I feel so sorry for her

I don’t like her. At all. She’s a bitch to my daughter, but I can’t stand watching what he’s doing to her.

So he tells me he’s broken up with her. It won’t work, he says. Distance, the direction they’re going in their lives. He’s not willing to make the changes in where he lives or works to accommodate her work, even though she’s the one with a real career with promise for advancement. It’s too much to ask him…

Oh, and it’s for her, too. He says. It’s not fair to her.

Right, like he cares. And I think, yeah, wait till you need her for something again.

Sure enough, a couple days later, he gets sick as a dog. Needs to leave work.

And where does he go? All the way back to his house? No, straight to her house, the one he just broke up with “out of fairness”, so she can take care of him for a couple of days. And I know how happy she is to do it. Maybe this will make him see how much she cares for him, how much she loves him.

And she’s not offended he’s come to her after he just dumped her. Because it proves he loves her – doesn’t it? She’s the one he thinks of when he’s sick, she’s the one he comes to when the chips are down. It means he really does realize what he has in her. Doesn’t it?

And maybe this incident will open his eyes, and he’ll realize that he really can’t live without her, and everything will be all right, and this time he will truly, really be hers forever, and they can go from here on, building a life together.

And he tells her exactly what she needs to hear, at least just enough, to keep her wiping his brow and feeding him a light broth so the contents of his stomach can stay down and he won’t get dehydrated, poor dear.

And maybe for that moment, he is grateful he has her to take care of him. But he’s gratitude does not extend beyond him, does not go beyond having his needs met. It does not reach out to her, does not translate into seeing and valuing her as a person. Maybe it’s not gratitude. Maybe it’s just happy to be taken care of. Whatever it is, it will linger only for a while until he’s better.

I know.

And sure enough, they’re back together again…for a week or less. And then something happens. And they’re broken up again.

I am so surprised.

I know this ride. I don’t know how it happened with her, but I know with me it would always be a fight. Something he’d start – nitpicking on things, looking for a fight, or jumping on something I said and blowing it out of proportion or picking on what he knew would be a sensitive area, waiting for any hint of anger or upsetness on my part, and then with no small amount of self righteous anger, claim that “he had had enough”.

And walk out my door.

Anything to leave now that my service was no longer required.

And usually I’d be sitting there reeling, wondering what the hell happened, and the hole in me would be so cavernous and I’d be devastated, waiting for him to come back, wanting to talk about it, work things out – not knowing that he would be back, when he needed to. Not realizing that there was nothing to work out, because it already had – just as he intended.

So they break up again – rather, he breaks up with her again.

Another week passes. During this week he has to transport his daughter to school several times without the benefits of staying at the girlfriend’s apartment, watching her t.v., playing her video games, surfing her internet, before picking his child back up again. It’s his first time.

The cost of two round trips per day is prohibitive. He’s both incensed and impressed with his “sacrifice” (wants a parade).

He complains about this for a week. And he tests the waters. He calls me a few times, and keeps me on the phone for extended periods of time making conversation – politics, people, whatever.

But I cut him off the last time he calls in the midst of some brilliant, articulate point he is making, and offend him. I hear the anger in his voice as I hang up.

The narcissist equation.
Cost to self + no admiring audience = pragmatic decision to go back to source of narcissistic supply.

Surprise! They’re back together again.

Until something better comes along. And then, although she doesn’t know it, it will be the luckiest day of her life.

But just in case the new thing doesn’t work, he’ll keep her number. She may find herself on the end of a phone conversation being the lucky recipient of his brilliant and articulate conversations, when he’s found he’s had enough of the other one.

But until then, he will toss her out and reel her in and toss her out and reel her in indefinitely. And she’ll keep trying and trying…until she’s had enough, if there is enough of her left to actually leave.

There’s no love loss, but I really do feel sorry for her. Sorry in only the way someone who has escaped can.

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5 Responses to I feel so sorry for her

  1. insidesopen says:

    “She may find herself on the end of a phone conversation being the lucky recipient of his brilliant and articulate conversations, when he’s found he’s had enough of the other one.”

    You have totally nailed my ex! I had to laugh out loud. He still hasn’t found another girlfriend/source and he occasionally graces me with a phone call or he’ll stop for a nice chat when he picks up the kids. He had been living with his mother since our separation: she was a huge soure of supply for him. She is moving out tomorrow, an 8-hour drive away. He’ll be alone. I am holding my breath to see what the fall out will be when he is without any narcisstic supply for a while. Should be interesting!

  2. PhoenixRising says:

    ha! Don’t you sometimes wonder if there’s a narcissist machine out there that just pumps out little narcissist clones?

    Because sometimes it just seems like they all have the same scripts!

    Oh, do watch out, and do keep those doors barricaded.

  3. Rae says:

    They’re funny, aren’t they. Only mine won’t do the leaving. He holds on forever. We’re belongings and he’s a packrat. He wants to be able to pull us out of a box when he feels like it and put us back when he’s done.

    I left him. Like all the others before me. For years he’d say he never saw it coming with any of them. Things were going great (for him). He couldn’t understand why. And he had great stories about why they left him. It wasn’t until I was gone that I was able to see through his version into what probably happened.

    The new one has left him. Once or twice or four times, it’s hard to tell. Because he can’t be honest. Honesty is for chumps. Telling people the truth makes him vulnerable to them. Their judgement, their criticism – and who are they to criticize him anyway! He says the things he needs to say to get the reaction he requires. The supply line is set and he’s in control. Control of their reactions, their emotions, even just what they know. Pawns, every one.

    Every time she leaves him, he wants to talk to me. Well, first he wants to attack me, because he still owns me. Then, once his anger and retribution are exhausted, he wants me to MAKE him feel better. So I get the benefit of a conversation. Some little story about his life. He lets me in for a moment. And because he’s being nice, I’m supposed to pop the cap and be his supply line again.

    I feel sorry for her, but I don’t. I was 20 years younger than she is when I got sucked in. She should be old enough to know better. And, if she isn’t, as long as she puts herself between him and my kids, things will be alright in my book. She’ll even be welcome here to vent when she really leaves him for good, because she’ll need somebody who gets it.

  4. Reflector says:

    “So I get the benefit of a conversation. Some little story about his life. He lets me in for a moment. And because he’s being nice, I’m supposed to pop the cap and be his supply line again.”

    Yes, that is the feeling I get when my daughter’s mother gets on the line. She talks as if nothing ever came between us. All her grudges that are vomited into letter form are suddenly deleted and all is well. We’re made to feel like the party pooper.

    Yes, this dynamic of pulling away only to return for more supply turns my stomach. I used to be mystified how she could forget about a friendship for years without ever making mention of the person, until she needed him or her to fix something, then it was as if nothing ever came between them…

  5. bunnyhop2 says:

    We are made to feel like the party pooper…..too true. And they uae it, hang it over your head and the kids heads. My ex actually said to me once that his problem was that he was just too forgiving. Unlike me. Explaining in a rational pleasant tone that he was always trying to work with me, co-parent with me and i was the one who had such anger that it was BOUND to turn the kids against him. Unbelievable. It is so strange that they actualy do seem to forget the wrongs they have done to others. Thwre is never any embarrassment. There ia never any discomfort. Almost as if the past never happened. Those scathing, false fact filled letters sent the previous day were written by someone else. No wonder it is crazy-making. Final thought— re the comment that we are simply pawns. My ex insisted that we change the language in the agreement to state that he possessed the children on alternate weekends etc. He doesnt have visitation. That is for normal people…..he possesses the children as he did the family unit when we were married. Evidence of just how warped is his percwption of the world.

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