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What Makes us Stay in a Relationship with a Narcissistic and Dishonest Spouse?  E-mail


Hi Maria,

At last I have peace within myself after divorcing my ex husband of 30 years who I now realize was indeed a narcissistic  person. I am absolutely overwhelmed that the treatment I endured from my ex is explained at last. I never knew this even existed until I stumbled across your web site.

I was constantly told I was useless and a bad mother. He made it awkward for my friends to visit the house by arguing over petty issues with them and ridiculing them once they had left. He didn't like the clothes I wore or the way my hair and make up looked or that I lost weight and looked good. The list is endless.

He was being unfaithful in the last year of our marriage but denied it even though my 2 adult children had also spotted the signs. He said we were paranoid. Classic sign of guilt. We divorced feb 2008 and he married the woman he was supposedly not having an affair with in July 2008. No doubt given time he will cast his Mr wonderful personality to one side and his true self of Mr nasty will show.

I am so relieved I had the strength to pack his clothes and throw him out and break free of his controlling ways. Why did it take me so long to wake up after all those years. I guess I was brain washed. I've since been told by family and friends that I was too good for him and to embrace my new found freedom which I'm finding very strange but taking baby steps to achieve this with the help of my family. At last I'm not being controlled anymore.

Thank you so much.


The goal of this website is to give support to people who are feeling depressed and unhappy with their lives. I am living in Europe and English is not my native language, I wish you will excuse me if I make some grammatical errors. I decided to write in English because I wish to reach as many people as I can around the world.


Maria's Reply:

What makes us stay in a relationship with a narcissistic and dishonest spouse?


Dear Friend,

Thank you for your email. I am so glad to hear that my website has been helpful for you. There are so many people in this world who are in a relationship with a narcissistic person without being aware of it. Narcissistic people tend to be quite charming in the beginning of the relationship and hence it is easy to fall in love with them. When the strange behavior starts, the spouse of a narcissist is often blaming herself or himself of the sudden unexpected change in their spouse. It is important to spread the information of this condition so that these people would know they are not to blame of the problems in their relationship.

I know how it is like to be in a relationship with a narcissistic and abusive person. It is extremely demanding emotionally and can eventually make one severely depressed. I started my support website aiming to help people who are in a similar situation as I once was. I have been surprised to see how many people there are in this world who are struggling with same issues. I know how hard it is to break free emotionally from a narcissist. I wish that my website will help these people to see that the fault is not in them and gives them strength to end a destructive relationship.

Dear Friend, I am sorry to hear what you have been going through with your husband. The criticism and name-calling that you describe in your letter are forms of control. When you lost weight and started to look better and feel good about yourself your husband felt threatened. Narcissistic people tend to have a very low self-esteem. This could be one reason why narcissists often end up cheating in their relationship. Narcissists are often looking for drama and excitement and starting an affair is a perfect way to achieve this. It seems very likely that your husband indeed had a relationship with this woman already before the relationship between the two of you had ended, otherwise it would be quite strange that he married this woman so soon after your divorce.

It is very painful to go through what you have gone through. I am so glad to hear that you were able to break free and that you have a supportive network of family members and friends around you. One day sooner than you now think you will feel happiness again. The most important thing is that you are now free!

Warm hug,



It helps to know we are not alone. To read more stories of people who are experiencing problems in a relationship, visit section Personal Stories.



If you wish to submit your own story to get feedback and support or if you wish to contact me for any other reason, please send me email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Comments (2)
  • Kim  - If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck....
    My fiance was very much the same; except he wasn't into the porn part. He probably didn't need to be. He worked a job where he ran into beautiful women often.
    He was just like yours. Swinging was a big turn-on. But when I wasn't comfortable, I guess I turned out to be a disappointment.
    Raging and criticism was frequent with him, and no, ne never touched me either. But he would pick up things and tell me he would like to hit me.
    He would say, I feel like breaking this or that! and I would say, then go ahead and do it.
    He would walk away snarling and fuming.
    He would withhold affection, communication was a dead end as he had to have the last word and would talk over me if I was trying to explain how I felt or why he may not be right 100% of the time.
    He would walk away, leave, come back a day or two later...
    the list goes on.
    If your ex-N isn't a Narcissist, then I don't know what he is. He fits the profile though, and I hope that comforts you to know that there is a legit reason he is the way he is. He's disordered and he will suck the life out of you so it's good he has someone else to screw up now (though I feel bad for the new girl) - but at least now you can be safe, heal, and be healthy.
  • crystal  - Reality?
    I could really use some help in diagnosing my realtionship as I don't want to see my spouse as one with NPD if it is not true.
    I met my current spouse when I was married to another. He was charming and disarming and attentive and all the things my current spouse was not. I fell in love in a flash.
    I was/am a very attractive woman who was desperate for attention from my spouse and this other man made me feel beautiful and smart, etc. He was not the most attractive man I had every seen, but quite charming. I fell hard and fast and destroyed a 17 year marriage and my 3 childrens lives. Soon as my divorce was final, I married this man. Within 5 years we had 3 children. When i married my husband, he was basically a shopkeeper with his own business. He incorporated me into his business, primarily I believe because I had a fairly sizeable divorce settlement and he could use the help. So I became and off again on again employee. 5years into this, he got a great job,he is quite talented at what he does, plus he does have a gift for communication, kind of like a pied piper type. I had started to notice that the people that worked for him seemed to be disposable to him. We went thru alot of employees, he claimed they were inept and ineffective. I
    bought it. Then when I began to question things, all of a sudden I was stupid and didn't know what I was talking about. He was the only one who knew anything about anything and that was that. When I was 7 months pregnant with our 3rd child, he went out of town with several of his employees on a work related trip and had wanted me to drive out to be with him. It would have been to difficult for me with two other small children and being that pregant, so I told him I could not go. I later found out that 3 of the women who had traveled with the rest of his entourage went on a skinny dipping venture with him. I was outraged and upset, how could he do this to me when I was in this condition and his wife to boot? He apologized and bought me a robe, like that fixed everything. This was the beginning of the end. Since this happened my faith in him began to waver. I have found emails from other women telling him they love him, he frequently casts out sexually suggestive compliments to other women, hoping he will get a bite, but he doesn't seem to, at least by the email responses I have seen. Yes I admit I have spied on his email accounts and phone messages. If you suspect your spouse what else do you do? He has lied to me about emails before. Here is a big one. He has quite the porn addiction. We went to Las Vegas for a trade show and took me to a very nice dinner and the wine flowed. I get intoxicated rather quickly and he knows this. The next thing I know, we are at a swingers cub and he is trying to get me to have sex with a stranger. I really don't know what happened at that moment, because I was pretty drunk, but I snapped out of it and ran outside the club. He followed me and apoligized profusely. He has been trying for years to get me interested in a swinging lifestyle because he apparently knows me better than i know myself. This man is self-obsessed, thinks that everyone around him is an idiot, including me, over exaggerates his accomplishments, downright lies to people and is extremely violent with objects, ie he kicked a solid core door, not off it's hinges, but he literlly splinted the door and it went flying down the stairs. He has never once touched me because he knows that would end his career if he had a domestic. He comes home late, isn't interested in sex, unless he thinks I have found someone else to have sex with, is mean to myself and his children, leaves disgusting porn around, etc. Help. I am miserable. All our mutual friends don't know why I stay in this relationship with him, he is the most angry person I have ever been around, yet I don't want to accuse him of being a narcissistic person if it is not true. I am most happy and relaxed when he goes away on business/training trips. I feel like I can finally breathe freely. Any insight would be so greatly appreciated.
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