Stay at home girlfriend

He wanted me to be a stay at home girlfriend. With his next raise, the next promotion, the next job. That was when he would be earning enough to make it happen, he would say with his chest swollen with pride and an all too familiar maniacal glint in his eye.

When we met he was briefly unemployed but he found a new job shortly after we began dating. He was making more than me, more than he had made in any of his previous jobs, and he never let me forget it.

I have a career. A full-time job. At times I don’t love it, but it’s mine and I’m happy with what I earn.

To him, it wasn’t enough. I was lazy, I didn’t earn enough (although it was 75% of what he earned, doing similar work in the same field and with more experience). My job didn’t count. It wasn’t a ‘real job’ like he worked.

To him, my primary task was taking care of his existence.

If I had a big project or a period when things at work were frenzied and consuming for any reason, we had problems.

When he started talking about me staying at home, I said no. I argued that I liked earning my own money. He said I shouldn’t worry, that he’d give me an allowance. My whole body seized up in horror at the thought.

I knew how conditional that allowance would be and how beholden my life would become. I knew if I went down that path, being able to get away from him if I ever needed to would be monumentally more difficult.

On some level, my subconscious knew I would someday need to be able to escape him.

It was one of the few times my gut instinct screamed at me and refused to be ignored. The physical symptoms were obvious. My body tensed. I felt nauseous. Every fiber of my being said, “Do not do this.”

I am so grateful I never needed to engage in that argument beyond those few times when he raised the topic. He never got that next raise, the next promotion, the next job. Historically, he never has. He feels he deserves it. He feels he should be the person in charge. The people he works with do not. I’ll never know what the truth of his work relationships or prospects ever were.

My job became dramatically better a couple years ago. I love what I do once again.

When it was time to leave the Narcissist and move on, I could.

It was hard; being with him had drained my savings and there was a torturous period of time when we had to continue living together after the breakup.

Eventually, though, I was able to retain and pay for lawyers and get a fair amount out of the house. I was able to get a mortgage for a new home for myself. I was able to get away and start moving forward.

I was able to do this because I was not financially dependent on him. For this, I will be forever grateful.

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