**Posting as a madhatter, hope that's okay.***
The person I cheated with was classic NPD, something I could easily see once I was away from that destructive path. H spent a long time and energy helping me to see how I was "walking around with a target on my back" and was prime pickings for a narcissistic sociopath. (Not an excuse for my behavior by any means.)
Now, many years out from d-day, I feel like I'm starting to see my H very differently after all the research on narc's and narc abuse I've done. I'm starting to think he's a covert narc, and after looking back at our relationship, I'm starting to feel a mixture of anger and incredible sadness for the time I've spent with him.
When we met, I thought it was amazing how we shared a lot of the same interests and experiences, how he always seemed to know where I was coming from, how we really connected right off the bat. We met online after he found my blog, and he came on very strong, telling me he was crazy about me and couldn't get enough of my writing and I was the one he'd been waiting for his entire life.
Because of that target mentioned earlier, I ate every bit of it up. I mean, how could someone so perfect even be remotely interested in me, of all people? He showed me how he found my blog, by doing an area search on his and randomly clicking (something he'd "never done before," which I've learned is classic narc language ). We were saying, "I love you," within two weeks, engaged within three months, and living together within five months.
He never said anything about my friends (we met when I was in college), but he never had any interest in being a part of my life, nor did he seem interested in making me a part of his. I would invite him to do things with some of my friends so I could introduce him around and show him off, and he would always decline. He never said anything when I would want to do something with a friend, but there was always something silently disapproving in his mannerisms that I still can't quite put my finger on. Eventually, it was just us in our bubble, and I was totally isolated from the life I'd been living when we met, the life that made me into the person he was so crazy about. He didn't even meet my parents for nine months because he wouldn't make the three-hour trip to their home, saying they should come see us. I'm sorry, but the way I grew up, kids visited parents, not the other way around.
He gaslights me. I know he does. The one time he came with me to an event with my friends, he tells me I was fawning all over someone else and that my friends were apologizing for me the entire time, but I clearly remember being by his side for the entire event, kissing him, being on his arm, my friends saying how cute we were together. He says he's been "keeping me out of trouble" for our entire relationship because I'm so irresponsible. He even says he paid my car note during my A to keep my car from being repo'd, but I looked back in my check register. I paid that car note, and the entry in my register is clearly my handwriting. He says he forged it. He goes on to say that people have been keeping me out of trouble my entire life, but I was a goody-goody. Until my A, I'd never done anything wrong. I'm honestly not sure what to believe about my own life anymore.
Talking about it now, it seems so obvious, but when I try to talk to him about it, he makes me feel so stupid for even suspecting him of anything, mocking me for thinking I'm "so smart," and "have it/him all figured out." I don't have the strength yet to do anything about it, but I'm hoping that, with posting here after reading for many years, I'll be able to work myself up to it sooner rather than later.
Thank you for this simple, amazing question. It's really helped me to write this all out.