A Letter to The Narcissist – No. 14

 

A LETTER TO THENARCISSIST -JO'S LETTER

M,

It is etched in my mind and I used to visit it often. April 2, I laid eyes on you for the first time as I watched as you walk from your front door to your car. I swooned and said aloud, “I’m in big trouble”. The truth in that statement haunts me to this day. I never looked away from you from that moment on. You were the man I had chosen. In all your brokenness, your fears and your messy past, I loved you relentlessly. It’s as if I brushed the dirt off of you and underneath was this brilliant man whom I fell in love with almost immediately.

 

Our relationship was not easy.  I believed you were working through your past hurts, but it was only your true self peeking through the mask. You spewed your pain and frustration on me when I came to you in kindness voicing concerns. I now know that your pushing me away and needing space were not birthed from old habits from your marriage. This was your true colors shining through. This was you punishing me for my wrongs in questioning you.

 

You voiced regret from your past transgressions in your marriage and I poured my healing balm on your wounds. I believed you as you said “I don’t want to be that man ever again.” I believed you were like me. I had been unfaithful to my husband. Surely your mistakes, as mine, were birthed from an unhappy marriage and having an unhealthy partner.You feigned deep vulnerability, even to tears, mirroring mine. It was all an act, portrayed with such accuracy, I swear you deserve an Oscar. You stated how broken you were and how you were thankful for me.  You said I was helping you grow into a confident man. A man of integrity and honor. A man walking in honesty and truth. I man hell-bent on transforming out of his past and into newness. I believed in redemption and a second chance. I wanted it. You convinced me you did as well.

Finding out that you were still that man was disillusioning at first. I had been deceived by your smooth apologies and partial truths. But what you were proclaiming as truth didn’t silence my gut screaming inside me that there was more. When I found out about her I squirmed and turned my head. I could not face that What I had felt all along was true. I just wasn’t enough for you.

I’ve come to find out no one is. Emily, whom you had a 2 year affair with while married and proclaimed your forever and undying love for, she wasn’t enough. You strung her along for a few months after your divorce and then discarded her citing the same line you fed me, “I need to be alone and find myself.” But you had found Lauren, whom after six months caught onto you after you starting making comments about her weight and looks. She discarded you, but you just wouldn’t have it. You kept a “friendship” alive with her even into our relationship. You were proclaiming to me you hadn’t seen her in months and that she had dumped you because she didn’t want your kids. I pitied you while you met her for runs and a stroll around the art fair.
Oh and let’s not forget Karin. The affair you stayed connected with on Instagram and after I outed you for this as my strike three because of your other social media boundaries issues, you took down your accounts. You said she was the one that “used” you for sex. Yeah. I’ve spoken to her too! Come to find out our children now attend the same school. What a coincidence. Funny how different her story is than the one you told. You pursued her, you initiated the affair and even after you got exposed with your third affair with other woman, you sought her for advice and pity on how to save your marriage.

All these woman chanted the same things “Liar” , “Narcissist”, “mentally ill”, “his poor children” and “thank God you’re out of the relationship”.

No woman is enough. You fell in love with all of us within weeks. You stated each of us was “the one”. Each of us were cheated on, replaceable and not enough. No woman will ever be enough until you’ve had enough of how you behave.
Thank you for helping me realize that I had been playing with cheap Monopoly money. I won’t settle for counterfeit again.
Jo
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51 thoughts on “A Letter to The Narcissist – No. 14”

  1. Well, friends, I wrote to the IPPS (wife). She was completely gutted and humiliated. She asked all kinds of questions but I had to pretend that it wasn’t me writing because I was petrified. Maybe it was cowardly but I really do not want to get overly involved. I told her his m.o. and some of the details. She said ‘what?’ OMG! That’s crazy. (Yup, sure is.) She wanted to know the the name of the IPSS (because our social circles overlap, she was afraid I was someone she knew – I assured that this was not the case, and that none of her circle knew about it).

    I said that the IPSS did not want to be named because she had been through the wringer with the narc, did not want to be involved anymore, and did not want to be online creeped because she’d had enough of that from the narc every time she tried to break away (I thought that drove the point home about the online aliases, stalking and lies, which I had already mentioned). I did give her an initial, however, just in case she wants to confront the narc with it.

    I told her that the IPSS just wanted her to know so she could protect herself. In the end, I said ‘do not feel humiliated. Get angry. Get the truth. You did nothing wrong. You trusted him, same as the ‘IPSS’.’

    How do I feel? Well, I honestly am not invested in what happens next. I simply wanted her to be aware and to protect herself. I haven’t looked at anyone’s social media for ages, I haven’t heard from him and doubt I will, though he has yet to remove me from messaging – maybe she hasn’t confronted him yet (I am pretty sure he is away). If I hear from him I’ll just lie. Same as he lied to me and to her!!

