Who. Does. That?

Photo by Joao Silas

It’s a question the divas and I have asked repeatedly. Who does that? When you read the following scenarios, you’ll understand why. They’re scenes from our lives before divorce – scenes that threatened our sanity and emotional well-being. These are just tiny glimpses into the abuse we endured at the hands of our spouses. Take a look, and then I’ll answer the question.

Scenario 1: Your husband tells you he’s going on a weekend retreat to a Catholic monastery to contemplate his life and marriage. A few months later, you find out he’s having an affair, and his affair partner (a married woman) had joined him on the retreat. How can two people who are deceiving their spouses and destroying their families go on a spiritual retreat together? That’s twisted.
Who. Does. That?

Scenario 2: You find out you’ve contracted an STD, thanks to your husband and his affair partner. Sobbing, you ask, “How could you do this to me? What kind of man does that?” And he responds simply, “A man who doesn’t care.”
Who. Does. That?

Scenario 3: You’re out with your husband and teenage son when suddenly you feel like you’re having a stroke. You can barely move. Fortunately, you’re across the street from the hospital. You ask your husband to take you to the ER, but he refuses. You beg, your son begs, but he takes you home. Your son, who is shaken by the whole thing, ends up driving you to the hospital.
Who. Does. That?

Scenario 4: Your husband tells you he doesn’t love you anymore, but won’t tell you if he wants a divorce or wants to work on the marriage. For eight long months, you wait. And cry. And pray. Each time you ask him what he wants to do, he puts you off. So you cry and pray some more. Why does it feel like you’re being strung along? Because you are. Because you find out he’s been having an affair. Your tears and your anguish don’t matter. Another woman thinks he walks on water – and that’s all that matters to him.
Who. Does. That?

Scenario 5: Your husband tells you he’s going to visit a pastor friend for some Christian counsel. But instead, he spends the afternoon at a cheap hotel with his affair partner. The hotel bill you found on his private bank account tells all. Who makes himself look like he’s a godly man seeking spiritual guidance when he’s really a cheater screwing around with another woman?
Who. Does. That?

Scenario 6: Your husband works for a company known for its conservative Christian values (and its chicken sandwiches). He gets caught looking at porn at work and may lose his job. He gets counseling, tells his employer he’s all better now, and keeps his job. But the truth is he’s still a porn addict. He’s just better at hiding it.
Who. Does. That?

Scenario 7: Your husband gets himself a brand-spanking new, $30,000 truck with all the bells and whistles, and a $500-a-month car payment. You don’t know how he’s going to pay for it, but he assures you it will be fine. In the meantime, you continue to drive your older vehicle.

Several years later, your auto begins to fall apart and strands you and your child a couple of times, so you decide it’s time to get a new car of your own. You talk to your husband and he tells you we can take $2,000 out of savings for a used vehicle. You don’t deserve a new car, he says. You’re just a stay-at-home mom. You haven’t earned it.
Who. Does. That?

A narcissist – that’s who. People with narcissistic personality disorder …

  • lack empathy – they don’t care who they hurt or devastate.
  • think they can get away with immoral and irresponsible behavior.
  • believe they deserve admiration only, never criticism.
  • don’t take responsibility for their actions. (It’s NEVER their fault.)
  • don’t want to be held accountable.
  • lack remorse, because they feel justified and entitled.
  • only share a portion of the truth, and not the whole truth.
  • pretend to be emotionally (and spiritually) mature, when in fact they are the shallowest human beings on the planet.
  • play the victim (the martyr) with so much conviction, you can’t help but believe them.
  • make you feel like you’re the one that’s crazy.
  • make others believe you’re the one that’s crazy.
Photo by Allef Vinicius

No more. I was raised by a narcissistic father and was married to a narcissistic man for over 20 years. They are no longer in my life. And I’ve never felt more sane or more centered. It’s like a haze has lifted and the horizon has never looked clearer.

The divas all feel the same. While we’re all at different stages of divorce recovery, we all agree – freedom from narcissistic abuse is like breathing the sweetest, freshest air for the first time ever.


One comment

  1. Your blog reminds me of this Annie Lamont quote: “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better”


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