I got a Facebook message from a girl that I didn’t even know that well asking me if him and I were still together. A girl who clearly has girl code and was looking out for me! As soon as I got that message, I knew exactly why. He was out with her at a local bar- sneaking around, again. He had promised me that he had cut ties with her the last time I kicked him out before he manipulated his way back in. He had already admitted that he was infatuated with her and was lying to me for years. I confronted him about this sighting, and as usual, he denied everything, even though I confirmed that he was out with her, even asking the bartenders there myself. He insisted he was there alone.
When I went home, he wasn’t there and something in my gut was telling me to look at his IPad. I opened it up and pulled up his photos and BOOM, so many photos of this “friend”. And then, I see it- nude photos of her. I dropped the IPad. I started shaking. I began to feel physically ill and ran to the bathroom to throw up. While I knew that he was infatuated with her, I was NOT expecting this.
I called my best friend in hysterics- I’m not even sure if she could understand me but somehow, I managed to get my point across, and she immediately got in her car and came over.
After 6 years together, this needed to be the final straw to end this tumultuous relationship. I called my closest friends for reinforcement to make sure that I stuck to my guns and they helped me pack his things. One would think that after years of lies, verbal abuse and one incident of physical abuse (he had his hands around my throat in a drunken rage), along with having to fight for attention because it was always focused on this other woman, that this would be it, right? I was 100% sure that I was done with him.
The only smart things I did in those 6 years was to purchase my home in my name only and call off our wedding. At least I could throw him out and I didn’t have to go through any legal process to sever our relationship. But I’m sure you’ve figure out by now that he slithered his way back in through hoovering.
According to Psychology Today, hoovering is where the abusive narcissist tries to seduce and convince the victim to return to the abusive relationship from which he or she had previously escaped.
The term hoovering derives from the vacuum cleaner corporation, Hoover, and invokes the company’s vacuum cleaners’ process of sucking things in, just as the narcissistic abuser sucks the victim back into the psychologically and, oftentimes, physically abusive relationship.
The narcissist will stop at nothing to suck you back in. In my case, he was dropping off flowers, coffees on my doorstep. He was crying to my friends and family. He would not let me have a minute without him. He even tried to tell me that the dog would die without me or if he had to move him, or that his mother would die because of it. There was nothing he wouldn’t say or do to guilt me. And I couldn’t do the only thing that works against a narcissist, which is no contact- because of our business.
It took months, many promises, counseling and medication for him to grace his way back in. One of the requirements was that he had to write her a letter explaining what she has done to him/us and he wrote it – but never mailed it. I had to send it to her, which is pathetic. Otherwise, things were great- at first, but it didn’t last and I could never get the thought of those photos out of my mind, and apparently, neither could he. As I was recovering from brain surgery, just one week after having my tumor removed, he had unblocked her and they were calling and texting each other. If it wasn’t for my brain tumor, I may still be with this lying sack of shit. This was the only time I was able to get rid of him for good but if you think he stopped hoovering, you’re wrong. I just became stronger and realized that life was too short to live like this.
From the moment we split until just about two months ago, even while having a live-in girlfriend, he tried like hell. In the beginning he was relentless, but I have stood my ground so much, that he has started to slowly give up or at least not try as hard because he can see it’s not working this time. He sent facebook messages of “our song” telling me he wants to die and how he fucked up his life, he sent texts telling me how his Thanksgiving was terrible yet he hosted it with his new girlfriend AND invited his obsession to eat with them!
These are just a few of the many messages that he sent constantly. I think he was in shock that I didn’t take him back because for 7 years, no matter how badly he treated me or what he did, I always did.
I had to see him for the first time in nine months at a meeting and it made my stomach turn. The way he speaks is classless and unprofessional and he doesn’t think about the audience in the room. I didn’t even bother to say anything to him because his famous line is that everyone is overly sensitive, rather than him just being respectful.
Looking in from the outside, I can’t believe I lasted as long as I did and I never want to be in that environment again.
I have a wonderful, kind, thoughtful man in my life now and sometimes its hard for me to accept it. There is a quote that I find relates well to my situation- “Our brains are wired for connection, but trauma rewires them for protection. That’s why relationships are difficult for wounded people” Ryan North. I can often feel my guard up and know that I still have healing to do and am so grateful that he is so understanding and patient with me.