    Once again, I thank HG and everyone who engaged with me. I know what he is, I know I handled it properly, and I know I did the right thing. I am whole again. It only took two years! Those of you still at it, keep fighting the good fight!!

    1. SMH,
      Ok, so your comment popped into my inbox, and with no background on your situation (good ol’ WP/I don’t always get messages)… well, dang — my palms got sweaty reading that, girl! I so felt for both you and the IPPS, as you detailed the convo.

      I then read through the thread, and I see you had in-depth, thoughtful discussions with others on here, which I don’t want to horn in on…

      So I just wanted to say that you did what you felt led to, and I’m glad you feel a peace about it. I feel for how you’ve been deceived/hurt and the guilt you’ve struggled with, as fallout…and I wish you much continued healing~and I hope the narcissist bothers you no more!

      Hugs + kisses, from Caroline.

      1. Thank you, Caroline, both for your response and for reading my posts. I hope she can get past the deception too and find happiness. I hope it it eventually empowers her. Hugs and kisses back.

    2. Hi SMH,

      Thank you for your update, I was wondering how you were getting on.

      I’m glad that you are on the other side of this, I could empathise that this subject was heavy on your mind when we last spoke. As you say his wife now has more understanding of who he is.
      It is up to her now what she does with that knowledge; hopefully she will do her own research into narcissistic behaviour and she can make further informed decisions.

      You were in no means cowardly! it takes balls to do that, and to give her the facts without getting too involved or emotionally linked to the outcome.

      I also wanted to thank you again for our last conversations. I approached them with concern for you and respect for you. I wanted to help in a balancing method, trying to ensure that you would be less likely to get hurt in the potential cross fire. I only realised afterwards how much talking about this, and opening up about my situation and guilt, helped me heal a bit more.

      There are parts to all journeys, bridges that need to be crossed. That conversation was one of the bridges for me. So I thank you so very much for helping me SMH, and Persephone…. I won’t forget the kindness you showed me also.

      The only last bit of advise I would have for you SMH ( although you probably know this without me saying it again), is to delete and block him! I wouldn’t wait for the fall out from him; or even give him the chance to challenge you on this. If he has not removed you from messenger etc…. maybe its time for a final step in your journey to a different narc free life!!! to remove him from your life and block him from entering it again… take your power back fully and don’t leave it to him to have any choice…

      I love learning about different cultures and heritage. I remember a fabulous Japanese tradition called kintsugi, which translates to golden joinery. A tradition of repairing wherever possible China that may be broken. So a broken china bowl that could be shattered into quite a few pieces wil be lovingly restructured, using a lacquer dusted with powdered gold or silver or platinum. The repair is strong, but it does not not cover up the cracks it exposes them in a way that makes the bowl even more beautiful.

      I believe that this can be a great analogy for the repair that humans can undertake when they put themselves back together again, you can be even stronger, acknowledging your scars, but at the same time becoming more beautiful because of them/ in spite of them….

      Good luck SMH….. I wish you well in your future life away from this man… be free, whole and beautiful x

      1. Thank you so much, Quasi, for that. I was going to post it to you but I was concerned that you would think I was targeting you, which was not the case at all. I haven’t blocked him because, well, plausible deniability that it was even me – though I am considering sending her material evidence – plus he is a coward.

        I have much more serious things to worry about now – serious in my own life – so it puts things in perspective. And I have heard of that kintsugi before. Nice analogy. Strangely (or maybe not so strangely), I look much better than I have for the past two years, even though I am two years older. More sleep, more at peace. Golden halo above my head 🙂 (kidding about that one).

        Anyway, you helped me a lot with your gentle willingness to listen, even though it must have been difficult for you. I am glad our conversations helped you to heal too. Remember what I said – abducted by an alien. Impossible to explain. Maybe one day you will have the words but there is no rush. I did discover that patience is rewarded (and I am normally very impatient). Don’t do anything out of feelings, as HG would be quick to tell us. Let logic be your guide.

        Hugs and kisses.

      2. Hi Quasi, thank you for your gentle and thoughtful comments. I just wrote you a long response but somehow it was lost, so I hope I am not repeating myself. I was going to post my ‘confession’ directly to you but I didn’t want you to think that I was targeting you in any way.

        I haven’t blocked him because, well, plausible deniability. He’s a coward anyway and I don’t think he has the balls to contact me. I might send her material proof in the end, though in some ways I would rather meet up and show her because after I made him do that email purge I really don’t want anything electronic floating around and she seems like a nice person. Not batshit crazy. But in any case, there is no rush and I have more serious things to attend to now – more personal things to me.

