Narcissism was something I had never really understood or had closely known until experiencing it myself.
It all started when I was introduced to him through a family friend. He immediately seemed like a great, kind, and respectable individual. He began showering me with gifts and affection. He took me out on extravagant dates, hangouts, and our relationship seemed to blossom. Unfortunately, that was far from my daily reality I would soon realize.
We were engaged within weeks and it was after the engagement I noticed subtle changes in him. I tried not to think much into these changes and let it go thinking I was just overthinking things. Weeks leading up to the marriage, the fights between us and the disagreements began to increase and I thought it was maybe wedding stress or jitters. I let it go. I always let things go and hoped things would get better. I was allowing him to control me in whatever way possible. Just to keep the peace, I would do whatever was told. I sacrificed a lot before and after marriage.
Post marriage my in-laws became aggressive. I was told they will never accept me as their daughter-in-law and I am not allowed in their house in India. About 10 days after marriage I was pressured into prepping for the green card paperwork. I was manipulated, gaslighted, and threatened on a daily basis. Some of the threats were he was going to kill himself if I didn't do what was asked, he would punch pillows or sofa, stand up against me and yell at my face, stand behind the car and not let me leave, sometimes we would be driving and he would threaten to swerve and hit any truck, hold my arms and shake me, push me aside to a wall, and much more. My in-laws were also very verbally abusive towards me. I wasn’t allowed to visit my family or friends. If I did or wanted to, I had to be ready for an argument. Every day I was reminded that I am nothing and that I was not worth fighting for and that I don't meet the standards of being married to their son. I was walking on eggshells and eventually hated going home to him. I was newly married but felt like it’s been years like this. I fought to marry him, I was ashamed and hurt that why didn't I listen to my parents. I kept fighting for my marriage and doing things to keep peace at home. After months of abuse, I found out he was cheating on me and had a girlfriend. After seeing the texts and pictures, I became numb. I never confronted him. I lived life like normal knowing my husband was entertaining someone else. I was a normal wife, I listened to every insult and fight. I never gave up what I knew and continued to collect information for my case. Until I hit absolute rock bottom and couldn't do it anymore. After 2 months of knowing he was cheating, I finally decided to confront him in front of our families. I only did that because for months he had continuously spread rumors about me and how bad of a wife I was. I always kept quiet because I knew someday the truth will come out. I realized I had loved him for who he was in the beginning not for the man he had become. It was a very hard decision to make but I did. My family and friends supported me. So I left him and ended our marriage. If I would’ve continued to fight for this marriage, I would have fought to be lied to, disrespected, and cheated on a daily basis.
I went from being a newlywed to a divorcee within a year. Something that took me over a year to accept. Our divorce was messy and long. I lost a lot of money, self-respect, and felt broken. It took me many, many months of therapy, reading books, and support to be where I am today. It still hurts sometimes but I know I made the right decision. I’m much happier today.
There were some signs of abuse that I now see as red flags. Before the marriage, he wanted to know all about my past. I didn't realize that he would use it all against me. He had a lot of ‘trust’ issues and accused me of cheating almost all the time. He had a lot of anger issues and would fight me on days that meant the most to me. I never thought much into any of these until it became the norm. This continued on into the marriage. Another sign I dealt with was showering me with gifts or date night, especially post a fight. If a person is showering you with gifts instead of respect then those gifts are not worth it. For any ladies or men out there, I would recommend don't keep letting things go thinking it's ok or it’ll get better because it doesn't. Trust me I had those same thoughts and after marriage, it becomes much worse. Get out now. Yes, I will admit being alone sucks but I will rather be single then in a relationship or marriage that makes things more difficult. Marriage alone is difficult but if there is love and support from both sides. It truly makes everything worth it.
A relationship should have respect, love, understanding, and care. Your significant other should push you to best not bring out the worst in you. My ex-husband only fought me every single day. There were very few days in that year where he made me feel loved. I know every day isn't perfect in a normal relationship, everyone has ups and downs but you get together and solve it. In an abusive relationship, you’ll be lied to, plays mind games, cheats on you, and disrespects your existence or anyone close to you. It’s just not worth it. Don't worry about what people may say or think if you break a relationship, an engagement or marriage. Those people just want a few minutes of gossip over evening tea. You have to think about yourself and your future. Don't just settle. For anyone thinking that it may be hard to do life alone. Believe me, the peace you’ll have once you stop dealing with certain people will be priceless. Healing post an abusive relationship is hard and you’ll want to quit. It won't be easy but you’ll come out way stronger and will know and recognize signs. There is light at the end of the tunnel once you leave. Just have faith and take time to heal. You’ll learn to love life again and the best part is you’ll be living on your own terms.