too close for comfort

Have you ever been through an experience and then afterwards you watch someone close to you repeat it?

To explain… My ex husband’s sister in law called me to let me know her husband (ex’s brother) left her and their kids after 18 years. I knew years ago that they were going through some hard times but thought things had worked out. I should have known better that when you are dealing with narcissists and addicts, it doesn’t really get and stay better. I guess it was just a matter of time or depending how much she can put up with. It’s been so hard to sit back and watch. I literally have a front row to a slow motion train wreck.. wait let me clarify. It’s almost like a roller coaster ride before the train actually wrecks.  She first calls me and says they are for sure getting divorced. He left and said he needs to finally be freed from this life so he can be who he is meant to be and that she is holding him back. To give you a little of back story, she married this man and have done EVERYTHING for him and their family. She has basically lost who she was so that she could be a good wife and mom. They have 4 kids. She is beautiful. She works out every day and then cuts hair out of her house to bring in more money so that they can survive. He has been caught cheating in the past. He has been caught out at the clubs while she thought he was working late at night. He has a severe spending habit. So I watch her work her ass off so that they can get by. She is human and I am sure she doesn’t handle his hurtful choices great all the time, but what woman would? So he manipulates her by saying that she is so angry and resentful and he can’t live with her like that anymore. She recently found out last year he went and got fixed without telling her. Umm let’s talk about a huge red flag. She has found condoms and whiskey in his golf clubs.  Yet he continues to say he is innocent of cheating on her, and he can’t be with someone like her and that she is too controlling. I thought she was going to be strong and see through his manipulation tactics, but instead I’ve witnessed her caving. Calling him bawling saying she will change and do what she can to be the woman she needs. I find myself coaching her trying to wake her up so she doesn’t fall into this trap. I’m almost in shock that ANY woman can be this blind. But that was me for years. The abuser distracts you from the real issue by confusing you. Well yes, excuse her for being human and dealing with the lying constantly.. sorry she isn’t more loving! He is giving her the silent treatment, and she leaves him messages begging him to come home. He even told her that unless she proved herself to him, he wouldn’t even think about it. I’ve been sending her information on what I have read about narcissists and what they do to manipulate you, and I see the light go on and then somehow, she is immediately back to missing him.

Through this, I’ve noticed myself starting to miss my ex. WHAT? How can this happen when I am reminded of what I went through? I don’t understand.

So many women and men fall into this traps and I wish I could do something. This is completely out of my control. How can I help her through this and not let it affect me? You know I even got a message from my ex telling me that it is best if I stay out of their drama and not talk to her. How controlling is that? I thank God every day I can see more clear than I did a few months and years ago.I just wish I could do something. This is hurting me and I wish I could be next to her to walk her to the happier path, but at the same time I am struggling with being single. So I want to tell her to try to make it work because being single SUCKS but at the same time, that lifestyle of never knowing if your husband is going to come home that night is not happiness or what I hoped for either.

I wish she could see how beautiful she is and how I view her. She could get any man and he would love her and those kids. She doesn’t deserve this abuse any longer.



14 thoughts on “too close for comfort

  1. I dont have any words of guidance, because we all make our decisions in our own time. But I do want you to know I read this, I hear you and wish you lots of support as you figure out how best to support this person and still stay focused on your own healing. 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Long comment here, hope that is ok! Sorry but had much to say.. 😓What a tough situation! I recognize this, when we’re not fully healed ourselves, it can be triggering to help others. It can also be very hard on us, to see someone stay with a narcissist. But: you’ve done an amazing job of informing your friend about what her husband might be (narcissist). Seems she is still too deep inside the addiction and brainwashing that they often use to keep us hooked.. this is very obvious, since she is not reacting as a person of healthy self esteem would react..

    A healthy reaction, as I think both you and I know, is to leave, and/or demand changes, from a cheating spouse… instead SHE is asking for a chance? That is absurd!

    Prioritize your own healing first. If you feel you miss your husband, be aware that this likely is only “triggering” effects from your friend’s situation. Ask yourself: do you “really ” miss all the abuse that came with a narcissist?…

    You could keep trying to get through to her, in the little ways that you can. At least she will know that you tried. Hugs!! 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Never been through a case of being cheated myself (If she cheated on me, it’d probably be near the end of our relationship) but my ex was exactly like the husband in what you’ve mentioned in this case and I was in the position of your friend.

    Even now, I still miss her and we’ve been apart for at least 2 years- after a 4 years relationship and total of 6 years of knowing each other before she cut me off. Granted, I love her despite her controlling side and that may be something that your friend is going through as well.

    I believe she knows what’s going on and even sees the effect. The only problem now is whether she realizes and actually feel that she can find someone else- and whether she wants to.

    In my experience, the initial phase after the separation is the hardest and we can’t let go because we just:

    For one, refuse to adapt to another lifestyle because we are afraid of changes. We humans are programmed to resist change.