        Speaking of no rush, the lesson I learned from HG was not to act on my emotional thinking. Logic has the answers with these types and I am smarter than he is that way, as long as I have my emotional thinking and impatience under control. In your case, I would advise the same. There is no rush and you shouldn’t act out of guilt. Remember what I said – abducted by an alien. What normal person would understand (none of us is normal anymore)? If it is the right thing to do, you will know when the time comes. In the meantime, continue your healing journey.

        I have heard of kintsugi before. It’s a beautiful concept. Strangely, I look much better now than I have for the past two years, even though I am two years older! Sleeping normally and a peaceful mind will do that, I guess. And then there’s that golden halo above my head! (kidding).

        I wish you all the best and will see you around these parts because even though I don’t think I need it anymore, the whole subject fascinates me now.

        Hugs and kisses.

      3. I have no idea if this is posting in the right place but she doesn’t want to believe. I should have seen this coming. She wants a name and concrete evidence but if I give her a name or evidence, he will convince her that I am the stalker and the crazy one instead of him! Grooming! Gaslighting! Did HG warn about this? I can’t remember but probably! Oof. Have an emergency call in to my most level headed friend, who also happens to be a psychologist.

      4. I had a dream last night that I told him I loved him (never said that to him) and he changed completely. LOL. I am also tempted to tell him that I tried to tell his wife and she just could not get her head around it because she lacks imagination. I mean she didn’t even realize that her own website is public as she wanted to know how I knew about it if I didn’t know her. She wondered when he would have the time for an affair because he was ‘always home’ She said ‘but we were happy’ when I told him months ago that he is bored and she is in denial (social media pictures).

        He probably counts on her being thick and would probably find it funny that I tried to tell her. After all, when I told him I had written her a letter that I did not mail, he didn’t blink an eye. This whole thing is so warped. But I realize that I am twisted too, which is why we were attracted to each other. It wasn’t that I am such an empath. It was that we are both warped and found each other very funny. But I got tired of being manipulated and controlled all the time. I once wrote him some erotica asking why he couldn’t just role play in bed and respect me out of it.

        Anyway, no more emails to the wife because she is all about appearances. The main thing she was worried about was that her friends knew. She just wants the nice life with the money, the holidays, and the Christmas cookies. He picked me because he is bored and cannot explore his sexuality or his intellect with her. He did not pick me because I am an empath, that’s for sure! I am rolling my eyes at the absurdity of the whole thing.

        So far I have not heard from him. He still has me on messaging as far as I can tell, so she either has not told him or he is enjoying the challenge of watching me try to tell her while he knows she won’t believe it because he is so good at what he does!! Once again, he wins! I guess I like a challenge too…

    3. Hello SMH,

      I think it’s the new format.. you can’t see comments waiting for moderation anymore so it may look like they disappear in the ether …

      Thank you for your reply, I would not think you were targeting me at all so please don’t worry about that… you can address whatever you like to me lovely.

      I Absolutely understand what you mean, go with your gut on this one.
      But as you say if you have more pressing concerns at the moment, it may be best to shift focus to what Is most important at the moment, and reasses if you want to take the issue further, with the evidence for her.

      Focus back to you and your new world…
      I totally agree with you on the alien abduction front…. there is no way I could really explain everything to my husband if I was to confess as it were .. I am going with my rational mind and the advise I have received in relation to this subject. My guilt is my own, and mine to manage.

      A Memory in a box and locked away…

      I would not find it hard to believe that you look and feel better now, the veil has been lifted and you are physically free of him…. sleep is also amazingly helpful..

      Thank you again for your kindness SMH, I have very much valued it and our conversations. I hope to meet again on here in the future.. I too find it very interesting and enlightening.

      Take care lovely xx

      1. Hey, SMH and Quasi,
        Regarding stuck posts, same thing happened with me a bit ago… some guy I replied to nearly the same thing twice on a thread who’s gonna be like, “Huh?” LOL…

        To the best of my ability to discern, it especially seems to happen at times when articles are being loaded in on the site… our posts get “caught up” in that… and there’s a delay… so you (like me) think your post is lost and re-type it.

        Tech stuff always screws me! I guess we just assume our posts will post. And if they don’t, ah well. 🙂

    4. SMH,

      I don’t think you can give anymore to this lovely… part of deciding to share what you have with her, had to be in the context that it was then up to her to make choices…

      If she doesn’t not want to believe, you can not make it so.
      You can lay out a mass of evidence before her and likely hurt yourself in the process. But she still may not believe it.

      If she has not picked up on any gut feeling that something is wrong, or she is going against her intuition; or She is just scared of what life will mean without him, then there is nothing that can be done. You can’t fix it for her, only she can now.

