Posted on Leave a comment

Success Stories: Roger

Welcome to my new blog, Success Stories. As I spend a lot of time reading, writing and talking about sad stories, terrible break ups and narcissistic exes, I felt like I needed to spend more time listening to positive stories. So Success Stories was born. Here, you can share your stories of happy, successful and loving relationships to uplift everyone who needs a bit of hope and positivity in their day.

Our first success story comes from Roger, an author and loving husband.

Hi there,

My wife and I met back in 1991. We were both living in residential colleges at the University of Queensland. I didn’t have a girlfriend at the time and I hadn’t really been looking for one. I had enough to do just keeping up with my studies. I occasionally went out with my friends, but my social life beyond that was limited. I did get invited out to things by girls, usually on the recommendation of their friends, because I was reliable, didn’t drink much, and I could fight; so I was viewed as kind of a reliable partner at social events, but not much beyond that; in some ways I was the most underpaid male escort in the city. So, when the lady who became my wife invited me to a social function at her college, I did not pay her much attention. I just went along, had an okay night, and went home, without any intention of ever seeing her again. However, she and her friends came around to show us the pictures from the event, and over the next few months, we gradually got to know each other.

A barrier between us was that we were from very different social backgrounds. She was the the granddaughter of a British Army Major-General, and I was from a deeply working class background, with heavy Welsh overtones. She had gone to a prestigious girls school. I had attended a fairly rough high school. She was a conformist rule keeper, I was a nonconformist rule breaker. However we shared a lot of other things in common. An interest in music for one thing (despite somewhat different tastes), and we were passionate about a lot of the same things in life; and over time I grew to trust her, which was a key thing for me. I also grew to value her steadiness, reliability and sense of duty; and she came to appreciate my fire, passion and determination. We were both very determined people, and still are.

It was three years between our meeting and our getting married, and several things were plain for us right from the beginning. For a start, if our marriage was going to last, love had to be more than just a feeling; it also had to be a choice to seek the other’s good, regardless of how we were feeling. I think my wife would say that the times when she felt most loved by me were not the fun romantic times, but the hard times when I sought to love her in the midst of her struggles and incapacity. Also, we needed to have a way to forgive each other when inevitably we hurt each other’s feelings. However there are two more areas that have helped sustain our relationship through the storms of life (especially the Army life into which I went, and the frequent moves that came as result). The first of these is knowledge: we needed to not just know each other, but keep on getting to know each other as we grew and changed over time. I had seen a lot of relationships crack at this point, where the couple knew each other, got together, but then grew apart through assumption and presumption and not understanding that the other person was not static, but changing. The second area was momentum: we needed to keep moving toward one another, and prioritising our relationship rather than letting it compete with the many other priorities of life.

Twenty-five years later, we’ve been through a fair bit: the loss of a child through cancer, the loss of both my parents, two deployments with the Army, many griefs large and small and a lot of time away from each other. It’s been hard, but the work has been worth it.

Roger Marsh (author)

Roger’s first novel, Echoes of the Wind, is available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Book Depository and Dymocks.

The links are on his website www. porthannwn.com

If you have a success story that you want to share, get in touch.

Posted on Leave a comment

Survivors’ Stories: Claudia

Today’s Survivor Story comes from Claudia, 33, from Massachusetts, USA. Thank you for agreeing to share your story! It will help other women heal and move on with their lives.

Tell us your story. How did you meet? How did you fall in love? What happened between you and your narcissist ex?

I met my ex at Auto Zone when I was 20 years Old. He helped me at the counter and gave my mom his number to give to me. In the beginning he was everything. He was kind, gentle, loving, caring. He did it all for me. I fell in love with him by all the small things he did in the beginning.

What was he like in the beginning and when did his behaviour change?

He was so sweet. He listened to me and inspired me to go after my dreams. He started to change about 6 months in. He quit his job and told me he needed somewhere to stay because he wasn’t going to be able to afford his place. I let him move in with me. BIG MISTAKE! He didn’t want to work, he then confessed to me that he quit his job because he had a son and Child Support was taking his money. I didn’t even know he had a son! And we were 6 months into the relationship. He apologized over and over until I forgave him. Then he told me I needed to get a second job or pick up more hours so that I could buy a car. He had a way with words. I fell for it.

