Outside Looking In




You think about me every day. You wait for those teasing and tempting text messages which come through repeatedly during the day and then dry up around 6pm when you know that I am home with her. Once in a while there might be a sudden text at 9pm telling you that she has popped in the bath and that I love you, I miss you and I hate being apart from you. The text also warns you against replying and therefore all you are able to do is touch the glowing screen and try to feel the sentiment behind these electronic messages of desire.

How you cherish that period around 5-30 pm when every day we speak on the ‘phone, just you and I. I am driving home from the office and I use the half an hour or so to regale you with my compliments and to issue those promises that perhaps one day I will be driving home to you. Whatever you are doing you always ensure that you are available and your ‘phone line is free in order to engage in this call. You now arrange social engagements to take place later or you remain at your workplace, ensconced in the office, appearing to be engaged in a business call, save that you smile far too much for something that is work-related. That half an hour of heaven when we talk as if we were properly together, making plans, discussing the things we like and dislike, planning the next time we can snatch some time to make love without being detected or laughing about what was discussed when we met for lunch.

You manage to arrange to have lunch with me at least once a week. We deliberately choose a place that neither is likely to be recognised in and we place ourselves around the corner and out of sight. Hands held beneath the table and then removed when the waiter nears us, just in case. Stolen kisses, lingering looks and promises, oh so many promises of the wonderful world that awaits us once I manage to free myself of the chains of my marriage.

You listen carefully and attentively, showing the empathy for which you were chosen as I make oblique references to my miserable home life. Each time you gently press for more information to enable you to understand what it is that I have to ensure. What it is that I have to put up with and what it is that has driven me into your arms. I try not to say too much at first. I do not want our oh too brief times together to be spoiled by my tale of woe, but your sympathetic ear proves irresistible and I allow you to learn of the injustices that I suffer on a daily basis.

“We just do not get on any longer.”

“She lost interest in me sexually three years ago. I am amazed I have lasted this long.”

“Nothing I seem to do is good enough. No matter how hard I try, she always finds something to criticise.”

You listen and nod. I know you are desperate to weigh in and slide a knife between me and her and cut our bonds, but the decency that you are imbued with prevents you from doing so. You even suggest reasons why this state of affairs is as it is. You are kind, generous and understanding.

You thrill to my sudden calls out of the blue. You always answer after one ring, sometimes even less, thus denoting that your ‘phone is kept next to you at all times. Your voice always tells me how delighted you are to hear from me. When we meet your eyes, your kiss, your hugs and your spoken enthusiasm cause me to soar as I witness your devotion and desire.

You experience a surge of excitement when you are disturbed by a chime in the middle of the night and see that I have managed to issue another text to you.

I cannot get you out of my head and had to let you know. Don’t reply, I am in bed with her.

The delight that you experience at hearing from me when you expected not to is tempered by the knowledge that I am with her and not you.

The weekends are hardest as you often tell me. I can tell you want to say more but I know you are fearful of pushing me away by being too demanding. I text you when I can and even managed to call you, speaking in hushed tones from a toilet cubicle or a changing room in a department store, stifling my laugh that I have pretended to try on some clothes just so I can call you.

I keep you hooked though. I know how much you want me. I know you love me and I know you want me to be loved, to take me away from the misery of my marriage. I promise you that one day we will be together. Now is not the time, it isn’t quite right at the moment, there’s a family event coming up and it wouldn’t be sensible to drop such a bombshell with that on the horizon, there is a family holiday she booked it and I didn’t know until now but what can I do? I will have to go. I keep the promises coming and the excuses flowing and still you hang on.

I know you wonder why I keep my ‘phone close to me. You haven’t said anything yet but I am not stupid. I can see the suspicion in your eyes when I wake and immediately check my mobile.

“I am waiting for an important e-mail that may have come in from the States overnight,” I explain and issue a disarming smile. You nod. You seem to accept the explanation.

You have complained how you are unable to ever get me on my ‘phone when you ring when I am on my way home. How many times have you left messages asking me to pick up some milk or to collect one of our children from swimming or football only for me to pick the message up too late?

“I need to be available for my clients. They don’t know I am driving home nor do they care; they need to speak to me. After all, if it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t have this would we?” I explain pleasantly sweeping an expansive arm at the large house and expensive furnishings all around us. You nod in acceptance. You understand my work is important. I tell you often enough that it is.