      SMH you can’t be attached to this now hun, it will drag you in and you need to be free of him…

      You can’t make the blind see, or give a different lens to a distorted creation … she is on her own path with him.. she will come to her own conclusions, and that may take time and she may get hurt.

      A chat to someone you trust sounds like a great idea. I’m a big fan of psychology and psychologists! So good call… I’m sure they will advise to use wise mind on this one.

      I have always watched psychology lectures etc on you tube, lucky really. So when my husband clocked me watching loads of stuff on narcissism he didn’t bat an eyelid- he may have rolled his eyes because I’m always watching lectures or ted talks etc, but nothing different to the norm …phew …..

      1. Quasi, that’s funny about the lectures.

        I have chatted to a therapist. She had some good insights but she never brought up narcissism. Had no clue. I figured it out. I’ve thought of seeing her again, but why? The one I spoke to is a personal friend. She and HG have been way more help.

        The main problem is that he is always lying in wait. I can’t tell you how many times I have thought it was over. It goes in cycles. Once he creeped me incognito every month after he told me it was over (the only time – the other times it’s been me), he contacted me every week after I told him I did not want to be in contact. I start to feel anxious as if I know he is thinking about me and willing me back. It doesn’t matter if I block him or go six months without speaking to him. He does things like go incognito, create fake FB profiles, etc. Due to the nature of my job, I have a very public internet presence, so I feel exposed and like his prey. He will ‘ignore’ me while following my every move.

        But life goes on and I am not losing sleep over it. It was just that dream. And his wife, well, yeah. You can’t make the blind see! Just like you cannot make the narc understand emotions! I have no intention of engaging anymore. Already forgotten about it!

        Hugs

      2. It’s like HG has said – until one of us is dead, it feels like I will always belong to him.

    5. Hi SMH,

      Dreams can be so vivid and real, but your right, in reality there is no love from him to be felt. Sometimes our dreams are just telling us what our subconscious mind wants … im no Rogers or Jung so I wouldn’t go into interpretation too deeply… but they can effect us, make us self doubt and fuel emotional mind.

      I was referring to the personal friend you spoke of re – psychologist, I thought that was a good call. As you say going to a private therapist is not always helpful, many won’t give direct advise in this regard.

      I think that your a very intelligent lady, and you have the sum of this man, you know his patterns, his style.
      It is likely that he will follow the Same pattern if it seems to be working, why would he change it huh.

      I would use your knowledge of his patterns / cycles to be mindful when you need to be and let go and live ! when you are able to. His behaviours have worked to make you “aware of him” and what he is doing, whether this is under the radar/ incognito or overtly. He is strengthening his ever presence and is reinforcing his Value to you.

      I think we need to take heed of what we have learnt, but not to the level that we loose our own intuition and sense of self.

      Feeling that you belong to him until one of you are dead is a learnt / conditioned thought….. it can be un- learnt. It is also the narcissists perspective, we can understand this, and be aware, but we do not need to believe it as our own truth. Or we are volunteering ourselves to have shackles for the rest of our days!

      You are strong SMH, even if you don’t fully realise this yet, the brain is an amazing thing, just as he conditioned you to feel and think in certain ways, you can re-trace this and erase it, learn your own truth of who you are for you, and not him, your own value for you, and not how he valued ( didn’t value you).

      Remember you can “choose”, you have a freedom of choice that he probably does not feel he has, due to his need for others to validate him.

      You can choose you!

      He will always need you more then you need him, you have no need for him. You can validate yourself, you can show yourself kindness and compassion. You can live a free and meaningful life.

      I don’t want this to sound preacher like, my intent for this reply is to try and encourage the person inside of you ( who I know is there) to take back your power. You have nothing to loose but the chains …..

      You got this ….

      Xx

      1. Thanks, Quasi. You are right that the dream is another example of emotional thinking. I hadn’t considered it that way. I am not quite free of him yet and he has conditioned me to his cycles.

        Mid-June they will all be gone – moving back to their home country. I will be in mine for awhile, not far away, but there is no chance that I will go to his city and little chance that he will come to mine. Once he did pop up in mine quite unexpectedly but he had a different sort of job then. His new one will keep him chained to a desk (I hope).

        The feeling that I belong to him is me giving up because my attempts at escape have all failed so far. In fact when he told me he was moving I said ‘I guess I am moving there too.’ He laughed. But that was before I told him he was a psychopath, before he had me in tears of frustration, before I wounded him by calling him a man-baby 🙂 and before I made him delete our 3000 emails. It’s crazy that I had to do all of that in an effort to be rid of him.

