People Keep Asking Me This One Question About My Divorce

It's one that's hard to answer.

Woman scared in bed with husband DimaBerlin | Shutterstock

It was August and we had just returned from taking our oldest son to his second year in college. I had made my decision during that weekend. I got home and within days I initiated a divorce. My husband didn't take it well.

I should have been prepared for what my husband was about to inflict — and for the question that people would repeatedly ask me about him.

But I wasn’t.

We had separated for a year the prior year. And when our son graduated high school my husband manipulated me — or made a threat, whichever way you want to look at it.


"If you don’t let me move back home," he said. "I won’t send our son to college."

RELATED: During Our Brutally Abusive Divorce, My Friend Asked If I Wanted My Husband Back

I let my husband move back in. It was one of the worst mistakes I made during the whole divorce process. 

I wasn't not stupid. I realized when my husband spoke those words that he’d been out of the house for eleven months. I was smart enough to know he may have been attempting to strategically move back into the house before it hit the year mark, in case we decided to divorce.

But I rationalized two things: I didn't want my son to pay the price for my decision to separate. And I convinced myself men who want to leave do.


Somewhere down deep my husband must have wanted to work on our marriage.

We sent our son to his first year of college. My husband and I co-existed for a little over a year. Until that weekend when I realized our marriage was definitely and irrevocably over and I was not willing to continue down that miserable road.

When I told my husband I hired a lawyer he immediately withheld food money.

I was a stay-at-home mother.

He had complete control of our business and home finances.

RELATED: The Mistake That Made Me Extremely Financially Vulnerable In My Unhappy Marriage

This is when the questions started.

"I can’t believe your husband is refusing to give you food money for your children," said my friend. "Doesn’t he care about his own kids and what they think of him?"


"I can’t believe your husband canceled your health insurance," said another friend. "Doesn’t he care what your family thinks?"

"I can’t believe your husband isn’t paying the mortgage and you're receiving foreclosure notices," said yet another friend. "Doesn’t he care what people think about him?"

"I can’t believe your husband is threatening to not send your son back to college again," said yet another friend. "Doesn’t he care what his own son thinks of him?"

This was the one resounding question from everyone I knew: Doesn't your husband care?

Doesn’t your husband care what he’s doing to his children and doesn’t your husband care what your family and other people think?


The answer was no.

My husband didn’t care.

He didn’t care what his own children thought. He didn’t care what my family thought. He didn’t care what his extended family thought. He didn’t care what our friends thought. He didn’t care what the community thought.

RELATED: My Husband Forgot He Was A Father — The Question I Asked To Remind Him

A narcissist doesn’t care.

My husband was a diagnosed empathy-lacking narcissist on the severe end of the spectrum.

The lack of empathy prevents feeling the pain or emotions of any other human being.


A narcissist only feels their own pain and emotions.

To the world and my friends, it seemed unbelievable my husband didn’t care. Believe me, it was unbelievable to me too. But he didn’t. It’s what made him capable of unleashing such an abusive fury on his own family in order to get what he wanted.

If you think you may be experiencing depression or anxiety as a result of ongoing emotional abuse at the hands of a narcissist, you are not alone.

Domestic abuse can happen to anyone and is not a reflection of who you are or anything you've done wrong.

If you feel as though you may be in danger, there is support available 24/7/365 through the National Domestic Violence Hotline by calling 1-800-799-7233. If you’re unable to speak safely, text LOVEIS to 1-866-331-9474, or log onto


RELATED: Why It Took Me 5 Overly Long And Abusive Years To Divorce A Narcissist

Colleen Sheehy Orme is a national relationship columnist, journalist, and former business columnist. She writes about love, life, relationships, family, parenting, divorce, and narcissism.