“I wish you would meet me for lunch when I come into town,” you say every week or so. I kiss your forehead and tell you that I wish that I had the time to enjoy lunch the woman I love but it is a sandwich and a bottle of fizzy water at my desk for me. There are targets to hit. You nod in understanding and tell me that I work too hard. I thank you and my mind drifts to what I will eat in that Thai restaurant I will be having lunch in tomorrow.

“I wish they would leave you alone,” you sigh when I turn away from you in bed after having made love to you. Your hand lingers on my back, wanting to maintain the closeness and the connection as I attend to my ‘phone on the night stand and issue a late night text before placing it face down.

“I know but it saves waking up to a problem,” I say before turning back to you and kissing you as we nestle in our marital bed.

I know you cherish our weekends together when the demands of the working week intrude less on our domestic life. I can sense you looking at me as I sit, phone in hand, a smile of contentment playing across those lips but nowhere near as wide as the smile inside of me as I fire off a tempting and teasing message.

“Just seeing if Dan is available for squash next week. Tuesday night, so I will be back late,” I say across the room by way of explanation, opening up a gap in the week for someone other than you. You smile and nod and return to your book.

“I love you,” I say suddenly and you look up, the devotion and desire burning in your eyes and it seems so familiar almost making me say something, but the thought passes and I wallow in the admiration and love that you send towards me. You have never ceased to do that.

You do not know about her.

She thinks she knows all about you.

Neither of you really know what I am.

31 thoughts on “Outside Looking In

  1. PrincessSuperEmpath says:

    Dearest HG: Is it instinctive for the Narcissist to have a disengagement plan in the works, or outlined on the project board in the narcissist`s mind, for all schools, even during the best golden periods that are in process? Has an IPPS been dropped so suddenly after much ongoing idyllic fanfare, that the Narcissists friends, family, etc were left aghast, because no problems were ever hinted at? And if so, would not that hurt the Narcissists facade? And if this behavior did hurt the facade, would the Narcissist still repeat such a shockingly abrupt discard in the future, willingly?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Not in the works, no.

  2. Desirée says:

    I’m curious, other than the Shieldmaiden, which of your partners provided you with the best fuel and why?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      This is addressed in the Asylum of the Grotesque Desiree.

      1. Desirée says:

        Thank you, I remember having read that one. Karen, then. Could it be that she is a Co-Dependent and they provide the best fuel? I really like the particular style of writing of this entry, if not the message it contains.

      2. Lorelei says:

        That isn’t released yet though?

    2. MB says:

      Desiree, patience grasshopper 😊

      1. Desirée says:

        MB haha not my strong suit but you are definietly right!

        1. MB says:

          I’m right there with you Desiree!

    3. Sacha says:

      I am curious too

  3. Lou says:

    I need to send this post to my friend, but I am pretty sure she would dismiss it saying “It is not like that”.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      What are you seeking to achieve with your friend Lou?

      1. Lou says:

        I like her and think her whole life has been affected by NPD (Narc mother). She has been taking antidepressants for years and I think learning about NPD would help her. But I know she is in a lot of denial and therefore I won’t insist. I already told her about NPD twice (regarding her mother and now this guy) and she just doesn’t see it and is not interested. It is her life and I won’t insist. Who knows, maybe I am wrong and they are not narcissists, but I doubt it; there are a lot of indicators there.

        1. Lorelei says:

          Lou—it’s frustrating when we can see the answers as readily available and people don’t seem overly interested to grasp them. My friend is going through an outrageous divorce—I have to stop mentioning that the dynamic is like a game of tennis because she is not hearing me. She did allow HG to do a narc detector but I think she rejects the result because she truly believes the man is calculating and “planned the whole thing.” As a result she is miserable but it’s reached a point I won’t mention HG again. A little gets in—but as HG has said—people hate prescriptive thinking. I adore her and can’t stand to see the suffering.

          1. HG Tudor says:

            What about stating to her, whether he planned it (although he did not) or whether it was instinctive, the same rule applies – GOSO. Focus on the response and not the behaviour.

          2. Lorelei says:

            Read your reply HG. She has a very rudimentary grasp on no contact. She looks at social
            media and says it’s important to know. She ruminates daily—multiple groups/support material. It’s like lost in a loop of misery. I can’t break in and the ET is so high it’s uncomfortable for me to watch. That is coming from a person with high ET as is. I’ve told her the divorce package/consult is essential and she isn’t biting. I hate this because she is so kind.

          3. HG Tudor says:

            Thank you for responding Lorelei, you can only do so much. You have shown her the information is there and she will find her way to it at some point and being to address it. The more you try to get her to embrace it (frustrating as it is that she does not) the less likely she is to embrace it, as you know.