        I think he had another IPSS on the hook last time I saw him, just a few weeks ago, and I am guessing that it isn’t working, which is why I am ‘feeling’ him. I’ll hold out for the move and after all, I did just email with his wife! Maybe a bit too close for comfort, even for me! xx

        P.S. A friend just asked if I am ready to date again and I said, I am SO SICK OF MEN. My ex-husband is also emailing me whining about this and that (he is a pity narcissist, I have finally figured out).

    1. Pipe down Ian, it takes a lot for people to write these letters…. although I can’t remember the last time I heard someone use the term balderdash….. so in a way that was amusing! What, what !!!

    2. Or Ian could be a greater narcissist, trying to stir up an empath shit storm of defence, because he finds it entertaining! Just a thought 💭

      1. In any case, Ian was not very good in getting his point across because its not clear if he meant the letter or one of the comments, so his comment became Irrelevant.

      2. Yoda Angel… hmmm…or *maybe* Ian meant the narcissist’s behavior (highlighted in letter).

        Brevity isn’t always best, lol

        Ian, we never knew ye.

    3. Im just being cheeky HG, we cant always say how amazing you are, a gentle tease now and then isn’t too bad huh?…
      Ok I retract my statement, and HG your clearly awesome, otherwise we wouldn’t be here.

      1. Tudor, do you perceive us teasing you as…attention? How do you manage then not seeing it as criticism (even if a small one, coming from unknown sources)?

        (I know I’m curious, I’ve been told…)

      2. Teasing is emotional attention and is good-natured, therefore is purely positive fuel, albeit from a low potency source and low in quantity as done in writing.
        It is conceivable that teasing could be misinterpreted and thus might be viewed as Challenge Fuel or possible cause wounding.

    4. You wanna piece of me, Ian? Huh? Do ya, man? Do ya? You wanna piece of this?

      (Uh, why is nobody holding me back?…People?? (Sniff, sniff)…Girlie girl here. Pink is still my favorite color~years of ballet~play a string instrument…oh… dear…)

      P.S. Jo–nicely done; love the ending:-)

  2. Oh Jo, this is heartbreaking. I sometimes forget that I was an OW because mine lied to me for the first eight months and when I found out, I couldn’t get my head around it. It didn’t feel any different because he always came and went as he pleased anyway. This was probably the case with some of these other women too. They were likely not all in on the secret. It’s amazing the mental gymnastics we can do because the truth is so unbelievable. I’ve never been unfaithful to anyone and I don’t think anyone has ever been unfaithful to me (maybe at the very end of a relationship). It’s definitely not normal, yet mine was probably cheating on me and on his wife at the same time, and probably has someone else now with whom he continues to cheat on his wife. Mental illness indeed. Here on this blog I am advised not to tell the IPPS (his wife). Would you rather have not known?

    1. SMH,
      I don’t know who you are asking if they would rather have known, but I will answer… yes, in a heart beat. It would have saved me years of doubt and feeling crazy. Perhaps it would have set me free a lot sooner.

      1. Just Me, Thanks for the answer. It’s hard to know what to do or how to do it.

      2. People like to think they would or would not, just as they think they would do such and such in certain situations when speaking to others, but you really dont know until youre in that situation and you dont know that womans situation. Case in point: if before you were ensnared someone had told you they were experiencing what you are now, you would have told them to dump his ass in a millisecond and told them exactly what to say and how to do it. But here we all are.

      3. People did tell me to dump his ass. And I did three times (third time has held). I don’t know her but I know what she does every day, what sort of personality she has, that she banished him from the family home for a previous affair, that she asked to reconcile, that she dragged him to counseling. I know a lot of things, though it took two years to amass the information (I didn’t let go until I solved the puzzle and had what I needed – address, email, phone number, social media sites). She thought he had the one affair and they got past it. She does not know that he is a serial cheater who is probably juggling multiple women at the same time. And if I am wrong and she does know, well, I won’t be telling her anything new, so no harm done, right?

      4. Hi narcangel…100% agree! You dont know unless youve walked in that persons exact shoes. One thing ive learned thru this experience is to not judge. I used to think why would a woman allow a man to abuse her and altho id not stay being physically abused i have been emotionally abused and stayed. Its so easy to judge a person but not as easy to admit youve never been in a particular situation or with that person so you cant know how youd react or what youd do.
        Were all here bc narcissism has touched us in one way or another. No ones better than the other. Its different peoples experiences and journeys in life.

    2. SMH,
      I would rather have known.

      But I was told.
      “Your husband is with me now.” But that’s all I was told. I was in shock and crying. When he came home within the next few minutes, acting normal and upbeat, he looked surprised to see me crying. “Oh, that was just a prank phone call! I’m home with you every night! You know I love only you right?! Shush, dry those tears now. I came to take you out. Our friends are waiting. Don’t let people get to you. It’s probably some person who is jealous of what we have.”

