As an undergrad I studied psychology, with an emphasis on abnormal behaviors, and health sciences with the desire to help individuals with eating disorders. (That goal never quite materialized.) But looking back on my psychology classes, we focused on the obvious psychological issues like depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder. How I wish there had been a chapter – or an entire class – devoted to narcissism. Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is recognized in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) and further described on Mayo Clinic’s website.
[NOTE: I am not a licensed therapist or any sort, nor do I have the ability to diagnose. I am simply writing based on research combined a whole lot of observation and unfortunate personal experience.]
Although women can be diagnosed with NPD, 75% of those with this personality disorder are men (healthyplace.com). Within infidelity, this disorder is marked by:
- lack of ability to empathize with the betrayed spouse’s feelings
- lack of healing towards the betrayed spouse
- inability to show regret or remorse for his actions
- feeling as though he has been wronged**
- will twist the rules to fit their needs**(**manhattaninvestigations.com)
- displays symptom being depressed, stressed, or burned out
Looking at Dick* and Cru*, it appears as though their actions strongly exhibit those of a narcissist. So when I think of how much things don’t make sense, they actually make perfect sense, in totally messed up way.
Only a narcissist would:
- Be able to say: “Yeah, I got sloppy with my affair but I don’t really care.” or “By having both of you, I have the best of both worlds.”
- Suggest his wife work at the same company as he and his mistress.
- Take his wife to his mistress’s birthday party where he is seated next to the mistress’s husband at dinner.
- Get caught doing “inappropriate acts at work”.
- Blatantly state “I have no regrets”.
- Be able to defend sleeping with both the mistress and the wife without using any protection, stating “She’s fixed and we’re both married. It’s not like we’re messing around with anyone. So you’re fine.”
It takes a truly evil, cruel person to purposely say and do these things. I just may have encountered the devil on Earth – actually multiple devils. I spent a lot of hours questioning where I went wrong. And I am often asked if I am “over him”. YES! The answer is, YES, I am entirely over him. What I struggled with for so long is how Dick*, Cru* and their groupies could think so little of me and treat me so terribly (hence my phrase “gutted like a fish and tossed aside like trash”), when I didn’t do anything wrong (except find out the truth). Now I better understand that when it comes to narcissistic personalities – and cheaters in general – it’s less about the person being cheated on and more about the cheater. It’s their actions that speak volumes about how they view people and the world.
They think they can get away with almost anything. However, a woman has a strong intuition. My own intuition may have been delayed because I got caught believing his lies. But he got caught in his lies. Once you travel down a path of deeply rooted lies, it’s hard to get back on track. There’s no GPS to get someone out of that kind of mess, except for getting real and honest. They say talk therapy is one way to treat this disorder. I find that ironic because, seemingly, a narcissist won’t think he has a problem and therefore; will most likely never talk about it, much less change his ways. There’s no looking back.
Fortunately, and thankfully, God was looking down and sent some Angels to rescue me and get me on a well-guided path towards honesty and love. No one is perfect. I certainly don’t claim to be perfect. But I know perfectly well what is RIGHT and what is WRONG. That is something engrained in me and no one will get away with treating me any less than I deserve. That is a promise I have made to myself and I intend to keep.
Wishing you all that you deserve,
*As always, the names have been changed.