Once upon a time, I got married but now I’m an ex-wife.
Whenever I see a picture which was taken during my wedding day, I still remember everything that happened during that fine evening of January 2007…when I got married.
Yes, that’s right.
I was once like you, full of dreams and excitement about tying the knot and spending the rest of my life with someone whom I thought was my best friend, the love of my life.
My wedding day used to occupy that spot of the most special day and happiest day of my life, the day I considered the start of the best chapters ever.
I was very excited to embark into another level of my life where I would be fulfilling a lifelong dream: To have a family of my own.
I came from a broken family, therefore, I never experienced having a father by my side while I was growing up.
But, luckily, I had the best grandfather who supported us and helped raised my brother and I.
My grandfather was the reason why I never felt there was something missing in my life despite not having a father.
I never met my father ever since I was born so, growing up, I would always dream about having a complete family of my own so that my would-be children would experience having a complete one.
I thought I was sure I was making the right decision of marrying the man I chose to spend the rest of my life with.
I thought I was ready for the next things to happen the moment my life had a different turn and twists.
But I never thought that the supposed start of the happiest days of my life would turn out to be the biggest nightmare and turning point which would change my life forever.
I Married the Wrong Man
I married for love.
Even though I was also the same person who “untied the knot” because I was the one who filed for the annulment, I would still say, with my head held high, that I married for love.
If you knew the person I chose to marry, you would believe me.
And perhaps, you were also one of those who had a big question mark in your head wondering why I fell in-love with that person.
I even married him.
He’s an ugly man who came from a family of nobody but I still chose him to be that one man to give all of me.
Even if I received a lot of disapproval from different people, family members included, I never doubted my love for him.
I fought for him with all the might that I had because I thought he was the one which God gave to me to become my lifetime partner.
I did everything for all the important people in my life to learn how to accept him and just be happy for me.
During that time, I was still 100% convinced that he’s a good person on the inside despite all the undesirable qualities that he had on the outside.
I considered him my best friend throughout the duration of our relationship that’s why he knew all my weaknesses, my dreams, my fears, my strengths, my secrets, and my boiling point.
But instead of being my rock who would take care of me and protect my honor like his own, he betrayed me like he was a long time enemy.
He took all my strengths against me and turned all my weaknesses into his ammunition to bring me down.
All of a sudden, my best friend turned into every bit of someone whom I would never want to have in my entire life.
5 years into marriage then he decided to take off his mask when he thought he had already crippled me.
I never thought that I would ever encounter such a creature like him: ugly and disgusting inside and out.
He’s that person in my life who made me believe that Evil people exist and they are just hiding behind the images of harmless looking individuals waiting for their prey.
That was my very first close encounter with a Covert Narcissist.
I Filed for an Annulment
I escaped him.
I managed to get out of his trap.
I was done pulling my standards down just to continue loving a man who never deserved me.
I refused to continue tolerating his subtle abuses just to save our marriage and avoid any scandals.
My disgusting married life needed to end once and for all.
It was time to finally listen to my inner voice which had been telling me:
“Stop sacrificing yourself in order to protect the image of the man who would never do the same for you.
The man who smeared your reputation just to cover-up his Erectile Dysfunction.
Stop taking the blame from him for not being able to consummate your marriage.
It’s never your fault.
You are not abnormal like what he would always make you feel.
It’s never your fault if his manhood is not enough to fulfill your lifelong dream of becoming a mother.
Stop making excuses for the man who’s never worth it.
The man who stole money from you.
The man who had desires of taking away your hard-earned investments from you.
The man who used your resources for his cheating and disgusting activities only God knows what.
You never deserved to die a virgin simply because you wanted to protect the image of a man who had been blaming you for all that he lacked.
You have a wonderful life ahead of you and it could be more wonderful without the man who’s been pulling you down.
He made his choice of cheating on you and betraying your precious trust so it’s not your fault if you find yourself not feeling any love for him anymore.
You made a mistake once of lowering your standards so don’t you dare repeat the same mistake twice.
Free yourself if you must!”
And so my marriage got annulled and I became single again, an ex-wife.
I couldn’t be happier!
But Not Everyone Was Happy For Me
People can easily judge you because of your past, especially when they heard that you were an ex-wife.
One of the most judgmental remarks I received was that I wasn’t strong enough to get married that’s why my marriage went down the drain.