So I would work from 7am until 10pm 7 days a week. I could barely function. When I started to gain weight that’s when everything changed. I was so depressed that he wouldn’t help out with getting a job or keeping up with the apartment. Every time I brought it up it was a fight. At this point I wanted to give up on everything. He made me believe my family didn’t care for me or loved me. I was a fool for believing that. They just didn’t accept him. They saw what he was doing to me. I went on a girls’ trip and he called me and destroyed my vacation. I had to come back early from my trip. He made it seem like it was a life and death situation. He just wanted me home to cook and clean and get back to work. And I did. He had me brainwashed. And then the verbal abuse started.

I had gained 15-20 pounds. And he began cheating. He gave me STDs not once but 3 times! And I was a fool making excuses for him. When I confronted him he said that he was not cheating! And I believed him and thought it was my body. After all his persuasion and words were so believable. One day we got into an altercation and I kicked him out. After a week of not seeing him he began calling me telling me he was sorry and missed me. I stupidly took him back. Then he began telling me it was all my fault and that things wouldn’t be like this if I just did things his way. Then he made me end friendships with friends. He said if I loved him I would do it. And I did. I was isolated from everyone I loved. This went on for 2 years. And all this time he was stealing my identity.

When did you realise that you needed to end the relationship?

I was working a night shift and a girl called me on my phone looking for him. I was so tired and depressed that I just wanted to cry. I didn’t even want to confront him. Then I had not one but 3 bill collectors call me at work. I got into a huge fight with him that night. I finally broke down and told him he won.

How did the relationship affect your physical and mental health?

In the 2 to 3 years we were together I had aged so much. I had gained 40 pounds. I was so depressed that I thought of suicide several times.

How did you get out of the relationship?

One day he called me and I missed the call and when I called back he didn’t answer. When he did he said to me “ You don’t like it do you? Next time I call answer the fucking phone bitch.” That was my last straw. I couldn’t take it. I got down on my knees and prayed fervently to God asking him to take this man out of my life if he was not meant for me. I prayed for what seemed like months but it was a few weeks. This man called me and said he was moving to Colorado and can he borrow money for a plane ticket. I knew this was a sign. I emptied my bank account, bought him a flight and gave him money for his expenses for 4 months. Then I dropped him off at the airport. It took me an official 6 months after that call to completely get rid of him.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us?

He called me a few times asking me for money after I got rid of him. He played me like a fool. Because he knew that I cared and I am not the type to hold grudges. But I believed in the power of prayer and karma.

What would you like other women to take away from your story?

When you see that first red flag, believe it. No man will change for you. Run as fast as you can and don’t look back. Believe in the power of prayer. God does not like when his children are mistreated or hurt.

Posted on 7 Comments

Dear Betsy: Should I forgive my cheating husband?

This problem was sent in by B. Murphy from Wexford, Ireland.

My husband recently told me that he cheated on me. We’ve been married for 3 years and we don’t have any kids. I don’t want to start dating all over again but I don’t know if I can forgive him. What should I do?

This is such a common but tricky situation to be in. When the person you love most in the world betrays you in the worst possible way, it’s so hard to know what to do.

I asked my Instagram followers to comment on this one so I’m going to share their feedback and then give my opinion at the end.

Yes.

“I have, but it’s complicated. In my instance, it revealed a pattern. And while I truly am able to see the underlying issues causing the pattern, there have been things that will never fully be healed/ restored in the relationship. It’s like scars. He gets overwhelmed and shuts down. Once things (normal adult streamers magnified by the pressure cooker he becomes) begin to blow, he seeks out female friendship. Someone who isn’t part of all the magnified problems. It begins as a friendship and then becomes a full on committed relationship. It took years to learn this is what happens. Now we know (and he is able to see it) I can hope it won’t continue. When we know better, we do better. But that’s in him. Layers of a life with someone and loving their brokenness unconditionally means it takes work. Relationships take work. As long as he is willing to keep himself in check – it’s worth it.”

