Star Of The Sea's Story

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#1 Jul 22 - 6PM
starofthesea's picture

Star Of The Sea's Story

I fell in love with him at first glance. He was beautiful, shy, young and clever. A mixed race boy from a poor background who had studied to become a lawyer. I was at a party with friends and I never thought he would be interested in me, although I am thought of as attractive. He was just everything I ever wanted. He grew up in a very sheltered and conservative religious community in the MidWest which he has broken away from, which was why he hadn't dated like normal young guys. We swapped numbers casually and sure enough he started texting me and we arranged to meet in a group with friends. It was clear he liked me a lot too, and we got together about a month after meeting. He was a lot younger than me, and very nervous and inexperienced,which just made me love him more. I felt - feel - so protective towards him. I am very maternal. Making love was lovely. I loved his smell, his soft skin, everything. I'm an experienced woman in my 30s. I've had other lovers who were objectively more handsome, better fun perhaps, but no one had every made me feel so in love. I used to hold him after, and watch him while he slept.

Quickly he talked about getting married. I was more cautious, especially as he was so young, and I thought he couldn't know his feelings. I said let's talk about it in a month or so. He was hurt, but we carried on more or less blissfully. A few warning signs - the odd sulk started to happen after a month or so if he felt I wasn't paying him enough attention, but I put it down to his being a very sensitive person.

Two months in. He went out with friends one night, and met a beautiful woman of his age. He mentioned casually he had met some new people, including her. He invited her out with us one night, in a group with friends. We'd argued that day, and I felt he was insecure that I hadn't moved the relationship on yet. I was shocked what happened that night. He was hanging on her every word, and got possessively angry when his single friend tried to hit on her. We fell out badly that night. He admitted he was attracted to her, but loved me too, and needed time to think. I panicked, and resolved to be a better gf, and was basically at his beck and call after that. He continued to text this girl in a semi-flirty way, insisting it was just friendly, and took her out for coffee on her own even though I was really upset. I think she, not he, finally realised the problems the friendship was causing, and backed off

A few months later, we got married. I had doubts, now having seen another side to him - very easily hurt and prone to anger when he perceived my friends had slighted him. Like a dog with a bone, insisting I break all contact with friends he disliked, and being very critical and abusive at times. I have a successful career, and he would be resentful at times - sometimes glorying in my success, but often accusing me of self-importance. But I loved him, and was proud to be with him, thought if we were married he would be more secure and less difficult. And I am desperate for kids, which he wanted too.

He got a bit physical a couple of times after the marriage - nothing major, just the odd shove or slap (not on the face). Four times in all. I told him it was unaccceptable. He didn't apologise wholeheartedly, but it stopped. Again, I put it down to youth, and being in a real relationship for the first time. It was more the verbal abuse that got me down, and the black moods. But often it was lovely, and in public I noticed he was especially affectionate. I loved looking after him. But he was starting to cause me problems - I tend to not get into conflicts with people, whereas he would take offence easily or dislikes to certain friends of mine who he thought were ignoring him, and gave me a hard time about it. But I carried on turning a blind eye to all this. I have a dog, and he got angry because he said I cared about the dog more than him.

He was always on his PC and I got suspicious - the trust had been shaken early. I know it is wrong, but I looked and found that he had been emailing lots of women (strangers mainly) in a very sexual way. I don't want to go into detail but it shook me to the core. So I checked his phone - he had been texting a woman we met at a party, just in a semi-flirty way. At the same time being so jealous of my interactions with any men, not understanding that I truly only had eyes for him. When I confronted him, he was naturally defensive, saying that because nothing physical had happened in real life then it didn't count. Finally he admitted it was wrong. Lots of other stuff that I won't mention. Whether big issues or little issues, he would go in all guns blazing, and give me a hard time for months. My father died, but he wasn't really there for me, and even said some disrespectful things. My family got angry at his treatment of me. My mother saw an abusive message that he had sent me that I accidentally left open on the PC, and was shocked that this nice, shy guy could write something so awful.

Finally I had enough, and left, after 2 years of marriage, 4 months ago. We live in different towns now but still in touch. We got together once, but I knew it was wrong. I know that we live by different moral codes, and that by staying with him I will just have to submit to his will to keep things sweet, alienate family and friends that he doesn't like, and basically bury my own personality and values. We're in a limbo now. He's already out there, meeting new girls all the time, though he says it's just friendly. I wish I could get him out of my head. He keeps asking me to come back. I think if he was heartbroken he would be trying harder to get me back, rather than bragging about all his new female friends. He says it's all my fault for leaving. It kills me to think of him being charming and sweet to some new woman and being with someone else. Then I feel selfish because I am the one who left him, and I can't have my cake and eat it. Do you think he is an N?

Sep 12 - 11AM
starofthesea's picture

thanks you all for helpful insightful comments. I think I am slowly getting there, with setbacks along the way. Which is why I am back here after a bit of a break. I think that the older woman thing is not necessarily a red flag, other than the status thing of having a wife who has made her way in the world. It all depends on the person. With a kind young guy it could have been very different. It is easy to think of those stereotypes of hot young guy and desperate older woman, but as so often in life it wasn't like that. I had other choices - just made the wrong one. I don't think he particularly has a type (old/young/fat/thin/blonde/dark) - any vaguely attractive, giving and intelligent woman will do. Because I do notice that the women he seriously pursues tend to be a bit like me, younger versions of me - serious-minded, similar interests, people I would like in other circumstances. Because of his jealousy I don't think he could cope with a very flirty party-girl type, though the horrible side of me would like to see him get his come-uppance with one! But that is to focus on him and not on me. And that's the hard bit. I still worry and care, despite the fact that he has been flirting with numerous women since our split (well, before too), whereas I am still behaving as though married, and still nursing the hurts. I find it hard to move on while we are only separated - partly fear of mud-slinging, and partly broken heart. The sooner it is over the better really. Sometimes being monogamous feels like a curse, but I would still rather be that way.
Aug 17 - 5AM
tica's picture


hi~ read your story, it home for me..i was the older woman with the narc (15 years) at first we had no idea we were this far apart in age...first meeting, i thought we were @ 6 years apart? Soon his emotional immaturity began to surface..i took it as a challenge...I had some $ from recent divorce, he was poor and "hunting" a gigalo in retrospect..i got taken in with the whole idea of having a lover in a foreign caught up in his crazy world and let him spin lies all around until the web got so big that i had to get out.. costly but could have been alot worse..we lasted a year...this is the 2nd and LAST narc that i will fall for..having someone like this in my life has made me a stronger person, even though we all go through this pain, we are all still here..getting each other the long run i truely believe, "the best is yet to come" but ONLY if we learn from this and move along..or as you say, "move on up!" peace and light..NC is the only way... tica
Aug 18 - 3PM (Reply to #19)
MovinOnUp's picture


Tica, though the pain is the same anyway you slice it, the N I've been married to for thirty one years is three years older than I am. I haven't written my story yet because I'm having difficulty whittling it down from a novel.
Aug 15 - 8PM
agnesmurphy17's picture

Young Man - Older Woman

I have heard that a huge red flag is a younger man with an older woman. The young N moves into her established & financially comfortable lifetstyle. And he plays on maternal feelings. My N - his story. He was 17 & started with a woman who was 30 with a 6 year old child. A 13 year age difference. Eventually they married & had a child. He tortured her (I imagine) for decades - he left her for a younger woman (33) when he was 43. He had affairs with other women for years. I asked him if she knew -- he said he didn't know. The woman who replaced me, she was 8 years older than him. He's 50 now & she's 58. He was really draining her for money -- even more than I. She contacted me after she left him. I'd divorce your young man ASAP. Be careful. You may find that you have to pay him alimony. Also, mine was acting as if he was devastated when I left him. But, he was with the woman who replaced me immediately (like the same weekend). Instant relationship. Any man who is IN LOVE cannot replace the beloved so easily. Look at how you & others on this board are pining away for their N. When we are in love, we see only the beloved . . . nobody else will do. Stop making excuses for this young man. His "immaturity" etc. I suppose my N's first wife did that as well. What did it get her? Decades of abuse & then abandonment in her late 50's. He never grew up or matured. Just moved on after he had drained her of everything & robbed her of all those years of her life.
Aug 15 - 8PM (Reply to #17)
Susan32's picture

Replaced by an older woman (in a sense)

My ex-Psych professor is 15 years my senior. When we met, he was 32, I was 18. He ended up D&D'ing me for a woman who was 31 (I was 21), and he was 36. Some Narcs go for older women;some pursue younger and younger women to hold onto their youth. In retrospect, I can see why he preferred the OW (whom he impregnated, then subsequently married) She was a curator, financially independent... she gave up her job at a prestigious and respected museum to be with him (she did find work at another museum, but not like the one in LA) Better source of Narc supply than say a jobless college student(!) He certainly wasn't looking for a housewife... or a woman who wouldn't mind taking the mommy track.
Jul 23 - 6PM
MelloMix's picture

Dear Star

He is an abuser. Please don't waste your precious life on him. He will never change and will continue to leave a string of heartbroken women behind him. He just wants control. He acted outragiously by inviting the 'new' girl out with you, and I suspect you haven't told the half of it yet. It's amazing the way we minimise and justify their behaviour in an attempt to keep hold of 'the dream'. It's just that - a dream. It was never what you wanted it to be and it never will be. Don't doubt what you have learned. Use it to leave him in the dust and also to protect yourself from others like him in the future. Take care. Mello
Jul 23 - 6PM (Reply to #15)
starofthesea's picture

Dear Mello

Yes, it is truly amazing how otherwise strong and rational women can let ourselves be treated like dirt by men who don't deserve us, when there are plenty out there who do. It was a dream, and after a long time in denial I have been on here all night, drinking a couple of beers and getting back in touch with my sanity, thanks to the kind and genuine words of people like you.
Jul 23 - 3AM
starofthesea's picture

Thanks so much. I woke up so

Thanks so much. I woke up so upset because he was telling me that today he is going out to a music festival with a group he just met, mainly girls. He was telling me the other night that he is so sad and lost without me, and then started apologising for the fact he might start something with one of them if I don't come back. He didn't even seem sure which one! Unless he just wasn't saying. So obviously my imagination is running riot. So reading this has given me some strength to get through the day, and feel I am not alone, and that there are people out there who understand. I haven't been sharing much with family and friends lately. Part shame and part not wanting to talk about it anymore. I haven't said everything that happened either, so I am glad you can all understand how hard it's been with him, and yet still so hard to break away from him. Thanks again.
Jul 22 - 9PM
TNR1's picture

Does it truly matter?

Honestly, whether he is or isn't an N, the way he treated you, the selfishness that he showed that he is just not a very good partner. Don't buy into his accusations. Those are just justifications for his behavior. Welcome to the board by the way.
Jul 23 - 5PM (Reply to #12)
starofthesea's picture


..for the welcome, and the wisdom. What you say about his accusations makes me feel strong. I suppose it doesn't matter in a way whether he is N, but somehow it's important to me. I stumbled on a Narcissism website nearly 2 years ago, when Iwas casting around trying to make sense of his behaviour. I suppose I've known since then, but been in denial hoping it was just immaturity, that he would mellow..I've known men (older family members) who were abusive to their wives in early days of marriage because of bad upbringing, stress, poevery, social expectations in those days, whatever, but who realised the error of their ways and ended up as good men. But if he is an N, as I strongly suspect, then it helps me to convince myself that he will NEVER CHANGE, and that I did the right thing. Thanks again.
Jul 22 - 7PM
starofthesea's picture

Re-reading I realise I've

Re-reading I realise I've toned this down A LOT. Part fear in case he or someone he knows reads it, therefore frightened of being too honest about what happened because of possible retribution. For me the abuse was mainly verbal, mental. Calling me the most vile names and using the most foul language. Said I was a slut, promiscuous, evil etc.when nothing could be further from the truth. I would sometimes answer back, but never called him bad names. Too scared. Still am. So why am I hurting to think of him lavishing attention on some new girl? I feel really selfish because I left him.
Jul 22 - 9PM (Reply to #5)
MovinOnUp's picture


