Narc Files: House Hunting

Towards the end of my marriage to the Narcissist I was desperately trying to cement our lives together in any way possible. I was eager to buy a home, settle down, make roots, have babies… anything to provide some stability and solidness to a marriage that felt like smoke sliding through my fingers… like a blurry image that I couldn’t quite focus on.

We  had spent our entire marriage bouncing around and living in rented spaces and in the teeny tiny in-law apartment at my parents… and I was really pushing the Narcissist to get a home. He had the benefit of the VA home loan which would have allowed us to buy a home without a down payment and not make PMI payments… which is a HUGE perk. The Narcissist wasn’t sold on the idea from day 1 because he wanted us to move away from my home state and make our life somewhere else. I was eagerly up for that plan but argued that we should make our life great for the time that we had to spend here (he still had 2 years of college to finish before we could easily pick up and move.) I think the argument that actually won him over was when I broke out the financials and showed him that a mortgage payment on a really nice home was actually less than what we would pay to rent a place that was up to his high standards. So we started house hunting.

For a while we were working with a female real estate agent who was in business with her husband. We viewed a few really nice homes and then found the one that we both fell head over heels in love with. The Narcissist was demanding and difficult to work with, and made our real estate agent visibly upset on several occasions. I think the agent’s husband actually called him once and was upset because he felt that the Narcissist was being disrespectful to his wife. The Narcissist also argued that everyone was un-supportive of our home buying – he didn’t feel that my parents were doing enough to be supportive, because anytime they tried to show us some concern or worry in the home we were selecting – he accused them of being negative and undermining. He was even weary of accepting a housewarming gift from my parents. They generously offered to buy us a washer/dryer when we moved in, but the Narcissist was worried that a. they wouldn’t be up to our standards and b. my parents would feel some sort of ownership over our new home and try to come visit unexpectedly because of the gift.

In the end, the universe did not want us to own that home and the VA appraisal process would not approve the home due to its unique style and lack of comparable homes nearby. It was a huge letdown for us both as we had invested so much time and money into the process. We took a break from house hunting for a while and I made a career change and graduated with my MBA in between.

When we were finally ready to start looking again, the Narcissist found a male real estate agent who sold multi-million dollar homes on the coast in the state where we live (which is FAR FAR away from our price range.) The Narcissist told me that it would be so much better to work with a man who wasn’t emotional about the process and would give us real advice. Ever the charming narcissist, he was able to win the agent over after a phone call explaining his veteran status and talking about our desire to buy our first home, so the agent offered to work with us even though he usually only takes on the high-end clients (he owned the real estate business we were working with.) Our agent turned out to be a real angel, and I don’t even know how he put up with the ever changing demands of the Narcissist, but he was always super nice and accommodating to us.

We probably viewed around 20 homes in person with our Agent, and ruled out hundreds of others on websites. The Narcissist was always drawn most to the homes well outside of our price range. When I would try to convince him to look at a home that was more reasonable and within our range, he would find every reason not to or he would hate absolutely everything about it when we did go to see it in person. It seemed like his list of home criteria kept morphing and evolving into something that was never achievable to find.

The most frustrating part for me came towards the end when the Narcissist started to get upset with me in the process. We would go to look at a home and then would get in the car afterwards and he would be cold and distant. After prying for a while he would tell me that he was “hurt” and “upset” because he felt like I was acting like I was looking at a home by myself and for myself. He accused me of walking through the homes without paying enough attention to him. He said that I only cared about what I liked and didn’t like and wasn’t paying attention to his needs. He indicated that I seemed to care more about what our Agent thought, and I valued our Agent’s opinion more than that of the Narcissist. He also accused me of trying to use him to get the VA benefit, and get into home. He told me that I cared more about getting a home than I cared about him… and he felt like I was going to get a home and then divorce him and try to keep the house.

From there in I spent the next few house tours fawning over the Narcissist’s every need, hanging on his arm like a trophy wife, defaulting to him for every question or concern, and having absolutely no opinion of my own. We ended up finding a house that would have been perfect and even though we toured it and put in a full-price offer before the house was even on the market, the seller received a higher priced offer and didn’t even give us the opportunity to counter. I guess the Universe really didn’t want us to own a house together!! In the end we found a fancy townhouse to rent for what would be the last year of our life together. It cost double what it would have been to pay a mortgage in our price range, but it allowed the Narcissist the space to have a full-blown gym in our garage and made him feel elite enough since we were in a gated community.

I moved out in April of this year and found myself an apartment that I adore that was much more affordable for me… I think the Narcissist is still living in our old community. Last I had heard, he was trying to convince his next victim to move across country and move in with him but I have no idea what he ended up doing.

At least now I am thankful that the Universe knew better than I did on this one, the divorce probably would have been more complex and drawn out if there had been any assets involved.

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