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Heidi LPC
Heidi LPC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Licensed Professional Counselor
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I'm in a divorce process, and I discovered my husband has

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I'm in a divorce process, and I discovered my husband has narcisism disorder. We are trying to do everything in a Colaborative Case, with 2 lawyers, 1 psychologist (for the case) and 1 accounter. I know my divorce is good for me, but some times I fell very sad, very guilt/ Seems like I'm losing everything. How can I help myself?
Heidi LPC :

Hi there! I have read your question, and first let me say that I am sorry that you are feeling as you are. I can say that feeling conflicted over ending a relationship is quite natural and to be expected.

Heidi LPC :

Whether or not your husband is dealing with narcissistic personality disorder doesn't take away the reason that you are seeking the divorce. The rate of change for this particular disorder, sadly, is quite small--- not to say that it never resolves itself, but it takes a rather large personal enlightenment to overcome the traits attributable to it. If this is the reason for your conflicted feeling, you should keep that in mind.

Heidi LPC :

Your right to live happily with your needs being considered is very important. If you were in this relationship for a long time, you very well may have gotten used to his needs being met and life being planned according to his wishes. This creates a dependency feeling which you have now clearly begin to break free from. It is natural to take 2 steps forward, and possibly slide back 1 from time to time in this slow process of being able to change your own thought patterns--- to think about what will enhance the quality of your own life as opposed to living for someone else.

Heidi LPC :

I salute you and your courage to move forwards. We live only one life, and this is yours to live. If you feel the sadness come over you when thinking of the good times, go ahead and feel it , cry and grieve the loss of the dream that you had. It is a loss, and you invested years into it... so you will need to grieve before you move on. Always keep in mind that you are deserving of the type of relationship which is reciprocal, caring, consistent and loving. And, whatever you decide to do with your future, make it be of your own design and never agree to lose yourself in someone else's story.

Heidi LPC :

I hope that you find these words somewhat helpful, and I wish you all the very best as you blaze a new trail... or, should you take the road of reconciliation, that you set firm boundaries for the relationship and it's future. Either way, be happy and be well! And if you'd like to chat further, please reply and we will continue until you feel satisfied with the response. :-) Thank you for using the site!

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your reply. But I need more. I'm married my husband for 10 years. He is from another country. I don't think I've lost my personality during these years, also because I'm from another country too, and my culture is very open. In my country we live life in a good light. All the times my husband acted strangely, I thought it was: - because he is from another culture. - Because he is from a very small town. - Because he was a priest for 10 years. - Because he never had children (I have 2). - Because he had left his house when he was 10-year-old to go to a seminar because his mother thought it was good. - Because he lost his father when he was 2 years old. - Because he never received a kiss from his mom. - Because he never really had a family. And many other things. I always justified his actions in some way. But because I always had an excellent family structure at home with respect and love, I never worried with what he said or did. I saw him arrogant and boastful, he always said that my friends and family were not good enough (and I saw exactly the opposite), he always said that some people had not category (especially people from my country), and many other things. My patience was on limit in the last two years. But I still loved him. Few months ago he told me he wanted a divorce, but not taken any action. I was very sad. But months passed.

I was used to not confront him because we never get anywhere.

But, I discovered he had another person. Doing plans with her, EXACTLY the same plans he did with me. Same words, same plan, same everything.

I recorded all his conversations and I confronted him. Fifteen days later, he calls the police to our house to arrest me saying that I was doing something illegal in the U.S.. I was in shock because I saw that he was only concerned with his image. He never apologized me. Nobody in my family never had any problem with the police. Angrily, I told the truth for all his friends and now it seems we are in a war. So, we have two lawyers in the case, one psychologist and one accountant. I have many friends, I have my family support, and I know this is better for me. I already saw that he didn't respect me, but why I'm feel so sad like I'm missing something special? This is my second marriage. The first, I was married for 18 years with the father of my children. We divorced of mutual agreement, preserving our children. I'm still friend of my ex-husband's family. We have contact . with each other. When I divorced my first husband I didn't have this feeling of loss. I don't understand it, because I was always a happy person. I know I'm beautiful, smart, and know that I am very strong. But I'm afraid of my feelings for the first time in my life.

