Ahhh the joys of being married to a narcissist. Ahhh…the even bigger joys of NOT being married to one anymore. How I wish I could say that I don’t have to deal with this man anymore, but unfortunately, we procreated together and now we’re in each other’s lives for the long-haul. If you’re reading this, thank you. This is therapeutic for me, just another rant, on another day.
For those that don’t know me (which is pretty much everyone lol), here’s a little personal history.
I married this man…we’ll call him Jozef…in 1996 after having dated for a year and then living together for a year. Now, you might think that living together would prepare you for married life, and it should, but unfortunately, Jozef and I lived with his brother for that year, who acted as a very effective buffer to Jozef’s narcissistic and angry ways. I thought everything was great that year, and then BAM…ring the wedding bells and cue the nonstop arguments. That first year was hell. I should have gotten out of Dodge, but instead, I got pregnant! And then three years later, I got pregnant again. Two beautiful babies…one crazy dad.
I didn’t know at the time that Jozef was narcissistic…I didn’t even know what that meant. All I knew was that after a few years, it felt like I was constantly walking on eggshells. “Don’t put the knives and forks together in the dishwasher, you should separate them so it’s easier to unload…don’t use your brakes too much going down the steepest hill in Pittsburgh just because the car in front of you is using theirs…don’t make me angry if you don’t want me to punch my fist through the wall…Don’t, Don’t, Don’t! But I did. Over and over, I did everything wrong. By late 2005, I couldn’t take it any longer and asked for a divorce. You’re probably thinking, “smart cookie,” but noooo….I went back for more. I was just like so many other women out there in semi- or full-on-abusive relationships…I was scared. Scared to start over. Scared that I couldn’t take care of myself. So, I didn’t file for the divorce and we tried to reconcile. I tried my best to help him have less stress in his life, so he’d be happy, and in turn, we’d be happy. I know, it was very selfish of me, but what can I say? You want to go running everyday as soon as I get home from working 8 hours and leave me to get the kids fed and ready for bed…you should do it! You want to go on a 100-mile bike ride for the weekend and leave me at home with the kids…you should do it! You want to go to Budapest to “serve your country during war” and leave me home for weeks at a time with the kids while you tell me about your maid-service and the wonderful restaurants you and your buddies got to eat at? Of course, you should!! And, of course, you should take a tropical trip to Guam for months while I juggle home, daycare, and a full-time job, but please make sure to send me photos of you sunbathing and playing in the water! Oh, and if you want to hook up with a 21-year-old while you’re there, that’d be great, too!
Somehow, I continued to try to make my marriage work, but by 2011, it was over. This time he had filed for divorce. I still didn’t want it.
Now, here’s where his narcissism really shone through. Because I didn’t want the divorce, and because I’m a genuinely giving and caring person by nature, I agreed to settle out of court. Did you read that? Yes, Out Of Court. For those of you contemplating divorce, NEVER do this! You WILL get screwed. Somehow, during this vulnerable stage of my life, not only did I agree in a legal document not to seek alimony, but I agreed that he should get half the proceeds of my home when it sold, because at the time, I couldn’t afford to buy him out and I didn’t want my kids to suffer any more by making them move and start over in a new school district. My big mistake there was not noticing that the document stated he would get half no matter what improvements I made or paid for. So fast forward to this past June, and I had the good fortune (finally) to sell my home at a decent profit. He, of course, immediately chimed in with “where’s my share?!” despite the fact that he hadn’t lived in the home for seven years. In that time, I had put on a new roof, windows, been flooded twice and had to pay for those repairs, etc.
The only thing I did ask for besides child support during our divorce was a small percentage of each of his retirements (he worked for the military and as a fireman), because I helped to support him and took care of our home and children so he could pursue his interests. At the time that I sold my home, he had left his firefighter job with the County to work for the city, because, as he told me over the phone, he didn’t want me to get any more of his retirement. That money was supposed to be rolled over or something but I had no idea what he did with it. So, I deducted what my portion was worth as of that date from his half of the proceeds from the sale of MY home and sent him a check. Of course, because the divorce agreement stated he would get half no matter what, instead of being a decent person and recognizing that I spent a lot of money on that home in the past seven years, when he did not, and accept what I offered, he hired a lawyer and threatened to sue me. In true narcissistic fashion, he argued with me that he wasn’t being a jerk, he was thinking of our children and he wanted that money to put aside for them, not for himself. Remember that, as you read on.
To recap, this man lived a life where he only had to work every third or fourth day, took many trips during our children’s lives, cheated on me (2x), divorced me, and then manipulated me into signing a divorce agreement that was totally skewed in his favor. He walked away from the divorce paying only child support, no medical (the kids are on my plan and believe me, he doesn’t contribute anything more than the basic child support), no alimony, and he took $30k from the sale of the home I’ve lived in solely with my kids for the past seven years. What did I get? If he doesn’t die before he collects his retirement income, I’ll get 33% and 25% of his retirements respectively. If he does, I get nothing. And, if he dies after I start receiving anything, my benefits will cease. Clearly, he is the winner here.
Which brings me to this morning. This morning, I decided that I’ve been paying for enough. I want my daughter to take professional driving lessons. They will cost $420. I asked if he’d contribute ½. His reply? Nope. So, remember that part you read above, where he said he only want the money from the proceeds on the sale of my home “for our children?” Yeah, ok.
This narcissist is easily the most selfish person I have ever had the displeasure of knowing. I was so angry this morning when he said he wouldn’t contribute for something that benefits our daughter. His reasoning later was that he would not participate in anything that I am a part of. Huh? The only thing I am a part of is doing the work to make all the arrangements. I asked him if he wanted to make the arrangements instead. I’m still waiting for that reply.
I can’t do anything to change him, but even though it probably makes me a bad person, I take great comfort in knowing that Karma is a bitch with a capital K. It delights me to no end to know that his fiancé bailed on him at the last minute and shortly after, told him she was pregnant. So, now at nearly age 50, this man has a toddler, no freedom, and no end in sight for child support payments. I do feel bad for his new child though, and hope that something miraculous will happen to change Jozef so he might actually be there for this one.