I am married to what I believe is a narcissistic husband. We have children. Throughout our marriage I was always the one who provided physical and emotional needs - for my husband and our children. I entered into the marriage with high self-esteem, self-worth, confidence, value and purpose. Because of these factors, I never noticed my husband’s constant need for affirmation,”band-aid” needs, attempts to sabotage anything and everything I ever did.
After several years of marriage, I encountered a severely traumatic situation. I really needed him. He was not there. He actually blamed me (it had nothing to do with me). And so ensured a downward spiral of my “old self” and yet his continual demand for CONSTANT affirmation even when unwarranted. I have nothing left to give and I’m empty myself. I wish I would have known that I married a child and not someone who truly loved me. All he ever did was love the way I loved him. The second I need HIS love, I am not only dismissed but persecuted for not being a good mother, wife, or PERSON.
I am done. He has literally stripped me, piece by piece and I never saw it until I was empty.


Welcome to Heart Support!

Typically, narcissists project an inflated view of themselves. They tend to present as very self-confident, self-important and egocentric. However, sometimes narcissistic behavior exists to cover up extreme insecurity.

Whatever is going on with him, his behavior removes every trace of credibility with regard to his opinion of you. It’s really hard to be around someone who can’t express an emotionally mature form of love. It sounds like that’s what you’ve been living with. I suspect that you married him because you saw a projection of your own goodness in him, but sadly, that caused you to overlook his problems, which seem to include defensiveness, gas lighting, and overbearing need for affirmation, and as you indicated, a lack of emotional maturity.

Actually, he sounds a lot like my ex-wife. She was verbally and emotionally abusive, usually making sure the kids were around as an audience. I became totally burned out emotionally, and hated myself because I couldn’t bring myself to “fight back” at her level. Therefore, I was convinced that my kids thought of me as a wimp. Years later, I learned that they had a ton of respect for me for having put up with her. Her problems were drinking, drugs, and emotional issues from her childhood.

When you say that you are done, I hope you are talking about being finished with his abuse. Although she’s currently hiding, you are still the same wonderful person inside, and probably even more wonderful because you have been raising children. Your children need a strong and stable mother. Therefore, you need to protect yourself and possibly your children from his negative influence.

Possibly, the very first thing to do is find counseling. I would suggest marriage counseling, and you might want to try it, but I get the impression he wouldn’t be interested. Still, to be fair he should have the option to say yes or no.

Does that mean he has emotionally taken you away from your children?

Definitely get help, preferably in the form of counseling or therapy. Once you begin to heal emotionally, it will be easier for you to decide what to do.

Yes. Agreed. Somehow I have to find myself again, while simultaneously being non-responsive to my husband’s abuse.
He’s currently giving me the silent treatment (nothing new) and either tomorrow or the next day expect me to act like he never did and said what he did.
The most healthy choice for me is to get away, but I can’t. We have children. I won’t leave them. I wish he would leave, but he won’t. So I must find a way to endure his abuse until I can find a way to get away.

Hey @Abriella,

Well done for recognizing that you have reached your limits and that the situation needs to change. Based on what you have shared here, it sounds like you have really been through a kind one-sided relationship and it makes completely sense to be now done with it. Marriage should be this special place where both partners are there for each other, through the good and the bad. Of course, we enter in a relationship with our own story and fragility, but it is also up to each partner to make sure to work on themselves, on their needs, on the closure they need to find, so that the relationship can flourish and strive regardless.

You have without a doubt given a lot of yourself to your family and I hear how exhausted you are now. I’m truly sorry that it happened to be that way. This is the kind of realization that can be so conflicting and heartbreaking at the same time. Although please don’t lean into guilt or self-blame too much, as it is not your fault if you didn’t see this at first. With someone we share our life with, it is normal to try to give them the benefit of the doubt at first. There’s also love at play, which shakes our perception and makes us more willing to reduce our boundaries. It’s not your fault if you didn’t see at first. But it is definitely a strong and healthy step but to recognize that he’s been taking a lot from you without giving back.

I don’t know what are going to be your next steps, but I hope that you make sure to do what is necessary for your emotional safety moving forward. If you need to talk about it or even just a place to vent at times, this community is here. We stand with you. :heart:

This sounds so hard and I can really empathise… My own mum was married to a narcissist and I’ve had relationships with a few too… It’s so hard.

The feeling of being stripped of who you are is maybe the scariest, because how do you get out of the situation if you’ve lost that? It feels like you cease to exist outside of this awful dynamic. But I’ve come to believe that’s impossible, to be stripped of who you are underneath all the shit. Who you are is always there, even if it’s gotten really quiet and hidden, it’s there ready to be re-found no matter how long it’s taken.

Sending lots of love and strength to you.

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