No.

“I could never. Once a cheater, always a cheater. If they did it once, what’s stopping them from doing it again. Once they do it once, they don’t really care about you. It’s a conscious decision to cheat on someone. I don’t see how you can ‘accidentally’ cheat. I know anyone CAN cheat, it’s whether they do or don’t. I CAN rob a bank, I CAN steal a car, but that doesn’t mean I will. I like to live in the mindset of ‘what if’. Something made them feel the need to do that and act on it, so what if they say they won’t do it again but end up getting the urge? I couldn’t trust a bank robber even if they said they won’t steal again for the same reason. The trust is broken and can’t be restored.”

Maybe.

“What’s stopping anybody? Some people make mistakes and realise it. So in my opinion anyone can cheat. The same as someone who has cheated it doesn’t mean they will always cheat again. Some change, some don’t, like a bank robber, they also can change. Just my thoughts.” Yes. “Yes, it’s not easy. It takes work. On both sides. And understanding. But most of all, love.”

Yes.

“You said those vows, for better or worse. You gotta accept the good with the bad. Make it last forever. People are too quick to split up these days.”

No.

“I did. Over and over again – until I’d had enough. I stayed for so many reasons. Familiarity. I knew him. He was my father’s children. Not wanting to start over. It wasn’t until I realised what I didn’t deserve that I mustered the courage to walk away. Now I think if they want to cheat, they should just leave. I’m worth more than that.”

Interesting opinions there. Please comment below with what you think.

What are your non-negotiables? If being faithful is a non-negotiable for you, then the decision has already been made. But if it’s not, then you have a few things to consider. Do you have something worth saving? If the answer is yes, are you both willing to work at it to make the marriage work? You’ll need to have a long conversation about this with your husband. Can you truly let it go and not hold it against him forever? You’ll have to make peace with it regardless of his words or actions in the future. Are you confident that it was a one-off and he won’t betray you again? If you can trust him again, then your relationship can work.

But if you don’t think the relationship is worth saving, if you can’t let it go and you can’t trust him, then your relationship isn’t going to work. You don’t have children so you aren’t bound to each other for life. If you do leave him, you can eventually find someone else when you’re ready, be treated with respect and be happy again. Take your time, weigh up the pros and cons and decide what is best for you.

Best of luck,

Betsy xoxo

Posted on Leave a comment

Dating Disasters

Our first dating disasters come from Sarah, 28, from Brighton.

Disaster 1

“I once met this guy called Richard Small who told me his cousin was Simon from Blue. Then one night he came back to my place. He wanted to give me One Love but when I saw the size of his pecker, I told him I wasn’t over my ex. He said, “Pretend I’m Idris Elba.” There was no way that little thing was coming anywhere near me. And it didn’t because before anything happened let’s just say he got over excited and it was all over before it even began.”

Disaster 2

“So once I met this guy for a drink in a bar in Hove and I was telling him some stories of my times travelling. He was listening intensely and I thought he understood my stories as he didn’t question anything. And then I told him about the time I visited the Taj Mahal…

And he said, ‘What do you mean? The Taj food shop over the road?'”

Disaster 3

“I was chatting to a guy on Tinder. He had two men in his profile picture both wearing hats and sunglasses. So I didn’t really know how he looked. I wasn’t really dating at the time but I just happened to have a day off and he happened to be in town so I thought I’d just be brave and go for a coffee with him, however he looked. I hadn’t chatted to him for long so it wasn’t a big investment nor had we built up any connection, but I needed to pop into town anyway so I thought why not? So as I approached the coffee shop there was this scrawny looking guy sat outside who vaguely could have been either guy in the profile picture without the hat but still with sunglasses on.

It’s always the energy that meets you before you speak to someone anyway and I just felt some weird energy kick in and thought, “Oh shit, is that him? Could I just get away with just walking straight past or has he seen me?” But it was too late. I had to say hi and sit down. He was wearing a stretched black T-shirt with some dirty stain down it, casual shorts and sandals … clearly he made no effort. And then told me nothing about himself. I spoke and he agreed with everything that I said… leaning in and getting uncomfortably close.

