I had lunch with my eldest son yesterday. It turned out to be serendipitous that I asked him to meet me for lunch, because he had something to share with me. His dad, my ex, is having a big party tonight where he intends to propose marriage to his paramour.
My son was very nervous telling me this. He said “Mom, do you know what’s happening tomorrow night? I feel weird talking about this, but don’t want you blindsided”. My 1st thought was that they were getting married. No, just engaged. My son was worried I would be upset; apparently an idea his dad planted. This makes sense because in the brain of the narcissist he is the catch of the century, and obviously I must be pining away for him, right? He thought this of his 1st wife also. I questioned this, because she ran to CA to get away from him, which he assured me was the only way she could exist in a world in which he was not with her. What an ego!!
I assured my son I was not upset, I was actually relieved. This is true. Once married I know my ex narc will be safely tucked away is his GF’s home and fully able to pay the 10 years of alimony he owes me.
As the day wore on, my range of feelings and thoughts exploded. They include:
1 – Angry that in our small community me narc ex will be hosting a big party, with all the people I know, and will make a production about this proposal. I know exactly who he is and what he is doing. I understand that since he no longer has his restaurant which fed his ego he needs to branch out, and this is a great way to do this. He’ll surround himself with people who will be so smitten with his show they will all agree he is the catch of the century. I can see it now, the kudos he’ll get from the party goers who can’t wait to tell him how romantic and wonderful he is. I just threw up a little.
2 – Embarrassed. Even though I know the truth, the people who will witness this display tonight do not. What will it make them think of me? I suppose this makes me somewhat narcissistic, but if he puts on the show successfully, won’t those who witness it have to wonder about me? What is wrong with me that I couldn’t make our marriage work? Clearly this man is the best guy ever, so there must be something wrong with me, right?
3 – Worried for my son. How is he supposed to process this? What is he going to make of this grand display and how will he reconcile it with what he knows of our marriage, and what he knows of his dad on a day to day basis. He is aware that his dad can be really miserable. He talks often of how uncomfortable he is spending time with his dad. His dad has nothing to talk to him about, except lectures about what my son should/shouldn’t do. Funny, eh? The point is, how does a teenager put the two different faces of his dad together and come up with an accurate picture? Can he understand that his dad is using this girl to feed his ego? Or will he look at this show and decide that he must be lacking since his dad can’t muster the energy to emotionally engage with him. If his father can’t even come up with conversation topics with him, but can put on a grand show for the GF, does that mean he is lacking in some way? Somehow I’ll have to have this conversation with him, but how far do I take it? I can’t come right out and say “your dad is an emotional vampire, and you don’t feed him. You don’t feed him because you’re not supposed to; he’s supposed to feed you. She, though, does feed him. This is why he puts energy into her. And make note of how/when/where that energy is expended. Because you will find that the energy he puts in to keeping her in place is always in public. Pay attention to what he’s doing when he thinks no one is watching. You’ll see him ignoring her, eventually being mean”. Too much, eh?
4 – Thrilled. I drove by her house the other day after dropping my son off at his friends house. Her two cars were in her driveway and the garage door was open. It was open because it is filled with his toys and the door won’t close! In the front is his waverunner, behind that is his tractor and who knows what else. Seeing this gave me happy chills that this was no longer my problem. Pulling in the reigns on his childish behavior is not my problem, it is hers.
5 – Confused. When he and I got together he had full custody of his 22 month old son and $40,000 in debt with nothing to show for it. He convinced me that all he wanted was a quiet, family oriented life. I loved that! I loved the idea so much that when we discussed marriage I was firm in my stance that I didn’t want a ring or a big show that would cost a lot of money, because we were paying off his debt and saving for a house. I was perfect for him, because I was willing to take on the burden he brought, and give him the freedom he needed to do what he wanted – aka, cheat at will. I know I was a sucker. I know he took advantage of me, lied to me. I also know that during the love bombing stage the narcissist will change who he is to trap his victim. I’m confused about her. From what I understand she is a party girl. She becomes friends with only those who have something to offer her. Country club member? She loves you. Shore house? You are her new best friend. So what does she think he has to offer? If his financial claims during our divorce are true, he has used all of his money on his cadillac and waverunner and should now have little to offer her. What does she think she’s getting? Or, was he so successful lying about his finances during our divorce that he does have something to offer?
6 – Fear. I don’t really believe this but every once in a while there is a little voice in the back of my head (his voice actually) telling me he really is the catch of the century, and I was too much of a bitch to see it. This is ridiculous, I know, but the voice is still there.
I recently heard a news report about dating and first kisses. A study had been done looking at successful versus unsuccessful relationships and first kisses. It turns out that if the first kiss is the best kiss you’ve ever had, your relationship is doomed. Why? Because if the kiss is the perfect kiss, the kisser has been practicing his craft. He is putting on a show. I’ve written before about our first kiss, and it was amazing. It was a kiss I remember as clearly today as the day it happened. I remember no other first kiss. According to this study, if the first kiss isn’t perfect, you are receiving an authentic kiss from a real person, not an actor. Together with this person you will work to create the perfect kiss together. This made sense to me, because my first kiss from him could/should have been in a romance movie. It was exactly what we see on the big screen when we see hollywood’s perfect kiss.
I imagine as the days/weeks go on I’ll have many more thoughts and emotions. I’ll write when I can, but fortunately I’ll be traveling for 2 weeks and distracted from this nonsense. I might have to plan a few more trips for the months to come! Time will tell.