This all sounds so familiar. Except for the guitar-playing, the dope, and the heavy drinking...
It is almost 16 years since you swept me off my feet and moved in with me. I felt so lucky. I had been on my own for a long time – bringing up my kids, working so hard to keep it all together and the roof over our heads when you came along, bringing joy and fun, and I fell head over heels for you. We were so happy – you said I brought out the best in you, made you a better person. What I didn't know was that hiding inside you was a bad person, a liar and a bully.
I never doubted that you loved me – you told me so often, you begged me to marry you. I was your third wife and third time lucky, you said. I knew you were selfish and I joked with friends that if we were ever shipwrecked and a lifeboat came along with room left for only one, you would be clambering across me to get to it. What I didn't know was just how selfish, how self-centred you were, how it was all about you all the time.
Since you left, I've been searching desperately for answers. I know now that you are an abuser with narcissistic personality disorder. Google it and you might recognise yourself, but then you would deny it and tell yourself that you are a good person and everyone else is to blame.
The good person is the one all the other people see, the sensitive, charismatic charmer, the Dr Jekyll everyone loves, the one that does good works for charity (though never anonymously). The "humble" person who wouldn't know humble if it jumped up and bit you. The Mr Hyde lurking inside comes out not because you get angry and lose control but when you know you can get away with it, with people who don't matter, people you can bully, intimidate and control.
I was so tired of feeling frightened and anxious, treading on eggshells, wondering what I or your mum or the kids might do next to irritate you, make you angry or depressed. But now you've gone and I'm left stunned, bereft and feeling stupid, wondering how I didn't see what was happening, how this crept up on me over the years until I was so confused that I thought I was going mad; wondering how the love of my life who kept telling me he loved me could be so cruel.
I started to crack and ask for help, but you didn't want to know. Much easier to leave all your troubles behind, to look for greener grass, dream about being a rock star and moving to a castle in Spain, all that stuff you could do if only everyone realised how special, how talented you are, how fantastic your songs are, how successful you should be. But you are pushing 50, drinking more, smoking more and more dope, still playing mediocre music in grotty pubs, and I hear that the other night your guitar wasn't even in tune. How sad is that? And how sad am I to still care?
So now you've moved on, and as usual you've gone for the easy option. The woman whose husband left a while ago, with a house and kids; where you've slotted in nicely, as you did in my life.
At the moment, she will be feeling loved and cherished and special, the luckiest woman alive. Just like I did. How long this time till the bullying starts again? Anonymous