      Would you believe that? I did.

      Even though I had been cruelly and confusingly devalued just weeks before.

      And would be again very soon, and worse than ever. And this time he would openly and cruelly triangulate.

      I left. Then there was the Initial Grand Hoover. That was weird, and scary. He broke into my apartment while I was at work, took my few belongings back to the house, THEN he went all “her fault, evil seductress, he was feeling neglected, that I know he would never cheat, she convinced him I had….blah blah blah.” I really felt like a zombie at the time.
      Since he is not here to work me over mentally, and I’ve learned this would be a major fuel issue, it is now obvious.

      But for the other woman to tell her, unless you will risk telling her face to face, bring proof, and do this openly in the narcissists’ presence, there is still the chance of the narcissist successfully denying and deflecting.

      1. Persephone, Thank you for your response. I am not with him anymore and I never asked him to leave his wife so I would never have done anything like that. I was anxious in the relationship not because it was an affair but due to his narc behavior. At one point, I almost told his wife to put a leash on him, just to get me out of his grip.

        I warned him multiple times, at one point that I almost sent her a letter, at other points that someone else might tell her because there are very few degrees of separation between us. He never ever reacted to any of it. He denies he was even lying to her after we ended it the previous time because, well, to him lies of ommission do not exist. He only admits that he lied to me when we met because the wrong words came out of his mouth. As HG says, the past doesn’t exist, remorse doesn’t exist, responsibility doesn’t exist, the truth doesn’t exist. It was exactly like that.

        I came to realize that he also might have WANTED me to tell or to fight for him for the drama and tears it would cause. As you say, for the fuel. So I didn’t do it, almost to spite him.

        Now that I escaped and I think he has another IPSS, and I am no longer (or at least less) trauma bonded or wanting to symbolically kill him or worrying that I will lose him and the fog has lifted, telling has become the final step in my disengagement.

        I wouldn’t tell her to her face and I won’t give her any real proof because he was very good at covering his tracks. I have proof, of course, some hard proof and also dates, places, family secrets but that would require a long letter and he would know it was me.

        I will just send her a message with the basic outline of what he does and how he does it, and that he had a two year affair that ended only recently. I will give her an email address to contact me if she wants more information. He might well deny and deflect, or she might choose not to believe, or to believe and stay anyway (though I doubt that). But at least I will have done what I think is right at this point. I do have some remorse even though I blame him.

        This is the first blog I have found where I can actually get some answers from women on the other side of this, and where they understand that the ‘OW’ might have been just as blindsided and confused as they are.

        Funny that yours should refer to the OW as an ‘evil seductress’ because that’s what I accused mine of trying to make me. He’s a bit of a passive (mid-range) type once he has what he wants (very persuasive and persistent until he gets it) and I could sense that he was trying to make me fight FOR him, but all I ended up doing was fighting WITH him.

        Anyway, I hope this isn’t too painful for you. Maybe it will even help a bit.

      2. It’s a really tricky subject with many layers, to tell the betrayed partner or not? I feel it needs to be related to context, individual situation, and motive, and not purely the concept of “doing the right thing, being honest”.

        My experience is very different to this situation and the comments on the post.

        I am the betrayer as it were, I was a married target for the narcissist. A nipss initially developing a deep care for the narcissist in a position as a good friend. Our friendship was relatively short lived, and evolved into me being an ipss. (no infidelity before the narcissist) and I now feel like HG describes. The dirty empath, white with this black streak that has imprinted on me.

        There were 4 situations with intimate dialogue or physical interaction with the narcissist which ended the day after the worst…. I informed him that I could not be what he wanted me to be and he could not be the friend I wanted him to be… I was disengaged from 2 months following this after his baits and triangulation did not work in provoking me to make contact.

        ( I am aware that my situation is different and does not compare in anyway to the long term abusive relationships that many on the blog have experienced)

        I have almost told my husband 5 times … I ducked out four times, believing that I’m just a coward. On the fith occasion I got as far as siting him down and starting to talk indicating that I needed to tell him something, to be honest. He turned straight to tell me how much he loved me, how much he loves our family and how lucky he is….. I was shot down in momentum! Did he know deep down that something had happened? Was that his way of telling me he did not want to hear me say it? So again I backed out, again feeling like a coward and and well a nasty person all round really.

