I have been glued to your website all day since finding it this morning, and thanks to your articles I have now finally made the decision to leave my husband. My story is so similar to the stories I read on your website.
I met my husband ten years ago, I wasn't really that interested in him- I think subconsciously I saw the warning signs very early on but just did not want to admit them. He pursued me fanatically, came across as a person who would and could love me unconditionally until the day I died. In fact after four years together when he whisked me off for a romantic, surprise, marriage proposal, I had serious doubts whether to accept, believing that he perhaps loved me more than I loved him, but I was so wrapped up in how much he appeared to love me, I believed he was a safe bet, someone who would be there for me and adore me always...
So in spite of my doubts I married him, and for the first few years of marriage things were OK- he had exhibited a range of problem behaviours as long as I had known him, never helping with the house work, watching far too much tv, needing sex all the time, he also had a very aggressive manner when drunk, never getting violent but often getting verbally aggressive and flying into drunken rages- but whenever he behaved badly he always came back with flowers and apologies and promises to be better, and I got sucked in every time. His motto however seems to be 'I'll do it tomorrow' with his preferred way to spend time engrossing himself in films, going out drinking, watching porn, having sex, generally getting pleasure without having to do any hard work. He always went back to his old ways.
I fell pregnant and gave birth to our beautiful child. My husband had been hesitant about trying for a family, he had said he wanted us to be more financially stable and to be in a better house, but I felt that this was all just putting off something I really wanted, I felt my biological clock ticking, we had been together for several years by this point and both had well paid jobs and good prospects. I had been wanting to try for a baby for over a year and he had said he wanted a family and so I didn't understand the reasons for waiting.
The moment I told my husband I was pregnant he changed. Almost overnight he became cold and distant, he gave me no help with the house work or pregnancy.He was working in a job that took him away for several weeks of the year and he was regularly away for up to four weeks, when he was he rarely called me and made only the smallest effort to stay in touch, never answering my calls or emails. I knew he had made a group of friends out there who he went out with almost every night drinking but he always promised me he was never unfaithful.
I gave birth and my husband although present at the birth was completely absent- he played on his phone and ignored me most of the tme, and when I gave birth he refused to hold the baby, and went home leaving me alone and absolutely terrified. He was late coming to the hospital to pick me up and gave me no help with feeding or getting any rest once home, 24 hours after the birth I was at home cooking and cleaning for him as normal.
Things went from bad to worse then, he flew into a drunken rage and attacked me. I had bruises all up my arms the next day from trying to stop him. He trashed our house in a drunken rage, breaking my things that he had bought for me. After all this I still stayed with him, as he always promised to change and make amends and I thought it was what was best for my little child, that we stay as a family.
Nearly a year ago I was unpacking his suitcase following a recent business trip, and I find a pair of woman's underwear in his bag. I confront him and he admits an affair with a girl out there, although to this date he refuses to admit how long it lasted and claims it was only a few months, had been 'just sex' and he had never done it before. I believed his insistence he would change again and agreed to try and save our marriage. He then lost his job and has still never fully explained why. He has spent the last several months hanging around the house doing pretty much nothing whilst we got into huge debt. Things have been strained ever since I found out, he still hasn't really changed and we just argue all the time- I'm desperately trying to get admission of guilt and remorse from him and he just throws back arguments in my face and twists the situation so it all seems like my fault- he never says sorry and he never admits blame for anything. Most of the time he acts bored, nonchalant and moody. On the occasions he is loving and happy with me it is because he is getting something he wants like sex or praise about how awesome he is.
Reading your articles has finally made me see the light. It's strange, my family and friends have been telling me for years and I just didn't want to see it or admit it even, but a day reading your articles and it just feels sooo good to realise that I'm not alone, that other people are going through the same thing, and it makes me feel strong and like I can leave, and WILL! I'm not sure the best way to go about leaving. I want to leave the house which I hate and start a fresh but worried as the house and bills are in our joint name that he just won't pay and by the time we get divorced he will have got me into financial trouble. If I ask him to leave I know he won't and that he may get nasty. I know it's possible he could turn into an evil asshole and I want to try and keep this as civil as possible for the sake of my child and my sanity!
Any advice would be gratefully appreciated!
Thank you so much for this website, I feel hope for the first time in ages!
The goal of this website is to give support to people who are facing problems in their relationship related to cheating, abuse and narcissism. I am living in Europe and English is not my native language, I wish you will excuse me if I make some grammatical errors. I decided to write in English because I wish to reach as many people as I can around the world.
Thank you for your email, I am so happy to hear that this website has been helpful for you in your situation. Yes, it is very helpful to know that the problems you are experiencing in your relationship are not "unique" but that instead there are many people who are dealing with the very same issues. It is amazing how similar many of the stories on this website are, when you read them you see the same key elements over and over again.
