The first time you compromise your principles with a narcissist, the first time you catch him in a lie and forgive him is the beginning of the end of the relationship so you might as well walk right then and there and save yourself a lot of needless heart ache.
I remember having my bags packed and my hand on the door ready to walk out because I had found his personal ad with Lava Life on the internet looking for casual discreet sex. I had been angry when I found it but not breaking up mad; just more like ‘what the hell is going on?” mad. I always give a person a chance to explain their side of things, but he hadn’t even tried to explain anything, he had immediately gotten indignant about it. After a few hours of him ignoring my anger I became very angry and thought “F you” and I was leaving, but he stopped me at the door, started to cry, made all kinds of promises, told me he loved me and the hook; he thought I loved him more than that, he didn’t think I would walk out the first sign of trouble.
I didn’t say, “I thought you loved me enough to not go looking for discreet sex behind my back.” How did his infidelity get turned around to me not loving him as much as he loved me? and to be honest, had I had any where to go I would have walked out that door. But I didn’t have anywhere to go, and he had talked me into getting rid of all my furniture because “we would get new stuff together.” I thought, “what can it hurt to give it one more try, I have nothing to lose.” THAT was my first mistake and second and third; I always thought I had nothing to lose and he always found a way of taking more from me. I did not know that a person can destroy your spirit and soul, strip you of your confidence and leave you a shell of the person you once were. I had a good job, I had friends and family, I didn’t see how anyone could take that away from me. I still didn’t view him as abusive, he still had not shown any signs of anger, only arrogance and when I confronted him on that he explained that it was hard to admit what he had done and to know he had hurt me. Well! I am not one to rub someone’s nose in their mistakes, we all make mistakes right? we have all needed to be forgiven at some point in our lives and he was crying real tears. But there was this part of me that was saying, walk out that door.
There was always a new beginning, a new job, a new town, a new trauma or drama to get through and then I was going to leave but with every second chance I sunk deeper and deeper into the trap he had set. My vehicle broke down, I lost my job because I didn’t have a reliable vehicle, then I owed him money, and my kid and brother were going through stuff and then his dad had cancer and there was always a reason to wait until things settled down and then I would not have to be strong for everyone and I could lean on someone else for a while.
Oh I did leave many times, but I always went back. I think that had I had a home it would have been easier for me to walk away from him, in previous relationships I had always owned my home and when the relationship ended I was secure in my home. But now I didn’t have a home and I didn’t have credit or a job and it made it a lot harder to walk out that door, or to start over with nothing. I was afraid, I didn’t want to be homeless, I didn’t want to admit I had failed, given up everything for a man and ended up walking away with nothing. But that is exactly what I ended up doing anyway, only 9 years later after he had beaten me down to nothing more than dirt under his feet.
From that first personal ad the relationship was over and I spent the next 9 + years trying to save it and ended up leaving with nothing, being homeless and so much weaker than if I just would have left in the first place. We made no progress, it was a steady slow demise of what had seemed like the love of my life. The thing is, had I left in the beginning it would have been so much easier, by the time he discarded me I had invested so much into the relationship I had nothing left and when you invest money, time and effort into something the more apt you are to invest more into whatever it is. You get this feeling that you have invested so much you can’t walk away now, if you invest just a little bit more you will get the big payoff.
I am not a gambler but I imagine it is much like when a person plugs money into a slot machine all night; they get a little pay off to keep them hooked. So they plug that back into the machine because it has to pay off sooner or later. Then they have spent all their money but they don’t want to walk away because they just know that someone else will walk up and plug a couple of bucks into it and all the bells and whistles will start going off and someone else will get your payoff. So they borrow money and keep putting good money after bad and never getting the pay off, but NOW they have invested so much more. They would have been better off to walk away after losing a couple hundred, now they are into it for thousands and they CAN’T walk away.
So it goes with the narcissist. If you think you have invested too much into the n to walk away now, believe me it is not going to be easier down the road.