my face. He started throwing suitcases, boxes and I’m not even sure what else because I closed my eyes as I was being hit in the face and body by pieces of plastic hanger and closet rods and clothing...When the tantrum slowed, I dropped to my knees in disbelief. I froze. And he walked away.
He had put a hole all the way through our closet wall and through the hallway on the other side, just days before our closest friends were coming to stay at our house to celebrate our wedding day. I remember having to tell my children that he had fallen off a ladder in the closet and gone through the wall... And it was ME ..who fixed that hole before our guests arrived. And hid it behind paint and picture frames... just as I hid my inner bruises from all of those around us. One. More. Dirty. Secret.
I have to believe that the initial confusion and shock over this incident is what allowed me to continue with our wedding ceremony. I don’t even think he apologized, it just felt so surreal. Did this just happen? Did I do something to cause this? Am I overreacting? I felt so numb. He went on as if nothing had occurred at all. It was so confusing.
We spent the next couple days with our visiting friends and family. He was so loving and so caring to me and we never discussed that incident. We laughed together, kissed and held hands, and he told me how much he loved me and how lucky he was to be marrying me. It felt like such a happy time and I felt loved. I don’t remember questioning it at the time, but looking back now, I must have doubted my recollection of the preceding incident, since it just didn’t “fit” with everything I knew to be true about my husband and about my relationship. The other feelings were just the irregular piece to the puzzle. It got discarded because it didn’t fit.
The night before our wedding, as I climbed into bed, I received a text from my husband-to-be that said “I really hate you. Everything about you. Just the thought of kissing you puts a bad taste in my mouth”. I was at a complete loss for not just words, but for thoughts. What?!?!!! Was I dreaming? Was this a joke? Who IS this person? I was in some sort of alternate universe all of a sudden. WHO wrote this?.. I cried myself to sleep that night, my mind full of just empty confusion. Again the next day my soon to be husband acted as though nothing had happened. And I didn’t bring it up. He was loving to me and seemed so happy. He told me he never thought someone like me would ever marry a guy like him. I don’t remember contemplating ANYTHING... I wasn’t thinking ANYTHING... I was numb and disoriented.
If someone had told me this day that my new husband was actually more than one person, more than one distinct personality, I likely would have scoffed at it. If they had told me all of this was part of a plan he had from day one, I wouldn't have even considered it. I mean, none of this was REAL! We were together for FOUR YEARS before we married. I knew of only ONE him. It just didn’t make any sense... As it would turn out, very little of my life would make sense for years to come.
Recommended Read: I Believe You: escaping, understanding & healing from narcissistic abuse
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