One thing I learned as I researched narcissists is that they rarely admit their flaws. John was no different. The reality of our impending divorce was very clear. There was no question that this divorce was happening. Living in the house was like walking around live grenades all day trying not to set one off.
I had removed my wedding band and told all of my friends and family that we were starting the process of divorce. The only people I had not yet told were James and Quinn, and that was because I wanted to wait until we had an idea of what was going to happen next. I didn’t want them to be worried about the unknown.
John refused to tell his family. I asked him a few times… I even offered to do it. I felt as if I was lying to them as well, and I had grown to care for them over the years. John just kept saying, “I’ll tell them when I want to tell them”.
Soon the holidays came and Christmas festivities began. I nearly passed out from shock when John asked me if I would attend his company Christmas party with him. He told me he really wanted me there, etc, etc, etc. Really?! In reality, I knew he just didn’t want his colleagues to know that he was in the process of getting divorced. But even if he DID really want me there for my company….of course I wasn’t going to attend the party! Why would he ask me that?! My eyes had been opened to the fact that this man was abusive. I was not going to attend a party with my abuser.
John accepted my refusal to attend the party pretty quickly, but as he started to make plans with his parents for holiday celebrations, he became firm about me attending those. I made it very clear I was not going to go with him and the kids to celebrate with his father in New York. We were getting a divorce, I was afraid of him and I was not going to put myself through that just because he didn’t want to tell his parents about the divorce.
John tried talking me into it, but I stayed firm. It made no sense to me at all to go with him to this celebration. I know the children didn’t know we were getting divorced, but there was no reason at all that the adults needed to be in the dark. And there was no way I was getting in a locked car and driving to another state with this angry abusive man who had a history of losing his cool with me in locked cars when I had nowhere to escape.
When John could not force me to go with him to NY, he.. of course… used manipulation instead. Even though his father hated traveling… and he had only been to Connecticut to visit us five times in the fourteen years we lived there… John made his father, step mother and their children come to our house to celebrate. This way he could force me to be at the celebration against my will. Looking back I wish I had left the house and went to see a movie or something. But I stayed. See I still was not free of the control John had over me. That was going to take a lot longer than the divorce process would…. and unfortunately, he knew that. So I stayed… but I didn’t pretend. I kept my distance from everyone and focused on the children.
This must have angered John because any time his father and step mother left the room he would do something passive aggressive directed at me. At one point he put his face directly in mine while I was putting food on a plate for the kids and spat, “Do you have a problem?!”. The four children were in the room and gave him a funny look. They were the only ones that sensed a problem.
It took John about seven months to finally tell his mother and his father about the divorce. I have no idea what he told them. Neither one of them ever tried to reach out to me afterward. Likely he lied and shifted the blame to me. I highly doubt he admitted any fault of his own. And to this day, John still has his wedding band on. He refers to me as his wife when he emails my daughter’s dance teacher, thinking they won’t tell me. He cannot admit his failure to others. He has his head in the sand like an ostrich. I have no idea what will happen when the reality of our divorce finally gets through to him. I’m not sure if it ever will. I just hope that I am able to remain safe if it does finally sink in.