SSS was a narcissist. No question. Big case of Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Of course, I was one of those naive women who can't see the forest for the trees. Flowers...steak-and-lobster dinners...compliments...we all know the drill. Now. Then, not so much.
The first hint that all was not well was when he said that physical faithfulness was really meaningless in the face of true love. Tiny bells jingled quietly, like a distant wind chime. The thing about his calling his mother a bitch wasn't even on the radar. Note to Ann Landers: his mother really was a bitch. That bell didn't begin to toll for years and years.
But then, he said something even I had trouble justifying.
His ex-girlfriend was my room mate, and he moved in with the both of us. His ex (I'll call her Jill), wanted her current boyfriend to share a place with her, and wanted us to move out to sort of clear the decks, as it were. He (I'll call him Tom) was living with his mother, who really needed his help. One evening, Jill was complaining about Tom preferring his mother to her, and SSS said, "He has more sense than to live with you. Maybe he knows something we don't."
I was shocked silent. Never had I ever heard anyone say anything so deliberately hurtful to someone's face! I had not yet recovered when the large glass ashtray came flying through the air. She missed. Deliberately, I think.
That distant chime had become an insistent alarm, which I put on "snooze" for years.
Hey. I was a long way from home, and very stubborn. I managed to convince myself that it was Jill's fault, and that he would never say anything like that to me. After all, I was special. He loved me. He told me so.
By the time he did start saying hurtful things to me, I was convinced he was right. The bell clanged so constantly that I learned to tune it out.
Is this what happens in relationships where the wives end up dead? It does seem likely.