Some people would always think that what I’ve gone through was easy because I was so good in making it seem, well, really easy.
For them, I was just so weak and unprepared that’s why I gave up on my marriage when everything was not going well.
“No marriage is perfect”, that’s what I often heard.
But little did they know that I was far from trying to achieve perfection in my previous marriage, because the only thing I was praying for was just even an ounce of normalcy.
Everything about my marriage was way out of the ordinary that’s why most of the women who learned about the real story couldn’t believe that I managed to stay for over 5 years.
Some of them said they won’t manage to stay in it even for just 3 months because of all the obvious red flags which said that the man I married wasn’t normal.
Add to that the fact that nothing happened between us throughout the whole duration of the marriage because of his problematic manhood.
But, of course, those people who are quick to judge don’t know any of those because they just simply want to hate and judge people to make themselves feel better.
That’s how life is.
No matter what you do, people will always find something wrong with you.
But what they think really matter?
I don’t think so.
So what’s the point of even considering any of it?
Why would I let it spoil the happiness that I feel brought about by freedom?
Freedom from the abuse, cheating, manipulation, gaslighting, and everything that I don’t deserved.
Yes, thinking about people who don’t matter would only bother me so why bother thinking about people who don’t matter to me?
It’s my life so I should take control and be happy.
Every Woman Is Different
Don’t let the world define you.
Be yourself so you can define your own world.
I used to be afraid of being left alone, especially when I was still married to my ex-husband.
I was always scared of thoughts about him dying before me.
His death used to give me nightmares.
But after surviving my first marriage, I found my courage by simply being alone.
I became stronger because I got used to not depending my happiness on someone else but my own self.
That’s when I realized that if being alone was the penalty for leaving someone who abuses me, I’d definitely grab every opportunity!
This is because I’m not the type of a woman who always depends her self-worth with the man I’m in a relationship with.
Not the type who would choose to keeping a complete family even if having a complete one would just tear every bit of myself apart.
Not the type who can continue to fall blinded despite the fact that I’m being abused.
Not the type who can continuously love a traitor the same way.
I know I can fall in-love with even the worst person in the world but not having the highest standards doesn’t mean that I’d neglect my love for myself.
Self-love is something I would never give up.
Self-love is my strongest armor.
Betrayal Changes You
I was once like everybody else.
My dream was to settle down, have kids, become a home-maker, support a husband in everything, and grow old with the man I promised to love for the rest of my life.
I was innocently trying my best to keep up with my marriage and continue to fight for it despite the abnormalities.
My then-husband remained under my protection even though he was slowly turning my sanity upside down because of his subtle abuses.
Behind my back, he was cheating, lying, stealing my money, and mocking the whole of me even to those whom we were close with as a couple.
But whenever we’re together, he would always wear an image of that someone who’s always being victimized by the world because of his appearance.
One story that he would repeatedly tell me was how cruel his father was to him when he was still very young.
He was abused as a child and his family was always devalued by the rest of his clan because they were poor.
Back then, I didn’t know anything about how narcissists capture their preys so I wasn’t aware that it was his story to trigger my empathy.
In my eyes, he used to be that harmless but powerful being which the rest of the world failed to appreciate, except for me.
I was always right there by his side to remind him of his value.
I was the one validating him, feeding his ego and his insatiable need for narcissistic supplies.
I was his Avenger but he was my Thanos, who was covertly planning to end me in a snap of his fingers.
So when the time came when his mask has completely fallen off, it was too much for me to handle.
His fragile and vulnerable image suddenly turned into nothing but pure Evil.
My stomach was turned upside down and I wanted to throw up right on his face.
He was downright disgusting!
And even my protective and tolerating nature turned into a beast that suddenly wanted to devour him alive.
In a snap, he changed everything, including who I was.
The picture of a happy family in my head got replaced by a tormenting scene in hell.
Our relationship was just a big lie from the beginning, the reality that was so much difficult for me to accept.
I wasted my time, money, effort, love, and life by marrying a conman whose real personality is equally disgusting as his ugly face.
It took me time to forgive myself for falling into his trap.
How come I failed to see that when almost everybody was giving me a hint?
I Decided to Set Myself Free
Years ago, settling down was like the end goal of my life.
I didn’t plan anything for myself beyond the picture of having a simple yet comfortable family life and then lying on my death bed with my husband holding my hands as I say my final words.