One of the most alarming sign or a narcissistic person is the lack of empathy towards one's spouse (to read more about the signs or narcissism, see page Narcissistic Personality Disorder). Normal people have a so-called "empathy-break" that prevents them from behaving in ways that they know are causing pain to people around them. Narcissistic people appear to have severe flaws in the functionality of this empathy-break, hence making it possible for them to behave in cold and uncaring manner.
One of the most important tasks of this website is to help people who are dealing with narcissistic spouses to see what most likely awaits at the end of the road and hence help them to make the decision to leave sooner. Many times when people are unaware that they are dealing with a narcissistic person they blame themselves for the problems in their relationship and keep trying to make things work, wishing that their partner will eventually change his/her ways. It is not uncommon for people to stay in a relationship with a narcissist for years before finally being able to break free. Unfortunately a narcissistic person can only rarely change, and so eventually one must ask oneself if one wants to spend the rest of one's life dealing with this kind of a person. If one knows there is no hope that the spouse will change his/her ways, it is easier to make the decision to leave.
The difficulty of letting go of one's dreams keeps one glued to a toxic relationship
The most difficult part is to give up on hope of having the relationship of our dreams with that particular person. Holding on to that dream is what is keeping us glued to a bad relationship. Once we are certain that we are never going to have that dream relationship with that particular person, it is much easier to leave, for who would deliberately choose a life filled with suffering and pain. In order to reach this goal it is very helpful to read stories of others who are having similar issues: Many people who have shared their stories on this website have been dealing with a narcissistic person for several decades and yet no improvement has occurred. Reading their stories is very helpful for those who have not been in a relationship with a narcissist for so long, for it can give them the courage to leave earlier. Dear Friend, thank you so much for sharing your story, by doing so you are helping others who are still struggling to make the decision of leaving.
It is very important to remember that it is never too late to leave a toxic relationship. Many people have told me that they did not know anything about narcissism before visiting this website, and after learning what they were dealing with they finally were able to break free. Many have written to me telling that after they finally left, they have found peace of mind and are able to enjoy their life again. So just because one has been together with a narcissist for decades it does not mean one should spend the rest of one's life in an unhealthy relationship.
I have said this many times in many articles on this website and I wish to say this one more time to all those who are reading this reply: If you are dealing with a narcissistic person and if your relationship is causing you stress and depression rather than happiness and other positive feelings, I strongly urge you to walk away. Do not waste your life trying to change a narcissistic person; the will to change must come from within and unfortunately narcissists are seldom able to see any fault in themselves. You only have this one life, you deserve to be treated with respect and love instead of spending your years in agony and depression.
Dear Friend, I am so glad that you have made the decision to leave this man who clearly is unable to make you happy and take your feelings into account. You said you were not sure what is the best way to leave (due to house bills and other reasons). Yes, you need to consider carefully what is the right way to proceed instead of making fast decisions that you might regret later.
You are facing various challenges, but the most important thing is that you have made the decision to leave. From now on your husband has much less power over you in mental sense. Now you know what kind of a person you are dealing with and you can free yourself from the guilt and false hopes that he might change his ways. You have been together for such a long time that you know this man quite thoroughly by now, in both good and bad. Past behavior often predicts future behavior, and based on everything you mention in your letter, it is not very likely that this man is able to all of a sudden start to see things from your side and take your feelings into account.
Narcissists are often unable to admit their mistakes or apologize
You wrote: he never says sorry and he never admits blame for anything. The ability to admit one's mistakes and to apologize is crucial in a relationship, for hearing a sincere apology the only way the insulted spouse can get over the problematic incident and move on. If the insulted spouse does not receive a proper apology, he/she cannot tell himself that the misbehaving spouse is actually sorry of his actions and realizes that he/she has made a mistake.
If one cannot convince oneself that one's spouse regrets for example cheating, it is very hard to convince oneself that cheating will not happen again. For this reason it is very important to sincerely apologize after any wrongdoing in a relationship. Your husband appears to be lacking this very basic ability, hence making it impossible for you to move past the problems he has created with his behavior. His behavior during your pregnancy and after the child was born sounds very cold and uncaring, no one should experience such treatment during what should be the happiest time of one's life. Furthermore, you said your husband has attacked you physically. Physical violence is always a serious warning sign that should not be ignored. Your decision to walk away is undoubtedly the right one.
Have you been to see a lawyer regarding the details of your house bills and divorce (should you wish to proceed with your plan)? If you have not, I encourage you to go to see one. It will make you feel more in control of the situation when you know exactly where you stand legally. A lawyer can give you practical suggestions as to how to proceed towards your goal of leaving without allowing your husband to ruin you financially or cause other problems.
Dear Friend, stay strong! The most important step is already taken: You have realized that your husband is most likely not going to change, that the situation is not your fault and you have finally made the decision to leave. My thoughts are with you, I wish you are able to start a new life in your own home soon. Please write to me anytime you wish, I am here for you and I wish to help you any way I can to get you through this difficult time in your life.
If you wish to submit your own story and get feedback and support for your situation or if you wish to contact me for any other reason, send me email to