Ailina and BMB, I cannot recommend this book enough. It’s online.
It really shows how they make the world think they are wonderful.
But the world does catch on. You’d be surprised how many people in their offices and workplaces know what they are really like. But you wouldn’t know that because your NPD spouse moves heaven and earth to keep you from ever having anything to do with “those other people.” He lives in two worlds or three or four worlds and none of them interact. I read this book after I went through the annulment process and I was shocked at how my description of my marriage and his behavior was almost word for word some of the stuff in this book.
I only had to meet with a very kind deacon for the initial interview and giving the papers I was to fill out. I’d see him at Mass and he’d update me on the progress of things. He was one of the first people who treated me with dignity in the whole process of the breakdown of the marriage and the divorce. In that sense it was the beginning of finally having someone believe me and care what my side of the story was.
I wrote my answers to the questions on my computer on a Word document. 123 single spaced pages. They said the more info I gave the better. Sometimes I’d do it at 2 in the morning with a glass of wine and a box of tissues. Finally someone cared to hear the truth. It was very cathartic. And as I wrote out the answers, pieces of the puzzle fell together. Realizations came. It WAS healing. I was able to put it in a folder with “evidence, prescriptions for meds, photos, and other stuff” and hand it over. It was like a burden was finally off my shoulder. It cut in half the time I’d spend going over and over stuff in my head reliving things and thinking about stuff that happened and questioning things I said and did and things he said and did. It was like taking out the garbage.
My ex did not even choose to cooperate. Didn’t bother. (They probably figure out narcissists can’t be bothered most of the time. Or if they do, they are the victim in their own marriage and everything they say is the mirror opposite of what really happened.)
We had been to marriage counselors, so I sent them the addresses of those. They contacted them for info. That held things up because one counselor wasn’t too quick about answering. I’d suggest you find relatives who knew you at the time of your wedding, friends who may not have liked him from the early years, your parents, siblings, anyone you have who has knowlege of him. You’d be surprised what some people saw and said nothing about. Any old letters you have or old emails might help. It’s painful to rehash things, but you’re going to rehash and revisit things many times in the coming years as you deal with this. At least this time it will count for something.
Only after my marriage was over did people start coming forward with stories about him.
Good luck. Prepare for many lightbulb moments where you realize Oh, my goodness! It was really all right in front of you when you were getting married. You just didn’t see it clearly then. But most tribunals are more than familiar with the different specimens who contribute to family breakdown. There’s nothing original about the NPD, or the guy who decides he is gay after all, or the serial cheat who was having an affair with the bridesmaid the night before the wedding, or the alcoholic who was drunk at his own wedding, or the woman who never intended to have children and lied about BC pills from the beginning. It’s all the same old same old. Like priests in the confessional. They’ve heard it all.