I’m glad I went to church yesterday even though I cried twice during the service. It does give me some peace. Before the service I felt panic and as though I might do something stupid concerning my STBX, but afterwards I just drove slowly home.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time learning about Narcissistic Personality Disorder these days, which I have absolutely no doubt my husband suffers from. Weirdly the vast majority of us chumps on the Chump Lady website were in a relationship with a narc.
Symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder
In order for a person to be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) they must meet five or more of the following symptoms:
- Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
- Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
- Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
- Requires excessive admiration
- Has a very strong sense of entitlement, e.g., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
- Is exploitative of others, e.g., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
- Lacks empathy, e.g., is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
- Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
- Regularly shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes
My husband, and I am not exaggerating, has all nine of those characteristics. That is why he feels he is more deserving of his settlement money than I am. Why he thinks my potential is so much less than his. Why I should be happy to be my parent’s caregiver for the rest of my life. I have no goals or hopes or dreams. At least nothing that compares to his.
When I was with my husband I frequently became embarrassed because he “exaggerated” (no, he lied) to people so that they’d think better of him. It was bad enough he did it constantly about himself but when he did it about me it was particularly appalling. I ran a children’s website and had a Twitter account associated with it. One day a famous author followed me back and I was thrilled because he has a million (literally) followers, but only follows 800 people back.
So you know how my husband spun that? He told people that I was friends with Neil Gaiman. Um. No. I’m not friends with him. We’ve had a few Twitter exchanges and that’s it. But he’d tell his hipster friends that his wife was friends with Neil in order to earn some hipster points. I was very uncomfortable with that because they’d ask me about it! And then if I didn’t correct them I became complicit in his lies.
I also am glad to not be around him and his endless get rich schemes. Seriously, there were no end to them. I’m all for being optimistic and curious and trying new things, but after eight years, losing every penny I had, and a couple hundred “perfect ideas” it was hard to muster any more enthusiasm. And then he’d get mad at me for being negative.
The worst part about the get rich schemes was that he could never consider working his way up from the bottom. No. He’d go right to the very, very tip top overnight and become one of the “super rich.” And he’d call me negative for not understanding or, god forbid suggesting that he enjoy the process of getting there because to admit he wouldn’t ever be super rich was to admit he’d never be rich at all.
While we together almost constantly, we didn’t have much interaction. He slept very late and then spoke on the phone to his family for HOURS every day. Sometimes I thought I could get a word in edgewise if I just phoned him. And on those really rare days when I could afford to take us out for dinner, and stupidly expected it to be intimate or romantic, he aimed his chair away from me, toward the restaurant and server and anyone else he could engage in conversation. Leaning back as though he is a big shot.
And it’d be too soon if I ever again hear him calling people “idiots.” It’s all I ever heard. “Idiots. Idiots. Idiots.” If they didn’t like him they were idiots. If they were better off and didn’t help him they were idiots. If they disagreed in any way they were idiots.
In eight years of marriage I walked away from hundreds of clerks at shops or hosts at restaurants because he HAD to complain about something every single time. Every. Single. Time. No joke, one year he wrote a letter to a major department store in London demanding that they change the direction of their escalators. That’s just one example of thousands. For eight years he’d complain to these people at the bottom of the power structure with no way to change things — but my husband only wanted to hear himself talk and he actually felt they were in awe of his brilliance.
I always thought his sense of entitlement was due to the fact that he’s Iranian and they place huge importance on being “the first born of the first born of the first born,” etc. which he is. But now I feel that his sense of entitlement might be because he realizes he’s a loser and a fake and that his behavior is just a cover up for a man with deep insecurities.
He loves to be admired and he thought my humility and honesty was disgraceful. He said I should never let people know who I really am. He told me that my mother is white trash because she spoke of her poor upbringing in Mississippi.
To say he regularly shows arrogant, haughty behaviors is the understatement of the year. If you look up “Puts On Airs” you’ll see his photo. That’s why he needed to be rid of me. I refused to do those things. I was on to him. Not only that, but I hated that he put me down for being unwilling to act the part. This is what I mean when I say I ignored my own values and that’s what got me in trouble with him. I ignored those red flags. It’s not in my value system to flaunt and be arrogant.
Because he overcompensated for not having money by being a witty intellectual he was inappropriately opinionated and when he’d start up, say, at a party or gathering, I just had to walk away, afraid of what would come out of his mouth.
It was usually the subject of Jews. He tried to ascertain whether the person he was talking to had an opinion about how Jews controlled, well, everything. It took six of the eight years we were together before this side of him came out and it appalled me. By then I also heard him saying derogatory things about Indian people while we lived in the UK. He’s a racist and a bigot, but he’d deny that, naturally.
The saddest part is that when I began to see him as someone who may not succeed, who may always continue this fantasy way of life, he had to be done with me. He had no other choice but to move on to someone new and gullible. Because he was incapable of financially contributing to our life he had no other choice than to hook up with another woman who could support him — the fact that she’s 26 and a nurse? All the better for him and his massive ego.
Wait, no, the saddest part is that letting go of that constantly dreaming and scheming charismatic liar has proven so hard to do.
All of this is quite funny to me considering I am the one with diagnosed mental health issues. And boy did he loved to throw that in my face. But he’s got the worst personality disorder because there’s simply no cure for NPD. They can’t change. They may mellow a bit with age, but that’s it. I guess it’s lucky for them then, that they would never acknowledge having Narcissistic Personality Disorder in the first place.