A Vindictive Husband! My story…

Vindictive HusbandMany true stories about vindictive ex-spouses exist. I have heard about several men who have tried to destroy the reputation of their ex-wives with a ruthless and quite thorough assault on their public characters. These men have told lies to friends and family members, attempted to blackmail their former spouses by threatening to spread vicious lies about them, stolen money from them, tried to turn children against their mothers, become explosively angry, even physically violent when challenged, and have uniformly laid blame for the failure of the marriage at the feet of the ex-wife.

However, my story is about a vindictive husband. I currently live in Lebanon, following 7 years in Cairo, Egypt. My husband and I separated for a while – my decision – and were back together only few months after the legal separation. I loved him and couldn’t bear living without him. We had many issues to deal with; including different mindsets and family interference (this is current in Eastern Societies). Viciousness can be quite subtle and sometimes invisible to those who don’t know their man well. The word used by many psychotherapists to describe a man like this is ‘reptilian’: he seems so cold-blooded, without any genuine feeling for other people, and his desire to inflict pain or even destroy his current or former spouse seems inhuman, snake-like. At the same time, one tries to understand his psychology and what drives him. I tried to understand that my husband felt ashamed, his ego was hurt, his feelings too. Still, I was living in hell with him and he continuously inflicted pain (emotional, psychological) over the years.

When we went back together, he started going out with other women. He formed a clan with his parents against me. He wanted us to have children against my will. Back to hell, but this time, a different kind of hell… Worst… I had to run away…

There is another word to describe this kind of character: “vindictive narcissist”, who constructs an idealized and false self-image as a protection against shame, a kind of fortress behind which he conceals his shame, and will defend that self-image with every weapon in his arsenal. When a wife decides to leave a marriage, the narcissistic husband experiences it as a kind of attack (according to the law of false attribution): her rejection threatens to put him into contact with all the shame he can’t bear to feel, and so he must instantly turn against her. If he can’t literally destroy her, as some wounded narcissists have done, he will attempt to annihilate her character, for example, by painting himself as a martyr. The public humiliation he experiences when his wife asks for a divorce is a narcissistic injury so profound it provokes a retaliatory strike of nuclear proportions. That pain is felt as an attack, calling forth an all-out counter-assault meant to annihilate the threat to his fragile self-esteem.

Many individuals (men and women), when they feel hurt or humiliated, entertain fantasies of revenge. However, a vindictive narcissist can’t tolerate painful humiliation and the fantasy isn’t enough. He experiences the continuing reality of a woman who rejected him as a continual threat, a constant assault upon his ideal self-image; as a result, his defenses remain on continual alert against it. At the least provocation — that is, whenever shame threatens to emerge — he will viciously strike out, like a snake assaulting its prey. A vindictive narcissist is usually quite charming, having learned how to manipulate people to evoke their desire and sympathy.

Mothers too can be narcissistic with their children, especially with their boys, but that’s another story…

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  1. It is always great reading personal stories, specially one so intense. You have plenty of courage to be writing this and then to come out of all this undefeated. Thank you.

  2. sad reality and phenomenon. i liked the term ‘corrosive’ on your facebook page. and ‘egochodriac’…

  3. Thank you for this testimony. It’s always courageous to talk about one’s pain and story, even with a nickname.

  4. Thank you for your comments and support 🙂 It’s part of a catharsis process to write and share. Hoping to help others…

  5. Hi Liliane
    I am going through the same and have 3 little children, he has even gone this far to abandon his children to punish me. I dont know how to cope as I love my kids dearly.

  6. Thank you Nuresa for sharing your story too… i can only encourage you to work on gaining your independence and self-esteem. If he chose to leave, even his children, let him be. You don’t need him. You will find a way to survive and raise your children with enough love. They don’tneed a father who rejects them and you surely don’t need a manipulative husband. Many are the women who survived similar sitiations and their kids grew to be fine adults. Ask for help from your parents, friends, lawyers, psychologists, etc. And pick up the pieces of your heart and stand up. I you want to survive and live, and care about your children, you don’t have another choice then to empower yourself. Good luck dear. You are not alone… 🙂

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