So after I drank my coffee, I tried to make an excuse to go. I said I needed to get some things from the shops. As I started to stand up, he stands up too and says, “Oh, I’ll come with you.” So we start walking and I’m just thinking, how am I going to get rid of him? So we walked to the park, while I was all like, “Oh, you don’t have to come to Primark with me.”

We went to the park and I sat down with my bag on the side he was stood to create a barrier and he walked around and then sat down on the other side. Again, too uncomfortably close. He kept leaning in like he was going to try and kiss me and on about the third lunge I just leapt to my feet and was like, “I need to start heading back now for school pick up time now.” And he stood up too … and started walking with me again. He was telling me how often he is in the area and that he’d like to see me again. So I said, “Erm, well, I’m really busy. I’m not sure when I’d have time.”

We got to a corner and I was like, he’s not following me to the bus stop … where could I say I’m going that he couldn’t come? So I said, “Oh, before I leave town I really need to go to the bank. ” And I leant in and gave him a polite hug and again he tried to go in for a kiss. So I pulled back and went in for an assertive, brotherly, strong hug, sans pat on the back, said bye and speed across the road in the direction of the banks hoping never to hear from him again.

When I got home, I got a message from him saying he’d like to see me again and he’d seen me check my social media in front of him so I now had follow requests (from him) on there. I replied saying I felt no physical or romantic connection and I didn’t want to see him again. He said, “How do you know? You’ve only met me once, you should meet me again before you decide that.” At which stage for me it was a BLOCK.”

Posted on Leave a comment

Dating Disasters

New feature alert!

This feature is going to be a lighthearted humorous feature to share your dating disasters.

Send me your stories to feature on this blog.

Did your date look nothing like his profile picture? Did your date bring his mother? Did your date go to the toilet and not come back?

Let me know your story so we can laugh together.

Posted on 1 Comment

Survivors’ Stories

Welcome to Survivors’ Stories. Here people who have survived dating narcissists tell their stories. The purpose of this feature is to give people the voice they were denied by their narcissist ex. All male partners will be referred to as James in these interviews (not to protect their privacy but because the main character in my book is called James so all narcissists from here on out are called James).

Our first Survivor Story comes from Susan who is 57 and lives in Seattle, Washington.

Thank you for agreeing to share your story! It will help other women heal and move on with their lives.

Hi Natasha, thank you for the opportunity to share my story, along with many others.

Tell us your story. What happened between you and your narcissist ex? Our relationship was great in the beginning but when I got sick it went downhill fast and eventually we went through a messy divorce. We met online. I had just bought my condo in Northern California 3 weeks prior. I was trying this dating site for 4 weeks. On the 3rd week, I was actually not impressed, and woke up on 19th May 2011 to his message. We started talking, he came to my house (4 hours away) 2 weeks later to meet. We dated 6 months long distance, seeing each other on the weekends. I was relocating by October 2011, and we got married a month later on 11th November 2011. I sold my condo and moved in with him and invested all my money into his house that he had for 18 years prior with his ex wife. I thought I had finally got it right after 3 disastrous relationships. He was charming and wanted me to fall hook, line and sinker. I did, but when I got sick everything changed. We separated in June 2016 and officially divorced in February 2018.

When we broke up, he tried to take everything from me – everything that I had contributed to the marriage. He had a home – the home that I had paid to remodel the kitchen, re-landscaped, decorated, while I was made homeless. I couldn’t even get a loan until the divorce was finalised because California State is a common law state. I would have needed James to sign off to legally get a loan. I was not going to do that. I was struggling everyday and needed to have a place to call home. I’m living like this and he’s sitting in a beautiful house with everything I did and purchased to make it a beautiful cosy, comfortable home. He even admitted that to me on a “good day” that I created a home, that everywhere he looked he saw my touch. I needed to see some light at the end of this very dark time in my life.


