Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A Beautiful, Terrible Thing by Jen White

A Beautiful, Terrible Thing: A Memoir of Marriage and BetrayalA Beautiful, Terrible Thing: A Memoir of Marriage and Betrayal by Jen Waite
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Spoiler alert! The author wins.

Anybody that can write such a raw, honest, and relatively objective narrative of their own marriage deserves a standing ovation. The story itself is not unique if you know about Chump Lady. What is unique is that the author lets the reader in on the journey, the events, and the emotions. She doesn't try to pretty her own story up to make it more horrible, she simply narrates the relationship.

It's a storybook fairytale which might be a spoiler in and of itself. Marco is too perfect. He does show some of his colors by sharing a little of his past stories, but it was not authentic even then. He had something to gain by telling her. Then one day it all changed. He changed. In retrospection she realizes there were things she missed because she was unaware he was Axis II, Cluster B.

Personality disorders do not experience emotions like normal people. Relationships are utilitarian and not personal. A perfect summary of this is given by her therapist as "Idealize, Devalue, Discard." Perfect. The subject of a narcissist can't wrap her mind around being devalued and discarded after feeling so loved and believing she was in a perfect marriage. A person with a normal range of emotions would feel empathy. This is why the betrayal is so shocking and sudden. There was no personal connection for the Narc.

Jen writes an excellent narrative. For someone so new out of a NPD relationship, Jen is startlingly insightful. It's a painful read. There are times the reader wants to stop her from going back or forgiving him or believing him. Yet it's so human. That's why it's so good.

View all my reviews

No comments: