No. I didn’t “choose” to marry a narcissist

narctree1People who have been abused by narcissists hear all kinds of ridiculous and cruel comments from people who have no clue. I’ve been told that it’s my fault I was abused because I married the narcopath, that it’s worse for me to talk about the abuse than it was for him to abuse me, that I made my choice so I must face the consequences.

How about…he shouldn’t be an abuser?

Let me just say that victim blamers have something wrong with their thoughts. I think many of us have encountered that judgmental bully who says “well, you shouldn’t have married him,” or “you’re the one who chose to marry him,” or some other comment that basically blames you for unknowingly getting involved with an abuser.

Yes, technically we did choose the abuser, but it was hardly an informed choice! If I’d had any clue how narcissists and sociopaths worked, I would have gladly run the other way. If I had the full information and the full story, I would have been able to make a better choice. Self-righteous people who want us to think *they* have never made a bad choice love to treat us like we were idiots who willingly made the bad decision to cavort with sociopaths.

Wrong!

I’m sick of being verbally beaten over the head with this idea that I “chose” the abuse. There is a big difference between making a choice to do something you know is wrong–like steal from a store, lie to others, slash someone’s tires–and making an innocent bad choice when you don’t know you are doing something wrong. A narcissist appears to be wonderful, fun, interesting, honest, responsible and so many other good things. A sociopath is even better at putting on the act. What’s a nice girl to think when Prince Charming is putting on a show for her? If she hasn’t experienced a sociopath, she’s never going to realize what’s going on. Even if we have experienced a typical abuser, the sociopath can fool us because the sociopath is so much better at knowing the right things to say. A sociopathic abuser will often seek out former victims and cozy up to them. The sociopath will pretend to be a victim to gain a vulnerable person’s trust. After I divorced a controlling covert narcissist, I thought I would be smarter the next time. Instead, I encountered a highly intelligent sociopath who used the fact that I’d been abused before to mirror me.

Furthermore, it is a reality that people who have been abused once are more likely to be abused again. The more you have been abused, the higher your chances of re-victimization. This isn’t because you are purposely trying to be abused! It’s because abusers–especially sociopaths–know how to pick you out of a crowd. They can read body language, recognize low barriers, recognize a person who is hungry for love, and recognize a person who has given up. It’s also because we learn patterns and don’t know any better. We often have no clue that relationships aren’t meant to be miserable and controlling and we don’t know how to recognize a good partner even if we do know something is wrong. How can a person know something they don’t know!?! Sometimes people go through several cycles of abuse before they realize they are repeating a pattern or that it’s not normal. This is especially common for people who were abused as children. We let bad behavior slide because we are used to it and haven’t seen anything better.

Someone who gets involved with an abuser once isn’t looking to be abused. Someone who gets involved with multiple abusers isn’t looking to be abused either. That’s not how it works. The psychology behind repeating cycles of abuse is far more complicated than just mindlessly blaming the victim for uninformed choices.

Frankly, anyone who tells a victim of narcissistic abuse that they are responsible for choosing the abuser is lacking empathy and sense!

7 thoughts on “No. I didn’t “choose” to marry a narcissist

  1. I have heard every possible nasty, cruel, and ignorant remark on this subject. I used to question whether or not people would think before speaking. Then I realized they are!:A great many people think this way.My Narc mother consistently asked why I stayed (now I know I was conditioned to stay, yep, her) thisvwas always followed with, “You must like it” and then “don’t get mad, but you must like it, and I’m just trying to help.” Sure makes it difficult doesn’t it? I find myself to be more mindful then ever towards others. I am careful not to judge, etc… and I hate to be negative, but how has this helped me? I attract nothing butnarcs, the more I like a person in the beginning, the more wrong I am. The only thing is I recently started to believe it when they show me who they are. And I quickly detach. It is still so heartbreaking. I’m not sure I will ever have real friendships. Oh well, what can I say. I keep attracting these creatures, so I must like it.

  2. I too was married to a controlling abusive man. After 17 years I finally got out only to be swept off my feet by an amazing man. For the first time in my life I felt beautiful and worthy. That lasted about 1 year but suddenly got taken away which left me confused and asking the question why has this man suddenly gone cold. Then came silent treatment for days abusive texts and so on, all because apparently according to my husband I couldn’t keep my mouth shut. Fancy having an opinion about something. I am still with my husband trying to work out what I’m dealing with. Could this man be a narcissist?? Most days I feel sick and confused, I can be crying and begging for explanation only to be ignored or laughed at. I am frightened of his moods and his cold aloof manner. He has admitted he has told his family what a crazy mental screaming alcoholic I am. Yep smeared my reputation to anyone who will listen. I do drink but I have 4 kids to deal with and get up to train at 5:30am everyday and work full time, well I don’t know how I can be both. I found out a few months after we got married he has a gambling problem, I had no idea it was hidden very well. I’ve tried and tried, thinking this must be my fault. In the last couple of weeks I googled why people give the silent treatment, and the word narcissist kept coming up. He has the ability to twist and turn things to make everything my fault. Our sex life is great, but if I upset him this is another thing he will take away. Even when approached about his gambling it was my fault. I feel like I’m going crazy with the games, but still thinking the man I met will return. I don’t know how someone could have thought I was the best girl on the earth at the start only to now constantly say the most horrendous things to and about me now. I am the same girl. I try to be there and help all around me including his family. Surely I have some redeeming qualities. Please please I need an opinion from someone. I don’t understand any of this.

    • You are not crazy. Many of us understand your feelings COMPLETELY. Listen to your inner voice, the.one that knows you are alright and everything cannot be your fault.

  3. I too was married to a controlling abusive man. After 17 years I finally got out only to be swept off my feet by an amazing man. For the first time in my life I felt beautiful and worthy. That lasted about 1 year but suddenly got taken away which left me confused and asking the question why has this man suddenly gone cold. Then came silent treatment for days abusive texts and so on, all because apparently according to my husband I couldn’t keep my mouth shut. Fancy having an opinion about something. I am still with my husband trying to work out what I’m dealing with. Could this man be a narcissist?? Most days I feel sick and confused, I can be crying and begging for explanation only to be ignored or laughed at. I am frightened of his moods and his cold aloof manner. He has admitted he has told his family what a crazy mental screaming alcoholic I am. Yep smeared my reputation to anyone who will listen. I do drink but I have 4 kids to deal with and get up to train at 5:30am everyday and work full time, well I don’t know how I can be both. I found out a few months after we got married he has a gambling problem, I had no idea it was hidden very well. I’ve tried and tried, thinking this must be my fault. In the last couple of weeks I googled why people give the silent treatment, and the word narcissist kept coming up. He has the ability to twist and turn things to make everything my fault. Our sex life is great, but if I upset him this is another thing he will take away. Even when approached about his gambling it was my fault. I feel like I’m going crazy with the games, but still thinking the man I met will return. I don’t know how someone could have thought I was the best girl on the earth at the start only to now constantly say the most horrendous things to and about me now. I am the same girl. I try to be there and help all around me including his family. Surely I have some redeeming qualities. Please please I need an opinion from someone. I don’t understand any of this.

  4. No! You didn’t choose the abuser…and yes you were manipulated and tricked. HORRIBLY.

    But apon discovery of the wrong done to you and the mistake you made… GET OUT! Do not stay and be disallusioned with why he dies not have to pay for what he did. GET OUT! Be thankful your eyes were opened.
    The victim role is not a victim role once you are aware of your abuse. After that you are a volunteer.
    I know this is hard to hear but the only reason I can say this and have the right to is because I am a #narcsurvivor

    • Your not a “volunteer”. That’s insensitive. The statement is catchy, but remember your full journey. Im a narc survivor also.

  5. The Unfit Christian just published an article I wrote discussing this topic. And wouldn’t you know it, I got the exact same response. People who’ve never had a traumatic or abusive life will always have a condescending attitude towards those of us who “fell for it” or “should have known better”. It honestly turns my stomach and was the reason it took me so long to come forward with my story.

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