He was so sneaky, the way he changed the password on the security system within 24 hours of me leaving for what was supposed to be 5 days (even though separation was looming) and asking how I was and if I was going to feel well enough to go to see my family for the 4th of July. He only did this to know where to serve me papers. He knew I had mutual bills in my name, but chose to not send money for them or for me to live until I got help from my Uncle to hire an attorney and got emergency court ordered Alimony. He put a bunch of things that were bulky trash in with my things instead of going to the dump: 2 big torn bean bags, a big box of Halloween stuff from him and his ex wife, a huge teddy bear that was rained on that was to go to the dump. He sent me nasty mean emails and I could go on. Everything was fine until I got sick. I had good credit, just bought my home, I had my health, my career that I was proud of and loved, I was playing softball, on a bocce ball league for 6 years with friends, and kayaking every weekend.

When I met James, he was struggling financially. He was getting out of Real Estate. He was able to keep his home but had horrible credit and was looking for a paycheck job. Right about the time I was getting ready to move (October 2011), I got a job with an Oral Surgeon and James landed his job. We got married in November 2011 and by April of 2012, I became ill. I worked for 3 months under extremely ill circumstances, by July, I couldn’t do it anymore. I tried to be a Nanny for about a year and a half, but once she got older and slept less, it became hard to stay. Once I had no income or a diagnosis for my illness to even apply for SSD, our relationship changed significantly, which made my illness suffer. He became hot headed, blew up about everything, had road rage with me in the car… I spent more days in bed, more days physically ill than not for 4 years. I left because my health depended on it.

I poured my 401K & equity from my home into him and his home. I was trying to make his house with his ex wife, “our home”, somewhere I could feel comfortable. He now sits with a remodel kitchen, beautiful landscaped yard, all of the outdoor things I bought: a shed, outdoor furniture, TV, fire pit, hammock, storage bench, bistro table and so much more…

17 months after I left, we had to appear in court and the judge saw him for who he is and ordered him to pay 48K back for what I invested in him and his home. He didn’t care if I lived on the street. He did not want to be fair. The thing is, I told him that figure before I even left his home. We could have done it without the cost of attorney’s fees. But he is a narcissistic a#@h@%e and only cares about himself.

What was he like in the beginning and when did his behaviour change? In the beginning he was very charming, but he was also looking for someone that earns a decent living, as he was struggling financially. He was also a pathological liar. In the beginning, I caught him in lies, but he was such a good liar and I believed him. Karma caught up to him when I found dating sites, porn and secret conversations with other women on the laptop that I purchased, but he blamed it on his son. Had I listened to my gut, I would have never left my family, friends, home, my job that I loved as a RDA. I believe that things progressed quickly in the relationship because he had everything to gain. Unfortunately, I had everything to lose, and did.

When did you realise that you needed to end the relationship? When I went away for a few days to help a sick friend, I knew then that I never wanted to go back home. And James felt the same way. I feel like he sucked the life and money out of me and spat me out once I couldn’t bring home a paycheck or have sex due to being ill. The relationship breakdown was such a horrible thing to deal with and being sick made it so much worse. I needed to leave and get settled. My health and well being depended on it.

How did the relationship affect your physical and mental health? I knew I had to leave for the sake of my health. I was in bed for the better part of 4 years. I wanted to die, I was so sick. I had been discussing separation with him, because I was so sick and needed to see if I would feel better without the stress of a toxic environment. The stress he caused me really negatively affected my health.

How did you get out of the relationship? When my friend was going to have shoulder surgery (almost 4 hours away), I went to stay with her for 5 days to help her while her husband worked. As soon as I went away James changed the password to the security system (that I purchased). I found out when I went to access the app to see if it was raining there too and couldn’t log in. So I never went back to our house again. Months later after court dates that I didn’t attend due to distance and being sick, I had movers come get my things to be put in storage near me. He left everything in the driveway and the garage door shut. He left big items that weren’t even mine, that he wanted to get rid of, knowing my space was limited to a 10×20 storage unit.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us? His family defended him and made excuses for his behaviour. His father said he was sorry this whole situation turned so bitter and antagonistic. Then his excuse was that James had been struggling so the parents had to step in to help with attorney fees. His anger and frustration was the result of demands made by the court that he felt were unreasonable and destroying his life. His father said James could be a very caring and giving person, but this situation drove him to react out of character and his dad wasn’t proud of that. It just goes to show that family members would rather make excuses for the behaviour than admit to themselves the real causes and then have to deal with it.