Please don't feel selfish for leaving someone who spoke to you like that. You ended it because you were being abused. Don't beat yourself up for that, give yourself a big pat on the back. You're way ahead of many of us. Since he was the one fishing for new women... sounds like the names he called you fit him much better. Which makes sense once you get a grip and understand how good they are at projecting their issues onto you. Especially if they're being challenged. You're hurting because your human and just had your heart broke. Not easy seeing someone you love move on to another in the best of circumstances. And I think a common theme here is that he's going to treat her different, better, etc. And the truth is, he won't for long. The more you read, the more things will become clear and hopefully that will help with your guilt about leaving. I hope you find some answers and comfort.
Aug 13 - 6PM (Reply to #7)
anonymous's picture

When They're Being Challenged

Movin - you wrote, "how good they are at projecting their issues onto you. Especially if they're being challenged." That completely hits the mark. A few days after my N D&Dd me, he told me that I should find someone else. I told him that I could believe he could calmly say that so early on given how strongly he had said he felt about me. And he flew into a 3-minute narcissitic rage. He screamed into my face about how dare I "presume" to know what he's thinking and how dare I question his sincere desire to "help" me. I used to think that his rage was brought on because he truly didn't want me to be with another man but felt he needed to try to help me through the pain of the break-up. Now I realize the rage was because I had unintentionally called him out for his shallowness.
Aug 13 - 7PM (Reply to #8)
MovinOnUp's picture


Yes, you pointed out something that didn't jive and had to endure his rage. They can't stand anyone calling them out or questioning them about anything. They just want you to swallow. I hope you are doing well, Morty. I read your story and you've been through soooo much heartache. You're one amazing woman and I hope one day you find someone who is capable of returning the love you have to give.
Aug 13 - 8PM (Reply to #9)
anonymous's picture

Thanks Movin'

We're all amazing women, and some guys too, on this site. We rock!
Aug 13 - 8PM (Reply to #10)
MovinOnUp's picture

I agree, Morty. We are so

I agree, Morty. We are so lucky to have each others help through the healing process! Rock on...
Jul 23 - 5PM (Reply to #6)
starofthesea's picture

I found comfort in your answer

Thanks so much. This really hits the nail on the head. I love the way you put it - "fishing for women". It's what he was doing all along. One of the reasons I have been feeling guilty is that he was never technically unfaithful (as far as I know) - but in a way I don't think it matters. It's all about the lack of respect, and the intention of making connections with other women, when believe me I was waiting on him hand and foot, with a full married life as you would expect in the first year of marriage. I did have my heart broken. Thanks for giving me clarity,
Jul 22 - 8PM (Reply to #2)
Klarity Belle
Klarity Belle's picture

His behaviour is not acceptable

"It kills me to think of him being charming and sweet to some new woman and being with someone else. Then I feel selfish because I am the one who left him, and I can't have my cake and eat it. Do you think he is an N?" Same thing will happen to the next woman/women in his life too - he is who he is and is highly unlikely to ever change. YOU however are a loving, caring and compassionate human being - there is no need to feel selfish for laying down your boundaries with such a cruel, insensitive and selfish man. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "The deeper that sadness carves into your being, the more joy you can contain." ~ Kahlil Gibran "That which we do not confront in ourselves we meet as fate" ~ Carl Jung

"The deeper that sadness carves into your being, the more joy you can contain." ~ Kahlil Gibran

"That which we do not confront in ourselves we meet as fate" ~ Carl Jung

Jul 23 - 5PM (Reply to #3)
starofthesea's picture

Thank you Klarity Belle

I am sure you are right. Although I can't help but feel a bit jealous of the next woman as she is being wooed as I write this, I am sure you are right that the same thing will happen. I don't take pleasure in the thought of her suffering - but it validates my decision, and stops me feeling so selfish.
Aug 10 - 10PM (Reply to #4)
apple's picture

Hi Star!!

He could be threatening to be with other women as a way of controlling you and also to get a reaction out of you. My N did that to me ALL the time!!! I know how bad it hurts!!! This guy sounds like a bad news bear and I would trust your own instincts and not put up with his B.S. anymore. You deserve so much better!! xxA