“The best way to get over a woman is to turn her into literature.”
I figured that could be applied to any situation, not just in a romantic sense.
I’m a divorcee who’s just getting familiar with the term “narcissistic personality disorder”, the misused term: co-parenting (there is no “co” anything with a NPD partner), and the nightmare we call our family court system.
Now my ex-husband has never been much of a fighter, but the women he chooses often are.
Starting with his mom, taken over by me, and recently passed on to his latest girlfriend and sister – he’s learned how to get the women in his life to fight his battles for him so he can sit back and enjoy the fireworks with little to no responsibilities.
Oh, so much fun.
My story of an on-again/off-again marriage to the same man followed by an insane divorce began back in 1996 when I met my future ex at work. We’ll call him “Clyde”… and this is our less-than-romantic love/like story:
Clyde was tall and average looking. For most people, Clyde seemed to be quiet and shy but after you got to know him, he became quite witty and funny. Very
cunning charismatic. I was the melancholy, activist goth girl with turquoise hair who looked like she belonged in a garage band while Clyde was clean-shaven and conservatively dressed. He and I could talk for hours without even realizing how much time had passed.
He told me about his dreams of going to college to be a…… teacher? Marine biologist? You know, the story changed so many times I don’t know anymore, but the bottom line is he wanted to go to college so I thought “Man, this guy has potential!”
RED FLAG #1: Clyde and I were friends for a few months before we started dating, or the more proper term would be “hooking up” because I can’t say he ever took me on a single date and definitely nothing that he paid for.
RED FLAG #2: I was only 18 and fresh out of a bad relationship. Clyde knew this.
Ladies, I cannot repeat this loudly enough: DON’T REBOUND! Don’t be in an emotionally bad place when you start a new relationship. Give yourself some time to heal.
BIG RED FLAG #3 came a few weeks into our “hooking up”.
I had just gotten off a graveyard shift when Clyde decided to take me to my favorite restaurant for breakfast (with me picking up the tab, of course). I thought to myself “Oh how sweet, he’s taking me to my favorite place for our first official date.”
While we were eating, Clyde told me that his old girlfriend was coming to visit and they were getting back together. He said it with complete ease, like it was no big deal.
Who was this girl?
Why hadn’t I heard about her prior to this?!
I was caught completely off-guard. Clyde didn’t talk about his past and I remember wondering at one point if he’d even dated at all.
I started going into shock. I got a knot in my chest and felt like I was going to throw up.
He brought me to my favorite diner to rip my heart out!
I started to cry right at our booth but Clyde seemed unmoved. He actually didn’t appear to care at all. He was very stone-faced and just continued eating the meal I’d graciously paid for.
After breakfast, I drove Clyde home. I told Clyde to lose my number; I changed my work schedule; set up some boundaries and told my roommate to not accept any of his calls.
Did it stop? Pshuah! Boundaries, shmoundaries! This is Clyde, after all. He’s awesome and no one sets boundaries for him!
He bombarded me with answering machine messages and left little notes in my locker at work. A normal person would file a restraining order but at such a young, naive age, I rationalized his behavior and thought Clyde must really care about me since he refused to leave me alone… so after a week, I caved and let him back into my life.
As far as his “old” girlfriend (who I later discovered was actually his “current’ girlfriend)… well, she didn’t show up and poor Clyde claimed he was heartbroken. He came to me, teary-eyed and hurt. He told me horrible stories of this girl and how she cheated on him. He accused her of controlling his every decision, right down to the clothes he wore.
How could I refuse a boy so broken? I’m that girl who nursed abandoned and injured animals back to health when I was young. I tried to be friends with everyone, especially those without friends. I’m the “fixer”.
So I forgot about the hell Clyde put me through just a few weeks before and I took poor Clyde in. I cleaned off his wounds and cautiously became his friend… with benefits.
A couple of months later, I discovered I was pregnant.
So there I was… trapped. The more time went on, the more secrets I found. Clyde was nothing like the financially responsible, college-bound shy guy I thought he was. The worst part is that it took me 14 years to realize it wasn’t something I could fix.