What would you like other people to take away from your story? The take away from my story would be, don’t rush into marriage, especially if it’s the man pushing it and he has everything to gain. Listen to your gut. Don’t give up everything for a man. This wasn’t easy to think about again, but thank you for the opportunity to share my story.

If you would like to share your story on Survivors’ Stories, please get in touch via email or Instagram.



Posted on Leave a comment

Author Spotlight

Meet the author! Natasha Betsy gives us an insight into her life. Interviewed in her home by Shauna-Kay Grant.

Thank you for allowing me into your beautiful home to interview you today. I’m so excited to learn more about you.

So, tell us a little bit about you.

I’m about to release my debut novel, The Narcissist In My Bed, so I’m really excited about that. It’s been a lot of fun and very therapeutic to tell my story to myself. And now I can’t wait for other people to read it.

I’m a primary school teacher by day and a writer by night so it’s great juggling both hats. I love my job and I want to keep doing both for as long as possible.

I lived in Dubai for seven years and now I’m back living and working in the UK.

Tell us more about the novel. Why should people buy it?

People should buy it because it’s a thrilling tale of love and lies with ups and downs at every corner. It’s a real page turner and it will be hard to put down once you start reading it.

What else don’t we know about you?

I’m obsessed with travelling. I’ve visited over 25 countries and I want to go to so many more. Some of my highlights were visiting The Taj Mahal in India, The Pyramids in Egypt, Machu Picchu in Peru and Christ the Redeemer in Brazil. In terms of natural scenery, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Kenya were phenomenal.

What are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of raising a fantastic little boy (he’s nearly 4) and overcoming all the many obstacles life has thrown at me with a smile and a swift middle finger.

Pre-order The Narcissist In My Bed from http://www.natashabetsy.com and follow Natasha on Instagram at http://www.natasha.betsy.official

Posted on Leave a comment

Dear Betsy

This problem was sent in by Jay S.B. from Wolverhampton who needs some advice.

My husband told me he doesn’t find me attractive any more. I’m so hurt. What should I do?

‘Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me’ is one of the biggest lies we were fed as children. Words are very hurtful. And the wounds from a hurtful conversation can take a lot longer to heal than a physical injury.

It is completely understandable why you feel so hurt by your husband’s cruel words. A large part of our relationship with our spouse is physical and you both value being physically attracted to the other. As we have babies and get older, our bodies change. It’s natural and it’s to be expected. Unless your body size or shape has changed drastically in a short space of time, I don’t think your husband has the right to say this to you. And even if your body has changed a lot, he should have thought of a polite way to bring it up in order to spare your feelings.

Tell him how his words made you feel and see if there is anything else going on with him that’s making him act this way. You might discover his problem lies with him and it’s not about you at all.

In 40 years’ time when you’re both old and grey, neither of you will look anything like you do now. So you need to make sure your relationship is based on something a lot deeper than physical appearance. Remind him of all the other things he loves about you and focus on those.

And make it clear that he needs to choose his words more carefully in future.

Best of luck,

Betsy xoxo

Posted on Leave a comment

The Narcissist In My Bed

My debut novel, The Narcissist In My Bed, is based on true events. It’s about a happy marriage that gradually falls apart when the husband slowly reveals his true narcissistic personality over the years.

Even though the main character sees snippets of her husband’s true character, it isn’t until after they split up that the full extent of his lies and deception are revealed!

Do you love a happy ending where the woman is rescued by a hot guy?

  • Well, this is a story for the modern age. Ladies, we don’t need a man to rescue us or validate us.
  • We can rescue ourselves. We do it every day.

If you love reading about love, especially unconventional love, then this is the book for you.

Can you relate to any of the following questions?

  • Have you ever been in the perfect relationship?
  • Did it all go wrong?
  • Have you ever dated a narcissist?
  • Have you ever had your heartbroken?

Yes? Then check out my book.

Pre-order it now.