If you have a summer reading list, then we have a book recommendation for you – A Beautiful, Terrible Thing: A Memoir of Marriage and Betrayal by Jen Waite. Write it down – right now – and read it as soon as you get a chance! Because if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be married to a narcissist, or what you can expect once you confront them about their lies and abuse, then this is the book for you.
In this amazing book, Jen Waite shares her personal experiences being “love bombed” by ‘Marco’, a bartender in the restaurant where she was waitressing. She describes their fairy tale romance (he was so passionate and tender) and the way in which he completely fooled everyone in her life, including her parents. But once their daughter was born and she stumbled onto evidence of an affair, the magic began to unravel, and Waite realized it had never been magical at all. It was all a lie.
Narcissists are highly skilled manipulators
In raw detail, she shares the struggle she experienced, the difficulties in breaking contact, and the years of therapy required to overcome the emotional damage. And believe it or not, it is emotionally damaging. Because your entire life with this person is a carefully constructed lie, a net that they’ve woven just for you that is extremely difficult to get out of. As Waite explains, once she learns about it from her therapist, “love bombing” is a common tactic used by narcissists to win their prey.
Shahida Arabi, author of POWER: Surviving and Thriving After Narcissistic Abuse, explains it clearly. “Highly skilled manipulators know how to seduce their prey… They are skilled wordsmiths and psychological puppeteers, pulling the strings each step of the way. They learn your love language and know how to appeal to what you want to hear. Love-bombing – the excessive praise and flattery the predator showers on the prey – might as well be crack cocaine.
Once you’re hooked, you can’t stop coming back for more…
It’s a form of grooming. A narcissist mirrors their victim by appearing to share their hopes, dreams, and values. They expend a huge amount of time and energy making that person feel loved and desired, which creates a deep need for the affection and attention being lavished on them. That way, when it’s abruptly withdrawn, the victim will do, and put up with, almost anything to get it back. And once you’re addicted, they toy with you.
A narcissist doesn’t care about the person they’re manipulating. It’s all a game. A kind of pleasure/pain cycle they get trapped into with their victims, where the love bombing phase is like a drug high for both of them, and the devaluing phase that follows serves to get them everything they can milk you for. Your savings, your sanity, your belongings, whatever it is that made you an attractive target in the first place.
Don’t let a skilled manipulator rob you of your future!
Join us next time for a look at the common steps used by narcissists to reel in their prey, and how to look for red flags. Until then, if you believe you’ve been tricked into marriage by a narcissists and you want out, call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245. Our experienced family law attorneys can help you with every aspect of this difficult process and you work to extricate yourself from the web of lies, including division of assets, child custody and alimony.