So it was really difficult for me to take a completely different turn when I decided to put an end to our marriage.
Everything turned gray and blurry.
Nothing was sure.
I was completely thrown out of my comfort zones as I opened myself up to a lot of risks of becoming vulnerable and prone to scrutiny and laughter.
It was painful to admit that a lot of people laughed at me when I married that ugly man, so being cheated on and betrayed by the same disgusting person was like putting salt and acid on my open wounds.
The bitter pill of embarrassment and humiliation was even harder to swallow that time.
It was like walking naked while everybody else was gazing and shooting arrows with the way they stared.
But you know what made me stronger despite all those?
It’s my trust in the Lord that there’s so much more on the other side of the dark clouds.
There’s a silver lining in all of these.
“This, too, shall pass. It’s just a phase”, I would always tell myself.
Some of life’s best treasures are covered with pains and tears.
I just needed to hold on and keep believing in the good and in God.
And I was not wrong.
After how many years, I was finally free!
And leaving my marriage was the best decision I ever made.
Who would have thought that the one thing that I used to fear was the same thing that would give me the biggest fulfillment?
I also gained so much strength from that biggest humiliation in my life.
My transparency and ability to speak-up and open-up about my past makes me the strongest version of myself because nothing scares someone who doesn’t hide anything.
My Key Take-Aways
“You are so much more than you think”
This is one of the biggest.
I never thought that I was capable of so much more and I would have not discovered that had I decided to remain under the influence of abuse in order to prevent the boat of my marriage from rocking.
Nobody deserves to continuously suffer deep inside just for the sake of protecting something that would eventually destroy your whole being down to its core.
But please don’t get me wrong.
I’m not saying that you should simply end your marriage once things have turned sour.
We’re all human beings and we’re bound to make mistakes and wrong choices in life.
All of us deserve another chance and forgiveness in order to patch things up and fix things that we have broken.
But it’s a completely different story when you are already being abused repeatedly by people who would never show even a pinch of remorse no matter how Evil they have been to you.
“Don’t be a slave of your vows”
I know that not a lot of people would agree with me but this is probably something that makes things a lot more complicated.
Not only once I have heard of this line boomeranging when somebody would mention the word “marriage”.
They’re saying that they tolerate all the abuses because they hold on to their vows and they want to keep the promise that they made in front of the altar.
I agree to the point that we should all honor our vows; I’m all hands-up and I don’t have any disputes.
However, what some of us forget is the fact that we were not the only ones who made a promise.
Your husband or your wife as well.
So what gives them the right to break their promises at your own expense?
I don’t think that God would be happy to see you suffering simply because you’re locked-up by the vows you made with a person who would never make you feel the presence of our Lord in it.
And worse, being a slave by your vows could also turn you into a monster you never wanted to become once you’ve been consumed by pain and too much torments.
So I would rather break my vows than completely ruin my values and good relationship with myself and our Creator.
But again, I’m talking about marriages built on lies and relationships with people who have no chance of changing for the better, like people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
And if your husband or wife is normal and you’ve proven that they’re really sorry for betraying you and are willing to change their ways, by all means, forgive them and continue to fight for your marriage for what it’s worth.
“People will judge you as they believe to know the real you even when they don’t”
With my articles about my painful experiences, a lot would almost immediately conclude that I was a man-hater.
Some might even think that I was just plain bitter because I’ve never experienced walking down the aisle to marry someone.
But now we know it was far from the truth.
Because the truth is, I was once like you.
But I have gone a long way since then.
I have a fair share of triumphs and failures and I always choose myself no matter what happens.
Because always choosing yourself saves you from insanity, completely falling apart, and losing your real self in the process.
Choosing yourself means refusing to take bullshit.
And if we would all take a stand in building strong boundaries, then nobody would suffer from any form of abuse ever again.
Post Script: My Encounter with the Other Covert Narcissist
My ex-marriage was my first ever encounter with a Covert Narcissist and I was able to escape him although it was very difficult.
Because of the strength that I earned with these experiences, it became a bit easier for me to escape and survive any succeeding relationships that would involve a Covert Narcissist.
Case in point: My previous relationship with another Covert Narcissist, the father of my child.
There’s a long and interesting story behind it but my first ever experience of escaping the Narcissist (my ex-husband) made my second escape a lot easier.