          4. Lorelei says:

            I just saw this—I’m not getting notifications. Thanks HG. I’m going to have to set boundaries with her discussing him to an extent..

          5. Lou says:

            Lorelei, yes, it is frustrating indeed. As I told Desirée, she fights her depression by having experiences that make her feel alive. Narcs do that for her, I guess. There were moments I thought she was one, but she is not at all. She does have an analytical mind with regards to many situations and even herself, but her need to keep out of depression blinds her to other things.

          6. MB says:

            Wow Lou, “she fights her depression by having experiences that make her feel alive. Narcs do that for her, I guess.“

            That just hit me like a ton of bricks!

            Maybe suffering from depression (and possibly hypomania too) might predispose one to narc addiction. Not in isolation, but adding that as an additional indicator in the creation of the Narc magnet. Something to ponder.

            That’s the one thing I maintained about N. He made me feel alive.

          7. Lou says:

            MB, I have never seen my friend euphoric or hyperactive. She is more the calm type, doesn’t laugh a lot but is very pleasant. And she is surprisingly very active sexually (something you would not think of her for many reasons). I think sex gives her fuel to fight her depression too. I don’t know, now that I write this, I am wondering again if she is not a narcissist. I think she has the NPD core and that she is therefore a CoD, but I am suddenly not so sure. In any case, I do believe that narcissists can make many people feel alive and that is a big hook for anybody.

          8. NarcAngel says:

            Haha. Did you just call your friend unattractive in the nicest way? Seriously though, when you’re numb, narcs do bring the party. That can be addictive for some. It’s easier to look out rather than inside and when it all goes bad they’ve given you another opportunity to point at them instead of looking to why you had the boredom or depression in the first place. Chicken/egg type deal.

          9. MB says:

            NA, she could be like me. I’m that girl that people assume is naive and innocent. Hell, nobody would say bad words or tell dirty jokes around me until I was at least 35. Maybe it’s not that her friend is unattractive, just not the sterotypical Sex Goddess type. Ha!

          10. Lou says:

            MB, you are right; she definitely does not look like a sex goddess. And t is not only her looks, the way she talks and behaves are also in contrast with her sexual life.
            I don’t know you in person, MB, but I perceive part of your personality through your comments. My friend is not like you. She does not have your sense of humour and wit, and she has not been in a rather stable marriage most of her life like you have. She is different.

          11. MB says:

            Awww thank you Lou! I like bringing the humor and wit. I’m glad that is what comes through. I definitely don’t have a wild sex life!

          12. Lou says:

            NA, she is not unattractive but looks like a woman who went to catholic school and thought of becoming a nun in her teenage years.
            She told me recently how one of her many ex boyfriends wanted to have a threesome with her and another woman. They called a prostitute but the guy got so drunk he couldn’t do anything. The prostitute ended up telling her she should leave the guy because she was far too nice and pretty for him. The story is longer, kind of funny and dark too. I am sure she has been with several narcissists but she doesn’t mind because, as you say, they bring the party and the distraction that she needs.

          13. Lorelei says:

            Hi MB! It’s an alive feeling for sure—until you are smothered my friend!

          14. Lorelei says:

            Thanks Lou! I just saw this:)
            Interesting concept—the excitement maybe releases endorphins..

    2. Desirée says:

      Lou, it’s good of you try and help your friend! Her response confuses me however as I have introduced a friend of mine to HGs work and she was much more receptive. Could it be that she is a Co-Dependent or at least has a significant CoD Element? I would imagine that would make it much harder for the person to accept such a thing. Another friend of mine is a CoD and there is just no getting through to her. It’s borderline annoying how she keeps picking awful people and then complains about how there are “no good men”, or sometimes, no good friends (thanks girl, I’ll be right here if you need me).

      1. Lou says:

        Desirée, yes, I think my friend is a CoD and probably something else (don’t know what it is but it may be a disorder). She says her chronic depression is purely biochemical, that she was born like that. While I believe she has a predisposition to it, I also believe her depression has been caused by events in her life. She is quite intelligent, but I think she is constantly fighting her depression and therefore does not have a lot of energy and desire to figure things out. I think this is the reason she is in denial with this guy; he makes her feel alive. That is why she clings to him (and many other guys who are obviously not good for her).

  4. WokeAF says:

    One of my faves
    Last line is gold.

Vent Your Spleen! (Please see the Rules in Formal Info)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous article

The Immediate Aftermath

Next article

Let’s Pretend