For years, I’ve known she wanted out of her terrible marriage.
She never should have married him. I don’t think she ever loved him. Not really. But he wanted her very badly. He pursued her hard. After a series of less-than-stellar relationships, it made her feel happy to be wanted so much. And he checked all the boxes on her “must have” list. So she accepted his proposal and they got married.
Even before the wedding, she saw red flags, but she didn’t want to back out. She kept making excuses for him. She was a strong woman, so she thought she could control the situation.
But as soon as they got married, she found out that he had been putting on an act about what he was. The red flags she had occasionally seen turned out to be routine behavior. Verbal abuse was constant. Belittling was an everyday thing. She soon realized she had married a malignant narcissist. She didn’t know anything about narcissism until then, but as she started reading about it — at my urging — she recognized her husband in every possible way.
She finally admitted something to me tonight. The only reason she hasn’t left him so far is that she fears he wouldn’t let her out alive.