Ask Ellie: I’m worried narcissist ex will hurt our daughter too

Q: My then-boyfriend of only two months suddenly said he loved me. I was thrilled and immediately ready for the next step. I was then 22 and believed that you “go for it” if you meet the right man. Ten years later at 32, I now know that it’s smarter to take time in a relationship, until you know the real meaning of what someone says.

In my ex’s case, what he actually “loved” was his awareness that I already loved him — something he, whom I now believe to be a narcissist, thrived on. Not knowing that possible psychological basis for his comment, I plunged into planning the wedding after he then proposed to me.

I’ve now been divorced from him for two years and am the single mother of a seven-year-old daughter who adores her father. I can only hope that he never lets her down emotionally, as he did with me.

It’s a story we’ve all heard before. He was frequently late home from work where he was always the “only one who could solve the problem.” He was absorbed only in his needs — these included golf, meetings, “business” travel, time away from us to “clear his head.”

I never knew for sure which, if any, of those reasons for his frequent absences, was ever the truth.

But he does love our daughter, though I sometimes fear it’s the same story … that he actually loves that she adores him. I fear that, if she ever catches on that everything is all about him, that she’ll be devastated. As I was.

We were legally separated only a month, when he was openly dating someone else.

I know that lots of other people have their own version of this story.

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