    Two, we are not confident that we can do better than before; and

    Three, some of us are raised to believe that it is morally wrong to have a divorce or other moral issues.

    Finally, commitment issues, finances etc. you mentioned they got kids yeah? It adds pressure into this too. In fact, lots of it.

    Whatever it is, getting some knowledge and sharing them with your friend is an excellent idea and it will provide a lot of moments of enlightenment not just for yourself but for her too.

    However, the answer will lie in her and we all know that the decision is only for her to make.
    All we can do is share our opinion and knowledge and give her support in her decision.

    After all, that’s what friends are for- sticking by each other no matter what stupid things we may decide to do 😉

    So update us again on this matter! I’m sure we’re all concerned here and email me via doubleyourpresence@gmail to chat if you ever feel that it’s necessary!

    Your pal,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Everything you said is so right and true. I know the first part of separation is the most difficult. It breaks my heart and I am reminded how hard it really is. It is something where regardless of how unhealthy it is, it’s uncomfortable and we will do anything to be comfortable. I am so sorry you still miss your ex.I think everyone goes through time like that. Have you met anyone new since her? I think you are very wise and what you said was very helpful. I appreciate your response to my post. Thanks so much.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s never easy but hey, if it’s worth doing, it never is 😉

        Don’t be sorry but happy (Glad that I can actually say this now, sure as hell can’t during the start when the emotions were high lol!). There are many reasons that made me miss her and that just shows how much impact she had on my life and how much fun and the extent of beautiful memories I had with her.

        It means I had a great life in the past and now, I know things are gonna get better because I am going to work towards a better life with or without her. First thing’s first, always gotta believe 😉
        Who knows? She might come back into my life one day and even then, I wouldn’t know if I’d be with someone else living the dream hah! Whatever it is, never get trapped in the past. That’s where life is lost to delusions and progress halt. Mmhmm.

        I’ve not met anyone yet but I’m sure the time is coming for someone special to show up soon. We’ll see. For now I’m sure worried that I may not even have time for her because of the things that are happening to this blog/site lol!

        I thank you for your kinda words and respond. We gotta look out for each other in this world if not, who else will right?

        Gotta take care of our fellow brothers and sisters!

        Your pal,


  4. Oh, this is such a hard situation. As SN put it above: we, knowing the pain, so desperately want to help others, even if we know we can’t really, we don’t know all the details, never will, and, at the end, we all deal with things in slightly different ways and on a different timeline. We all need different roadblocks and experience different milestones. But you are so very amazing to want to help her.

    I have a friend, a really close friend, whose marriage suffers because her husband is a narcissist. Before I found out what my husband was, I just thought her husband was a jerk, an asshole (haha, that makes me a great friend I guess), but now I have a name for it. Narcissism, along with other personality disorders, is so very hard to recognise when you are in a relationship with one. You badly want to believe that they would never hurt you, never lie to you – even when they already did! So, sadly, there is nothing you can do, other than be there for her when she needs you. You are a wonderful friend.


    1. What a nice comment. Thank you for taking the time to respond to my post. It’s SO hard to sit back and watch people go through the same things you went through and not say anything and then not let it effect you. It sounds like you and I experienced the same type of situation. I had no idea what narcissism really was until learning more. How is your friend doing? Do you you tell her what you know and what you have learned?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You know, I did try, carefully, tell her about narcissism, and how this can impact her personally (as in, change her personality, without her realising it). I can actually already see the changes in her: insecurity, mood swings, low self-esteem, etc. So sad. However, me sharing my thoughts, no matter how carefully done, caused her to go into isolation and denial, so I decided it is not my place to do that. I will lose her if I try to ‘open her eyes’ to this – and of course I cannot be sure (although I am) that her husband truly is a narcissist. I tried as much as I could, but anything more will build a wall between her and me, and I don’t want that. So I’ll just wait and see – and I’ll be here for her when and if she needs me. But, frankly, they are a textbook case of an empath & narcissist union. I never thought I would ever see things so clearly, but I do now, sigh. It is hard not to step in, isn’t it, when you just ‘know’?! We so badly want to help, but sometimes we just can’t.


  5. I am always fascinated at how logical we can be when looking in on someone’s life. It is so clear when you are looking in, but when it was me (hell even still) I can get sucked back into the justification of his behaviors. The other thing I find so interesting is how much it hurts and triggers me to hear of another living through a similar pain. My heart goes out to your sister in law. And you. And me. It’s all terrible.


  6. I just found your blog. What a story. It’s heartbreaking to know what it is and to know the feelings. I have come to find out that by walking with someone, honoring their journey and their choices, whether I agree or not, is an honor. If they ask for advice, I give it gently. People need someone to be there to support them, to listen. It is so hard sometimes, when we ourselves are triggered by the events, to just listen. To experience empathy. Those with partners with NPD, or traits, very seldom find empathy. My thoughts are with you!


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