I don’t know guys, I’ve heard of people wanting to change and stuff but I’ve not heard of narcissistic types wanting to change. We’ve been writing back and forth a little bit over email and if I didn’t know any better, I would say the man actually wants to change. However, I do know better and regardless of if he wants to change or not, the damage has been done. There is zero trust left in this relationship and us trying to work it out would be a lifelong struggle almost. The helper part of me wants to stick around and see if he’s actually starting to see his core issues. The survival part of me says to run. Lucky for him, I haven’t been a resident in this state for enough time to file for a divorce anyways.
He actually went out and bought a book on shame (Healing the Shame that Binds You by John Bradshaw) and sent me some quotes on it. It kind of freaked me out since he’s the one that came to the conclusion that shame was the root of a lot of his issues. He’s admitting a lot of his issues over email and even told me that this separation was the best thing I ever could have done. I had considered putting our conversation over email on this blog and maybe I will someday but a lot of it seemed a little to personal to put online.
I really really do hope that he is wanting to get help and to change. I’m not saying for our relationship but for him. I think everyone has the right to live happily and freely. I’ve been bound to an emotionally abusive relationship for eight years now but I’m finally out. I’ll have to come to terms with the issues that have helped me get sucked into this type of relationship and I’ll have to deal with the aftermath of emotional abuse. He is more then bound though, he’s a slave to his own misery. The mountain that I will need to climb after this will look like an anthill compared to the mountain he will have to climb. Not to mention the fact that I have a large supportive family plus I have God who I know I can rely on. He has nothing, no friends, nothing that he believes in, no family other then the ones who did this to him. If he is legitimately trying to change and the one person that he trusted just up and left, how horrible would that be?
It’s such a hard feeling to deal with because part of me thinks that narcissists never change because no one sticks around to help when they actually ask for it. Part of me thinks that I have already tried to help so much and he never wanted it until I really tried to leave. Another part of me knows that he isolated himself and I tried to support him in making friends. Yet another part of me thinks that the best way to help him is to leave so he wont be tempted to fall back into the same habits. The final, incredibility depressing, part of me really wonders if this is just a hoovering tactic. What he is doing right now is classic narcissistic hoovering. He’s realized that he just lost his supply and he’s freaking out, promising anything that will make me come back and trap me back into his control. In the event that I don’t come back, he’ll just go find the next person to mess with.
I really hope that he wants to change but I have put all I have into this relationship and I don’t have anything left to give. I have now asked him for a divorce 4 times over email and phone calls in the past week. Now I’m being brutally honest in my emails and outlining specifically emotional abuse, and at the end of each one, I say I want a divorce. He just keeps asking for a chance, just one more chance, he even admitted to emotional abuse, although he said it was never with ill-intentions. So, since I have two more months before I can legally file, I outlined exactly what has to happen and even still, I might not ever be able to trust him again. This is a little bit of what I wrote:
I honestly don’t know if we can get past this babe, and if we do, it’s going to take a huge amount of effort on both parts and I’m just not sure I’m up for that anymore. I’m going to have to see actions, mainly right now, going to your own therapy and going to the doctor. If you have a legitimate problem with forgetting, you need to figure it out because at this point it feels like you just tell me you forget so you don’t have to deal with it. If you think you have a chemical imbalance that contributes to the anger, then you must get that checked out. And none of this is going to work unless you seek professional emotional help on a continues basis and actually try to open up to them. I know COVID is making it hard to see a doctor right now but you can do a whole lot over the computer these days or if you need to drive to see a specialist or something, I’ll watch the dogs. I’m tired of being jerked around babe and getting a divorce is still the healthiest thing to do right now. The only way I can be convinced is if I see actions and I feel like you are being honest about wanting to really do this.
This is just scratching the surface in regards to what he would have to do and I’ve told him that. This is would just be to get me to start communicating with him again and to maybe start helping him. If he doesn’t do any one of these things that I’ve outlined then I’m leaving. I am so ready to be done with this crap, to not obsess on this every single day, to start living my life again. I’m not going to lie though, at this point, it’s getting more and more tempting to do something drastic like join the circus or move to Alaska in a little cabin.
One thought on “Hoovering or Change?”
You know, time is actually on your side in this issue. You are safely separated and he is (hopefully) tackling the things that made your marriage unsustainable. However, and I cannot stress this enough, this is HIS life to manage and to find the strength and the help to become the man he desires to be. Depending on you to be the crutch that gets him through the long stretch is both unfair and unrealistic. Give yourself a timeline – 6 months? – to see some consistency and some progress in each of you as individuals before you even consider whether or not you want to work on your marriage. Maybe do not leave it completely, but you’re separated for good reasons and need to keep that first and foremost in your mind. Thinking hopeful thoughts for you.
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