I have been trying to work on posts about my ex-husband of 11 to 14 years, the narcissist known as Driftwood. I say “11 to 14 years” because it’s not clear how long we were married. We separated after 5 years of “normal marriage” but remained emotionally and financially embroiled for 6 more years. Finally, we agreed to legally divorce because I was leaving the country (USA); but then he stopped taking my phone calls, so it took me 3 extra years before I could make our divorce legal. It was very complicated. He treated me so badly, yet I stayed loyal to him for so long. I have been trying to figure out why I stayed married for 9 extra years when I didn’t have to. There were several years when I had more than enough money to divorce him, but I didn’t do it – and then when I was desperate to move on with my life, I didn’t have a sou. It was very frustrating and the whole situation still confuses me even though I am now both legally and morally free of him.
I always had a surface reason or two for why it wasn’t the right time to divorce him, but there must have been a more profound truth to why I stayed married for 11 years after we stopped having sexual intimacy.
Surface Reasons – group 1:
1. If we stayed married for 10 years, I would get his Social Security benefits instead of mine because he had been the main breadwinner in our household.
2. One-half a million dollars in life insurance. (Unfortunately, he refused to drop dead.)
3. Free storage for my stuff. (This turned out to be a huge mistake.)
4. Safety Net.
5. Back-up Plan.
6. Avoid shame and stigma of divorce.
7. Money, vacation time, legal time.
8. No-one was beating down my door to be with me.
Safety Net versus Back-up Plan:
Safety Net means I had a permanent residence. I have posted several times about how my family moved every 2 or 3 years, and how stressful it is to never fully unpack before it is time to pack again for the next move. Even if I only returned to that crappy house (and my husband) for two weeks every July, at least I knew that the house was there. I owned a house.
Back-up Plan means that if I were to screw up my job or become impoverished, I could always go back home and start over again. This was a tremendous benefit because my boss was a wretched bully. He failed to break me because I always had an out. I didn’t have to submit like my poor co-workers who had little children and mortgages had to do. I got to fight the bully on their behalf. But that is no reason to stay in an abusive marriage.
I would like to solve this puzzle and then forget about it.
“Rehashing My Relationship With Narcissist #2.” is copyright © 2014 by 18mitzvot. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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