I see now what you are saying; this additional information explains quite a bit! Could it be a feeling of fear, most of all, of what the outcome will be, and simply just depressed and feeling defeated and sad that this second relationship has ended? I am wondering if you are somewhat disappointed in yourself for not seeing who he really was, or that you made a mistake in following your instincts and investigating what was going on, because now you are in this situation? I would suggest that these feelings of fear or sadness or even guilt are also natural, and that your confusion is temporary. I understand narcissism well, and the roots that you describe as to why he is the person he is makes perfect sense, but if you watch and wait, he will most likely continue this pattern of cheating because this is very typical of what narcissists do.

Your feelings are natural and real. Ask yourself, how would I treat a friend who was experiencing these circumstances? What would I say to her? And then, do this for yourself. Treat yourself very kindly now, and keep assuring yourself that you know that you deserve to be treated better than this... and that you did nothing wrong by wanting proof that you were being lied to. You had a dream of a happy marriage, and that dream has died--- not just a natural death, but more like a murder, in a way! Your husband destroyed it, and also your trust. Remind yourself that once you grieve the loss, you will regain your power and your strength.

Do any of the above ideas resonate with how you are feeling right now? I am trying to imagine how complicated these emotions are right now, and want you to know that you are experiencing very natural confusion and it is temporary. It will subside with time and with being able to express yourself as you wade through it.

I had one more thought after the last one: narcissists are sometimes known to be very charming and know how to manipulate people well. They can have great charisma, and can be attractive to others because of this. They hide behind this front and lure people into their web, in a way, and create a sort of an addiction where they pull you in and then suddenly push you away, leaving you to feel as though you have done something wrong. You may truly be working through the ending of this "addiction" to him, in a way, and continually reminding yourself that he is not the person that you thought he was can help, if in fact, this is a bit of what you are experiencing. Of course, I am working with limited knowledge of you and your soon-to-be ex... but these are some ideas to get you thinking about what it is that you are having trouble with most. Let me know if this is kind of how you feel or if we should keep trying to solve this puzzle.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

You have helped me a lot, thank you. I was in my country for six weeks, by recommendation of my lawyer and the psychologist who is working on the case. My husband stayed in the USA, in our house. Every week, my husband made ​​me a "surprise", such as: pay the psychologist with a check from an account that we have together (in which I put all my salary and he did not put a dime - I don't have access to his other accounts); he did a one-year phone contract in my name without my knowledge; he informed me he wanted to make the income tax alone this year to do "something different." Every time I was aware of these things, I was stressed, angry, sad. This lawyer and the psychologist could resolve everything, and she and my lawyer and wrote me and told me the same thing many times: don't return early. stay in your country and enjoy your children, your friends, your family. I almost come back early to the US. But I returned last week as planned. Only later I realized that this was a strategy of the lawyers and psychologist. Keeping me away while working with my husband. They were very concerned about we stay living in the same house until we finish the process.

But in my country, I missed my husband. Every time I was in my country alone, we talked by phone every night. And I missed it. I always told him everything that happened to me, but I always saw him very indifferent in relation to my issues. And he never told me important things. I knew he did not trust anyone, not even me. So, he always told me trivialities, but never things relating to their business. And never, never about his feelings. Only now, in this 'war', I knew about the values of this business​​. In my first marriage, I took care of everything, I solved everything: from a purchase of the home, travels, schools for our children. Actually, I was tired of it. . And this marriage, I let him solve everything for me.

I always try to think of things about my husband did, spoke and acted in all these years. Even so, sometimes, I miss him. It's just as you said. As if I was addicted to this situation. I don't know how to get rid of it, he accuses me of everything. He tells lies about everything, as if it were really true for him. Since I came from my country, he moved in to another apartment. The psychologist advised me to try a connection with him, always polite, through e-mails or phone calls when we need to talk about things that we have to solve. But it is impossible. I'm still very shocked by everything, especially when I remember the scene of the police in my house. And he is now accusing me of little things, like breaking a cable connection from his computer, hide his credit card, have caught the wedding ring that I returned to him (is in his drawer). He accuses me of lying. He said that I am a woman with no education (I have a university, one postgraduate and one master degree - I speak 3 languages ​ and I think I'm very polite - I never use dirty words, I never disrespect anyone).