        I have opened up to four close friends and my sister…. this was very difficult, they know us both very well, they know who we are at our cores! I laid myself out for the judgment of people whose opinion of me I value very highly. Especially my sister.
        Because they know me inside and out they were compassionate, they were honest and didn’t sugar the pill with their opinions of the decisions I had made and my actions. But they were also kind in their summary of my character- their view of me remained unchanged. They saw the good in me still, even though I could not see it in myself. I was Definitely my harshest critic…

        Every single one of them advised me not to tell him, “ it would kill him” ,” it was not a long term or ongoing affair”. Their perspective was that to tell him would be motivated by my guilt and not necessarily what is best for him. I thought that I would need to tell him as honesty is always best and it would be the right thing to do.
        I have decided that they are right in this situation, and I do not plan to tell him now. I need to live with my guilt, my lessons learned, and probably rightly so. I can only try and compartmentalise, putting the narcissist in a memory box and locking it away…

        I can’t undo what has been done, but by telling him I would ruin him aswell, he may forgive me and remain with me. He may leave, but there is more to consider then just the guilt and being honest.

        I know that sharing this may open me up to more criticism, Although I feel I have done the worst to myself. I hope my story helps give another perspective also, I guess that is why we share our stories with each other, to support each other and learn from each other. X

      3. Thank you for sharing your story, Quasi. It’s very thoughtful. I have no idea what I would do in your situation and I am glad you have people to talk to about it. Hard for me because friends think well, that’s what you get for being in an affair! They did not understand the narc dynamic. Even my therapist did not understand it, though she did encourage me to tell.

        Part of me thinks well, he has a mental illness, no moral compass and no ability to love. He’s not responsible for what he does. But in the end it is a moral issue that I do have control over, even if he does not. I would want to know if I were her. She has the right to make informed decisions about her life, just as I have the right to make them about mine. He is a serial cheater but she doesn’t know this. She thinks he is reformed. She kicked him out once that I know of, before we met, and they reconciled and went to counseling during our affair, so this is not behavior that she finds acceptable (I only found out some of this when he would slip up). He also resists using condoms (I know, dumb). And she has the right to protect her health. I tried to explain this to him and get him to tell her. But he left the conversation and we never revisited it. I do feel like the dirty empath!

        But I am out of the fog now and I think that deception of this sort for this long is controlling behavior – not a momentary lapse. It is deeply emotionally abusive, humiliating and I know what it feels like because I am the flip side of what he does to her. I feel empowered having escaped and she should have that chance too. That’s all I would be doing – giving her a chance.

      4. I think that your decision to not hurt your husband, is very commendable. He did nothing wrong, and the narcissists are very determined to obtain what they want and need, no matter the cost to anyone else.
        It was nobodies responsibility to tell me. That falls on my narcissist, and myself.
        The “evil seductress” was really a young recent immigrant when she was seduced by my narcissist. I had actually met her once. Before we each knew what the other was to him. I remember her as a happy, somewhat shy, and innocent young woman. She thought I was his sister. I did not stick around to see what her reaction was to my telling her that I was his wife. He pulled up in a golf cart at that moment, took the lunch he had “forgotten”, told me he’d see me at home tonight, and turned his cheek to me when I went to kiss him goodbye .
        He was able to keep her in a decades long affair and had a child with her. As Jo said, no woman will ever be enough. To the narcissist, the world is not enough. (my apologies to Mr Fleming.)

      5. Hi Persephone, thank you, that was very kind of you to say, and I really appreciate it.

    3. Hi SMH, I totally agree with you regarding the deception and abuse that this persons wife may be enduring, and that this is not acceptable on any level.

      I hope you don’t mind me responding to your comment, I know it was in a different context. It was purely with a view of offering another perspective, mainly in that when I tried to tell my husband he deflected it. I had a sense that he did not want to hear the words/ maybe he knows because he knows me, he would have picked up on changes in behaviour, emotional lability?

      I would never advise anyone to do or not do something, only offer a view if I feel it may be helpful. This will only ever be your decision, as only you know all the elements of your situation, only you know the people and the dynamics involved.

      Everyone has their own lens / view that they see the world though, most often linked to core beliefs.
      We can present information to a person, but we can not control how they then view that information.
      This lady may have the fog in full effect, and be completely submerged in her own bond to him. She may hear information and choose to disbelieve it, she may take it all on and take action to end her relationship, she may take it all on and choose to stay with the narcissist.

      With any decision you make, to give or not give her information, through whatever means, the only hope that I have is that you enter into this with a view that you are not attached to the outcome ( this would be to protect you).

      It would need to come from a place of good intent, but not one that is emotionally linked to what this lady then decides to do with the information.

      For example – If you have an internal hope that she sees the information as it is and decides to leave the narcissist, and you have emotion linked to that option/ hope. It may be emotionally devastating for you if she does not view it in the same way, or decides not to act upon it/ dismisses it.

      From my perspective this comment comes from a place of good intention, and in a stupid empath way, trying to reduce the risk of further emotional harm coming to you through this situation. I hope that this comes through with my words, I know that the written word can be interpreted differently by different people .

