‘Then Rob messaged me. And everything changed. We decided to go out on a date. For the next few weeks, Rob and I were each other’s world. Or so I thought.’

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“I had always thought of myself as a very loving and giving person. I loved with everything in me. I loved HARD! I didn’t know any other way. Growing up I had a lot of boyfriends. My parents divorced when I was about 11 years old. I lived with my father, but he was never around. So, I looked for love in boys… then men. I always wanted attention. I needed to be showered with affection. Constant affection. Because of this, a lot of men found me to be too needy or clingy, so they would end the relationship. Usually, it was not very long before I was on to the next one.

April 2017 I was on a dating website. Really, I was just on there for fun. I didn’t expect to meet anyone worth anything because 90% of the people that I’d talk to were just looking for a hook up. I was not. But I still talked to a lot of different men because I loved the attention.

Then Rob messaged me. And everything changed. I stopped talking to everyone else and focused solely on Rob. We talked for about a week before we decided to go out on a date. That whole week we were texting nonstop, except for when we slept. A friend of mine was throwing a bon fire birthday party for me and being the country boy, he was, I asked Rob if he wanted to go as my date. He happily said yes! We met in a parking lot, he had brought me a bouquet of flowers, he gave me a huge hug and a really sweet kiss. We got in my car and off we went. We talked all night, had some drinks, and enjoyed the bon fire. He was very attentive. He had manners. He was constantly asking me if I wanted any food, or if I needed another drink. Even though we were sitting side by side, he was texting me sweet messages all night long. At the end of the night I took him back to his vehicle. He texts me as soon as we both headed home telling me he missed me already.

For the next few weeks Rob and I were each other’s world. Or so I thought. We were texting every day. He knew I preferred to text over talking on the phone because I liked to reread our messages. He worked third shift. I was a night owl by nature. So, we’d literally text the whole night while he was working. Then, he started inviting me to come see him at work. He had a job that allowed me to be with him while he worked. So, we’d listen to music all night, and talk, and kiss, and just be together. I was in heaven. It did not take Rob very long to tell me that he loved me. And less than I week later I was saying it back.
Rob would buy me drinks and snacks when I was at work with him. He’d send me home with gas money and cartons of cigarettes. He’d take me out to eat halfway through the shift or in the morning when he got off work. Eventually, Rob started making more time for me. And more. He’d spend time with me in the morning after work. He’d wake up early so that he could come see me before work (we lived 45 minutes apart). He was off on the weekends, so we’d have weekend getaways and stay in hotels in various places. Rob had been to my house, but I had never been to his. We had stayed at his parents’ house several times but never his. I began to suspect that Rob had a wife or a girlfriend, and that’s why we never went to his place. He always had an excuse, and I always believed him.

I know it was fast, but May 22, 2017 Rob proposed to me. We had been at my best friend’s house and drinking. I was tipsy and he was stone cold sober. I kissed him and told him, ‘Yes!’ A few weeks later he bought me a ring. I was very proud to wear this ring. I was happy. I was in love. I was in heaven. This was what I had always wanted, and I found it in Rob.

One night/morning in June Rob and I were texting as usual. He told me that he had something to tell me. Long story short, he told me that he was married. I lost it. He was MARRIED!! I had a hard time believing it because we were together 24/7 and if we weren’t together, we were constantly texting. But it was true. He had a wife, but she had moved out of their house, and he had filed for divorce. For whatever reason the divorce didn’t go through, so we went and saw an attorney and he filed again. Literally 20 days later he was divorced. I was ecstatic. He was officially all mine. We started planning a wedding. In July I put him on my lease. He moved everything out of his house to mine. We were living our fairytale life. Or so I thought.

Rob broke up with me on a Friday. No warning. Nothing. I was literally sick to my stomach. I cried and cried all weekend. I blew up his phone with texts and emails. He didn’t reply to a single one. He let me go all weekend without hearing so much as a word from him. Then he texts me and told me he loved me. He asked me to take him back. So, I did. That was the start of his games.

Everything went back to ‘normal’. The texting, the being together 24/7, the weekend getaways. But then he broke up with me again. This time he let five days go without me hearing from him. I was devastated again. I called. I text. I emailed. I even drove to his parents’ house. I cried and begged and pleaded for him to come back to me. He played hard to get. It was soul crushing. How could a man that said he loved me so much treat me like this?

After those five days we got back together. But this time he was not coming home. He got his own place. And I, his fiancé, had no clue where he was living. The calls stopped. The texts became few and far between. We rarely saw each other. I suspected he was seeing someone else, but he always claimed he wasn’t. After not seeing him for two weeks he asked me on a date. He took me to dinner, took me shopping for new clothes, and took me to the movies. Then I went to work with him, and we had an amazing night. He wanted to come home the next morning, so he did. I was so elated that he was here with me. I thought maybe now things would go back to normal.

But I couldn’t be more wrong. He loved playing me. He thrived off my pain. He thrived off my tears. See, what I didn’t know, and had to learn the hard way, was Rob was a narcissist. He didn’t love me. He loved the power he had over me. He loved how I bent over backwards for him. He loved how I went out of my way for him. He would build me up just to tear me down, over and over again. He knew that he could do whatever he wanted and that I would always let him come back.

There were other women. A lot of them. The less he was spending time with me, the more he was spending with them. He was having women over every weekend. To his house. The one that I didn’t even know where it was.

He led me on for six more months after the last time he left. And I let him. I felt like I was his puppet. I prayed day and night that God would get this man out of my life. Because I had no power to leave myself. I put up with the lies and the infidelity and the emotional abuse hoping that the old Rob would come back. Except, there was no old Rob. The Rob I knew was just a façade. He played me and he played me well.

The day I told him to never contact me again I could literally feel my heart breaking. I cried and cried and cried. But I knew I had to do this for the sake of myself and my sanity. I couldn’t play his games anymore. It was time I loved myself more than I loved him. By the grace of God, he never contacted me again. I wanted to contact him. But I was finally strong enough not to.

One day, I woke up and I didn’t miss him. The pain was gone. But it left me scarred. It gave me trust issues. It gave me self-esteem issues. And these are things I work on every day. I just hoped and prayed that if I took it one day at a time, I’d be ok. Life with a narcissist is scary. You never know what is going to happen. You feel like you have no way out. You feel trapped.  Just know, it can and does get better.”

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