I know I'm very on shape for my age (people usually think that I have 10 years less), I'm the ideal weight, I know I'm beautiful. But he never complimented me and he said I was fat in these last two years. He is a lot older than me and I don't think he is beautiful. But really, he knows how to be charming. I should be happy to be getting rid of it now, but I don't know why I still feel sad about it. Really, I invested a lot in this marriage. I never thought to come live in the USA. I had a good jobs and a good life in my country. My children decided to return to my country and since then, I always felt divided. But I never failed to visit them 2 times a year and they come to the U.S. once a year. My sons are very good and very respectful. They are my friends and we talk about everything openly. The relation of my husband with them was always cold and he accuses me of not having a better relationship with them because I did not let that happen. As already said, my patience had come to an end, but I am shocked by all this. I don't know if I still love him or if I'm really stuck with him for something else. I realize that he was emotionally abusive to me and I can not accept such ingenuity. I can not accept that I never noticed that.

For me and very hard to accept that he doesn't have no one good remembrance of our marriage. Nothing!! He treated me like an object without valuing nothing I have done. This is very difficult for me, mostly because we moved to another state one year ago, I have no confident friends here (I spent hours on the phone with my friends in the US and my country) and I'm in a country that is not mine. But I have learned and grown.

Self-talk is where I suggest that you focus your energy. Self-talk is what we say to ourselves in our own minds. Start by stopping those thoughts of love when they arise and sharply remind yourself that this is not love; this is an addiction. Say, out loud if you must, that you are intelligent and beautiful. Tell yourself that you will not allow him to have this power over you. Keep reminding yourself all day long. Addiction to a narcissist is tough to break, but not at all impossible. Mark my words; he will do this to more women, repeatedly. You will be much better off if you surround yourself with people whom you trust, such as your children. Give yourself time to recover, and be kind to yourself. Research "narcissist men", and read stories of other women who have experienced exactly what you are experiencing; you are not alone! Speak positively to yourself in your mind... and soon you will get past this. I promise you! Here is a link to an article that I think you will find interesting: I know you can do this!

Heidi LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you very much for your help. Yesterday I read many thinks from the link you sent to me. I found a very good article that gave me a very good tips: "Surviving Emotionally While Divorcing A Narcissist". Sometimes, I let my emotional blow and was doing exactly the "game" of my husband.

Just two days ago, he wrote me an email accusing me of stealing the wedding ring I returned to him (it's inside his drawer), breaking a computer cable, to hide one of his credit cards,to break his cell phone. I wrote him very angry answering all questions. but now I see, it should be indifferent. This not taken us anywhere. Yesterday, I started doing exercise that you taught me, telling to myself this problem is not mine, the man I thought I loved, does not exist, etc, etc. I'm feeling much better these two/three days. I love to read and have read a lot about it. The link you sent me was very important.. I received many tips on how to deal with the problem and how to do my divorce as painless as possible, even in the case of a divorce is more complicated than normal. If you have some more interesting link, please, send to me.

when I understand what's going on, I'm stronger. Like yesterday, reading the link, I learned that he always accused me of lying because he is the liar. Always accused me of hiding things from him, because he hid things from me, and many other things. Really, he knows how to be charming, but I know now that as a theater, I would love to read more about the subject, mainly practical texts, such as those that you sent me, to give me support and enlighten me increasingly around this problem. Thank you once again.

Lucia--- I am so, so, so very glad to hear this! Here is one more link, and if you search this website, you will find an article which is specifically about how to behave when you have to face him in court or just in mediation:

and one more that gives encouragement:

I hope that you keep reading on the web and realizing that you truly are not alone! Keep up the healthy self-talk... and let me know if you need anything further! I am happy to be of service to you!