      All the best in whatever you decide to do. X

      1. Hi Quasi, Those are all very good points and I don’t mind at all. It is good to be able to have this conversation. You are right that only each of us knows our individual situations, and I am sure what you sense from your husband is completely accurate. It sounds like you have a very good marriage. That is different from what I see with my narc, as is the nature of the transgression.

        Funny but a friend once said what if you tell the wife and he rebounds to you? But that was when I was still ensnared. I am taking HG’s advice and holding off until my logical thinking completely dominates my emotional thinking, which hasn’t happened quite yet. I didn’t want it to be ‘heat of the moment’ and I also didn’t want to feel like I was dropping a ton of bricks on her head. Dispassion is key. I never asked him to leave her and I don’t care what happens. I just want her to have some of the tools she needs to know the truth. If I do it, I will hide. I won’t know the outcome (unless I get a very angry text, which I can ignore). In a month will be in different countries for good, so there will be distance between us.

        I have ways of knowing what is going on with her – and not even mainly from him. She is wary, but trying. She was cold but has started to thaw. She is co-dependent but obviously has the strength to leave, since she did it once before.

        What really gets me is that she trusted him to reconcile (which is when I found out he was married), yet weeks later he was on a dating site and two months later, dragged me into an affair as they went to counseling. The whole time she thinks things are getting better and he is earning back her trust, but things are actually getting worse.

        I am pretty sure he has a new IPSS now. So what should I do? I am the only person in a position to tell her because this new IPSS probably doesn’t know his real name (I didn’t for months), or that he is married. I am almost 100% sure that I am the only one who knows his whole m.o. He is extremely secretive but I spent the past two years gathering information (I am a researcher for a living, which helps). He knows all of this and it still didn’t stop him because the only thing he was after was fuel.

        In any case, I know how I would feel in her shoes with someone like *me* looking over her shoulder (eww). I don’t want to be that person anymore and I don’t want her to be that person anymore.

    4. Hi SMH, if your not going to know the outcome, then I would say you have the not being attached to the outcome concept covered…

      You sound like a very intelligent and strong woman, and I sense from your comments that you are coming from a place of good intentions and the best interests of this lady.

      I have not sensed from your comments that you want the narcissist to return to you, and I hope my example did not give this impression.

      The view I was looking from was that it is natural to hope that a person given clear information will value themselves more, and choose to leave a relationship when as you say they are with a serial cheater.
      And you clearly do not want this lady to endure the emotional pain and abuse that you know awaits her in the relationship.

      Knowing that someone is in that situation is very emotive for an empathic person, especially one who has the knowledge that you do. So the emotional link to the outcome may have been just the hope that this lady leaves and does not suffer in the way you know she can if the relationship continues.

      I hope this makes sense, I think I may have confused myself 😂

      Your right in that my marriage is in a completely different context, as I am married to a good man, I’m ridiculously lucky… in its turn this also amplifies my very bad choices whilst entangled with a narcissist, but that is my cross to bear as it were.

      I’m glad that you could see that my intentions were also coming from a good place, and well meaning.

      Thank you for your kind responses also, I really appreciated having this conversation with you also.

      Good luck SMH, I hope all goes well with your move, and I’m sure whatever you decide will be well considered and the right thing for you and her.

      1. Quasi, We all make bad choices when confronted with a narc! Even if you decided to tell your husband you would not be able to explain the nature of this other person. It’s like being abducted by an alien. That’s a good enough reason not to say anything. Just tuck it away as a strange experience.

        I am not entirely sure yet that my motives for telling are unselfish but I do hope to get there…

        Thank you again and good luck to you too!

  3. This is beautifully written Jo, and a Brilliant account of the infatuation on both sides, and his cycle of using women; he sounds prolific. I’m glad that you have managed to step away from him and have processed what happened.

    Everyone is actually enough, enough for themselves ( in time if self esteem is built back up as it can be) and the people that know and love them truly, and wholeheartedly.

    In a weird way the objectification helped me in the end depersonalise it, they treat every the same, in their cycle of thinking; as you say everyone experienced the same or similar treatment. It does not matter what you look like, how much you loved them/ cared for them. It’s not about anything you did or said, it’s about their behaviour pattern/ cycle, so it’s not actually about you. The lessons learnt from narcissists are in my opinion very valuable, even though they are painful at the time. The point is that we can learn something, develop/evolve and heal. I really like you closing statement also. X

  4. I love your letter, Jo! You describe his behaviors throughout the relationship with out attacking or name-calling. You never resorted to his level. It’s interesting that on a gut level you knew; however, you wanted to believe like many of us.
    Your ending line sums up that you learned from your experience and “you’ll never settle for counterfeit again.” Love it!

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